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Eves-dropping on neighboring cloud watchers across the isle:

–Young girl- maybe age 7- speaking in absolutes: “I see a hand.”
–Man beside her- maybe mother’s boyfriend: “I see it.”
Pause. Watch. Stillness. “I see some mashed potatoes.”
–Girl -calm: “Oh yeah. Yeah.”
“I see a coyote without legs. Do you see it?”
“Planes are huge. Almost bigger than the world. We’re almost to space. Did you know that?”
–Man attempts an explanation about atmosphere, stratosphere… starts out strong. Flounders. Reverts to talking about library books on the subject.

Girl turns her head from the window of Largest Views. She finds a heated shaft of sunlight taken to sitting on the top of her hand from the other side of the plane. My side.
Reflection projection.
Steady she holds it; her sun-hand. Her free hand whirling small fingers atop the partner’s radiance. Spinning a small dance above orphic golden. She wants to show her mother who sleeps;
Looking back and forth from mother to glow, mother to glow, mother to glow.
She is a kind child. I can tell. Her mother rests on, while dutifully with providence, she hosts the light.
Girl sees me looking and offers a soft-kid smile my way. It’s too late to look away. I’ve been self-generous with my observing.
Down she puts the sun.

Back to cloud-watch; the line between boredom and the ease of nothing else to do, giving call to the deciphering of true existences.
High game, low stakes.
Infinite interpretive possibility.
A pooh-bah baby; she tells what’s what. The crown in passing light.
In a flash I’m brought back too.
Times no linear thing when you’re suspended in the air and have exhausted your ink pad and reading resources and suddenly… I’m young again, head-scratching, squinting wonder, looking for what’s really out there.
By and by eking out that dolphin pattern of automatic coordination involving focus, locus and vergence.
If I’d stare hard enough… If she’d stare hard enough…

Now the mother’s eyes are opened and the three talk of sun. I hang on their words like heavy warm suds sky bath. They talk of curiosities over cardinal directions, the great Atlantic acting to anchor the origin. Wondering just what they’re flying over. Wondering where the man’s house might be very right now.

In an instant the plane tilts- revealing a ground covered in snow. A secret held from us by the simple act of not telling our full and hungry eyes. Covered in snow, dotted in trees. All small far down. Snow inside of snow.

The clouds have begun to thread, actively uniting, they soon mimic the land below as a blanket and a few levels higher measured by hundreds of feet, or thousands if you’re good at guessing jelly-bean-jar-quantities; filtering sun, laying across us fly-ers, dressing us in riches of watermelon and orange juice two hues.

Girl, Man, Mother are quiet. My mind quite quiet. And the clouds- speak silence full into the figures we see of them. Wipe away to white. Begin again if you please.

stard

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Trees; an affront to imposed rigidity and structural predictability,
contrasting the angles raised of long blocks that contain them,
(parks- a slight, conceding effort;)
defying street boundaries;
interrupting, inconvenienced by countless collections of 90 degrees;
spreading roots with great effort, nonetheless.

oa
To be well and free against the opposing absolute and certainty of man-made resolve, in an immediate world of molds and intended order.
In a time where plans are steadfast; where chance is made scant;
lessened; unappreciated, threatened by homogeny.
I will sing the songs that rise up from beneath my feet, that the pavement has not permeated. I will sing the songs that are not mine to keep.
I will sing what comes forth, be I know not from where.
Songs to soften, with hopes of bringing broader breath to asphyxiated systems surrounded in soil.
Songs to ease the rattle of drilling for more more more when all is what we’ve already, collectively got.
Songs to hug at the earth burdened by those who appreciate her not, yet tug tug and tug relentless at her spine, yes.
Everyday. Back breaking acts in detached formation. Embroiled in entitled ideals.

When did people learn that nature was to be conquered and what happened to their songs?
With trees so tall to walk beside, how can they not feel a hum?

oaaoaaa

 

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The heat pushing through the piping of the long house in one steady breath, promising falsely to fog up the windows and appease the chill down to the bones that we all felt; coaxing blood back up to the surface; releasing the tight shoulders in the room, squeezing in desperation to retain the remnant warmth.

Me and you. We are cold together in spite of talk of Tahiti. In spite of flirting with ideas of occupying the shower. In spite of number 70 on the thermostat.

Cold with worn hearts. Wimpy, floppy, sore- from news that came in pin-cushion packages with the pricking points turned outwards.
Packages delivering information that both whispered and yelled at once, as for no one to mistake anything on any auditory level, that the beast had returned; and in it’s believed absence- gained volume and momentum and peculiar support.
An inconceivable menace that was as real as the boogie man, and just as easy to doubt.
And now, in shocking, lurching fashion, a manifestation has come forth onto the eyes of the public- thin with disbelief- banging chest, fragmenting citizens, hissing for allegiance, disregarding all in it’s path of unparalleled ethos.

Ice. A stairway in December with no salt.
Sub zero in some cut off jeans.
Windchill with newspaper blankets.
We begin our struggle to blind ourselves in counter action, to stare in solace at the sun.
To rid the big freeze from our bodies, and find a way to raise a renaissance life of egalitarian existence where chatter won’t break our collective teeth.

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lightening house

Forty years.
Forty frosty, colorless years where which the silence had built, grown, & settled upon them like a heavy, deep-season blanket.
Forty years.
Forty of them; where the walls observed no good morning, hello, how was your day, did you hear about this, did you hear about that.
No congenial exchanges muttered.
The couple passed each other in the hallway, or might occasionally find themselves waiting for the frying pan, the television, or shower to be ready for their own use, impatiently. Wordlessly.
The beginning of the descent into the static, mute, existence resulted from no particular fight, but more of a long, blue-hot-burning that built, seemingly to the point of no return, & a terrible, despairing feeling of being stuck together in the house of pulled, private shades & blackened, hollow photos.
The house with the yard where the neighborhood children wouldn’t fetch their balls from. The house of anger. And the house of dashed dreams.
Throughout the time of the Big Freeze, one had taken up quilting. The other had become an origami savant of sorts. One had developed a fancy for cherry everything: pies, ice cream, liquors, preserves… The other: a determined reader intent on hungrily devouring all on the topic of the Ottoman Empire & it’s collapse.
Still- no sound uttered.
Their love for music had once untied them. United them.
Like sun slathered honey, smelling of dewy mornings, feeling like cut-back-fresh wisteria vines pointing & sun bound, they’d  listened with their then-warm-hearts & looked with soft-watery-eyes to the other half play. Nimble fingers. Fluid attachment to sound, to manipulation of keys, breezy build ups, unpredictable yet so-good-wow-crescendos.
Life times had come. Gone. Come. Gone.
There they were, embroiled in a semi-coexistence where none was to share any thought; the icey quiet had crept into all the pockets of possible return, all too long ago.
But. If. Ever.
And never with a nod or a pre plan- they were ever to find themselves on the porch at the same time…
The music. The sound generated. Together by the dueling keys. The compliment of their knowing hands crashing down upon the ivory.
Creating the wildest, sensible cacophony of exquisite sounds, speaking leagues through keys into the sky; could’ve convinced the ethers to rain. They would. They wanted.
Would have the porch sitters abandoning stoops.
Would stymie the squirrels in their gathering.
The birds would settle in. And watch. And absorb. And the music was goddamn living.
All the lives that were tampered down & tucked in & brutalized with nothingness through out the years.
There & then.
Life.
And then.
Without nod, or gesticulation, the songs would conclude.
And the door would creak open.
The floor boards would give their predictable sighs.
The television would roll on in careless fashion.
But those: the only sounds that remained.

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A walk around the blocks.
At night.
When the lights are on in apartments within eyeshot bright enough revealing each illuminated box of walls, furniture, and lives taking place.
Where conversations abound, or peter-out.
Where honesty lays across the table, or secrets stay tucked under lightly-used to heavily saturated napkins.
Where sauces boil
and bubble and forgotten pies burn crisp.
Where old shoes line the entrances and extend into halls, tripping the innocent,
and plants curl yellow in the condensation of windows.
At night.

Where sounds of closing car doors echo louder in the hush.
And cats scramble with their better, dark-favored vision to the other side of the road. And skinny rats develop false confidence, obeying their hunger, scampering out of dirt holes to snatch fallen promise-crumbs.
Where people sleep in dingy, unforgivingly-hard, once-lustrous-marble doorways beneath blankets that once belonged to generous beds; and dream of colorful fantasy pictures, or terrible monsters, or vacations that they’ll take some other life time, or things that they’ll have forgotten by morning. Bother not.

Where pasty, sun-deprived gamers sit in fluorescent, 24 hour donut shops tactically moving board pieces, tantalizing early onset diabetes -dirty flirt-, gorging on fried-sugar-dough, systemically solidifying certainty of never getting laid again beyond glory-holes. Where cups of stale coffee tip and splash spotty pants from shaky hands, and ashy floors, and blurry eyes and sour breath.

Where new couples cruise the banks of the lake, holding hands, kissing at each bench, butterfly bellies.
Where cargo trucks roll about, containing clandestine items of unknown sourcing to half of the drivers. Do tell do tell.

At night.

A walk around my neighborhood.
Around blocks that have begun to encircle a sense of home.
At night where my dog and I walk in wonder.
And contribute to the spectacle of the quite observers observing.

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I thought I told you not to ask me twice, because I blush when I can’t recall your birthday, or to ask about how your knee is feeling today, or if you worked out your most recent car issue…
It doesn’t stick and I have never known myself to be less invested in  someone I do care for, and it frightens me about myself- making me like you less.
I can sense your hands extending my way even when they are busy making lumps of your pockets, or interlocked, white-knuckled, behind you. I can feel the buzz of your questions, when your mouth forms a perfect, airtight  line. Your eyes- a welcoming brown and asking of me things that I can’t & won’t promise.

You ask me to be honest so I do and I am, but keep digging you do. You forget my humanity, in beta, treating me as though I tuck a cape secretly into my dresses; forgetting that I can only love you when you are happy in full & not look to me to fulfill this unspoken, expected duty to make flush your holes- pocked with insecurity. You forget how hard it must be for me to tell you constant disheartments, lest you never remembered- let alone realized.

Hurting the kindest person in the room. A bee stinging a bee. Squash blossom strains cross pollinating: creating a mealy, deceptive, lackluster hybrid. A dog, a tail: perpetual circling.

Your accolades stroke me, cocoon me, croon to me, make me sweet on you when you are not light enough to blow off the tower in response to my altered breathing. Your enviable sincerity. In my mirrored comparable to you this would equate to ghost netting/ nothing to show.

But love is it’s own world that hasn’t handle bars; and to grip and grasp- a fruitless way to hang on. Because it all boils down to feeling. Feeling with out the illusion of urgency. Feeling and truth commingling. And the foresight to not fear your intuition.

I disappoint myself in light of you. In your shadow I cannot commit and reciprocate. It’s tragicomedy. To want love so bad/ and be incapable of return. I do love you, but not how I would if I could.

glow hand

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So here you are. You picked up and you moved. Finally. You finally moved- (Good job.)
Something you’ve been talking about for a thank-goodness-noone’s-counting long of time. Three years? Four? Enough time for change to brew to the point of the bubble over. So you ride out in the cascade, thinking of the times where you were so detached from holds and your spirit was far freer, though before you left, feeling tied-down you did not. You just felt… cozy. Comfy. Copacetic. And it’s those C words that can be dangerous.
Because that’s no place to stand.
So you took off in the name of new C words, like new conquests. Like crazy. Like can’t stop won’t stop. And it can all just be so fun. If only you let it. And if only you can conceive of it. Or perhaps just let. it. go.
So you done gave it all up. The pretty house. The fun & loving social circle. The sweet man. The main income sources. In the name of…?
And you’re not quite sure, when people ask you this every-day-question, of quite how to respond to it. The answer varying, dependent on mood, on weather, on wind velocity, or based upon the most recent strangers’ interaction. All in all it is hardly surmisable.
It is the untouchable. And it takes focus to remember that not all is to come with a black and white outline. And it is to show that sometimes you gotta pull that thread from the old sweater. Perhaps those tired sleeves’ll fall off. Or it’ll just keep going until your left with a new ball of yarn. And you can be kind and donate it to the kitten company, bringing them a smile to wiggle their whiskers. Or you can go yarn-bomb the town.
And that’s California, man. The land of possibility.
The golden state, for it’s expanse, and so-many-subcultures, museums & eateries, everywhere art & art galleries & feral or lawful graffiti, mania, excitement; native pride & alcatraz take over; animal parades & freaky carnivals, pop-up-shows, seedy establishments, fresh-fortune cookies, raw struggle & swollen riches, lawlessness, confusion, and contagion, and on on on.
And ocean.
And green; for dripping night-blooming-datura plants; massive, shedding, fragrant eucalyptus, girthy taproot, secure base; established, luscious thick, envious jades; swishy, flirting-with-blocking-the-moon-palms; nooks and crannies: a dream for sleepy monkeys if only one would escape it’s captivity, or the ideal habitat for weary squatter and mangey pooch.
And brown; for trash upon trash in the city parks, don’t-drop-your-keys-in-the-gutter-because-how-dirty-streets; filthy, creepy alleyways where you must pretend not to have a smart phone or sucker you might be; curbside furniture left for days, covered in soot; mysterious weaves on the ground; white bums with black hands.
You might not have realized how grimy it could be. And how distracting, to boot.
But that’s ok- it’s your renaissance.
On your time. And you made it.
You are in charge of celebrations.

Viva su revolucion!

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photo 1

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