May 20, 2013
You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave,
find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities
and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.
All good things are wild and free.
Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so.
Aim above morality. Be not simply good, be good for something.
What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters
compared to what lives within us.
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
Photographs by Danny Lyon
Quotes by Henry David Thoreau
May 20, 2013
Gerhard Steidl is one of the world’s premier book publishers. He founded Steidl in 1968 in order to produce art books to the standards that he held in his mind and manifested with his hands. Unlike most publishers, who parcel out each aspect of the business to specialists in their respective fields, Steidl does everything under one roof. From acquisition, editorial, and design to production, printing, and binding to sales and marketing, every Steidl book access is given his personal touch. It is this touch we see and feel when we pick up a Steidl book. It is a sensory experience for the eyes, the hands, and yes, even the nose.
A book is more than a story. It is a complete world unto itself. It is a journey, an adventure, a trip into the mind of the author him or herself. This trip begins with the object of the book, for a book is more than words and images on paper; it is the very paper itself, the ink, the process of production that is at once hidden and revealed with each turn of the page. It is the collected experience of the tiniest details that make the book a thing to behold unto itself. It is this attention that Steidl brings to the art of book publishing that puts him on the same level as the artists he publishes. Robert Frank, Gordon Parks, William Eggleston, David Bailey, Bruce Davidson, Joel Sternfeld, Weegee, Raymond Depardon, Andreas Gursky, Arthur Elgort, Juergen Teller, Guy Bourdin, Ed Ruscha, Jim Dine, Berenice Abbott—and that’s just a few of the authors appearing on the new list for Spring 2013.
Steidl, like the artists he publishes, is driven by love, by passion, and by purpose. Book making is more than a profession; it is a way of life. It is a way of seeing and understanding life in order to share it with the expert and the amateur alike. Books are mystical objects, the mind forever captured on the paper we hold in our hands. Books are more than mere objects; they are repositories of soul. They are a wealth of knowledge, of expressions, of creativity to be revisited throughout our lives. Each time we visit, a deeper understanding occurs: of ideas, of style, of ourselves, and the word in which we live. The art of the book resides in the space where author and publisher meet, in the story they decide to tell and the way in which the story is presented to the world. The books of Steidl are stories put on paper, memories not yet our own until we behold them ourselves.
The beauty of the book is that it has not changed its form. It remains as Gutenberg designed it, leaves bound between covers, handy enough to be held in our arms. A book comes alive when it is opened, and it is here that the magic and mystery begin, as we turn the page and discover a new world held together by concept, content, and the quality of production itself. We are fortunate to have this opportunity to speak with Gerhard Steidl about his life’s work, as a single force who continues to honor the art of book making through his exquisite publishing programme.
Read the Interview at
May 19, 2013
The trees stand without leaves, gathered close and deep. Their branches bare, shake, forsaken and angered. The wind whips through their spidery limbs like a lash coming down hard against the penitent’s back. The winds warn of the coming storm, howling in the night as they rush along. Hovering impossibly low, the clouds begin to mourn and a wail of torment sounds as the trees nod and groan. Small branches snap under pressure and are suddenly sailing free through the gales with no destination at hand, no thought or concern to where they may land.
Nino looks to the sky and sees nothing there as an eerie silence stills the air. His fists clench at his side, fingernails biting into his palms, as his jaw grinds forth, jutting out in determination. Taking one step forth, his boot casts upon a fallen limb and as his weight shifts, the twig splits angrily. He feels the earth give way under his foot as a bellow sounds. Slow. Low. Uncomfortable. His hands are damp and his throat begins to close.
It is cold, the kind of cold that is felt far below, deep inside the hollow of bone. It is the kind of cold that rattles and roars and sobs and moans. Nino begins to shiver until the shiver becomes a shake and then it is like the tremors of withdrawal. THe ait carries a woman’s laugh as the wind rumbles into a thunderous rage. Frozen in place, he is unable to escape as he feels something prickly brush against his face.
His hands tremble, agitated and afraid as he feels something within him start to break. It is deep in his chest, buried below the ribs, inside the center of his being that pumps life into his body. It is here in the seat of his heart that his body and soul finally split apart. He can feel the tearing of organ, the breaking of bone, the ripping of flesh as his spirit leaves his body, flees even.
A flash of white light strikes, illuminating a silhouette. Ling black hair sails through the air, spreading wide like a net. The net expands into a web, stick and sweet, and at the center of this trap is a woman he knows, the woman he hates. She is young and slim, almost starved, and her scarlet eyes feast upon Nino’s tremulous form. Ven aqui. Come to me, she calls softly, her voice as seductive as the sirens of The Odyssey.
A wave of desire sweeps through Nino’s spirit, suffusing him with warmth and where the sky was dark and foreboding, it becomes something succulent and soft, and he can taste this craving on his tongue and it tastes like a life that was never his. She calls to him again, this time silently, speaking the words he has longed to hear. He feels his spirit relax and release as she summons him forth, and he moves faster and faster now, flying to her side at once.
He lands in the web with deeply beating heart and he looks at her and she looks at him and he sees her eyes are voracious and dark. The sweet scent of innocence fills her with an excitement she can barely contain. Her mouth is wet, so wet that she can taste his flesh and as her pink lips spread slowly they reveal teeth of jagged edge.
She smiles in delight as Nino’s eyes widen in horror and she moves closer to him, closer and closer. She reaches for a little hand, a pale and delicate paw with sharp red talons on the end of each fingertip, talons sharp as claws as saws all the better to cut you in half and she carefully draws her nail across the side of his face.
A trickle of blood rises to the surface as a torrent of fear washes over him and in an instant it is over just as quickly as it began. His spirit is driven back into the body it had left behind, returning to the womb of his heart and crawling all the way inside. There is a pain, a kind of pain he knows too well and though he normally pushes it back down, this time, it is too much and he has lost control.
His mouth opens wide and a strangled gasp breaks from his lips and it is in this moment that a shadow rushes out of his chest. It is a small shadow, dark but not opaque, and it knows not except it must return to the universe from whence it first came. And as the shadow disappears in the darkness of light, Nino is empty and exhausted, wavering in the wind.
Stand! he commands, knees locking in place as his feet sink deeper into the earth. He feels himself sinking and looks down to discover his boots are submerged in a thick and viscous substance. The more he pulls against it, the tighter it hold until he realizes what is happening. He is standing in quicksand and it’s only a matter of time. If he could release himself from the boots that hold his feet… If he could just grab that branch over there and pull himself to safety… If there were someone, anyone, nearby who would hear his scream… But there is nothing, no one, not even She.
A panic rises in Nino’s chest as he realizes that not even he can help himself. He is now knee deep in the cold and clammy muck and he realizes that time, time is all he has left and time is running out. He looks to the sky and sees nothing there. The storm as passed and silence fills the air.
Nino feels himself sinking as the world rises up. Resolute, he knows the truth. He is trapped, held captive, abandoned and alone. Failure burns his flesh, his aching bones. His cheeks are aflame, ashamed, debased once more. Rage boils and bubbles and foams on his tongue. With the venom of the Furies, he cries out—
(this passage, since deleted, once began my novel)
The Kingdom of Eternal Night
May 18, 2013
I remember when the Salvation Army had that warehouse in Hell’s Kitchen, way over by the water, and honey over here had the fake Visa cards. He was generous and rather stylish so good times were had by all for two months during the Fall of 19 Ninety Four. That was the season of Salsoul classics on cd, dance your ass off in the apartment before heading on out to Factory. And while once upon a time I had been wearing Timberlands, Levis, and crop tops, after I had seen Nadja Auermann on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar getting her dragon, her drag on, honey child I had never seen such glamour for all my life and I was—
enraptured, enamored, enthralled, entranced—I was en too deep and it was just me diving into a pool of turquoise shimmering aqua du jour only no, it was not, it was stumbling drunk into Barneys back when it was on Eighteenth, a shelter from the darkening skies that came earlier and earlier each day. And I had to, I needed color like nothing ever before I was, yes, I was and I had to have it like give it to me and it was electric pink and neon orange glosses from the Prescriptives counter like my candy store like the best place on earth, and I slid those precious liquids across my lips and slipping and sliding wild, wet and wild colors like my 80s dreams and I was blonde, was I blonde? Mmaybe not. But I was up in stilettos and baubles from Coco Canal and that was back when dudes had there wares spread out on sheets along the streets like Twenty-Third and Sixth, and we’d be walking along when a marvelous belt called me out my name: Girl take me home and I’ll dance along your hips all night and day and night. Whatchu say, baby girl?
I took it home and my closet was most grateful for the times I’d take it out and make it twirl. I think—but I am not sure—I was wearing it that day back in Two Thou, summer was it, and I was in Chicago, yes, I was and there I had been, staying on the campus of that school not knowing a single person or where to get food so I took it to the streets. And it was all big hair, big curls, and a fingerwave around my hairline, and it was me floating along like a butterfly in a grey jersey Margiela skirt that dusted the pavement as I swept along. And a black tank top, really more a muscle shirt, and it had long sleeves that I snapped off and It sat like black canvas, a simple sheath, a satiny shield along my chest and yes there it was my faux Chanel belt belly dancing as I strolled down the street.
Mighta been distinct, obvious, oblivious, I could be. It’s rather yes so I pay it no nevermind and when honey rolled up all on me, I had the strangest feeling things were playing out from a script I had not yet read like the days pages from Another World back when it was on NBC. He was stringy, stringbean, white boy with a British accent, and he had been up, up like Dracula haunting the night, and the eightball was gone and now he, could he bum a smoke, and I said, “Take me to get something to eat.”
And so we proceeded, well he proceeded to lead me and I was pleased, see how helpful men will be, and me he took me to this little boulangerie that had seats in the piazza outside a red brick church with white accents that gave it a birthday cake kinda vibe. And we sat there, him telling me how he had some weed and we should get up after I get done with me day and I’m smiling saying, Suuuure maybe, sounding like I don’t know just yet, but you know I never had any intention of checking honey ever again.
But why ruin his day? It had just begun, and he sat there smoking my cigarettes, eating nothing, smoking away, and the day would just begin and it would become nothing so much as a vague haze of beige in my memory, lots of white folk, lots of books that were handmade, making the book something of a craft, reminding me of where it all began, right, like I was ten and I—
had decided it was time. I would write this book, a collection of short stories about Mr. Crocodile, who had this B&B, and all the characters that came and went, went and came, and I decided to illustrate it with colored pencils. It was done on looseleaf paper. And the covers were made of cardboard, which I then wrapped in sea blue tissue paper, and I drew the title real big: THE HOTEL IN SOUTHHAMPTON on it, and I bound it with gold pushpins that ate away at the tissue paper.
I had it for awhile, and then like everything else ~ bon voyage. And I sent it to wherever these things go, maybe a portal through another dimension. But it’s always happening, whether I know it or not, and it occurs to me that means there are countless opportunities to jump frequencies, vibe from one dimension and the next, go across time and space and be this vibe, this vibration, this feeling, this energy, this source, this voice whispering in my ear and I smile like oo you know, and you do and thas what makes it worth alla every thing in the end.
The End, it’s true.
May 17, 2013
Photography records what we forget, offering a map back into the past into lives we would never otherwise know, if not for the camera to record their existence. We are all anonymous, until we are not. We keep records to prevent the inevitable erasure as time slips through our grasp. We are fortunate not only that the photographer was there to record what was, but that historians exist today to dig through the rubble of time and unearth the forgotten.
Nostalgia: The Russian Empire of Czar Nicholas II, Captured in Color Photographs by Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (Die Gestalten Verlag) takes us back to the turn of the twentieth century, during the final years before the final days of an empire that spanned several centuries. Prokudin-Gorskii was a pioneer of photography in Russia, and a pioneer in color photography itself. As Dr. Stelle Blasche writes in the book’s introduction, “Very little has been written about his life history. Like so many of the artists and architects of pre-revolutionary Russia, he has been forgotten, leaving a blank space in photography that remains to this day.”
With the publication of Nostalgia, we are treated to a long-overdue retrospective of the artist’s work, a story of so many lives that would be changed forever in a matter of a decade’s time. Prokudin-Gorskii studied chemistry in Russia before traveling to Berlin and Paris to learn about chemistry, photomechanics, and spectral analysis. He returned to Russia in 1901 to study color photography in a country where the medium of photography itself was little known. Driven to compete with the developments in Western Europe and the USA, Prokudin-Gorskii presented his work to the Imperial Technical Society with the aim of garnering financial support for his project. By 1908, he had reached Czar Nicholas II, presenting color projections of photographs that included a portrait of celebrated author Lev Tolstoi.
Read the Full Story at
Le Journal de la Photographie
May 16, 2013
For life is the best thing we have in this existence.
And if we should desire to believe in something, it should be a beacon within.
This beacon being the sun, sea, and sky, our children, our work, our companions
and, most simply put, the embodiment of love.
Vowels are the most illuminated letters in the alphabet.
Vowels are the colors and souls of poetry and speech.
The French poet, Rimbaud, predicted that the next great crop of writers would be women.
He was the first guy who ever made a big women’s liberation statement,
saying that when women release themselves from the long servitude of men
they’re really gonna gush. New rhythms, new poetries, new horrors, new beauties.
And I believe in that completely.
In art and dream may you proceed with abandon.
In life may you proceed with balance and stealth.
For nothing is more precious than the life force
and may the love of that force guide you as you go.
Where does it all lead? What will become of us?
These were our young questions, and young answers were revealed.
It leads to each other. We become ourselves.
Quotes by Patti Smith
Artwork by Lady Aiko
May 16, 2013
Books and photographs. Photographs and books. The historical record reflects the times as they were lived by those who were there. And here we are, some four decades later, reflecting on punk as it first came up on the streets of New York, along the Bowery, at CBGBs, a mélange of artists, performers, and personalities making for great photography, for stories that are shared and collected, for memories rediscovered and truths being told. For those who were there, and those who missed it, Just Chaos! takes us back to a time and a place where you damn sure better do it yourself, cause if you don’t ain’t no one else.
In the windows and intimate niches of BookMarc, New York, now through May 23, Roberta Bayley has installed selections from 13 photographers of the era:, many which have not been seen before this exhibition. Featuring the work of Bayley, Janette Beckman, Stephanie Chernikowski, Lee Black Childers, Danny Fields, Godlis, Julia Gorton, Bobby Grossman, Bob Gruen, Laura Levine, Eileen Polk, Marcia Resnick, Chris Stein, and Joe Stevens, the photographs featured here are curated with an eye towards style, inspired by the energy of the era as it manifested in the world at that time. “It’s all based in poverty,” Bayley reflects. Everything was D.I.Y., do it yourself.
Fashion, music, style, photography—all of it came as an expression of the truth: after the hippie movement sparked, it became mainstream and lost its edge. Punk came out of that void, all claws and fangs and guitar strings, spikes and torn clothes. It was street, strung out and sexy. It was the artist as anti-hero, a Romantic poem at the end of the second millennium AD. It was about the absolutes of individualism, of speaking your own voice and saying F the system.
Read the Full Story at
Le Journal de la Photographie
May 15, 2013
A fish does not know water is wet. And so it is that at a certain point, we fail to consider the implications of the medium itself. We are surrounded by it so completely we take it as a given. Nothing to see here folks. It’s just photography.
I’d fallen into it, by way of a rabbit hole. And then it was so completely the norm that I didn’t realize how odd it was until a few weeks ago when someone outside the industry asked, “Do you take photographs?” to which I replied, “No. I make photography books, I write about photography.”
It struck me as odd how rarified this sounds to the ear of someone who would not give a second thought to the construction of the photograph itself. Too obvious. Too ubiquitous. Like words themselves, we no longer consider their effect because their effect is too ingrained into the structure of the mind itself.
It was only recently that I began to reflect, that is to say, had the luxury of time and space to consider the implications, the causes and effects, the structure of the photograph and the world in which we live that I began to discover, I have ideas. I mean, I never even granted myself the space to think abstractly, so entrenched as I was in a system that demanded results, and results demanded actions, and the circle spun around.
But then, I imploded. No longer could I be as I was and with the new beginning, it dawned upon me that with the rise of the Internet we are moving into a post-literate world. But then again, literacy was never ubiquitous; it was always the measure of the elite and a means to maintaining its power. If we consider carefully, literacy has always been the abnorm throughout history, including around the world today. Most people could not read—words. But they can read pictures. All the more evidenced in the Internet’s heightened communication through still and moving images.
I’ve begun considering these ideas fairly abstractly, and over tea with Stephen Mayes, a conversation began to take shape. It’s still in its formative stages, but it does entrance. Here are the beginnings of our talk on the subject of visual literacy in the age of digital reproduction.
Miss Rosen: Literacy. It’s incredibly profound. To begin, let’s speak of the way it shapes our destiny both as individuals and a society. I think it’s best to start simply. I find it fascinating that through pictures we learn words. That words are actual visual symbols of verbal codes. And we of the first world teach our children these codes: how to read, then how to write, so that they are literate. Our first books are picture books. Why do you think it is that the child’s mind is most receptive to pictures as a way to understand the world ?
Stephen Mayes: The shared factor between images and words is that they are both codes. The images that we see as kids are not representational, they are conceptual interpretations of objects and ideas and these visual and verbal codes are the gateway to conceptual thought. It might seem obvious that a picture of a truck represents a truck, but understanding the concept of “truck” allows us to recognize an image of a truck whether it’s blue with 4 wheels or red with 8 wheels, even if we can’t see all the wheels. (BTW this is a fascinating piece of developmental psychology that a kid will draw a vehicle with 4 wheels because they know it has 4 wheels, but an adult will only draw the 2 wheels they can actually see. But this is a different topic…)
Conceptual thought is dependent on language (spoken or written). We might identify objects but without language how would we engage with the concept of “blue” or “happiness”? In fact whole studies have been done on the concept of blue, which apparently has no place in the natural world and yet is commonly one of the first concepts grasped by kids.
I would refine your suggestion that we learn words through pictures, to say that we learn words and pictures as part of the development of conceptual thought. Pictures don’t lead to words but they both come from a common source and share a common function.
I learned a lot from my time in the world of stock photography and the most important thing was that stock and advertising images show ONLY concepts, they never actually show what things look like. Stock imagery shows the idea of happiness, the idea of Paris (Eiffel tower, baguette, etc), the idea of love, etc. Look at any stock image and you know immediately what the message is because all extraneous information is stripped out; you never see a couple in love with dirty fingernails, and that’s not because dirty fingernails are offensive but they would be distracting and introduce other stories – “why are the man’s nails dirty?…”
As we grow older we learn to read pictures with real-world information. It follows because we need real-world experience to interpret real-world images. It’s one of the strange things about documentary images that they purport to show things that we have’t actually seen, but the process relies on us recognizing what we’re looking at. They might reconfigure the elements in novel ways, but we must have seen each of the parts to understand what we see. A street, a man, a gun, pointing, an Asian face, a grimace…
After reading your notes and thinking them through I’ve developed a theory that I need to test: our first visual comprehension is conceptual as we understand the ideas behind images, which then becomes comprehension of representation as we learn to read real-world information. Advertising uses a clever blend of real and conceptual representation to make emotional messages (pride of ownership, fear of being uninsured, pride in appearances, love of our children, etc.) and visual literacy has grown enormously as a consequence. People now routinely read all types of images with real-world knowledge and a metaphorical filter, which I think is largely attributable to the work of advertisers.
I think back to the Middle Ages when the Church ruled Europe, and few were literate, and they used images to teach, guide, and inform the people as to how to understand their lives. The image holds a power that complements the word (be it written or spoken). We become visually literate, and the more we look, the more visually literate we become. Why do you think the image has the power to instruct and inform the mind in a way that complements the word ?
The Medieval Church as you mention, dealt in images which were wholly (holy) conceptual. Also they used these images not to inform but to restrict knowledge. There were very strict limits on what was represented and how, and thinking this through leads me to question your suggestion that the more we look the more visually literate we become. I realize that this is not true, and in fact photography has been a supremely powerful tool in limiting our knowledge of the world. We are fed images that others have chosen and often they’re just encoded representations of ideas that someone wants us to have. Photojournalism often serves to affirm preconceived world-views rather than to actually inform us what’s happening.
Literacy takes things to another level. Literacy allows us to consolidate vast bodies of knowledge which has led to accelerated conceptual development in some cultures in recent centuries. You’re right when you say that literacy is a minority privilege, but actually it’s not a finite resource. Literacy, and by extension education, becomes a political issue: potentially everyone can be literate but only some are chosen and this is a political manifestation of our economic and social structures. Who do we choose to educate, and of course what do we choose to teach them?…
May 13, 2013
We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us
something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch.
Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight
or any experience that reveals the human spirit.
Quotes by e.e. cummings
Photographs by Landon Nordeman
May 13, 2013
I ain’t been here long but I been coming and going all my life. Worked here for a couple of years too, as Dumbo became Monaco, a city-state, a country in this brave new world. Since I been out here, I’ve seen things change. But it’s like the rest of this city: the Imperialists came.
They call it gentrification but it has older, more familiar word. Colonization. Been going on for centuries, and we know how it look. Whitewash. You know how they do. It’s the way of the world. Ain’t no stoppinn this thang they call “progress” and they tell us, they sell us, they make movies and shows and call it “history.” But, I mean, that’s not the only way it’s gotta be…
Thank God for photography. For the artists and the musicians and the writers and the poets who take us back to yesterday. I can’t be that person who complains, who be talkinn bout “back in the days” no how—I mean, I caught quite a bit of it, and whatever I missed, they got photos and stories and books and I—
am grateful to be here, now, today. Yesterday, I was walking along Fulton Mall for the way things used to be. It is what it is. It was what it was. If you caught it, cool. If you missed it, well, there’s always The New York Times…
May 10, 2013
“In a world of con men there is nothing lower than a publicist,” The New Yorker wrote in 1944, harkening back to the days when the Fourth Estate was populated by flacks and hacks. But the more things change, the more they remain the same, particularly now, when the artist as brand has been unwittingly elevated to the international stage.
Adam Nelson, Founder of WORKHOUSE, an arts-based publicity firm operating in New York City that was instituted in 1999. Workhouse has represented photographers David LaChapelle, Albert Watson, Roxanne Lowitt, Nigel Parry, Pamela Hanson, David Drebin, Oberto Gili, Billy Name, Bob Gruen, Jean Paul Goude, Patrick McMullan, and the Horst P. Horst estate; galleries including Tony Shafrazi Gallery, Staley Wise Gallery, Photographers Limited Editions, Symbolic Gallery, and Rubin Museum of Art; and publishing houses Rizzoli, teNeues, Random House, Skira, Universe, and Assouline Editions to name a few. In each case, the agency was tasked with putting the fine art images or photographic books in the forefront of public consciousness.
How is it done? The publicist’s trick is to make it appear effortless, as though waving a wand and—POOF—a New York Times feature magically materializes above the fold. But the hard truth is, publicity is a thankless job. In a world of what-have-you-done-for-me-lately, the publicist must continuously produce news and innovative results.
Nelson reveals the tricks of the trade in his new book, Art Pimp: Tales of FlimFlam, Fixes, and Fornication, which has just launched on Kickstarter. The book is one part personal history, one part primer centered upon the art of the fix. It details the way in which publicists work to engineer iconography for the media and the public alike.
Read the Full Story at
Le Journal de la Photographie
May 10, 2013
Twelve by twelve inches. A cardboard slipcase for a twelve-inch album. Vinyl. The way it all began. When turntables were the way music was orchestrated in the era of mass reproduction. And so it was, and it had been, that the photograph was part of that experience, the sleeve being the perfect place upon which to project, a veritable canvas, a movie screen, a silent and simple place for a single image upon which to consider the songs recorded on A and B sides. And once upon a time, not so long ago, the music pressed was a thing to behold unto itself, perhaps the height of the era being the jazz albums that had been produced.
Jazz Covers I and II by Joaquim Paulo with editor Julius Wiedemann (Taschen) Is an impressive compendium, taking us back to the way it was, when you could gaze upon the photograph, the way in which the artist designed to complement the energy of the album, each cover design being a distinct in the way it sets the tone through the visual iconography of the creative director, who integrated the image into a larger frame, using line, text, and form to produce a visual rhythm all its own.
Read the Full Review at
Le Journal de la Photographie
May 9, 2013
May 9, 2013
White on White on White on White. I didn’t even mean to write any of that, but the words came tumblinn out after I looked—but could not find—a scan of the photograph I’m wanting to write about. So I hear Malevich in my head, Russians chanting in tongues and paint brushes stroking along reminding me of the Invisible Man, but that’s another story, for another time.
This one is begins, last night, speaking two men in from Mexico City, and they’re looking at the photographs on the wall, lined one after another after another in rows, becoming a lyrical poem, an ode, a sonnet of Shakespearean proportions only it’s all in photographs. Still images flickering at eye height. One after another, each like chocolates on a candy box and you think but you don’t know and you feel and you ask so I go, I flow into a reverie, the way it happened to me, it’s like poetry and I’m on stage and I like it like this because it’s natural, I hear the words and I am charged to write or to speak and if I could sang, lawdamercy but no, best I can do is dance .. but thas an aside.
Back to my point of alla this is yes, it was a photograph. I drew pictures in the spaces between the words, stringing along a little song that never spilled its secrets. Felt like it was a trailer, a preview, a fan dance, smoke and mirrors, except at one point i said something or other, and I saw the men draw their collective breaths ~
And oo ahh, success, yes it was mine, I could taste it, and I had forgotten how it had been only it had never been as good as this. Yes so I told them, how I heard the words, “Pull up a chair and sit down” as I felt myself like Alice going through the looking glass and standing at the kitchen door, and it was my moment, but still the story spun gold from my lips and I continued on, never finishing but I circle back to that photograph, and then I turn around, and there it is, right behind me on the wall, punctuating my sentence like an exclamation point.
And it’s this, of course. Of how it shall be, that you cannot see, but it is always there when you look ~*~