30 November 2009


Whenever Tater and I would purchase gumballs we would get three and pick what color was going to come out. That was actually the fun part, as gumbollz lose their taste in about 45 seconds and you cannot blow bubbles anyway... I've been sitting on this gumball machine snapshot for about a year. I took it on a day I walked west west west to 12th Avenue and stumbled upon a huge docked fighter boat and Murray's Bagels, where this gumball machine resided underneath a lot of nice light.

28 November 2009

the double jack




...at present, the pathways from my brain to heart to marshmallow insides relating to all things social academic artistic monetary logistical emotional pragmatic fantastical grounded inflated or real...look like this. not sure if i should cut the fence, turn into mercury, or go back in time. conversely: maybe i should become the fence, or become less tree / institution / collective and more just a teeny sprig...having defined myself, then, i could get out of any number of those oppressive looking metal diamonds that contribute to the shape and purpose of the fence...no?

23 November 2009

We Eat Shoots and Leaves, and for $200 We Will Eat, Shoot, and Leave.

matty mc d keeps me young. one too many late nights like a 22 year old at his apartment...his living room has been the site of numerous social catastrophes, love connections, dance offs and kiss offs, wrestling matches, drunken installation art, pesto nights, photo sittings, reality tv show marathons, etc...dunno what it is about the space, but it's like that friend's house in high school where everyone wanted to be all the time...here is the secret genius himself in his natural habitat on a sunday afternoon, preparing for another successfully seamless shoot...he sits close to his bushwick windows and against a blue wall he painted, in those famous house slippers surrounded by traces of coffee and cigs and wires and cables and gigabytes, under the huge, beautiful photo he took this year at the ICP while exploring and growing into this magnificent lil' 4x5 photographer...matty has more potential marriage partners than anyone i know...he's got staying power, you see...and apparently he gets jealous of other photo THINGS (gadgets, lighting technique, actual photos, books, color pallets) but i've NEVER actually seen him get ruffled, nor does he sweat other photographers...i mean, NEVER for their personality, wit, intelligence, or heart...i think this is because matty mc d aka shaqPanda has all of this in spades...it also has something to do with his knowing that photography takes time and money, it's a process, like handling a shoot with a cumbersome camera and hiding under that little black rag before pulling the trigger...he has his own steeze and is content with it, and since he's found something he loves to do, instinctively, he doesn't worry about the rat race...he's in the game, concerned with 3-pointers only, smokin' marlboros and tilt shifting as he pleases...g'head, Shaq...

Young Boy as Michael Jackson


21 November 2009

double exposure on jade's birthday / narcissus as himself

this is under the manhattan bridge. that skyline belongs to manhattan, or to you, depending on how hopeful and optimistic you are when you gaze at it from across the way...have you ever seen the original Scarface? the city he gazes at through the window was modest. much more modest than reality, even...odd when someone chooses to present a fictionalized account of something and hasn't already gone off running with an extravagant version of it...anyhoozles, the people present at jade's birthday are of the utmost. they are seriously communal / proud, positive, popular types...and sitting on the grass in hoodie, i'd never heard so many Q trains rain over head and i thought every plane that droned over brooklyn had her on it, bound for...well, bound, and forever... it was july and kind of warm. a one-layer-day. at the time of the potluck and socializing and celebrating, i was thinking of the willyburg bridge and why he had ridden east instead of north, towards me...i was actually caught up with the idea of showing off my newest friend to people i had come to admire; something i never feel to do. my version of all that was, basically, an extravagant version of reality...trying to make the pieces fit so that when i looked at the skyline it glowed and i could swell and i could feel like, see, sometimes life is like the movies, and i am its protagonista! patience is a virtue...but ok, borjita, i see you-let's move baby...turns out photos can be mini movies, too...the skyline can be my backdrop (here / here)...the city still a canvas...the characters are players, unfortunately, but also friends and loved ones and bosses and run-ins...the seasons are chapters...and then, i am left with: the meta gaze...in general, me examining myself in some way just bougie enough to make me despise how much time i have for this luxurious thing we call introspection...and i save this expressionlessness for only myself because i know i can handle it and sometimes i try to make as blank a face as i can in the mirror to try to see who i REALLY am and i stare at myself silently in what i think is a 'deep' way but i end up scaring myself and KNOWING that i can never see myself as the world sees me...as evidenced every time you stand next to a friend in front of the mirror -- something is off, you think--"...that's not what he looked like, when i was looking at him..." and he turns to you like narcissus, cutting through the air with his jaw line, while he postures in the reflection of those rose-colored-glasses of yours...and he treats your face like a mirror until you finally verbalize that he doesn't need a mirror anymore: just eye contact...and then abruptly: FIN!...(se acabó la peli)...you sit there through the credits, cursing its reticence to give you exactly the type of fiction you go to the movies to see.

The Sun Blocker

hi lovely...sorry i've been out of touch. see you soon.

JJ, Kate and Pop, the Room

The Texture Of The Waves At Coney Island

This day was the last of a certain type and I didn't know it until this week. I should learn from my miniest of histories, no? Laura Paull would say yes...among many other, dually noted, pieces of mind...namely: no take backs.

03 November 2009

hombrecito bat (1:1)

Meli y Michele

hermanitas, dia de los muertos. i get the feeling these two might dress this way on sundays, or at least more often than just halloween...eh? also, i can't stop photographing my alter-egos, it's getting out of hand...

Ms. Girner and I Peep

We spied on some voluptuous types bathing on 14th Street. Then we went to look at huuuuuuuuuuuge fantastical wonderful magical photographs by some Swedish dude...they were hypnotic...apparently he is also a sculptor. We stared at one of an almost-life-sized buffalo resting inside a cloud of tully fog... he had another of a huge tree, a weeping willow, also amidst the fog...it was like a gradient exercise of browns, tans, beige, dirt, camel, creme, grey, fog, white...we examined the catalog and walked calmly around the gallery, relaxed, not stressing...maybe thinking to ourselves: there will be time for you, and time for me, and the taking of a tea, TS etc etc...When you're ready you know, you know? We then bopped into Ricky's costume shop with Matty and bought some fake blood and a blow-up doll. I saw Sarah a few days later, on Halloween...she had painted herself over with white face paint, beautiful red lips, and immaculate, dried rivers of blood along her graceful neck...the black coming off her eyes was less scary than complimentary to her blue-green eyes...her cheekbones shone...she is a painter, too, then...should have known from her handwriting...and should have just known, in general, as she has always been able to envision what she wants to see: on a contact sheet, on the wall, through the frame...to perfection. While she walks briskly along 3rd Avenue, I dance myself into distraction, while she travels to Westchester, I amble wherever Brooklyn is that day, while she organizes her two-and-a-quarter negs, I wait in line at Walgreens for my cd of jpgs...but when we see each other we embrace, fully...fully...I want some of what SHE got, but it's so much nicer to feel her love me than feel myself green, with envy.

Mario (of the super variety...)

dia de los muertos, queens.


Ilana turns me into a 5 year old.

we're expecting something?


...dia de los muertos, queens.

dia de los muertos - queens


31 October 2009

You May Now Kiss The Brizzle

The interesting thing about the ceremony for Kate and JJ at the City Clerk office was that it was given by a very passionate, very involved woman named Soraida M Burgos...coincidence? in another lifetime? I don't know. My very good friend Sarah and her Jan were also joined in holy matrimony by Ms. Burgos. She was, for them, just as passionate, teary, and involved...Maybe she's just another actress trying to make it big in the Rotten Apple...hitting up auditions during the afternoons, and marrying people on Friday mornings on the side, for to pay the bills...etc.

Good Fucking Dudes

I talk a lot about the beauty of women around these parts...just wanted to take a minute to acknowledge (with a corny 50 mm lens) these good fucking dudes right here...you will, of course, forgive Jay's snarky face...is this him opening up? amazing...JJ got married. Karels, Dani, and Yant were just three of many other amazing males in the place. But maybe not AS amazing, as these four characters...In High School I thought I had male friends. Then I moved to New York, and all of a sudden you're having conversations and sharing shit and sometimes they even let you enter the building first...as you ARE a lady, after all...In California they just don't do that...One of these kids might even buy your Mother a chardonnay, given 10 seconds alone with her...For Karels we all wish a quirky, glasses and tights wearing dirty blonde. Must like miniature figurines, odd words, accents, fixating, buildings, e-bay. Loyal, too. For Dani, perhaps an impossible female...I haven't seen her yet...don't think he has, either...but she has to have heart humility beauty and brains beyond brains through that era and that book and into fantasy land through the history of baseball as well as a knowledge of new york that dates back to maaaaaybe 1964...bonus points for knowing the name of the subway lines when the IRT was still around: good luck. For Jay, I know she exists...she is smarter than him, and that is ok. She might be a LITTLE more extroverted, but not a ham, she might appreciate his humor and she might look at him in a different way than we all have since he entered our room freshman year with braces, quoting Bowfinger...she might understand his silence and know that when he's moved to do or say anything, he's moved...and for JJ...shoooooot, see the borja speech, september...Happy Halloween Young Mens: I love that none of you ever don masks.

19 October 2009

Sandra and Liza

...Sandra and Liza are like me and tater at 13 years old wandering around modesto in our saturday outfits and with 10 bucks in our 'purses'...walking through their small universe together no matter how flat or vast or boring or commercial...they walk and talk and grow and learn to keep their eyes on various people in the streets...honing their survival instincts and bullshit / scam artist radars...occasionally a nerd in a red helmet will approach on bike and shorts and ask to take their photo and they will say yes because for the most part the female instinct and bullshit meter is spot on regardless of how young the female and they will recognize me as a lioness might recognize another non-threatening lioness circling her group, just scoping, twitching her tail...trust is a dangerous thing...and it seems like females across the bestial kingdom are constantly riding on or around the word and its reverberations...sandra and liza pulled out their cell phones to take note of my name. i hate cell phones in photos because i like to pretend that everything is timeless.

14 October 2009


kmb visits smb, october 2009. there was a period of time where this girl was the first person i wanted to see in the morning and the last person i talked to on the phone before bed...'what the fuck are you guys talking about now!? you just spent all day in school together!!!" and? i know that when i see her i will collapse. i get strong when i am alone (or i try to be) and then when i see something who knows me better than i know myself (LSP, KMB) i collapse, get weak in the knees, my insecurities come out, i fold, i child, i rumple...KMB is always right. I would probably follow her gut before I followed my own. One of the best photos of us from childhood is us in matching swimsuits washing my mother's grey subaru station wagon in our driveway on college court...we are both wearing goggles, smiling like 7 year old balls of happiness, and holding the same hose that is spritzing the station wagon i learned to drive in...tater liked bob dylan before me, found a little bit of love before me, played soccer before me, used words funnily before me, found thrift stores and magazines and good movies before me...she was, after all, born in january...and i was born toooooooo late...


...on this night the family of the bride asked me why i was not shooting...every 4 seconds...shoot shoot shoot! like you grab a handful of geranium seeds and toss them into your backyard and expect that 5 plants will grow from this careless toss into full fledged geranium bushes...as opposed to planting 5 in pots and setting them in the sun and watering them and making them happen...i hope this young woman is still married - she was brilliant. beautiful. feigning timidity. custom for custom's sake...things for things sake...tradition for the sake of...etc...towards the end of the evening i found myself conversing with the latino catering team...one of the dudes told me not to drink so much soda, or else...we glanced at the beautiful bride-to-be...

11 October 2009

Pop, Sabi, Beto / Family / You

This has been a month where friends of mine have come out and offered me shit that only family should offer...it is heartbreaking...I suppose if you are a young person in the 21st century, U.S.A., you maybe live alone, and try to pay your own bills and debt on your own, and maybe buy your own cereal and make your own lunch and dinner by yourself. Maybe you eat with a roommate or maybe one Thursday your good friend, newly employed, spots you a hamburger. Or maybe you eat on your boss's dime. Whatever the case, I understand family through two lenses. The first is as I understand it through the lens of my adopted peoples who I've known either since childhood, met at Vassar College, or even more recently, a Great Dame and an Irish-Italo Gent from the ICP. I understand these to be loyal, solid, dependable, lifelong unions. I understand that sharing is no big deal and that cooking together is better than eating what you made. I understand that we chose different paths, and it seems no one wants to hold me accountable for this! Jeez. I understand that if I had cash like I would some day like to have it, it wouldn't last long anyway, because I love spending it and because not like my peoples are 'buyable' per sé but that I would use money as I would use my love : I would give it away. I would give it away because it looks like paper and so I treat it as such. I understand, too, family, that money is not actually paper and you can't just light it on fire. But you CAN rip it in half and tack part of it onto your wall above your pillow and hope that in your sleep one of a thousand yoruba gods or goddesses will work on making that money come back in full. Or you could get a job. Or a big break. I understand this family to the extent that it is chosen...it is a chosen family. You get to choose who is in your life. You do not have to have that annoying aunt, or that slutty cousin. You don't have to have that selfish brother or careless father. During times like the present, it is very easy to see who your family is, and what we are made of...those people who have REACHHHHHHHHHHHHHHED out reached out reached out extending their thoughts and concern in a real way, are the hearbreakers of my chosen family. I mean, if even for a second they mentioned 'it'll be ok'...it's all part of the same heartbreaking machine. To say 'thank you' sounds too humble, so I won't say it. I don't exactly know what the words are, then. Thank you is like "thanks for the sandwich, boss." But I mean to tell them that I feel what they are extending...I know that for them it is very easy to imagine themselves in someone elses' shoes. So I feel them...in my sleep or in the morning, when all of this is so acute and solitary. I wish I could rectify this quickly so that I don't become 'that' friend. I don't want hand outs. Nobody does. Not from your equals. So money leaves a mark on all of us...it is a razor's edge, this money thing...a certain song would also say that beauty, too, walks on a razor's edge and that someday we'll make it ours, but the point is...we are equals, that's why we chose each other...money tries to get in between the letters of e / q / u / a / l / i / t / y but with family like this, you could roll that shit up and put some bob marley on because........anyway, we are equals because we see each other as such and treat each other with respect, communication, open veins, proper space, honesty...and that is, I guess, why money -- to this family, is -- actually, nothing but paper...

Here is Pop, Sabina, and Beto a long time ago cooking lunch. Sometimes, being able to wash the dishes since your sister bought the chicken and your brother chopped the cilantro, is a nice thing.

(foto por laura paull - who never gets any credit)

10 October 2009

There's a Bald Thing Crying At Your Back

Every Sunday like clockwork Pop calls me. This is worrisome for a number of reasons. Figure it out. Someday I hope to deliver good news and I pray he can hear happiness in my voice as opposed to assuming what we know of the present. I don't know why I've always been so loyal to both parents. It's weird. What if they were Mormons? I would be as loyal to all of that, too? This winter when I was visiting Pop, I had a surprising, unfortunate conversation on Christmas morning the ramifications of which I couldn't hide for shit on my face when I re-entered the living room after putting the phone down and attempting to compose myself, waterproof mascara and all. I hadn't cried in front of Pop for personal reasons for I don't know how long. Over 10 years. We never saw each other enough for him to get a dose of this. I cried in airports, and that was about what he saw. It was weird for me to do so on this Christmas, at 27 years of age, but I could not contain myself so I stood there in the living room - my body vapid - watching my father make a fire (in a fireplace!) from kindling for the first time in my life. I had no idea he could build a fire ....I realized how many tantrums/tears my mother has seen or heard from me, and how much had been hidden (passive voice) from Pop. On Christmas morning, I repaid his fire with water. I gave him this little dose of me, this little present of real; messily wrapped in big tear drops like pearls that soaked my face and exposed me for the gullible, hopeful fool that I am...There is something so unsatisfying about crying in the shower; I will never do it again. It's like you catch yourself in the act of crying because your tears begin to be washed away by the water, and you realize you have never experienced crying without the sensation of THAT specific water on your face ...what are tears if not contra to dry skin or gulps of air being drowned in your own throat? What am I, if not how you see me? This, and every other dichotomy. And so, you just let the water run down your face, the expression of crying ceases...it's either going to be tears or shower water, and at this point you feel like a clown, because the water running down your face could really: create a clichéd river-o-tears...and then you remember there are some places in the world that don't have running water and then you figure that means that there are some places where shit is SO FUCKING BAD the people there are not even at a luxury to wash their hands, let alone their hair, or waste their own goddamn tear drops...especially while doing something so divine as showering. Then you stand facing the water, and let it pummel your face...the fake penitence for being so goddamn naive...and this time, eyes closed, you are trying to keep the water out.

(foto por laura paull - who never gets any credit)

POPS - (Luís / Luís)

I read some chick's blog today that had a lot of postings of her in Texas with her mom, or of her mom alone, or her mom's boyfriend, or her school photo at age 6, etc. That blog lead to another blog, another one and anotheroneandotheroneandother........one...and...I experienced waves of doubt and of course - comparison...is that how it goes? Always? I always thought I would just continue to compare myself to my self and that would be harsh enough...I am maybe more proud of the past and the photos we have and the story line that weaves through it all, than I am of myself and my own sprig of story, and so I am safe in posting things like this, on occasion...so here you go...some saturdays i am not so brave.

The Original LP / Dancing with Pop's Pop (A Poem For The Golden Era)

...bailando con el padre de su esposo...

holding hands with those /
that made those that hold you / that, which, who /
whom, whence, sentence /
things like holding hands with /
those that made the ones that /
hold you /
do not happen often /
maybe they don't happen ever (happenstance / hop on over) /
maybe this depends /
on /
whose /
espadrills you're wearing /
what you smell like /
and how you move... /
love /
moves .


Marina Borja Salazar and Luis Borja, El Negro. San Antonio, Cali. Party dresses and family. Snapshots, the present.

07 October 2009

His t-shirt reads: I'm Hers - Because She Deserves The Best

Kate with the Sun on her mane, and those sweet fingers curled up like they do, in her lap, in her wedding dress, on her wedding day.


today, today, today...i need for money to fall like skittles out of the rainbowed sky. i need it to grow como la yerba buena, that once flourished in carmen's backyard in northern california. i need six trees of it, sprouting 100 dollar bills. i need it to multiply, quadruplify, enth-ify. i need more than $34 over the course of 7 hours at the restaurant. i'm just saying. i hear people talk about "getting money." like, they just get it. this has never been my case. i don't come from it, i don't find it, i don't see potential for it anywhere, i avoid it, i hate it, i need it. i try to earn it. i try to attach a dollar sign to my various worths (office assistant, photography assistant, good person, Vassar graduate, ICP graduate, waitress). i need it to live in this room, to travel on the subway, to pay for my internet, to buy toilet paper, toothpaste and not just the travel size, to fucking buy a box of fucking tampons for christ's sake. i need it and i refuse it.

so what am i worth? i joke that my dowry would be worth a donkey...one, long-lashéd, docile donkey...but somewhere else...i am lucky i have this blue passport...am i? and it is only half a joke, actually, about my dowry...

tonight while earning these $34 i was talking to the other waitress. she is 23. she lives with a much older lawyer. she is chiseled, hard-bodied, she is much more mature than her 23 years. she has a classic face that would place her in a period drama, some day...and she is working on this. she auditions. she cooks barley soup. she works at the park slope co-op, she waitresses now and again. this was never an option for me. never ever have i ONCE fantasized about my wedding day, or about meeting a 'man with money,' or even sharing a bank account with anyone, or ever thinking that maybe i'd get lucky and be supported by, again, this man with money. i know i never will, either. not then not ever. on me, it is on me on me on me. while my mother bears the brunt of my stupidity and idiocy, less than 10 years from her retirement she still gives me the monetary shirt off her back...not this week, mamá. not this week.

it began to rain in brooklyn about 10 minutes ago...i've been checking weather dot com all week. i don't know why. i've known for two days it was going to rain on wednesday, after 12 am...but all i hear are those beautiful gotas of water falling on the gardens and rooftops that brooklynites are so proud of (it's a concrete jungle, after all...)...rain is always soothing. it also ALWAYS, CONSISTENTLY WITHOUT FAIL, makes you miss someone...who that someone is depends on the year...so here we are...i am missing a figment of my imagination, listening to rain fall on my rented abode in a town not mine in a year so brutal and spectacular all i can do is ram myself against the corner of my bed where it meets the wall and hide under the covers...plugging my ears...i know the sound of bills falling from the sky would be more like the heavy, deafening silence of snow falling...it wouldn't be candy rain nor quarters nor sand dollars nor japanese yen nor luck nor change nor prosperity nor anything other than rain, snow, water...it's just an element doing its job...if only my task in life was to fall onto everything in my path, and make it grow...i am still mad at the elements...spring makes men antsy, summer turns them free, and fall...fall...fall...a crisp slap in the face...a dry leaf at your feet...and me sleeping through it, dreaming of being a thief, the niece of pablo escobar, a skilled 'contractor,' a stripper, an IT technician, a PhD student, an entrepreneur, a spelling bee champ, a home owner, a mechanic, a teacher, a professional, a consultant...anything but THIS! ...my mother and step-father used to make fun of me...they thought i acted in a way befitting someone who had been a 'princess in a previous life...' (!!!!!)...with an air of entitlement, of quick rage, of indifference and blasé, of gimme!...so here i am, then, family...the reincarnation of that princess, in all my entitled royal glory...hiking through the borough in my worn green keds, shoes which barely support what was once used to nothing less than gold plated sandals, fig leaves and cacao, sunshine and time...time for me, me, me...so now look at me, again...still worth my weight in gold, but eating when my place wasn't set...

Cash Rules Everything Around Me.

02 October 2009

Daniel - Before the Wedding, The Flowers

The Flower Man. These bouquets cost $20 a pop. This may be because the flowers are silk and plastic, and therefore, by definition, last forever.

"Just like the couples getting married today!" I quipped...

He humored me with a "Yes - Exactly."

Speaking of Brides...

...there were so many at this train station. don't mind the yellow hue; i'm sure they're not scared.

mikey and jade

hers was an indefinable poem of self-recognition and of acknowledging it was ok to look into her mirror everyday and find worth there...since mikey is that mirror. his was cool, calm, collected. just like he do. i wish they got married every weekend so i could be reminded of what is possible. it could, too, be just possible that we live amongst the impossible, the magical, the inconceivable, every day...and so...


BETO B...was...is Pop's younger brother. Taller, browner, smoother, louder, quieter...more fierce. more heated...more bottled up in more space. As I remember him, he was strong, quick to laugh and quick to cut you off. Delicate, wonderful hand writing. A passion for color, the finer things in life, like a beautiful box of new paintbrushes. He loved to make me laugh. And when he found what worked, he didn't let up. I remembered him every time his daughter, my cousin, Paula Catalina, would come over for Sunday lunch when I was visiting family in Colombia in 2007. She was 15 at the time. She had turned into a finely coiffed, caramel colored pair of legs and lip gloss. She frequented the mall and stayed close by her mother, Beto's true and maybe only love. When I first saw her, I remembered how messy, and how unkempt I felt. I remembered being ten years old, and seeing her enter the world in 1990-91, when Beto and Ana Paula had moved to San Francisco and were living on Dolores Street. I saw them, and the baby Paula Catalina when I went to visit Pops in San Francisco every other weekend. And when I saw her in Colombia a few years ago I realized that she was always going to be closer with her Mother's side of the family, of course - no fault of hers. She was so young when Beto died. I remember one photo of him in her room, that Pop took. I remember the sense that it is almost impossible but completely expected of us to live without the people we love...either because they are gone, or because they are gone...I remember seeing Paula Catalina struggle with the volatile and passionate, free-reigned nature of our baby cousin, Pablo. And I remember her struggling to see our own Grandmother so old, and so frail, and so close to the edge. And I remember trying to play 'the clown' when I sensed that I was dealing with a fortress of a human being. I remember her only speaking in Spanish around and to me even though she understood everything I said to her mother in English. I remember her looking at me, trying to find family. But alas - too foreign. Too curly. Too odd. And I remember wanting to talk about Beto with her, but not knowing how to go there. I remember telling my Pop to call her often, and speak with her about Beto, subtly, as he is the only way she could ever really access this side of her family. But most of all, I remember her nature, even without her father she is: proud, confident, inaccessible...beautiful, bossy, moody, torrential...the only daughter tyrant of a wonderful union. She will learn to use this power benevolently.

She gets all of these traits from the Borja side...and she knows it. So here is Beto cutting his older brother's hair...she was already living...see?

(photo by Laura Paull--who one time sat on the dock of the bay with Beto)

28 September 2009

I Like Her Fold

I like the fold she has under her bra strap. I wonder, though, if she does. The wonderful thing about seeing yourself through someone elses' eyes, is that it's almost always better than looking at yourself with your own. Odd.

the kiss off - from one beast to another

39 WARRIORS! this text was tagged on the cement outside the fence of a fiercely protective dog (a she) who was in turn protected by two slightly large possibly samoan dudes on a stoop wearing bandanas maybe one was brown or yellow so i wasn't worried...across the street is the elevated F train that runs to and from coney island...on my way to coney i stopped at a bakery (for Orangina soda), outside of a yellow house with a yellow camero parked in front (picture horrible), at a closed-on-sunday gellato shack called "Mamma's," and at this fence. I find myself pretty indifferent when it comes to dogs. Even the teeniest or cutest. As of late, I've enjoyed the ugliest. Tater calls them The Rascal Types. Slightly disheveled, snaggle toothed maybe, brillo pads instead of fur, etc. We like those. As far as dog metaphors go, I get confused because aren't they mans' best friend? Cute? Dumb? Loyal? But then we are also supposed to let the ones that are sleeping continue to lie there and sleep, and then, of course, females who act 'out of line' with 'traditional' 'female behavior' are bitches, and then also, men who show no love, act thoughtlessly, harmfully or dirty are also dogs...so I'm confused. Dog-like behavior is often associated with situations of betrayal, but then, what dog you know ever moved out the house because the grass was greener somewhere else?...When I was in Colombia, and was taking a lot of buses around town just to do something, to be mobile, I started to write something about how in the middle divider of the bus routes and large avenues, I would always see men and dogs pissing on the same trees...in the same spots...covering up each others' scents out of instinct, pride/fear, or laziness...ahem, actually, that was as far as the short story went...perhaps the moral is: somos bestias...y punto.

When I look at this here bitch behind the fence, I also see myself. Only in that one would only be so aggressive if one were fiercely protecting something else. To keep a job you have to fight for it. To keep friends you have to defend and love them. To keep your wallet you have to tuck that shit deep in your bag. To keep it mysterious, you have to downplay your emotions. To keep strangers out of your territory you have to bark. To keep it honest, you have to let people in the front door. And to keep it real, as it were, you can't keep shit.

On my ride home from Coney, I rode under the elevated tracks of the F-train, along Stillwell Avenue. Shafts of light on the ground made it difficult to concentrate on the road or see the potholes in the street...I was veering a little bit, like how you lose track of how you've drifted when the ocean pulls you in, wave by wave, inch by inch...Suddenly I got the feeling that I was very very free, very much an animal, sweating and slapping taxis' asses and such, and I knew that I would very much regret not yelling at the top of my lungs right then and there if I did not seize the moment...And so, while the train screeched and lurched above me, I paid tribute to one of the greatest opening scenes of any movie ever made; that of Bertolucci's 'Last Tango in Paris,' starring a middle-aged Marlon Brando, that incredible beast, with grey hair and a paunch, that stick of butter, those raking-light-lighted afternoon jaunts with a 20 something year-old...ahhhh Marlon...so I looked around. I kept riding. Then I tilted my head up and aimed my voice and my self towards the belly of the train and instead of plugging my ears I opened my lungs very wide and wailed into the open air fully, with spirit, humility, fear, happiness, sound. I did that twice. I felt like a fool both times. No one saw. No one cared...isn't it often the crazy people who are visibly ignored by the public anyhow? DAMN that felt good. I was lightheaded. Then I remembered how real things become when you say them out loud...the thoughts take on their own life. You can think "fuck off" all you want, but until you say it, it doesn't really exist...same goes for "i love you," or "i'm a photographer," or "my work really concerns itself with....." or "yes i want this job" or "may i clear your plate?" or "i'm a moron,' "you're fantastic," "i'm a moron," conversely "ain't you a testy bitch today?!" and "you. are. a. fucking. dog!" and that's when it becomes clear: the devolution of a species...what's even more disappointing is that a dog wouldn't understand that insult anyway. i sense that i'm that adult figure in the charlie brown cartoons...everything i've said has fallen onto snoopy ears..."wahhh wahhh wahhhhhhh! wah? wah wah wah..."

anyway my little wolf, no, i do not REALLY think you're a dog...and no, you are not that missed - just your massive, soft paws are...que'l domage all that precious time spent yelling at trains together, chasing dogs and bitches, and barking up the wrong damn trees...just like i told you then, flaquchente.

Lil' D-One Reason to Miss the Sun

Lil' D-Lemme get a bowl of basil ice cream pleeeeze?! This blesséd creature hails from BK, knows how to drive a 3 ton sedan and navigate bikes in the rain with frye boots on, cares about the kids, the soil, the greens, the plants, her beloved roommate, and more than once has welcomed me into her home to taste the bounty of what she grows every week in the non-traditional farmland of east new york. on this day in august her hat read "dominicano soy!" i thought that was just the loveliest thing i had read all week. happy yom kippur teeny D!

the best boy - happy anniversary love (26 of september 2009)

...congratulations to kate and jj. excerpts from a lil' something i wrote from you know where hopefully to follow in the weeks to come. she looked like a ballerina. and i had never seen her happier. and it was the first time i thought about him as an adult. city hall was a metaphorical train station. it's a one way ticket and if you got what they got that shit ain't scary. para nada...here's me and jj sophomore year in college. he still has this t-shirt. and some navy blue corduroys we bought in berkeley, winter of 2000. we are wearing our thinking caps, here. actually, funny you should ask, it's the same cap.


17 September 2009

copyright infringement (c. 3/13/1981)

...it doesn't matter that this is out of focus. sometimes, most of the time, the context supersedes the details...minor details like composition, focus, message, lighting, etc. minor. what we have here is a document. a document of a particular time and place for which i am particularly thankful because although that continuum did not last in 'legal' terms it is still inspiring and fresh and ever present and vivacious and filled with honest exchanges...at least, until the beans were spilled and real life took over. these two kids were born very far apart from each other in the late '40s and early '50s. Both had had significant others and maybe even insignificant others since they were 11, 12, 13...by the time they met each other, timing and earth and space and moons had all shifted until the sun met gemini met capricorn and boom...some things are lovely like that...and i like to think about it often: that we could exist in different time zones all our lives and then at some point, have tea together at 4 in the afternoon. that's what i'm going to be thankful for this thanksgiving. wherever the eff i am, and with whoMever...the one in the shorts was an open always beautiful bud that attracted both malicious and non-malicious honey seekers...she had already expressed, written, danced, traveled, compromised, and loved by the time she met the man in the one-sie PJ outfit...the man in the long pj's had a plan, maybe rough, maybe clear...maybe clearer now, as he sits at a dining table in southern England. by the time he arrived onto this frame, he, too, was 'grown,' but his interests had just began to pique, and this overlapped with the rest of things like tradition and habit and custom that take time to flush out of ones' system, no? the man in the pj's and the woman in the shorts have both always been magnets...some season decades ago their attractions pulled them together and there you have the picture...

...what i really want to say about the photograph, however, is simply that regardless of the look (fuzzy, low-res, ill-lit, misfire composition)...THEIR looks, of pride, of love, of youth, of happiness, of the perfect present, of union...are maintained and triumph over the pedestrian air and science of this particular photo...they LOOK and SEEM TO THINK they were being shot by a large-format-camera...with all that depth and all those nooks and crannies and details and picas and shine in the eye and that pride in knowing what documentation really was...and THAT is the sign of two kids from working class backgrounds. that is the only way one knows how to express something as delicate as PRIDE in a way so genuine and heart-breaking...performing for an invisible audience, maybe performing for the upper class: beauty beats money every day...these kids know who they are...and that is how i see my mom and pop in their pj's on some sunday morning in eastern canada many years ago...mom, calmly moving along her path with her brains and beauty and her insatiable heart and pop, very far from home and his mother and his language and his boys and those colors and the music and the rhythm and pace and it couldn't BE colder than where he came from...i like to assume that in their conversations and in each other they had, instead, found a space unlike any other. it lasted like anything else....lasts.

10 September 2009

Randi Murphy (Charlie Alegre)

I've been duped by a mask or two. It's ridiculous, actually. I always thought that if you were given a nice mask you should be a double whammy of a human being and match your self, to that mask. Otherwise, you're just a fucking grill...a waste of skin and bones, a throw away soul. Also, you're in my seat on the subway.

"Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud..." -Tropico Shakespeare

07 September 2009

Ariel : Date Night

I don't know how many miles I walk on average per week...Maybe 30? Working at a restaurant alone, maybe 3, per night? I don't know...And I don't know how many dishes Ariel has washed during his time in the restaurant biz, either. While I pace back and forth checking in on your mother's crab cakes, Ariel cleans the ceramic and the silver. Every 4 hours or so he would come over and request a coke refill sin hielo and a sprite refill for the line cook con hielo. I didn't really talk to him until the last day he worked. The next morning he was going back to Mexico on a jet plane...in the wake of his mother's death there were some things that needed to be taken care of at home. He asked me why I wasn't married. What is this? A taxista conversation in Cali?! And told me that when he got back, that we were going to have a beer together, and that it didn't matter that I was much taller than him. I wish I could describe his voice/timbre/rhythm of speech for you...

Pantless: PANTERA

Ironic because when I first met Filipo B Pantera he was wearing pants. Jeans. Stylish, European jeans. I did a double take. Them shits is 24" x 24" I thought! And so, I got to know Pants...Pantera is a fantastic last name: how will he grow into it ? Will he fulfill its promise and prowess ? If he does justice to the name as he does his jeans, I would indeed put my money on the boy...Filipo has huge green eyes and a sweetly chiseled face...he has wavy locks aka windblown-bed-head and wears this t-shirt with cassette tapes on it that i love that always seems to be off...by...the...end...of...the...party...He shoots a lot of 4x5 and wears leather like he's Keith Richards...I am getting the sense that to come from a place that birthed Masaccio, Brunelleschi, Buonarroti, TITIAN!, Ghiberti, Caravaggio...you are born with swag...the leaning tower of pisa he.is.not....see: il Duomo---that shit is SOLID...perfection.

PP Dubbs - Oliver n' Co

Same ol' story...but with more vigor. Oliver says the following when his mother presents him with packaged, frozen foods for dinner: "No!...Quiero SO-PA!" In the wake of a David Goldblatt photo I saw in an exhibit last week (the 'immorality' act of whatever-apartheid-era-year put approx 11,000 south africans in jail for 'being with' someone of the opposite 'race'--read: color) this theme/dichotomy still seems relevant. What DOES it mean to look at a female face not like your mothers for the first 10 years of your life? So maybe you're bilingual...what else? These things maybe will never be sussed out...maybe this kid treats the wait-staff a little better, or maybe, he always has a knack for languages, or maybe he decides to travel to south america, or maybe to be a cook...or maybe he has mommy issues...i meannnn... The Goldblatt exhibit dealt with South Africa, so of course, every photo carries MUCH more weight than any nanny photo taken in New York City, 2009...but the point: to live in a country where you would be punished for loving what raised you i.e. teaching you to hate what you loved and loved/touched you?!? I come off as unbelievably naive when it comes to discussions involving injustice/inhumanity that I would be doing myself a disservice by sharing my reactions and/or feelings...shock and awe do not turn back time.

02 September 2009

sleep photo / sleep blog / sleep shapes

i only post this because i took it while i slept with my cell phone that was recharging by my bed and then emailed it to myself. ?. i don't remember doing that. every morning, in my new room that has no curtains, i awake at the dawn to see different shapes on the wall above me. most of the time the shadows are uninteresting (like this one) but sometimes they are kind of gorgy because i don't know what is making the design and i revel half asleep in abstractions...i have no idea why this is the one i chose to capture. and then text. too much textin... i doubt this kind of blogging will continue...don't think sleep blogging could ever progress beyond abecedarian efforts...but we'll see what the somnambulist says...or does.

29 August 2009

La Princesa Verdadera

I call a lot of people "Princess." I mean it.

Darnell: To What Do I Owe The Pleasure?

Darnell gave me directions. My asking was kind of, kiiiiind of, a ploy. Regardless, people say shit to get shit they want all the time right? I've been on both sides of that type of human warfare. Anyway, he said "yes" to my taking his photo before I even finished my sentence. I considered him willing and able. Beautiful boy.

Best Seat In The House

As it ebbs and flows. Wax. Wane. Come. Go. Is the Ocean the ultimate dichotomy? Is this where we get all of our sides? The pull? The various forces in our life...maybe they come from this simple idea of back and forth...back and forth...back and forth. And we don't even know it 'til we sit on a cheap chair legs all splayed out, hat on, and stare at the ocean for a few hours...and realize everything is made of two parts. Even a realization is two things coming together.

Get comfy, Ma.