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.