23 July 2012

© mr. bill brandt, obviously

like rocks stacked, or other such smooth things. © bill brandt, whom i first saw at aardvark books on 14th street in san pancho. 

19 July 2012

08 July 2012

those who come with it (© m. chambí)

conmigo mismo (+ fruta)


G.F., April 29th, 1976 - Ahora

earlier this year i wrote about la fabi muriendo en santa marta, por la playa tayrona, el 29 de febrero. su pagina en FB todavia está. me parece muy raro y raro más cuando alguien habla a la pagina como si fuera la persona. it is not. it is all for show; the entire affair is for show. the entire machine was constructed as a show. without the internet how would you mourn? this weekend we saw a barrage of similar posts for another friend, some closer than others to her, and i guess all i have to say is that death and facebook should not coexist. i find it trite. and i find that it opens up the possibility for idiots to unsuspectingly say something stupid, because they are naive in trying to share, help, or express. a mutual acquaintance posted an unrecognizable photo of our friend from their website/blog, which ultimately looked like she was trying to drive traffic back to the site on which said unrecognizable photo existed while simultaneously trying to book a job with 7x7 magazine on an article that would concern itself with roadside food, or some equally cloaked bougie experience. fuckoutahere. that said, there are photographs and there are images - let us not mistake the two. i'll toss rendering in there, too, why not. we all mourn differently; i understand that. my question as always is are we doing what we need to do, what we want to do, or what we think the person we thought we knew would sincerely want? i am skeptical of most people where acting for others is concerned, and i apologize for that. this period, i qualify it from june 1st on, continues to shock. i knew this woman of 36 to be a number of things and from our limited friendship my memories and/or insights are as such: limited. i knew she was in pain, physically or otherwise, i knew her palette to be earthen-hued, greens and browns and muted muddy tones, erring on the obsfuscated and often times messy. when speaking (read: shooting) about her father, the images were staid, monochrome. she transported herself where she needed to be in this way. one photo shows her in a button down blue shirt, the colors of the wall a sort of saturated rose-wheat color, and she is seen from the side exiting the room. in front of her is nothing, or the other side, as we have to read it now, an extension of those colors, bright blue leading into an unknown space filled entirely with fields of wheat or maybe just more of that saturated wheat color...whatever colors...a forest, tundra, the red flag on coney island flapping in the wind, an infinite tank filled with baby walruses, an ocean under oceans, her father's house, who knows. not you nor i, as everything we believe is because we want to...that said, her laugh would echo in that field, playa, or forest... insofar as what 'people have been saying,' i know we can all agree on that.


06 July 2012

© tuomas korpijaakko

TK, prolific zine maker, last i checked.

05 July 2012

j-5 / mini explosions

usual things. goddamn was it hot yesterday. not a good day for food. how dare you eat fried chicken today. how dare you! not a good day for anything other than sweat down your back and swiping brows and fanning selves and champagne and rooftops and music and brooklyn really shined toniiiiiiight! last night. image: s2nd and wythe, the guy next to you is too sweaty and he's dancing with his shirt off, he is beyond sweaty sweat it is like slime when he slips by you and also you don't care. the floor is shaking. floor boards are being worked. outside, people lean into each other and put their plastic cups of whatever into the raised vegetable beds and air kiss goodbye b/c the shit is gross out but everyone looks younger and dewey and alive. photo friends meet college friends and it used to be an issue but now i know the best of worlds will know how to collide. we are all just 1 degree of separation from eachother anyway in brooklyn, brooklyn the world. a couple makes out in the corner and someone a block away pops off some fireworks and everyone still cheers though they are duds, they still do a 20% job and that 20% is nice tonight. d's friend stands in front of us and with our eyes we see the shadow of a flower from a raised flower bed on her smooth pocahontas chest and we both say, wait!! don't move!! d flashes her chest instead and now he has a blown out photo of his old friend's perfect chest, and i have a black frame of nothing though we both know we saw it. neither of us could capture the shadow of the flower on her dark chest on the dim deck and no one wants to carry a camera around anymore b/c we all shoot fruit now, don't we. captain america above is the sweetest boy in the country, his accent charming and all the girls have loved him since 1st grade, and it was because he could not love them back. mami laced up her laces in celebration, every hydrant was open, and i hope you, too, wore your SPF - el sol no juega. for the record, people really do wear red, white, and blue on july 4th. really surprising! i did, too, but by accident. it's just that on most days i find myself in red shoes, so...

04 July 2012

J-4 (amerigo vespucci)

happy J 4 to all of you independents. today we twirl sparklers, make fun of america, and distract ourselves from whatever it is we need to be distracted from with big loud BOOM KACKS, short shorts, and a sweaty muthfuckin' ride to where the light shines brightest. if i found you there i wouldn't believe it, though i see you in the tall grass, and the ones i love. this will not be the best july 4th on record, but every year is closer to the one that is.

toronto trip (mercury in fucking retrograde, various rolls)

last roll of the yashica, may that little plastic turd rest in peace. the camera didn't rewind the roll so i  opened 'er up and i lost half of it, scrambling inside my closet to push the film back into the canister, wondering if that sliver of light from my roommate's door would find the roll. some of it did. canada was weird. i'm not sure if my goddmother reads this blog but if she does, i mean weird in the sense that places are now just places i've been. i have little attachment or sentiment, or is that a lie? i mean i never lived in toronto, i just slept inside of a dresser drawer for a few months before being taken to south america for a few years. the top photo feels like greece, or somewhere in europe. the second to last photo feels like something i found in modesto in 2008, and the bottom photo feels like a virtual forest by the sea. in a sense, all redundant images, a theme i've been thinking a lot about lately, what with instagram, student tumblrs, contemporary tumblrs/blogs, and vilem flusser. i see most things as redundant and will clarify what i mean a little later on. but anyway, insofar as snapshots go, i was not snapping much in canada. i was taking in what it meant to be sleeping in a quiet room on a quiet street, with cats and cars and homemade food. and what it meant, again, to have a mother put breakfast on the table. i have not been around a 14 year old, actually, ever, i guess, for any extended amount of time. i noted parallels in only children and their primary caregiver and provider (Mom) and I realized one never has a fair shot out of the gate where roles are concerned - the 14 year old will forever see his mother as that, and vice versa. Where maturation is concerned, I think life is far too unflinching and where the pendulum swings one way (love, support, unconditional everything) it will immediately swing the other way another generation later, in time, in time as with everything in time. I am in that now, my pendulum, or metronome, or whatever it was that i thought had 'helped' to define me, now swings heavily towards the other side, right off the base that had anchored it, and refuses to go back. as such the back-and-forth, the ebb-and-flow, the exhale-and-inhale, the open-and-close ETC ETC ETC is perhaps imbalanced, and by definition now makes a sort of one-sided song, keeping a one-sided rhythm but regardless i say, regardless, it is now my rhythm. and it's better this way, though very somber and often complicated to articulate or share. and those are just my observations on mother-child relations at work on this weekend visit, for where mother-friend and mother-mother and mother-surrogate and adult-adult relations go, there is no time for that here. ( 'thank god,' you say! i agree). in the aftermath, the canada trip was much more complicated than expected, because rare is the care-free experience these days, unfortunately, and the whole time it was loaded with the promise of someone to return home to, a boy who, inevitably, crashed his vehicle nicely into my expectations, which, though already lower than ever - AND equipped with passenger-seat airbags - still managed to shock. our play was recently adapted off-broadway. you should go see it! or perhaps you have already seen? my role should be filled by a wary, down-to-earth type with a tendency towards optimism verging on naivety. she should have a tattoo of a palm tree, a machete, and a staff of caña de azucar on her arm. they should form a triangle and under that should read the words "apetito de obrero." she should be nervous of all things technical (like texts and facebook) and imaginary (like texts and facebook), perfect (like nice hands) and beautiful (like the superficial). she should be wary, because who the fuck are you? the only requisite for the person playing the male lead is that they be a dickhead, top to bottom, asshole to piehole. tight pants are optional, though a bit predictable.

i returned from canada in a green, fuschia, and purple thrift store dress that i adore, jumped into a cab, and jetted to sarita's roof-top birthday party. there i found a host of wonderful types, german grandmother cakes, an elated birthday girl, and beauty in plant, sun, male, and female form. i spoke of my experience with the 14 year old and mentioned that i thought he would be all right! he will be, he will be. we rode bikes once that weekend, him and i. he was in a helmet that was too small for him, and i was on a bike that was too big for me, with a seat that kept swiveling around. it was almost a mr. bean sketch. i found that he was kind of mature for a 14 year old, full of conversation and prepared to share his personality, which was developing just fine! i found it crazy, though, that in front of his mother he was closer to immobile, a mute; not anything much more than a taker, a baby at the table. it broke my heart, because i realized that ever really seeing anyone is close to impossible, from all of our fucked up vantage points, foundations, and fault lines. everything is out of control: non-smokers get lung cancer, fathers become vincible, people land in our laps only to disappoint, a train crush crashes, instead, with the flip of a vowel, and the word "amar" lives comfortably within "amargura," that bitterness most encounters leave us with, no? we have too many blind spots to come out unscathed; only one of which is visible by turning our head over our shoulder to check before we merge.

03 July 2012

broadway, 42 (el buho-gatito)

july 3rd owl-cat, scared shitless in a shit-safe-space. pobrechhhhito. above him were 6 sharp-beaked parrots, red and yellow and blue and illegal most likely on this stretch of broadway. i was walking on the other side of the street but crossed when two blocks away i said what the fuuuck is going on over there?! parrots: should they be in the same family as doves, egrets, woodpeckers? not really sure why they're not considered dinosaurs - maybe they are. i'll ask bill nye. above the kitten, the shrieking parrots, who were beyond tone-deaf, screaming in a timbre that induces crippling anxiety, lay a teenage girl, her long legs and short-shorts and hair-done-did draped over a stack of bird feed about 15 feet in the air, texting. she seemed calm amidst the chaos, and told me the kittens had been found that morning, and that the parrots shit more than god. she wore big gold hoops, was kind of working, kind of just keeping her father, on the computer, company. her father was a white dude from brooklyn, she was cocoa. i could tell she wanted to talk more or at least maybe just needed a buddy at some point during the 8 hours she was hanging in the pet store; a buddy who did not shriek, meow, shit, or bark, and who had a face, not a telephone number. maybe she was the oldest of her siblings? i could have seen that. i wondered who she was texting and if the kittens would be ok in the future and envisioned the kittens in the cage with the parrots who were at this point kind of dancing with each other inside the cage, joined at the beaks as if in an old fashioned knife fight, where only one hand is free. in this case they were attached at the knife and their wings were free. i stood there in the middle of the store for longer than i needed to, yelling up at the girl, making inane banter, figuring out how i could take photos of the parrots if they were illegal, and wanting to take all three of the kittens home or at least to hold all three at the same time and call them the names they should be called. it smelled like bird feed inside and everything was out of place on that stretch of broadway. chinese dollar stores, shady post-offices, pitbull puppies and women in streetwear pajamas. i was not sure how anything in that store had come to be! the girl spoke to me of a kimodo dragon, too, but i can't remember now if she said she had one or she knew of a person who kept one in their apartment without the landlord ever finding out. the last time i was in that store, last Fall, i had a different camera, and in the bird cages were only small, sunflower-yellow parakeets who made the most noise when their wings fluttered frantically inside the cages; do you know that sound? it's that sound of air being moved back and forth in a confined space, with nowhere to go. the design is almost an instrument, a bird inside of a ventilated steel cage, but it's just a dust-up of displaced air, a temporary fan, produced by the highly agitated motor of a creature with a stifled wingspan.

02 July 2012

brodway, 41 (thumb sucker sundays)

franky baby flies kate

before my hard drive crashed

before my hard drive crashed i had "a" method of organization though if i could give myself a grade i would give myself a C+. unacceptable. in order of care, here is how that works: hygiene, appearance, camera, negatives, underwear drawer, wallet, watch, keys, phone, shit in my teeth, laundry, common areas, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room, floor of room, refrigerator. while we're here let it be known i also do not cook and i eat standing up; wearing a dress and vacuuming is not in my wildest dreams. in sum, self-care is yet another area that deserves attention, though self-preservation, in the behavioral sense, is not, anymore. these weeks i've seen a lot differently and maybe only half because ERB told me to try and have 'new thoughts' and half because sometimes the weight of your own brain becomes annoying and experimenting with ones old behavior is good in a way that it wasn't at 17 when you told yourself, always, "that's just who i AM!" as if that were the ultimate cry of self-determination or self-affirmation when it now just seems defensive and proves you to be useless, like dried clay you wished you could shape. if we are not changing always then life makes no sense, as that is the one 'act' people, places, and things seem to be really good at. that shit is revolutionary, i told her - actually trying to think to tell your thinking mind to think something else you seem to think you have no control over. i am far from a meditation specialist but i imagine that this is the more progressive move. if you sit and tell those same thoughts you always have to 'float on by' like fish swimming across your mental screen or clouds floating through your beached mind, then that in a sense seems more like coping, dismissing, or releasing (a detachment, maybe) whereas actively trying to change your wiring is the more difficult path. fine. if one can quit smoking, one can change their thoughts. if one can learn to make their bed at 28, one can dictate their own thoughts. i find though, that riding along the same paths in the same shorts on the same bike produces the same thoughts, so the lesson for me here/now is to take a different route. when diego and i ride i tell him "no talking just riding!" but that is just because i am used to riding alone. from one end of bedford to the other, the talking is the best thing. right there along with the hot air on my face and legs, the different smells from different hoods, the joy in passing an air-conditioned grocery store and that blast to the back of my neck, the spray from a busted brooklyn water hydrant, the fragments of conversation and doors slammed we hear in passing, and the cars honking at our backs that we are riding double in a single file lane...when there are no cars in sight at red lights we fade one after the other into the same path like birds falling into place on an invisible flight path in the sky...a thought i never had, of course, until i did it - birds falling off, birds diving in rhythm, birds counting time, birds in tune... my imagination fell short here, but i forgive myself. there is no way i could have known how we would act, at a red light.