Eduard Wiiralt, Heads, 1926

There are times when I am all over the place in my mind that I just can’t stay put for long, without being distracted by other thoughts that thrill me, thrilling me to the point of moving on from one beautiful thing to another. It’s as if at times I were transfigured, turning into a ricochet, and in the oneness of my body I remain as one, but in the vast openness of the expanding universe of my mind, I am in several different places at once.

Robert Louis Stevenson: “...any place is good enough to live a life in, while it is only in a few, and those highly favored, that we can pass a few hours agreeably.”

Conrad Aiken: “sharply we flower in this foul farewell”

In response to Gary Snyder's “How Poetry Comes To Me” (“It comes blundering over the / Boulders at night, it stays / Frightened outside the / Range of my campfire / I go to meet it at the / Edge of the light”), my own thoughts on How Photography Comes To Me:

It comes blundering over the horizon in shadowy angling, every possible light to trap, as if numbered like a limited edition. Some days, I go to it, and like a stumbling child attempting to walk, to mimic those enormous imposing adults, I find a new spark in the dark, slain again by the shutter-eye’s blink, as if to tease the scene, compressing it into time, like freshly compacted clay in the hands of the sculptor.

Cecil Taylor: “each note . . . a continent, a world in itself.”

Pound: “In the light of light is the virtù.”


A poem, a farewell, to a former love:


As our hands were shaking near raw
in mythological in-action as we held one another
on the bright green lawn of a courthouse square

in the cool, pouring rain (behind that mocking sky:
a big blue empty sea), we both knew
that we had been taken to the furthermost limits;

mutual separation was my heart’s near doom—
an atrocity of the dismemberment of my loins
that resembled scraps of metal across an

inflamed, asphyxiated landscape. Our anatomies
had already begun to pre-drown the earth with our
longings, like nature’s decay—not ignorant

of our names nor our human shapes—that signified
limpness in our precious limbs like broken trophies.
Some time, many days later, I re-visited that once

poignant locale—still as poignant as before—on the
green lawn of the courthouse square. I stood within
that enterprise where our bodies had been fastened,

soaking up the remnants, preserving what
still confirms a memory, as if like pressed leaves
upon my heart; our voices now like faint whispers

speaking underneath a wilted rose.



     the slow transition
of you & me

O, Leak to my lips
into my lips

Sun like flaming corn
School buses to the groins
of the air
        Public school
are like a McDonald’s
to the shin    stomach wanting
to cry again
much to the consumer's chagrin

FLESH     the old music
makes me want to weep
in a car
         riding with attendees
for betrayed blues
as if one were crying one’s eyes away
in a bar

those that dig for gold
that gold-dig without shame
that want me to talk with them
about their problems
for what gain?


Written after my cat obtained an eye injury, which broke my heart, entirely:

Weight comes, falls away from the body. What pains you like a combination of explosions in the belly, daubed nuclear, clear hearing of weeping at night, as joy comes in the morning. Faith daubs away darkness, Light peeling away the chaos without wry eye, joy feels like toys in the hands of children—furry kittens with dreams of capturing the sputtering fly. Innocence of animals like lightning put on alert, stops to behold the light within me that is brighter than the sun. I cannot question why I was reverse-engineeredby Yahweh—how my eyes of a once MISunderstanding were enlightened, were decoded with a precision of eye-lash thin seconds to accept the falling scales from my eyes, like corrective lenses covering me.(Good news: Cat's eye healed!)


The breath of the future is knowing that the next morning a bird will sing, as if birds open their mouths to inhale sunrays to get that much closer to God, the tender place of the chest within.

Or: Not what the stars have done, but what they are to do, is what detains the sky (Emily Dickinson).

From Curiosities of Literature (1807): “Why should we not erect an asylum for venerable genius, as we do for the brave and the helpless part of our citizens? It might be inscribed a Hospital for Incurables!”

Mark Storey: “No wonder Southey could laugh when, having written fifty stanzas about the forthcoming royal wedding, he heard that the engagement had been called off.”

Jack Spicer: “Let me chop apart / With my bare hands / This blurred forest.”

Sometimes cameras make me nervous. I feel overwhelmed, like an insect in a glass jar, frozen, expecting nothing. In photography, does a moment in time become an image, or is the image already there, dangling like a prize, to be taken? This should be a one sentence answer.  Maybe I should be playing a piccolo, everyone’s noses are like Pinnochio’s, no? Not everyone, but many. Gwendolyn MacEwen once wrote: “...for this cold impersonal dawn was for me another kind of darkness, a new and secret form of night.” There's something quite poetic about hearing a train off in the distance, particularly during the night hours. It’s like audible film-noir, leaving a mental fragrance.

Eduard Wiiralt, ca. 1926–34, from the private collection of Juhani Komulainen,
part of a
2009 exhibit



1 comment:

Richard Cody said...

We are always waving goodbye and saying hello.