not a pretty picture. not a good. not a bad. picture. but an argument.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

moving around in darkness




there is a plane of white cloth that collects light and holds it




like a sheet on the line holds the wind and sun





holds the smell of outside even after it's brought in





i love it

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

let's let the world speak


let's you and i not say anything



Sunday, December 21, 2014

white and white, but


white by Amy Clampitt

over the great inland
riverbeds   the greater
lakebeds   a runneled
skitter   by dusk a blur

swarms   interspersing glooms
of conifers the far
side of the pass with
mazily hexagonal

lopsided falling things
or substances   or stuffs
bear paw   ear flap   rabbit
scut    the mirror-haunch of

pronghorn   whiteness of whale
of glacial octopus
such thunderous accu-
mulations' drip and roar

snowmelt   sunbreaks   advances
and retreats   the polar
threatener   tossing to
cherry trees by parking

lots unseasonable
nosegays   leaving on wind-
shields these wet billets-doux
the snow is general

***

white, but

not general
but specific
named   particular
otter's brow   scat   leaf print
truck runnel tracks through snow
body's penumbra   and direction
crow that slices sky in two
defining silence   slicing contour
where   before   then   and after
where the world was   or might become
where you are   and are not
who you are   and most definitely   not you
the white world   breath of evanescence
sea forming   convoluted mirth in foam
greyscale   comma   strike
infinitude   murmur   scope

Saturday, December 13, 2014

transitory passion




trying to hold to form




Thursday, December 4, 2014

from out of forebearance breaks the hymn excelsior


"The ultimate nature of the experience of life is that toil and pleasure, sorrow and joy, are inseparably mixed in it. The very will to life that brought one to light...was a will to come even through pain into this world; else one never would have got here."

Joseph Campbell, Myths to Live By


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

the tender pillar of fire



"Yesterday evening, after Schubert's final piano sonata had surprisingly come to mind once again,



I simply said to myself: 'That's it.' 




It's what inexplicably remains steadfast against the worst storms, against a longing for emptiness; what definitely deserves to be loved:





the tender pillar of fire guiding you even in the desert that seemingly has neither limits, nor an end."



from Philippe Jaccottet's And, Nonetheless: Selected Prose and Poetry 1990-2009 (p. 315)

Sunday, November 2, 2014

man



"In conclusion:

   no progress, not the slightest step forward, rather instead some retreating, and nothing but repetitions.

   No true thinking. Nothing but moods; ever less coherent changing moods; nothing but bits, scraps of life, apparent thoughts, fragments rescued from a debacle or worsening it. Scattered moments, broken off days, scattered words, because a hand touched a stone colder than cold.

   Distant from dawn, indeed.

   All the same, this cannot be left unsaid..."

from And, Nonetheless: Selected Prose and Poetry 1990-2009, Philippe Jaccottet p.359

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

even with a shift of dimension


volume does not dissipate

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

depth and volume


volume


conceive of the volume! she snapped
slapping the water goblet to the table top
i was twelve
i had no idea
i only knew dry from wet
now go to the well and drain it with this glass
and then find what feeds the well and drain that!
she was tired
so was i
i was twelve and had no idea
she put on her boots despite dull limbs
went out into the winter's night 
latched the barn
cud chewers bawling that mournful hymn
while silver light turned white hills
to water

Thursday, October 23, 2014

gull

the awkward girl at the counter tried to cage her smile, an understandable form of self preservation. a grave scar dove down her delicate neck, lazed between her breasts, and then disappeared beneath her blouse. her buttons were done up poorly. when the situation dictated that she absolutely must - she opened her mouth to speak - and the silliest voice spoke out from her. i could not have imagined such a tragedy of characteristics. such a strange and awkward creature. something flung open a door in my chest and flew out toward her. immediately. i loved her.


Monday, September 22, 2014

from the lost writings of wu hsin








There is no owner;
No one to claim:
My body or
My thoughts.
There is no owner of consciousness.
Consciousness owns everything.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"another window to wash our faces in"

Sea-Map
Hilda Morley

Taste of salt on my fingers,
                                           that’s how
I like it:
               the line of sea rising
above the dark-green pine,
                                           the sea meeting
the horizon,
                     so always the eyes are lifted higher,
                     the pulse buoyed upward
with them
                  So it
should be for us all—
                                  to belong to
whatever moves us outward into
the wideness, for journeying,
                                              tales of
distant places,
                        treasures piled
                        to fill our smiling,
                                                       for us to know of
along the travelled coastline,
                                           the mountains
we can climb to,
                           each port,
                                           each harbor
another window to wash our faces in,
                                                         pull us
forward
               & made for us,   made for
all of us,
                as the birds know, who
fly the continents,   the oceans
for their secret reasons,
                                     a map of the earth
written inside their bodies,
                                           marked
under their breastbones:   
                                       a continuance
of the now most fragile,         
                                        always travelled
patiently enduring world

Friday, September 12, 2014

despite



bĂȘte noire

each flawed and aching tendon
each depraved and rancid meat sac
each pustule, each boil, each canker, each cancer
each flower that rotters
each tree that mourns roots
each insect ground blindly into ground
each  each  each
us
each us
each ennui
each terrible happening and terrible consequence
each terror and capitulation
each tremor and corporeal lamentation
each
each thing blessed but tainted
each thing reviled, anathema
each absence of answer
each absence of power
each presence of question
each muscular thwartage
each muscular throe
each trashing in, thrashing on and thrashing up against
each damned thrashing

each - rise the next wave
each - possibility

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

the glare

there is a glare off the glass of the ordinary

it hurts

there is an ordinary hole, an absence, in each of us

 it hurts too

one shape, one sharpening, one keening of light and form might fill the other
can, and does

this hurts also

Monday, August 25, 2014

Saturday, August 2, 2014

the language of horses, may 26, 2014

i used to think that photographing animals or nature was a mechanistic kind of job.  one would behold the factory of the world and choose the component of the world they wanted to exert method upon.  i did not then see that it was a dance with mystery.

and i think one needs to be careful because while it is always a dance with mystery, the photographer, it seems to me, is not always aware of it.

and then in my 40th year or so i re-found wellness and myself, not in ideas, nor in words (however in both of these places too), but in the air that moved around a bird's wings, in the musk of moss on my face, and upon the mudded fur of the elder beaver hard of hearing, heavy as wet carpet and as slow as the good time of silence, moving his mute body only some feet from me. each act of the ordinary in nature is extraordinary, miraculous, beyond us in our inattentive functioning, but is the core of us inside of our attention, and of course, is the act of grace itself.

last week driving through farmland after a great many days of rain i came upon a horse at the back of the field.  it was stomping into water, over and over again, its hooves as thick as trees.  i could see no reason for what it was caught inside of, captured by the lust of its doingness, however i could feel its ecstasy, its revelry, in my chest, over and over again its heavy hooves moving the water recklessly with heft, as though the water were not water but something solid that the horse was managing to manipulate.  it seemed like such an act of spirit, and of course, of body, the horse putting its face to the currents and snorting, withdrawing and stomping some more.  i thought of a lover in his lover's lap deep in the smell of sex, intoxicated by desire and being.

i can't care if it means anything to anyone else.  it is my breath, even if not to capture it, even if i fail time and time again, even if the camera stays on the seat beside me as it did with the horse, to be in the same world as the horse without the impediment of human language, but rather deeply bruised by the language of horses, bruised so hard i am convinced, shudderingly, of being here in this moment.

***

due to a series of small events i have no ability to process and post photographs any more. this absence is an absence of myself to myself. and is curious. and so i post these words in lieu of photographs.

Friday, July 18, 2014

to be - ecstatically - with the world

i had just watched this girl and her friends climb down from the immense rock face where the lighthouse is situated and navigate the natural and difficult structure of the shore. near the water, all three of them paused at their destination and clung for a moment to a small rock, this girl spontaneously slipping four feet or more to the craggy surf beneath them as i sat safely on a distant rock taking photographs, pausing to gasp in disbelief at what i was witnessing and in fear as to the outcome might be. it could easily have been to her death that she slid to, such a casual and simple gesture such as slipping, ripe with the power to break the delicate transaction we make moment by moment with life.

but it was only a moment later, after proving to herself that she was still alive by climbing back up the rocks near shore, that she took once again toward where the deep water meets the rocks.

art (not that this is art, but rather that this is a statement i choose to stand by) should be some form or reflection of agony







and living too

and if living is not agony (ecstasy), a new agony is born in the place of nothingness (spiritual bereavement)

either way we are born of agony 

and this we return to again and again for nourishment