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

Thursday, January 31, 2013


beyond the friction and chaos of human living
a message arrives

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the clearing

i ran toward the clearing
never quite arriving ~

Monday, January 28, 2013

the grand Italian churches and the stones of Kyoto

Burning (Andante non troppo)

By Jack Gilbert

We are all burning in time, but each is consumed
at his own speed. Each is the product
of his spirit’s refraction, of the inflection
of that mind. It is the pace of our living
that makes the world available. Regardless of
the body’s lion-wrath, or forest waiting, despite
the mind’s splendid appetite or the sad power
in our soul’s separation from God and women,
it is always our gait of being that decides
how much is seen, what the mystery of us knows,
and what the heart will smell of the landscape
as the Mexican train continues at a dog-trot each
day going north. The grand Italian churches are
covered with detail which is visible at the pace
people walk by. The great modern buildings are
blank because there is no time to see from the car.
A thousand years ago when they built the gardens
of Kyoto, the stones were set in the streams askew.
Whoever went quickly would fall in. When we slow,
the garden can choose what we notice. Can change
our heart. On the wall of a toilet in Rock Springs
years ago there was a dispenser that sold tubes of
cream to numb a man’s genitals. Called Linger.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Friday, January 25, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

the death mask as the ordinary mask of one moment

from Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida:

"...Photography seems to me closer to the Theater, it is by way of a singular way of Death."

let this be your warning: i was 12 once too, 11, 9, 2, newborn suckling undefined mind. part of me dribbled out along the sweet curve of my mother's once young thigh and another part of me fell asleep forever in the bedclothes near the zipper of fur down my father's belly that i only knew but that once. let this be your warning like a dog's whistle that you can never hear, i was you, sweet you, sweet you.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


i should like to call you by another name,
whatever it is that my breathing sounds like,
like hhhhhhhhhhhuuu, or hoooooohhh, or hh...
so that as i breathe,
you would know i always say your name.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

the dense blanket

i sleep with masahisa fukase, the great sleep
lay the density of my body like a blanket over him
in this way his raven heart is stilled
to know he is not alone
i lay beside him, on him, over him
my female wound sealed off, my human wound gaping
my small black bird soul as isolated
as any word, continent
or moan.

(with thanks to roxana)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

my mother fashioned me a dress
it began with a thread 
ended with a thread

my daughter sang me a song
it began with a note
ended with a note

this life gave me a body

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

the one photograph of you

imagine a series of photographs. it doesn't matter of who. it doesn't matter what they are doing. it doesn't matter when. but imagine a series of photographs of people.  many many people.

there is something there i almost see. do i want to? it is right there. the fat man with the pasty skin, he looks almost a boar. that is something. the woman who is thin and worn. my god, you can imagine her smell and you do not want to. her life has been hell, will be hell, and then her corpse - there will be little between she and her bones. the most successful person so polished with their purse, their wallet, their career, their car, their family. it is right there. i can almost see it  beyond the incomprehensible numbers of people. my god, because of the unceasing flow of time, the birth and death of souls, the number of people is in fact uncountable. the magnitude! the infinitesimal shine of each spirit, yet the eternal flow.

imagine a series of photographs. always. always a desk and always a series of photographs.  many many people. because of the magnitude nothing matters. nothing. and yet somewhere in the mire is a photograph of you.
(while this might appear to be more than one photograph, it is not.  it is only a part of the series.  it is the one photograph of you.)


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

this body will be the death of me

when asked in interview by eleanor wachtel about his near death experience from a serious car accident in 1999, robert hughes, the late australian art critic, said how life looked afterward.  he said life looked wonderful.  he was so glad to be alive because he thought that he had seen the other side and it wasn't heaven and it wasn't hell, it was just nothing; it was a vacuum, a complete suppression of consciousness, the loss of everything one loves. cause if there's one thing he knows, as he said he was sure everybody knows, it's consciousness.  (hear full interview here)



Tuesday, January 8, 2013

off route 5, dec 26th

there's nothing there, mom.
sshhhh, but there is, son.  faith.  perseverance.  lean closer and closer.


Monday, January 7, 2013

box and beyond box

no matter what i do the bones of the world do not reveal themselves.  everything is too ripe with fat.

i can not see beyond me.

do you know how disgusting this is?

yesterday in the car on a long car drive with my children we talked about the possibility of the existence of god and the necessary redefinition of it.  (who can possibly be absolutely right about god, or about anything?)

i threw out there on the table, beyond the arguable, what is:  no matter who says what, my god, there are billions of individuals alive right now in the world, absolutely individual, particular, concise, equipped with their own histories, their own stories, their own feelings and beliefs.  this, this, this is a miracle!  that any one of us exists is a miracle and a miracle not to be taken lightly.

and yet, and yet, how horrible it is to know that a world exists just beyond me, just beyond how it is that i see it and not just a world but the world. 

i see only a particular world, my world. 

oh god, how i want to see more clearly and beyond my particular individual.

but even when i take a photograph i soil the world with my opinion.

i am incapable of anything else.

can i imitate and thereby rise beyond me?

no, when i imitate (and i can only do this poorly) i only exercise what is possible inside of me as a mirror but the possibility always comes from me.  i am incapable of anything else.

i take photograph after photograph and i am disgusted with how i taint the world, with how i limit the world.

and yet i know this is precisely the miracle, that i exist at all.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

bones of the tamarack

there are the bones of people i love.  some of them are inside living bodies.  some of them are inside of bodies whose skin has rotted away and whose bones are no longer bones but instead are closer in likeness to the soil that enshrouds them.  there are people in this world that i love who i have never met.  there are people in this world who i will love who i do not even know exist yet. 

what can this possibly mean?

when i drive to work i drive by this tamarack.  i love this tree.  i have knowingly and lovingly driven by it for ten years but for many years before i passed it by without seeing it. 

it will, most likely, outlast me.

what of all this love?  what form will the love then take?