This site was developed to encourage me to write and photograph each day, experience each day creatively, thoughtfully.

23rd June 2013

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June 23, 2013 For Will

I am writing you this poem

As I drive down the highway,

My right foot so confidently moving from the gas to brake

But not stopping

I am writing this as I drive aside the dock

Where my mother and I sat in silence

After my grandfather’s funeral

Her asking me not to take a photograph of her

And me looking at the rows of wood beams, shadows leading to shadows

Leading to the a reflection on the water of my mouth open but not speaking

I am writing this for you as I drive beneath an overpass

Where sometimes you see trucks at night speeding above

And before you see the bridge you think they are crossing your lane

And you almost move foot to the brake, but you do not stop

Danger is not predictable, Nothing is as it seems

 .

I am writing you this poem

Because I forgave myself the pity

Of remembering that there are places of mourning

That I avoid

And because I am long past the sincere selfishness

That if I am not there

You will not die

 .

The only gesture I made

No phone call or card

Was to give you a metal necklace

I was given from Africa

Because I believed that metals have the power to heal

When I could do nothing

My brother gave me a metal bracelet to wear

That I had on my arm for week

But it made me feel sick so now it is in my glove box

Soaking in the heat that makes an empty car unbearable

I am writing this poem

After remembering all of this

And after seeing you tonight

And remembering that we are offered

Some times the allowance

To outlast our fears of loosing

I am writing you this

As I think of the white hospital sheets

Being placed on a clothesline

And imagine us one day dancing

At each others weddings

Like what we have been through

Did not get us here

3rd June 2013

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FRANK, May 2013

My grandmother was the cheese that melted onto a paper plate

Held firmly by a wicker basket or maybe she was the blanket over

Warm biscuits

Howdy is the earth placed upon the earth that

Made the Indian mounds and the unknown children

Placed within their soil

And yall are the people who sold clocks and flour and fresh milk

As the young men of America waited in their tents to win another war

Men waiting and men waiting for morning and breezes and bullets and other things

 .

I can push my finger through a loaf of bread and try to imagine when it was a seed

And when it was wheat and when it was ground into powder and added to water and placed in the dark heat of an oven

I can see one thing turned into another thing, a pound of bread still fresh and moist

With the memory of what it was made

But I can’t imagine what it felt like for my father

To take the ashes of his brother and spread them across

The graves ground, the grass we don’t walk on

And have his arms,

 the strength of muscle and mild manners

Scoop ash that was once more than the bones of his younger brother

Seeping into the ground, lingering on nice dress pants, holding onto the plastic bag as if it weren’t coming out.. as if defiance was the last refuge of the ones we don’t get to say goodbye to

As if there might be a day when our own strength won’t be required to spend an afternoon

Turning ash to ash

12th April 2013

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New Poems

I started to write poetry by highlighting certain words and/ phrases from Cry, the beloved country. This is a new exercise. 

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Poem 1

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Africa,

That is my own

From my body

Loved by my heart

Can you not have a grateful mother?

.

Perhaps

But does it matter

These sounds of an alien land?

I am afraid, she burns my hand like fire

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We do not need help, any more

Oh Child

My desire

Was pleasure to hold hands

It was pleasure to feel the clutching of fingers

It was the nature of woman

Such is the lot of women

To lose

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The photographs of us

Moving photographs

They are so many

Of us

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What will the poor do

In winter?

.

.

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Poem 2

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This time is anger, not pity

Some rooms are already taken

.

.

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Poem 3

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I am this work

This work is my hope

And we know

Hope will not give up a good man

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Come, let us walk

But move

Like forgiveness

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You are old and have learnt something

You are forgiven

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I think I am not fit

It is no matter

You are weak and selfish but

God, you comfort me

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I have you

.

.

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Poem 4

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Thinking and reading

This is what I have been

The last page, the last words

Do not go away so quickly

.

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Poem 5

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I must speak to you

It is only words

Do not pray for yourself

Do not pray for life

For life is a secret

And compassion is a secret

And why you die, that is a secret

Do not think about these things now,

There will be other times

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Pray for those who try

To rebuild in a place of destruction

Pray for those who

Would do justice if they were not afraid

Do not give thanks

Leave this to me

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We do what is

In us

That is also a secret

That men may be forgiven, even

When he is forsaken, old and parted

From night and day

20th March 2013

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March 2013 2

Been sick the last few days but tonight I’m feeling much better. Got good hopes that I’ll wake tomorrow and be in good shape. Tomorrows, always tomorrows, a little brighter, a little more hope. Been mostly a waste of a week, a broken tired body but I went to the studio and did a little work and tomorrow will be good and I’ll just start from there. 

Came across the word simulacrum yesterday. Been thinking all day about making a commitment to embracing reality, embracing beauty, holding tight to the experience. right now Jodeco is howling, howling loud at something outside. He too has made a commitment to embracing his inner dog, howl away dear Joad, howl away. 

18th March 2013

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March 2013

You can navigate a road without seeing it, you can go through the day without questions. Your body can ache from the inside, and you might feel your skin weigh you down. This is nothing that the morning can’t save, can’t alter. This is nothing, really at all but a wasted day. The body will heal and the road will wait to be discovered again.

I considered a phrase the other day, “you can not have what you can not lose.” The inseparable qualities are sewn into the work I am doing. Losing is intricately connected to having which gives it at last a redeemable quality. 

5th March 2013

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5th March 2013

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5th March 2013

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5th March 2013

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20th February 2013

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Rocks and Windows

Was asked to write a description of one piece we have made in an ekphrasis way.. Is that redundant? Anyway the third paragraph on were boring so here is the first two. 

There’s a line in The Grapes of Wrath where a man is looking at an abandoned house but there is something wrong, something askew. He finally figures that what’s wrong is that the windows are still intact; in any old house left empty for a day or two, children will be drawn to it like one thing unowned is passed along to mankind, a deed with all children’s name written out in longhand, in cursive, with middle names even. There is something about the first semblance of disorder that allows a child to find peace. A rock on the ground. A window in a wall. A rock through a window and the sound and the breaking and the empty spot where once there was an obstacle.. to air and bugs and the rock and the child. In The Grapes of Wrath the windows are abandoned but intact, speaking to the absence of children and the natural order. The natural order is intact with the sculptural work North Mulberry, a work by Anthony Faris depicting a broken window with frame, with wall, with neglect and disorder.

 

If you were Agee or anyone with a heart you would consider this progress or part of a story. The action has taken place, the windows are broken, the glass is shattered in the way that speaks to angles and momentum and science and fun. If it was children who broke this window you would forgive them for they know nothing of cost and effort, they know nothing of age and how this action, this destruction is an analogy not for how others will treat our bodies as we age but how our bodies will betray us because in a way, we are those children, we are the window, hell, we are the rock, we are most things and most things speak of us. How else would the physical world exist if not for us?