“No Terror in the Bang…”


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โ€œA solitary, unused to speaking of what he sees and feels, has mental experiences which are at once more intense and less articulate than those of a gregarious man. They are sluggish, yet more wayward, and never without a melancholy tinge. Sights and impressions which others brush aside with a glance, a light comment, a smile, occupy him more than their due; they sink silently in, they take on meaning, they become experience, emotion, adventure. Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to beauty unfamiliar and perilous – to poetry. But also, it gives birth to the opposite: to the perverse, the illicit, the absurd.โ€
– Thomas Mann, Death in Venice


“-I visit this room every night…
-The blind always live in the rooms they live under.”
Peeping Tom (1960)

โ€œThere is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.โ€
– Alfred Hitchcock

Happy October…


“An Atom in the Universe…”


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“…I stand at the seashore, alone, and start to think. There are the rushing waves, mountains of molecules, each stupidly minding its own business, trillions apart, yet forming white surf in unison. Age on ages, before any eyes could see, Year after year, thunderously pounding the shore as now. For whom, for what? On a dead planet, with no life to entertain. Never at rest, tortured by energy. Wasted prodigiously by the sun, poured into space. A mite makes the sea roar. Deep in the sea, all molecules repeat the patterns of one another till complex new ones are formed. They make others like themselves and a new dance starts. Growing in size and complexity, living things, masses of atoms, DNA, protein. Dancing a pattern ever more intricate. Out of the cradle onto the dry land, Here it is standing, atoms with consciousness, matter with curiosity stands at the sea, wonders at wondering…I, a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.”
– Richard P. Feynman

Were You Feeble in the End?


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Eyes of opal cream and limbs like a twist of deadwood.

Tears shining like a crow’s back in the midday sun.

Iโ€™d like to take up residence in the tracery of an old reptile skin.

Were you feeble in the end? Or did you wear every wince like a fashion?

Night edges in, warm and invasive– a clammy hand about the throat.

Thumping through the dark, there are holes in my punchinello-shoes– and though this path is softened with grass, it is host to many thorns and stones.

(My paternal grandmother died an October ago, and I shot these images shortly after being informed some months later.)

“Never Again Shall There be Birds in Cages…”


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Abstruse Afternoon“- I think it’s a pity that the beautiful old houses are being torn down.
– They don’t bring in enough rent.
– The empty spaces look like graves. Like house graves.”
โ€” From the film Alice in the Cities

Thoughts Run Like Bilge“Life is a series of suicides…”
โ€” From the film Love Streams

Gutter Land“And break through dark;
It’s acrid in the streets;
A paper witch upon her sulphured broom
Flies from the gutter.”
โ€” Dylan Thomas, Time Enough to Rot

Noir of the Mind“If only I could so live and so serve the world that after me there should never again be birds in cages.”
โ€” Isak Dinesen (penname of Karen Blixen)

Happy October ๐Ÿ˜‰

Where October Lives…


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WhereOctoberLivesโ€œOctober Country . . . that country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and mid-nights stay.”
– Ray Bradbury, The October Country

โ€œI saw what looked like another fallen tree in front of me and put my foot on it to cross over. At that moment it reared up in front of me- the biggest python I had ever seen!โ€
– Louis Leakey, archaeologist and anthropologist (DOD 1 October 1972)

“A strong nation, like a strong person, can afford to be gentle, firm, thoughtful, and restrained. It can afford to extend a helping hand to others.โ€
– Jimmy Carter (DOB 1 October 1924)

โ€œI’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.โ€
– L. M. Montgomery, Ann of Green Gablesjnmh

โ€œThat country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain. . . .โ€
– Ray Bradbury, The October Country

Happy October, everyone.

The Vitreous Surface of Grief: And, a Death on Halloween


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โ€œWill I always feel this way?
So empty, so estranged?โ€
From the song โ€œEmpty” by Ray Lamontagne

Shadows spill in green tendrils across oiled waters. I probe the murky, moschate depths with a long, soggy stick. My hands are black and muddied. Reeds whistle beside me. A seagull mews somewhere far away. Minims of sweat glisten and drop from the end of my nose. I can taste the paracme, the tongue-slitting, nascent edge of the end.

A frog burbles to the vitreous surface. Two aurific eyes shimmer at me, bright as egg-yokes. With a gulp, they vanish. I can smell slime. My fingers balter through the mud. I am waiting. I am always waiting.

The sun spits in my eye and I turn away, longing for the tenebrous clouds of the foggy North to sidle down and cast me in a casket of embalming gloom.

I am addicted to desolation. I ache for darkness, cold and decay.

And then a cool wind finally came. Its chilled fingers ruffled my hair and it made the back gate moan plangorously against its flaking hinges. I reveled, I pranced, I forgot my little pain.

A mouse came in the night. He settled himself in a soft, grey ball beside my feet, nose nuzzling the coarse, back-door rug. I watched him take slow, solemn breaths, his sable eyes squinting, mordant. He died in the wash of a final sunrise that milked across a violescent sky, on the dawn of Halloween. Creatures come to me to die, sometimes.

The ants are burrowing into his raisin eyes, now. In a week or three, his tiny white mouse skull will be decoration on my desk.

There is always a glimmer through grief.

โ€œWalk on down the hill
Through the grass grown tall and brown
And still it’s hard somehow to let go of my pain
On past the busted back
Of that old and rusted Cadillac
That sinks into this field collecting rainโ€
– From the song โ€œEmptyโ€ by Ray Lamontagne

Craggy Fool


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A hairnet of pink lightning
Flames across glum skies
Shadows saunter, charcoaling
The Sea’s velvet skin

October wind coos
Across ruffled iron peaks
The Brine percolates
Each heaving sigh beckoning

Where the Seashells Go Galloping
Violently out of place
Craggy Fool remains
Askew at the tide-line
Like a lazy sketch

Sea Wheeze
His bulged back still aches
From last night’s dune-pillowed sleep
Nascent rain oozing
Down the minefield of his face

Tender Little Sea-Monster
A lifetime of anomie
Stings in his shoulders
His nails chew through leather palms
His eyes cloud with Storm

He envies the clams
Where dungeons feel like Home
And little mole crabs
Soothed by every ruthless blow

Hairy Waves and Feathered Thoughts
Silent moments
Rarely come
Through the ocean thrum

From cinder plumes
Scavengers plunge
Ranting, brash and loud

Where the Ocean Embalms
Tearing out his thoughts, like guts
Twirling filipendulous

Spotted Only with a Magnifying Glass


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onlyseenwithamagnifyingglass She is spotted only
with a magnifying glass,
an animalcule
with limescaled wings
And a dusky face.

Clinging to
a breathing blade
of dancing
she sees
the fractals flash
in a fury of green-
the mosaics of her
shieling sea.

The dawn scatters
in a migraine of hues,
the aurific daal’mist
sibilant around this
unseen and muted thing.

Waiting to be flicked
by a snapping finger
of prairie wind,
she watches the world,
as listless as a carcass,
through a cage
of tangled light
and vying stems.