Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dancing, Waltz, Two Models, Plate 197
from Animal Locomotion, 1887
Eadweard Muybridge
         Lover of endless disappointments with your
collection of old postcards, I'm coming! I'm com-
ing! You want to show me a train station with its
clock stopped at five past five. We can't see inside
the station master's window because of the grime.
We don't even know if there's a train waiting on
the platform, much less if a woman in black is
hurrying through the front door. There are no other
people in sight, so it must be a quiet station. Some
small town so effaced by time it has only one veiled
widow left, and now she too is leaving with her


          I knew a night owl who dreamed of being a
star of country music. O cruel fate! O vale of tears!
We drank whiskey in coffee cups in late-hour dives
while the juke box spinned her favorites. She fed me
forked pieces of steak while my hand strayed under
the table. The choirboy counterman's big ears
turned crimson. She, with eyes veiled, head thrown
back, so that my next bite hung in midair. I had to
stretch my neck all the way to take a nibble.
          What was I to do? The madness of it was so
appealing, and the night so cold.


          The time of minor poets is coming. Good-by
Whitman, Dickinson, Frost. Welcome you whose
fame will never reach beyond your closest family,
and perhaps one or two good friends gathered after
dinner over a jug of fierce red wine . . . while the
children are falling asleep and complaining about
the noise you're making as you rummage through
the closets for your old poems, afraid your wife
might've thrown them out with last spring's
          It's snowing, says someone who has peeked
into the dark night, and then he, too, turns towards
you as you prepare yourself to read, in a manner
somewhat theatrical and with a face turning red,
the long rambling love poem whose final stanza
(unknown to you) is hopelessly missing.

                           --After Aleksandar Ristovic

from The World Doesn't End

Charles Simic

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Photograph of a Girl

I have your likeness here: you were like this.
Light swears by shadow here, that on a day
And in a place (but tells not where it is
Or when) you are to be supposed this way.

Or as some king, to whose golden use the sun
Must stamp new images to sanction trade,
Would you enrich me with a single coin
Where others, with many, have much commerce made?

Or do you tend me some security
For time, that when I come to you, we'll stay
Alone for just such time as this (though he
That took it, stands but twenty feet away?)

I doubt it is a parable of time:
How love can make an angle with the sun
To trap time on a page, forcing the same
To other time, and without running, run.

But I alone, and you in this flat land
Remain. That time and place you have abstracted
Will turn and die upon my turning hand:
With twice dying, time has some price exacted.

Howard Nemerov

Monday, November 12, 2007

Dora Maar, 1936
Man Ray

Loves of a Blonde (1965)
Milos Forman

Ratcatcher (1999)

Gasman (1997)
Lynne Ramsay

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Pool, Dusk, Florida, 1978
Joel Meyerowitz

Friday, November 2, 2007

Self-portrait, 1915
Imogen Cunningham (with Roi Partridge)

Dream, 1910
Imogen Cunningham

Kitchen Stories (2003)
Bent Hamer

Ballad of a Soldier (1959)
Grigori Chukhrai
Your footsteps follow not what is outside the eyes, but what is within, buried, erased. If, of two arcades, one continues to seem more joyous, it is because thirty years ago a girl went by there, with broad, embroidered sleeves, or else it is only because that arcade catches the light at a certain hour like that other arcade, you cannot recall where.

Invisible Cities
Italo Calvino