Archive for November, 2008

See Like You

The first series are pictures of me looking for this camera—on the table where I had left it for just a moment, on the other chairs, underneath, and apparently into the sky, as if it could have leapt onto the awning of the café or been stolen by a seagull. These photos were taken from close range, and if the camera could see me, I should have been able to see the camera. In one, I am asking other tourists. In another, I am looking straight into the lens. In the next few, I am wandering along the boardwalk and then the streets back to my hotel.

The second series are pictures of you. At least I assume they are. Your feet in sandals, on the pebbles. The arc of your hip, with the sea as background. Your hand grasping a blue scarf. Edges of shoulder, neck, earlobe, lips, always in a new location, apparently shot on the same day, between pre-dawn and post-sunset, and never in a mirror. Hints. Nothing that identifies you.

The third series are pictures of things I would never have seen without you. At least, I would never have seen them in the same light, from the same angle, with the same ideology, with the same patience. A seagull picking at a crab shell, unnoticed by the crowd tanning on the other side of a big rock. A particular tomato at a fruit stand as it is examined by five successive customers over the course of a day. A series of shots of an ice cube melting on your pelvis. It quickly meets the curve of your body, your skin with goosebumps. Then it turns to water, then it evaporates.

Next there are shots of a hang-glider as he runs towards a cliff. Somehow you are positioned to see his face, first in reflexive fear, then in perfect exhilaration. I had a dream like that while visiting. You couldn’t have known.

When I found my camera again, it was the last day of my trip, my bags were right beside me, and it was on my table at the café, exactly where I had left it. How did you know I would come back? Perhaps you returned every day, set the camera down and watched. It is such a crowded café. I suppose the owner must have been in on it. She always seemed to know something.

Secret Vespers: I Only Pretend to Hide

The first ever book of Secret Vespers prints is out. Angel House Press was crazy enough to publish them, saying the twenty-eight vignettes are “witty and wistful.” Amanda Earl, who runs Angel House, describes herself as “a renaissance libertine writer publisher bohemian bon-vivant anarchist malcontent troublemaker” and I think that explains why she agreed to print my work.

You can buy a copy for your own, or, for the greatly rewarding experience of giving, you can hand them out to all your friends. Witty and wistful, folks; we’ve got it all right here. Order them from the Secret Vespers Shop, where they wait beside many other delightful items, or at Angel House Press, or by clicking the button below. Thanks so much for reading; you really are the best readers and commentators anywhere on the Internet.

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