Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Week in Seven Words #60

It's not uncommon for them to arrive at the correct answer through incorrect reasoning. And some of them say as little as possible, wisely concealing their ignorance.

It can be good to sit at the end of a table, with one or two people around you to talk to. It's less noisy, with less competition over who will speak next. There's also no need to go along with the main topics of conversation.

I speak quickly, my voice tugged out of me by the hands of the clock.

Small blue cellophane bags full of goodies - hamentaschen, peppermint patties, apples, oranges, chocolates in foil - sprinkled among people I know.

Just one tip of the tri-cornered hamentaschen dipped in a cup of almond milk.

There's a bowl of candy at the center of the table. I like how, shortly after one person reaches for a piece, a few others follow suit and take candy as well. That first person seems to give them permission, to show them that it's acceptable to take seconds or even thirds.

Listening to the words of the text I want to know more, to understand the language, the people, the deeper meaning.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Week in Seven Words #59

One afternoon I get an email. I read it with a slow smile that I feel in my chest. Over the next couple of days I think of that email as a badge pinned to me, that only I can see for now.

She's a pink zig-zagging imp with a head of flaxen curls.

Language has logic, to an extent. To what extent, we wonder, staring at the spreadsheet in silence.

The photos show things that have always seemed solid and sturdy, like houses, floating or flattened with everyone and everything in them.

Rundown porches are veiled in pink blossoms.

From layers of fresh mulch and fertilizer, daffodils start to test the air in small isolated clumps.

A candle burns next to the photos of five people who were murdered in their beds; one of them was an infant, her eyes in the photo scrunched up in sleep.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Performance artists

In New York:


and old York:


The one from New York (I'll call her the Blanched Ballerina) was posing in Central Park. The one from England (Purple Pedaler?) was in The Shambles.

It seems like both photos captured them mid-motion, but neither one was moving, just being as still as possible and drawing people towards them with their novel presence.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week in Seven Words #58

Via gmail chat, a discussion of the 33rd psalm.

She laughs so merrily, so uncontrollably, that you can almost forget that she's hurt.

The hour comes. Time to put the books away.

In a bookstore cafe, against a backdrop of music and the grinding of a blender, two people argue over what makes good poetry. At a few points throughout they state the importance of taste and personal inclination, even as they dig beneath each other's feet for something else.

A crushed dreamcatcher lies at the foot of a short flight of steps leading to a drug research and rehab clinic; the net and feathers are crumpled.

Just as we think she's finished unpacking the food from the suitcase, she remembers a side pocket full of chocolatey treats.

Streams of hot cold pain run up and down my arm, shimmering in my fingers, pooling at my elbow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week in Seven Words #57

Jerked out of sleep early morning by the thought of how much I need to get done in less than two months.

Reflecting on someone else's behavior I suddenly get insights into my own.

Her teasing has enough truth, humor and kindness that I dissolve in laughter.

The rain twinkles in deep black puddles; the raindrops hit the water in starbursts.

Each word is a pearl or a drop of poison.

A man cries out in grief, in a corridor that's usually full of greetings and loud conversation.

When people tell me their plans their eyes are intense, their words intent; they think that if their description is sufficiently detailed, they'll find themselves in their desired reality, their dreams concrete. For a moment their words allow them to inhabit that reality and step into the shoes of their ideal future self.

Monday, March 7, 2011

C'est magnifique

Le Flâneur (music by The XX) from Luke Shepard on Vimeo.

Check out Paris in 2000 images at National Geographic Traveler for an interview with Luke Shepard about this project.

A photographer strolling through a city can be thought of as le flâneur: an observer, someone perceptive, thoughtful, attuned to broader patterns and smaller exquisite details, mapping out the city on foot.