jolie laide: G is for Gutless

jolie laide

I started this when I lived in Brooklyn and struggled for grace in a city that grants moments of beauty and ugliness breathtakingly close to one another. Now I live in a place where things are a different kind of ugly and the beauty is pedestrian. I struggle with that.


G is for Gutless

Walking to work on an overcast day means I can’t take any pictures. The apparatus I use is crude, a tiny aperture, and the odd angles of my photos are me trying to work around that limitation, to get enough light into the oculus to create a viable image. So instead I think about the things I pass every day that I have not yet been able to shoot with any level of success--a mauled set of blinds, a dissolving bicycle, a dead fire hydrant with open rusting sockets. They have not told me how to speak them, how to frame them, they don’t resolve, coalesce.

And I think about when there was a man, and he was a mauled set of blinds, a dissolving bicycle, a dead fire hydrant, and he was a gorgeous spreading white peony with a flick of red flame at the center and the orange popsicle that you break in two to share and the fleeting precious blue hour when light is soft and magic and you never want it to end.

When I watched him sleeping in the morning, he resolved, he coalesced, and I knew how to speak him. I kept a camera by the bed so I could crawl over him, make him into a deck of images, pick one, any one, and you will see how I have papered the inside of my ribs, the room where my heart lives. To affix him, to give him back to himself ordered, disordered, wonderfully arrayed as he was, as he arced through me.

I had so many opportunities to do this. But I never took the chance.


Blogger famjaztique said...

More brilliance...mmmm

Made my heart ache inside my own ribs.

12:03 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

thanks, frou. I am trying to not shy away from trying to make art out of what I see. and even though I lost that man, or that incarnation of that man, he was inspirational, in the most marvelous sense.

2:30 PM  
Blogger famjaztique said...

I understand...completely.

8:12 PM  
Blogger Dr. S said...

I love this. I love the fixed fugitivity of your images of him. When I first started seeing one person, several years ago, I was so intensely aware of him that I would feel images getting emblazoned in my memory. Only one has actually stuck, with all its patterns and textures and smells and talking, but it's a good, lovely one, from when things were good and lovely. In fact, what's funny is that I don't remember his ever having worn that particular shirt again after the one evening whose moment I can still picture. And it was a moment not tied to anything more momentous than just talking, but it was simply so lovely, and he had a grin that was literally--I think I actually measured once--five inches wide.

9:49 PM  
Blogger ttractor said...

wow! 5 inches! was that actually, like 3-d the way it wrapped around his face, or planar 2-d, how it looked head on? geeks want to know! (um, so they can measure their own, admittedly)

11:01 PM  
Blogger Dr. S said...

I think it was planar 2D, but it's a mercy to me that I don't remember for sure.

12:09 AM  
Blogger ttractor said...

um. oh dear. sorry I stuck my finger in that one.

8:24 PM  

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