Category Archives: Color Photography

Writing To A Photograph: At The End Of The Alleyway

Another photo for the Writing To A Photograph project. Photo provided by my friend Jade in Japan. My writing to this photograph below.

Photo of Alleyway

I’m walking down alleyway after alleyway, but I can’t seem to find her door. Left, then right, then another goddamn left. Nothing. Do I go back to the bar? I turn around and there: the gas main on the corner painted yellow, the dumpster to the right, down a few paces. Recognition—like an old memory pulled suddenly from a dark recess. A few steps and one more left; I breathe out and calm myself.

I’ll knock on her door and she’ll open up and invite me in for tea. There is a lot you can learn just by sitting over a cup of tea—not talking—with someone. Then maybe I’ll understand why she left. Why she left me in that bar toying with my drink.

I turn the corner and there isn’t a door, there’s a goddamned vending machine. I stand in front of it, uncomprehending.

The harsh light from the bulb over the door to my right is shining on me—translucent, eggshell cracks riddling my shadow on the wall to the left. The bulb is moving in the breeze, my shadow swaying faintly. I’m fragile and I’m slipping.

I turn and make my way back past the dumpster and gas main. Tomorrow night, yeah tomorrow night—bar, gas main, dumpster. I will find that door.

Also posted in Flash Fiction, Writing To A Photograph

Writing To A Photograph: Shards

Another photo for the Writing To A Photograph project. Photo provided by my friend Jade in Japan. My writing to this photograph below.

Photo Writing Shards

A shattered TV screen, an image still playing across the shards. I’m awakening but the dream is still painted on my mind’s eye. I’m desperately trying to keep the fragments in a coherent whole. She’s walking down an alleyway in a seedy part of town, I’m desperate to catch her—I must tell her something—but my legs move as if underwater. Anxiety at not getting any closer to her, anger at my recalcitrant legs. I try to call out, but choke.

My consciousness hasn’t yet burned off all the sleep, but I’m losing the dream. It’s pulling away—the harder I try to hold on, the more awake I am and the less I have ahold of it.

I’m awake and the dream is already clouded over—details smear and pieces evaporate. Irretrievable. I swing my legs out of bed and think Now what?

Also posted in Flash Fiction, Writing To A Photograph

Writing To A Photograph: Theater of Happiness and Sorrow

Another photo for the Writing To A Photograph project. Photo provided by my friend Jade in Japan. My writing to this photograph below.

Photo of Theater

We used to go to this little theater—no more the 30 seats—but a few blocks from our apartment. We always sat in the same seats, rear of the theater, stage left. Her with her little snacks valiantly trying to open them quietly, me with a bottle of beer, snuck in in my coat.

They showed smaller budget movies, stuff that the cineplexes would pan, and an odd mix of theater. But usually we saw art flicks which afterwards we would have a vigorous discussion about their merits, or lack thereof.

There was a marionette show, which I found tedious, but she enjoyed immensely. She could sense my boredom and her hand slipped down between my legs and held me warmly. That was all it took, nothing more. We even saw an X-rated movie once—me faintly interested but her eyes clenched shut almost the entire time.

Now I’m sitting here alone, the seat next to me empty. My seat seems less comfortable, the temperature isn’t quite right, the lighting is off—I’m blinking a lot in discomfort, shifting in my seat. A verse from the Conquerer Worm by that sage Edgar Allan Poe pushes into my mind:

Lo! ’t is a gala night

   Within the lonesome latter years!   

An angel throng, bewinged, bedight

   In veils, and drowned in tears,   

Sit in a theatre, to see

   A play of hopes and fears,

While the orchestra breathes fitfully   

   The music of the spheres.

 I sigh.

Also posted in Flash Fiction, Writing To A Photograph

Through The Infirmary #2

In Laos, as in most of Asia, one takes off their shoes before entering a building. This is a great practice, keeping the inside of buildings much cleaner. However, it can lead to a bit of chaos right at the doorway… click to enlarge.

Infirmary

Also posted in Humanitarian Photography, Travel Tagged , , |

Writing To A Photograph: Flotsam or Jetsam?

Another photo for the Writing To A Photograph project. Photo provided by my friend Jade in Japan. My writing to this photograph below.

photo of flotsam or jetsam?

I used to own this neighborhood. Now, I’m just a too-old underling. I’m not exactly sure why the new, younger mafia kept me around. Probably because I know this place like no one else—I can still see deep into the cracks and crevices, see around corners before I get to them, see into storm grates and watch the past slide down them. I cock my head and hear things: stories, dirt, facts.

But I don’t get the same respect that I once did. I used to peer into any of these shops and receive a downcast set of eyes in return; now all I get is a glassy-eyed, monochrome look like I’m a ghost, a denser bit of air. They still don’t trust me, but now they don’t fear me.

Flotsam or jetsam, which am I? I can’t seem to ever remember which is which—one is accidental, one is intentional. Mmm, flotsam, that’s it.

Also posted in Flash Fiction, Writing To A Photograph