Category Archives: Writing To A Photograph

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 Color Photography, Flash Fiction

Writing To A Photograph: Threshold

Another image from my friend Jade in Japan. My writing to this photograph below.

Photo of Threshold


Every day. I get on the subway, but I can’t get off at that stop. The door opens, but I can’t move—a wall, a chainlink fence, barbed wire. Yeah, it’s in my mind; no, it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference. Around the loop I go and get back off at the subway station near my home. Tomorrow. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Also posted in Color Photography, Flash Fiction

New Project: Writing To A Photograph: Desire

My friend Jade is living in Japan and teaching English, we met in Laos. She came up with a great idea: we swap photographs and write about them—no specific form, it can be a poem, essay, etc. I minored in writing in college, but visual arts took over after that and I consider myself quite rusty with words. So, this will be a good exercise to get those writing skills back up to snuff. This project may go on for years, it may only be an occasional post, It’s basically an experiment. So, without further ado, here is the first image she sent and my short essay below.

Photo Of Desire


I’m old, but that feeling never quite goes away. It starts in my groin and then the heat travels up and fills my body. When I was young, it happened in seconds, an intense burning—an intense desire. At points I wished I had a switch that would just turn it off, turn it down even. It was all encompassing. I’ve moved states because of it, I’ve gotten in fights because of it (oh, just a little blood), and I’ve made bad decisions because of it. As I’ve gotten older, it has mellowed, it’s not so sharp-edged and jagged. It doesn’t affect my mind as strongly as it once did. I don’t mean to denigrate it, but I do appreciate the level that it is at now—warmer and rounder, and slower and tempered. It no longer makes me push, run hard through things, twist until I’m ready to burst. Desire. I don’t regret my past with her now, but I do appreciate that now it is a slow dance with her, a caress, a brushing of lips on her skin.


Also posted in Color Photography, Flash Fiction, New Project