Thursday, July 22, 2010
Third day before the motif. Skytrain, then the walk back along the busy artery, cooler now, post-7pm, than before, noon or one o'clock on a hot Monday, no shadows anywhere, light pouring up off the pavement. Little sprays of broken glass, plastic chips, busted pieces of powder-coated candy apple red aluminum. A dead squirrel. Young crow's croaking awk-awk-awk-huggggh!, as a parent rams a worm or other carrion down junior's throat. A second's silence. Awk-awk-awk. . . .

Blackberries on the other side of the overgrown ditch.

The landscape's still there, in the evening's slant light. Man watering his chainlink-fenced back yard watches me. I watch the Canon's display screen, and watch him from of the corner of one eye. Watching me, he repeatedly waters the same patch of grass. Watching him, I clip off corners of the scene. A street light half in, half out of the frame.

Nothing works. The landscape is too narrow. The landscape is too wide. The power poles curve up and back because the Canon can't correct for parallax. Trees articulate space poorly; grasses dissolve in a cloud of digital grain. I walk a little forward and promptly step on a sand wasp nest. Seventeen stings (nose, ankles, shoulders, underarm).


Limping along the arterial road that runs parallel to the Skytrain track. Hydrangeas. Busted-out rusty fence. Young shirtless Filipino guys in a tricked-out boom car, giving me the eye.

A little piece of waste ground behind the Hilti store. Broken door frames, trashed drywall, alders, trace of a stream. I start to push the alders back, then note, just in time, the pumpkin-sized mud wasp nest hanging from a nearby branch. Its huge black thumb-sized residents crawling all over it, on the lookout for tourists like me.

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