Saturday, July 24, 2010

Today's soundtrack: The Dramatics, Just Shopping (Not Buying Anything)
Friday, July 23, 2010

Late Fragment
by Raymond Carver

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
Last week's Croat mom with the double stroller is back to pick up her special order:

HER LITTLE BOY: [almost inaudible grumble]

CM: Hey cookie! No noise! I'm eastern European, I get scary!
Thursday, July 22, 2010

Charlie La Vere's Misery and the Blues, courtesy a somewhat more familiar performer

Yesterday's culprits at home. Shot this evening with digital zoom from a safe distance, reconnaissance flights droning past on either side.

Kensington Hydrangea, 2010

Flowers in a Window, 2010


"Dear Christopher Brayshaw, thank you for using Your order is now complete."
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.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tove Jansson painting at home in her studio in 1956

The Railrodder, dir. Gerald Potterton, 1965. Twenty-four minutes of constant invention. The goose blind; the large-format camera.
Waiting in North Burnaby for the right light. Traffic whipping past beside me, the long suck and hiss of the big transport-trailers gearing down the hill. White blinds parting in the second floor window of the house across the cul-de-sac, an older curious Chinese face visible there between the slats. Sun sinking behind me, shadows in the long grass. The path between the power poles slowly re-emerging from the glare. Fretwork of guy wires. Inverted triangles, like Sandbacks hung between the trees.
Monday, July 19, 2010

Keaton, via Tower of Sleep (enlarge)

"Matisse purchased the work from Ambroise Vollard in 1899, though he could ill afford it, and cherished it as a talisman until giving it to the Musée du Petit Palais in the 1930s."

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