“with that moonlight on your mind
you wonder what you’ll find
with that sunlight falling down
you gots to find your sound
with that starlight in your eyes
you wanna find surprise
with that neon in your blood
you move to find your love tonight”
—Shabazz Palaces, from “Recollections of a Wraith”
The flower shop around the corner is so small you step in and the flowers eat you. The woman who runs it has the charm and grace of a fire door. How many times walking to the bus in the morning have I seen her setting up, thumping flower buckets onto cable-wheel tables. How many evenings tearing down, dragging on a curbside smoke as if trying to suck a stone through a straw.
At night she gives away singles too wilted to pair or sell. They sit by the mouth of a garage in a pail labelled Take Some. Sometimes I do. The arrangements my wife makes of them tend to be more ragtag than zen, and they don’t last long. But sometimes we get blooms you can hardly believe. If me move, and we might soon, I’ll miss the flower lady’s offerings and whatever she’s brokered between herself and our dull city block, where the rent keeps going up.
The herons are returning.
An April dusk slips undone
and a pair fly over the sea.
Their white, viscous necks
are stretched by flight
and catch the light like both
edges of a narrow blade
held, you once said, just so.
And in the last of the blackened
Bering snow, the remains
of New Year’s Eve firecrackers
suspended coldly like blubber
in water, like two broken fists,
there inside you all along.
Words and images © Chris Bronsk 2013
Here’s part two of my series Interiors, stills and abstractions around the themes of domesticity, compression, and elsewhere, or the ways we inhabit multiple places through memory and imagination. (You can see part one here.) While I prefer street and documentary photography, I’ve been enjoying this little project very much. Not only has it been something different, but it’s also pushed me to think more about what and how I’m shooting. Who knows, I may be forced to work on part three if the rains stay this heavy and I can’t get outside to shoot soon.
The opening for this part comes from Galway Kinnell‘s poem “The Old Life,” which I love for being tender, but not sentimental.
THE OLD LIFE
The waves collapsed into themselves
with heavy rumbles in the darkness
and the soprano shingle whistled
gravely its way back into the sea.
When the moon came from behind the clouds
its white full-moon’s light
lightly oiled the little beach stones
back into silence. We stood
among shatterings, glitterings,
the brilliance. And now it happens
another lifetime is up for us,
another lifetime upon us.
What’s left is what is left
of the whole absolutely love-time.