Diamond on a Windowpane

Movement (I): Long Beach. © Chris Bronsk 2014.

Old Glories. © Chris Bronsk 2014.

“It is as big and depthless as the sky itself. You can see the curve of the earth on its surface as it stretches away for miles to the far shore. Sunset has turned the water to the color of unripe peaches. There’s no wind. Sandbars and wooded islands stand on their exact reflections. The only signs of movement on the water are the lightly scratched lines which run in parallel across it like the scores of a diamond on a windowpane. In the middle distance, the river smokes with toppling pillars of mist which soften light so that one can almost reach out and take in handfuls of that thickened air.”

—Jonathan Raban, from Old Glory

(This post is for Emily Hughes and for Tom Gething, for their kind words and for looking.)

Repercussions

Repercussions (I). © Chris Bronsk 2014.

Repercussions (II). © Chris Bronsk 2014.

“Through this reverberation, by going immediately beyond all psychology or psychoanalysis, we feel a poetic power rising naïvely within us. After the original reverberation, we are able to experience resonances, sentimental repercussions, reminders of our past. But the image has touched the depths before it stirs the surface. And this is also true of the simple experience of reading. The image offered us by reading the poem now becomes really our own. It takes root in us. It has been given us by another, but we begin to have the impression that we could have created it, that we should have created it. It becomes a new being in our language, expressing us by making us what it expresses; in other words, it is at once a becoming of expression, and a becoming of our being. Here expression creates being.” —Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

(For my ongoing series of photographs of people reading in public.)

 

Oblivious Nephews

While You Wait © 2013.  Chris Bronsk.
While You Wait © 2013. Chris Bronsk.
Eternal Accidents © 2013.  Chris Bronsk.
Eternal Accidents © 2013. Chris Bronsk.
Mouse Holes © 2013.  Chris Bronsk.
Mouse Holes © 2013. Chris Bronsk.

FLAMENCO by Dean Young

The sexual gasps coming from the garden shed
of my friends turning twenty, tipsy
droll joke of my friends turning thirty, lost
car keys even with tied-to-them a silly whistle
turning forty, bullshit about September
the most passionate month fifty, bird-watching
nap my friends sixty, turning empty chair
at card-club on my friends turning, turning
while I remain unchanged, a peach pit,
still assisting an ant with a stick,
tapping a peanut to signal a squirrel,
a collection of eternal accidents
while the body, without pity, shrinks,
expands, noises coming from it like
trapped rabbits, sometimes muffled
xylophone, its liquids fermenting,
drunk on itself, dance just foot slams,
painting just spray and spill, brain commanding
its grit to become ruby, won’t, tears amniotic,
incinerated dust then an oblivious nephew
given my watch in a velvet sack,
my ghost eating mulberries in a tree,
still stained, my tyrannosaurus skull still
trying to poke through a mouse hole in the cosmos.

Two Blocks Down

You remember the name was Jensen. She seemed old
always alone inside, face pasted gray to the window,
and mail never came. Two blocks down the Grubskis
went insane. George played rotten trombone
Easter when they flew the flag. Wild roses
remind you the roads were gravel and vacant lots
the rule. Poverty was real, wallet and spirit,
and each day slow as church. You remember threadbare
church groups on the corner, howling their faith
at stars, and violent Holy Rollers
renting that barn for their annual violent sing
and the barn burned down when you came back from war.
Richard Hugo, from “What Thou Lovest Well Remains American”

Seeds, Yreka, CA © C. Bronsk
Seeds, Yreka, CA © C. Bronsk
Lodge, Yreka, CA © C. Bronsk
Lodge, Yreka, CA © C. Bronsk
Number Four, Yreka, CA © C. Bronsk
Number Four, Yreka, CA © C. Bronsk

 

Trend Setting

Trend Setters (I), Yreka, California
Trend Setters (I), Yreka, California

“What is earned at the end of a given year is never to be depended on and, even late in a season, is never predictable. It can be enough to tide through the dead months of the winter, sometimes even better: it can be enough, spread very thin, to take through two months, and a sickness, or six weeks, or a month: it can be little enough to be completely meaningless: it can be nothing: it can be enough less than nothing to insure a tenant only of an equally hopeless lack of money at the end of his next year’s work: and whatever one year may bring in the way of good luck, there is never any reason to hope that that luck will be repeated in the next year or the year after that.” —James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

Bluegrass Family Band

On the way home from a recent trip to the Olympic Peninsula, I stopped off for a stroll through historic Poulsbo, where I came across this bluegrass family band. They played well, but weren’t too lively. I kept waiting for even a toe tap, but not many came. But as I sat and listened, I noticed the boy on the mandolin. He was standing off to the side, a little separate from the rest, and the despite his placid expression, he was playing intensely, though he didn’t necessarily seem to be enjoying himself.

(You may click on the images for a larger view.)