Monday, January 20, 2014

At the tire shop with Joe

I didn't take many pictures this trip, but found a few good murals, like colorful one in the Meterie.

I was working with a point and shoot and was in the shadow of my impending third year exam for residency and not sure whether I am meant to be taking pictures in New Orleans. I do love it, but not living here I don't feel rooted enough at times to take on a big photography project here. Either way, it was nice to sit with Joe at the tire shop and just talk with someone outside my usual sphere.

Driving up to the shop, I am always a little timid and uncertain. I don't know who will be there or what they are thinking, but once I start talking with Joe, I am at ease.  Today was the first day it was over 60 during the day and it was comfortable sitting out front with Joe. We talked about relationships, rabbit hunting, the economy, Vietnam, the need for trade schools, learning to weld, the Indians, the parades at Mardi Gras, people riding bicycles naked, men dressed as women, how he got the gash on his left hand in a knife fight, growing okra and  collard greens in side-yard  kitchen gardens which everyone used to have, where to eat in NOLA,  his dogs, his father getting old and lonely, his sister-- everything but physics and k-space, which I needed a break from anyway.  He even showed me his 38 Darriger.


During the time we talked people walking by waving and shouting greetings. Some came up and asked for favors.  I  watched him turn down one woman who asked for money to buy dog food, then turn around and give ten dollars to another to take her daughter to the Martin Luther King parade.  People are asking for his help all the time. "Friends and family will keep you poor,"he said. Even so, he goes along more often than not, pulling out a bundle of cash wrapped in a rubber band. Bundles of cash like that  reminds me of my grandfather. When Joe says no it feels a little tense, but once he's made up his mind, he sticks to it.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Violators with be TOAD!!


I am not sure what it will mean for my future if I admit I had to read the above sign more than once or even twice before it occurred to me something was a little unusual about it.  I'm in New Orleans right now, and maybe under the influence of one too many bags of VOODOO chips.  Of coarse, I thought looking at the colorful sigh, if you park in this driveway you will be:



It made perfect sense until the voodoo chips wore off, when I realized maybe they meant you will be:
I've made many such errors, often feeling more in tune with sound that formal spelling.  In New Orleans though, it may not be just a spelling mistake, especially if you poke fun at the local poetic and musical souls.




Thursday, November 28, 2013

Just This:

Two nights ago, just this: the radio turned up, the window rolled down, my hand out side the window in the wind.


And then more: I stopped for the red light and bent down to the steering wheel, waiting for green, and go, and the mad wind that rises from the road to lift my hand, a five fingered soul ever so slightly from its slump.

Iowa Poem #4 , Thanksgiing Day 2013


If you came to Iowa now, you would find
Prairie grasses talking, some to themselves
Tired from a summer of waving and shouting
To every passing car and plane, some in hushed
Tones under a feather blanket of earlier-than-expected snow.
Some would be pointing right up at the heavens,
The memory still fresh of being razor-sharp and green.
Blades now brown and edges worn smooth,
They rage to God against the dying of the light.

And to their neighbors, who they are sure cannot hear,
They brag, "If summer never ended, I could have made it,
Made it all the way....."
      
One holds the record for bending so as not to break.
He tells terrible tales of coming back from near dead,
Of being cut, mowed and trampled.  

One does not speak; the wind plays his body like a saw.
Can you hear the wobbly melody?
Heel and toe, heel and toe, heel and toe.

To  the wonder of  having learned to dance

Among a rustling symphony of shaking shoulders,
To having existed at all.

Sarah Averill, 
Novermber 28, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Edward Hopper wanted to spend his life painting light hitting the wall. Inside walls, outside walls, some psychic walls. I used to think this was stupid or at the very least bizarre.

But then I've experienced it--light hitting the wall.  Mostly its in the late afternoon when the sun is low in the sky, the way it sends light at an angle through the glass or through the air to hit something as close to dead on as it can before it dips out of sight or turns red and looses steam and just can't turn it on any more.

First, it's "how the hell does it do that?" My mind makes feeble attempts to puzzle out how photons, little electromagnetic particle/wave/don't know who or what they are/ can turn dark into light. Faster than a shadow can fall, I'm exhausted by the effort and the questioning softens into "wow, just look at that." It's gone through the glass, my eyes are singing and I can drop several gritty problems that have bobbed up and down the column of my consciousness, defeating my efforts at  "be here now."

When you live without as much of that as you can get, it takes more than a few days to slip into taking it for granted and the ennui at endless sunshine, I suppose. Before Iowa I lived in Syracuse NY where I made a sport of finding breaks of sun in dense Great Lake clouds. One of the first things I noticed moving here was that it was sunny for entire days and sometimes weeks.

That by long way of saying, I am taking winter coming on alright, mostly by running in the dark along the river, and noticing sun hitting the wall on its daily rounds.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Other New York

Upcoming show at the Lodi Laundromat
1600 Lodi St, Syraucse, NY 13208
will be part of The Other New York.
At the Lodi site there will be a photo-give away from 2 to 4 pm
on September 13th.


Just following the Lodi photo-give away
there will be an  opening reception at Light Work
this Thursday, September 13th  from 5 to 7 p.m.
The address is: 316 Waverly Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13244
Anyone in the area is welcome to come to either venue.









Monday, July 9, 2012

Summer in the City brings kids out to the streets. It reminded me of my own childhood spent riding around doing stunts on bicycles. The kids on the Northside will ride their bikes and boards anywhere, the middle of the street preferably.