Monday, June 29, 2009

a period of rest before the coming...

When you walk in rhythm,
lovely with abandonment,
You seem to be swayed by a wand,
A dancing serpeant.
-Bouldaire you remember who taught you to frenchkiss.

I am going to keep you in the nineties for awhile longer,
l have a few more stories to tell.

I use to think that only the young and the old were worth talking to.
Those in between too busy, running around like a nosebleed
that won't stop. The young have a power, a magic mystical, untamed
and raw, ready to lick the blood from your neck.

"...when the story of the hero's wound is made part
of the story of desire, when the weaving activity of
the soul, the work of memory and imagination, the
weaving of one's story, is informed and suffused
with the hero's violent spiritual flame."

-eileen greagory(summoning the familiar)

I met Sean in the nineties, he came from a program for lost punks.
They asked if l would take him in my studio, mentor him l suppose.
He came to my studio, hung around, rambled poetic lyrics, and he
brought with him, his family. A family of hooded punks, black cloth,
spiked collars, with dreams of a fresh new world. I photographed
Sean one night, with his girl Claire - here

and he says that he loves me
even though its not his baby
and he says that he'll raise him up
like he would his own son

and he gave me a ring

that was worn by his mother

-tom waits

Sam was pregnant. She was a tad older than the rest, and
with growth in her belly she was somewhat of a guide to them,
perhaps she glowed with a secret light.

...part of painting of sam


Christie and Killie, two more beacons that danced quietly
through this time.

Although they seem to carry a heaviness, they carried your concerns,
your burdens, your wishes, they carried what you lay in bed dreaming of.

"a period of rest before the coming"

Willie Mae... makes me smile thinking of her.

She could make the world smile. An endless flame, a shinning star,
the drop of dew on a blade of grass. She had cancer, they took
her leg off at the knee.

She would come to my studio now and then, help me with the
painting. I told her to write something on the painting. She
found a quote on my wall and wrote that;

"the ocean doesn't want me today,
but l'll be back tomorrow to play"
-tom waits


Char- I lived in a little shack in Parksville and beside that shack
was a wood shop of some sort. I would see her drive up on her
bike. Loud , maybe a harley, clad in the blackest leather. I didn't
know if she was boy or girl. I couldn't tell but l wanted to photograph
her. So one day l ran into her and with the flapping of wings in my
tummy l asked her. "Can l photograph you"
Slammed against the wall, one hand on my throat, a fist to the groin.
Well that is what l expected, but no, yes, out came this beautiful
sweetness, "why yes darling, that would be nice"

I photographed her at night in my studio, we talked for hours.
Her life in a small town, it was hard for her, being gay in this town,
being inside a body that she wanted to change.

Am l lucky to have met these people, damn right.
They all burned, burned with a fire, a fire that was true and deep.

But you's there,
in you, in all of us.

"How many years ago
Were you and l unlettered lads
Mad as the mist and snow"



maybe check Fernandes
he has fire



Saturday, June 06, 2009

cap in hand...

There is a mystery too deep for words;
the silence of the dead comes nearer to it,
being wisest in the end. What word shall
hold the sorrow sitting at the heart of things.
The majesty and patience of the truth.
Silence will serve; it is an older tongue:
The empty room, the moonlight on the wall.
Speak for the unreturning traveller.
-john hall wheelock

For a handful of years in the nineties l worked with people
who needed assistance. The first job was in a woodworking
day program. I loved that job. A group of men, a pile of tools,
we made picnic tables, doll houses, and little wooden nicknacks
that have probably ended up inthrift stores.
My favorite person
was Bob, Bob couldn'tspeak but knew a few signs. One of them
was "fish",which we all practiced because he could sort of say the
word. The sign was wiggling your hand back and forth,like a
snake, or like a belly dancer on her side.Then l worked in the
semi independant living program,these guys lived on their own
and l was there to offer assistance with, well you know, life skills.

I liked kevin, he was funny and he seemed to enjoy my company.
My boss always seemed more concerned about kevin's hygene, and
whether or not his dishes were done, but l kind of felt it more
important to go fishing. We would drive up the old northwest
bay logging road, a secret little lake that made you feel holy. We
would cast off of shore, worms and bobbins, catching fist size trout.
Keving was stubborn, when they discovered that he had diabetes,
well it was very rough on him. FIfty years of drinking soda pop and
licking dairy's cone and suddenly your suppose to eat like a bunny, it
was tough. A couple years later, riding his bike on a beautiful sunny
day, Kevin suffered a heart attack and died.

Lori was tough, strong and would always help you if you needed.
He liked to collect things, lots of things, bikes, cars, radio's, tv's, any
thing you could take apart, he was like the guy from "back to the
future". Lori had an unkemptness to him that was appealing. One
year l offered him a shed in my yard, "a place to store a few things",
It didn't take long...he filled it to the roof, he circled the shed with
broken cars, and late at night, when even the owls close their eyes, l
would sometimes hear loud voices. I thought maybe Orson Welles was
right and it was the war of the worlds but no it was just Lori and his
coat hanger wrapped cracklin radio.

I also worked with the beautiful Hugh and have written
about him before, here...

I just want to feel "right as rain"

"Of course compassion condones suffering
in that it recognizes,
yes, suffering is life."
-j campbell

fern and gary...


"Sexual intimacy begins with acknowledgment of and respect for
the mystery and madness of the others sexuality, for it is only
in mystery and madness that soul is revealed."

Brenda and Alan...
Like two different flowers, on two different seasons, one open, one closed.

Alan is fast, quick, they use to call him "speedy". He had spent
some time at Tranquille before they closed down, and like any big
institution, it probably left a imprint. Brenda was softer, slower,
steadier perhaps, they made a good pair.

I photographed their wedding...

I took Alan and Brenda everywhere, camping, hotels in the
big city, art shows, walkabouts... I don't know what l was trying
to do, l guess l thought it was useful, important, real.

This next image got me into a lot of trouble... you can whip me or love me, l've battled it in my head,
but there is no right, no wrong.
Brenda and Alan trusted me, they invited me in, l wanted to
acknowledge this, to acknowledge their intimacy, their love...


a little extra time, check markmaker India Flint