Sunday, 31 October 2010

inside outside inside outside

On the inside, looking outside, inside - how do I traverse the . . . space between. Without inhabiting the outside, always yearning to be contained.

Oh bollocks. Do give it a rest. . .

Saturday, 30 October 2010

rainy daze . . .

Friday, 29 October 2010


I was living in Canada at the time, so I must have been younger than 9... maybe 7. And I conducted my experiment on Spirograph paper. I must have been told that numbers - counting - never ends. But I needed to test it. Did I not believe it? Did I think I was going to discover a truth missed by all but myself: that numbers did in fact end?

I persevered, writing numbers from one to well into the tens of thousands. Columns and columns of numbers, until I ran out of paper. Then I stopped. At least I had used my paper.

I've never really been convinced to stop believing that maybe there is a stop somewhere down the line. That an end to the impossible, is possible. That there are undiscovered truths, right there in plain sight, if you just keep looking, keep searching.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


"You're quirky . . . you don't play by the rules."

God, how many times do I have to hear this? Actually, I think I'm about the most conventional, conservative person you could wish to meet.

I started replying, kinda tongue in cheek, in a hackneyed faux voice:

"Do you think if we wrote down our hopes, our dreams our desires our wants our needs; our fears . . . do you really think that we would be so very different?"

And as I was saying it, I thought: this is actually true, while also being terribly trite.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Sidney Nolan

Antartica, Africa, Fremantle

Sidney Nolan at the Sidney Nolan Trust

This weekend . . .

. . . I have mostly been sleeping. Thank fuck.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Colour of your mind

“I believe that you are sincere and good at heart. If you do not attain happiness, always remember that you are on a good path, and try not to leave it. Above all, avoid lies, all lies, especially the lie to yourself. Keep watch on your own lie and examine it every hour, every minute. And avoid contempt, both of others and of yourself: what seems bad to you in yourself is purified by the very fact that you have noticed it in yourself. And avoid fear, though fear is simply the consequence of every lie. Never be frightened at your own faintheartedness in attaining love, and meanwhile do not even be very frightened by your own bad acts. I am sorry that I can not say anything more comforting, for active love is a harsh and fearful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams thirsts for immediate action, quickly performed, and with everyone watching. Indeed, it will go as far as the giving of one's life, provided it does not take long but is soon over, as on stage, and everyone is looking on and praising. Whereas active love is labor and perseverence, and for some people, perhaps, a whole science. But I predict that even in that very moment when you see with horror that despite all your efforts, you not only have not come nearer your goal but seem to have gotten farther from it, at that very moment — I predict this to you — you will suddenly reach your goal... ”

Fyoder Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

leaving . . .

It's been a strange two or three days - with a flurry of communications from those absent, enquiring how I am, after silence for days and weeks. Some kind words, some concerns, and some evasions . . . some understanding, some misunderstanding, some not wanting to understand.

A friend commented that she's concentrating being in the "Here and Now" . . . I'm jealous of that - I feel I'm expanding outwards in time and space. Yet, I'd love to feel contained. I'm looking for an edge. Or maybe an anchor point. And, maybe there aren't any, and maybe I don't need any.

It's odd, this opening up to be a part of people's lives; it seems more often than not, it leaves me feeling lonely.

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Secret lights

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

.- -... ... . -. -.-. .

Monday, 11 October 2010


Having just said that I felt a certain relief that, through Saul Leiter, that it's ok to sit off on the side and take photos unnoticed, I find myself taking more photos of people in tight corners. It's a bit scary; but seems necessary.

Morning light

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Memory of R

None of the dead people have seen or that have spoken to me were bloody. When I go into a prison, an old hospital, or an old house like the ones I've lived in down in Boyle Heights - I sense them. I see them.

Ten years ago I met a Native American woman from Mexico who explained certain things to me. She became my mentor, and we spoke in her - our - indigenous tongue. I told her that the dead people I saw did not scare me. She said that it didn't matter. Dead people appear to those who can “see” them and to those that have chaos in their life. So among other lessons, she taught me how to get rid of the “gift”.

And so I prayed and meditated.

I began to understand the dead people; and then I began to recall what I saw in my childhood regarding this religion, and what I was taught when we'd go to the catechism on Saturday mornings.

Though my mother was not a religious person, she had religious beliefs that were never acknowledged. I didn't grow up thinking that the Native religion was part of me. I learned to understand this when I met my mentor.

But no one in the family liked to talk about the odd things.

At night, my mother always put a broom behind the front door. When I asked why, she said that it was to keep the bad people out. I said oh. Later I find out . . . this is how you keep evil spirits - the dead people - away from your home.

Then, in Texas, my cousin and I were sitting in a parked car waiting for my sister and mother to come out. We couldn't leave the car. We peeked out the back window of the car and could see a doorway with a green curtain that didn't go all the way down. Sis' ankles were tied to a wooden chair and there was a fire burning around her.

I don't know what for . . .

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Memory of S

On the surface, the intelligible lie; underneath, the unintelligible truth.

A man, whether single or married, who is a white person and who attempts to have sexual intercourse with a woman who is not white, is guilty of a criminal offence, punishable by imprisonment with compulsory hard labour for up to seven years.

Immorality act, 1957

From the 59 - Orange and Green

I'm not sure . . .

Friday, 8 October 2010

Red pillars

where left is always right,
where the shadows are really the body,
where we stay awake all night,



If only I weren't so shy, I would have asked if I could photograph her properly...


I have a 2000 quid camera, yet my best stuff is on a cheap mobile phone; it allows me a more painterly approach. I've embraced shadows, blurs, washes of colours, distortions of rain and fogged windows . . . and through it, emerges . . . something . . . a subject. Prompted by . . . a convergence of some special people.

A dream of a friend, and the openness and honesty of two others has given me courage to look at myself, to freak out, then settle - perhaps changed. The tug of the old is ever present - never banished, I think. But . . .

I wish I could write more poetically, obliquely, evocatively. Sometimes, perhaps, I need words to complement these images . . .

Also, I read a little piece on Leiter when I hunted for some of his photos, and something of me became clear - something I saw as a hinderence, actually, might be a strength.
"Leiter's sensibility.placed him outside the visceral confrontations with urban anxiety associated with photographers such as Robert Frank or William Klein. Instead, for him the camera provided an alternate way of seeing, of framing events and interpreting reality. He sought out moments of quiet humanity in the Manhattan maelstrom, forging a unique urban pastoral from the most unlikely of circumstances."

Martin Harrison

Leiter's approach was markedly more subtle, more indirect, more abstract, more emotionally expressive, less pugnacious. Instead of getting in the middle of the action, he preferred to stay off to the side, quiet and unnoticed.

From Utata

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Red cliche

Each screaming
"Get up! Stop dreaming!"


The tumult in the heart
keeps asking questions.
And then it stops and undertakes to answer
in the same tone of voice.
No one could tell the difference.

Uninnocent, these conversations start,
and then engage the senses,
only half-meaning to.
And then there is no choice,
and then there is no sense;

until a name
and all its connotation are the same.

Night station

Home . . .

Saul Leiter

I don't understand why Saul Leiter isn't more well known; so sumptuous - my biggest influence, along with Francesca Woodman, and painters Diebenkorn and Rauschenberg.


Apart - a part
longing - belonging

Bonded to those absent - so not absent? Yearning . . . I've grown too used to those who engage in psychoanalytical relationships, underground skirmishes, evidence gathering. This analysis of the other, is so... parochial. Defined by our own bounds. Our own madnesses. But, perhaps it's just too damn alluring . . .

It takes quite some inner adjustments to really accept, emotionally, that someone is not layering your every move, your every word, with hidden motives to disguise this, protect that. Who ask you questions, and you respond openly. And they reciprocate.

Talk to me, I'm a tired soul.
Walk with me, I'm a tired soul.

Cool for Cats . . . makes me happy.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

bexhill blue

Drove down to the sea - to see - an exhibition of photographs at the De la Warr Pavilion in Bexhill - entitled "Myth, Manners and Memories - Photographers of the American South".

William Egglestone, as ever, stood out . . . gorgeous prints . . . so pure, I sigh. And as ever, I was flushed - inspired; and at the same time, I feel despondent, knowing I'll never reach this beauty . . . But damned if I wont keep trying.

From the Southern Suite

Sunday, 3 October 2010

The mundane / merely conventional signs . . .

It's really intriguing - my postings have elicited concern from some, and seem to have positively freaked out others. I admit on occasions I've had a debate with myself about what is appropriate to reveal, and wondered about my judgment. . . but . . . it's not as if I'm cornering people and laying it on them - it's a just a blog, and boring one at that, for the vast majority.

Yes, some of what I reveal has been personal. But reading back, what strikes me is that the facts and stories are so fucking mundane - common - ordinary. They are the stuff of millions and millions of people's inner selves.

But, if I've learnt anything about the inner concerns, desires and obsessions of people, very few match the state of "normalcy" we pretend to be; while appearing blithely convinced they have a grip on reality, which everyone else lacks. A certainty, which reads as more and more of a tactic to stave off admitting the uncertain reality of their thoughts and feelings. And yes, I recognise myself in this description.

So, enough. Why is it so shocking to reveal the common? Why does it feel scary to do it, and why are people so edgy when they hear it? Is it just a case of breaking the rules; breaking conventions . . .

Or am I mistaken . . . of course, conversations are far more complex than this, with their expectations - or more properly, fear of other's expectations.

He had bought a large map representing the sea,
Without the least vestige of land:
And the crew were much pleased when they found it to be
A map they could all understand.

"What's the good of Mercator's North Poles and Equators,
Tropics, Zones, and Meridian Lines?"
So the Bellman would cry: and the crew would reply
"They are merely conventional signs!

"Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we've got our brave captain to thank"
(So the crew would protest) that he's bought us the best--
A perfect and absolute blank!"
The Hunting of the Snark (An Agony in 8 Fits) - Lewis Carroll

Dazzle ships

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Umbrella and hook

At night, on the roof,
blind drops crawl

Fall into red / fall out of red