desirable things

1.) objects of a curious and compelling pleasurableness that is hard to describe
2.) elbow length gloves
3.) architecture made of paper
4.) apothecary jars
5.) the smell of an orange being peeled
6.) gargoyle bookends
7.) japanese gardens
8.) hourglasses
9.) shells abandoned by their inhabitants
10.) canada geese flying overhead

photos from ijm studio. says its storyteller founder frank visser: “Rare combination of concentrated time and emotion form mood-boards from which new stories emerge.”


intoxicating things

1.) dissonance
2.) a hundred accordions
3.) a story within a story
4.) white truffles
5.) red poppies
6.) hives of bees
7.) eating honeycomb
8.) vulnerability
9.) a click in the absence of all other sound
10.) a fugue of the senses

photos by adam makarenko, courtesy of jerry's lovely bee blog, global swarming honeybees.


elegant things

1.) a room with only a glass of water
2.) having one's pulse taken
3.) microscopes
4.) telescopes
5.) nostalgia
6.) 'emily dickinson' written in cursive
7.) a dovecote
8.) structure of a feather vane
9.) ambivalence neutralized through language

things that make one's heart beat faster

1.) this lamp/swing.
2.) looking down from a great height.
3.) just missing a bus.
4.) waking up from oversleeping.
5.) kissing someone for the first time.
6.) running a yellow light.
7.) being caught taking a picture in a place where photographs are not allowed (you didn't know).


prismatic devices and optical toys

for the lovely and otherworldly mood i'm in today

images can be found here: 1. 3D Rainbow, 2. The results are always perfect, 3. Untitled, 4. Madame Reve

"the city of leonia refashions itself everyday; every morning the people wake between fresh sheets, wash with just unwrapped cakes of soap...

...wear brand new clothing, take from the latest model refrigerator still unopened tins, listening to the last minute jingles from the most up-to-date radio.

on the sidewalks, encased in spotless plastic bags, the remains of yesterday's leonia await the garbage truck. not only squeezed tubes of toothpaste, blown-out light bulbs, newspapers, containers, wrappings, but also boilers, encyclopedias, pianos, porcelain dinner services. it is not so much by the things that each day are manufactured, sold, bought, that you can measure leonia's opulence, but rather by the things that each day are thrown out to make room for the new. so you begin to wonder if leonia's true passion is really, as they say, the enjoyment of new and different things, and not, instead, the joy of expelling, discarding, cleansing itself of a recurrent impurity. the fact is that street cleaners are welcomed like angels, and their task of removing the residue of yesterday's existence is surrounded by a respectful silence, like a ritual that inspires devotion, perhaps only because once things have been cast off nobody wants to have to think about them further.

nobody wonders where, each day, they carry their load of refuse. outside the city, surely; but each year the city expands, and the street cleaners have to fall farther back. the bulk of the outflow increases and the piles rise higher, become stratified, extend over a wider perimeter. besides, the more leonia's talent for making new materials excels, the more the rubbish improves in quality, resists time, the elements, fermentations, combustions. a fortress of indestructible leftovers surrounds leonia, dominating it on every side, like a chain of mountains.

this is the result: the more leonia expels goods, the more it accumulates them; the scales of its past are soldered into a cuirass that cannot be removed. as the city is renewed each day, it preserves all of itself in its only definitive form; yesterday's sweepings piled up on the sweepings of the day before yesterday and of all its days and years and decades.

leonia's rubbish little by little would invade the world, if, from beyond the final crest of its boundless rubbish heap, the street cleaners of other cities were not pressing, also pushing mountains of refuse in front of themselves. perhaps the whole world, beyond leonia's boundaries, is covered by craters of rubbish, each surrounding a metropolis in constant eruption. the boundaries between the alien, hostile cities are infected ramparts where the detritus of both support each other, overlap, mingle.

the greater its height grows, the more the danger of a landslide looms: a tin can, an old tire, and unraveled wine flask, if it rolls toward leonia, is enough to bring with it an avalanche of unmated shoes, calendars of bygone years, withered flowers, submerging the city in its own past, which it had tried in vain to reject, mingling with the past of the neighboring cities, finally clean. a cataclysm will flatten the sordid mountain range, canceling every trace of the metropolis always dressed in new clothes. in the nearby cities they are all ready, waiting with bulldozers to flatten the terrain, to push into the new territory, expand, and drive the new street cleaners still farther out." ~italo calvino


happy buy nothing day

and a few ideas for spending it by keri smith.


"at every instant i am attentive...

...and when i have the time
i listen to the world as a symphony
and though i am sure that i cannot direct its movements in any way
nevertheless, it is within my power to manipulate
within myself certain devices or appliances
similar to amplifiers, dials, screens, diaphragms
much in use, lately, in certain fields." ~ francis ponge

"it's quite funny with memories and sights and sounds.

you sometimes think you can stop seeing and listening, but memory keeps playing its gramophone records without a break. you cannot close your eyes because the images unfold in one enormous reel after the other. my grandfather would have said that the sound lies in the brain in a horizontal line, like records, while images stand up vertically like film reels. then they mesh into each other in some wonderful interplay. sometimes it's only sounds and sometimes it's just pictures and now and then it is synchronized. but most of the time the projectionist is drunk and without judgement. he refuses to work at all for some people and for others he works overtime." ~reidar jonsson; "my life as a dog"

for those with a fondness for thumb pianos

a flickr photoset.


half off most stuff


i think i [can]


sunflower graveyard

this afternoon i drove out to adobe farms at 3:30 p.m. i always pass it on my way to work at that time of day and have noticed that the light was particularly beautiful then. also the birds are migrating in great clouds. from the road you can see the sea of marigolds beside the wide field dotted with pumpkins that were never chosen. ancient tractors are parked here and there, and beautiful rusted equipment once used for harvesting. a cloud of birds blew over me and the only sound it made was so well integrated with the air that it was more of a sensation than a sound. as i wandered along through the field i startled a jackrabbit out of the marigolds and wished my camera was better so i could zoom in on him and capture him, if only on film.
after the squash field, i came upon a quadrant of corn, and it wasn't until i passed that that i discovered, with a devilish and bedazzled sense of childlike delight and wonder, the sunflower graveyard.


"beauty is the impossible which lasts" ~francis ponge

"we have everything to say...and can say nothing; that is why we begin anew each day, on the widest variety of subjects and in the greatest number of imaginable procedures. we do not set out to write a beautiful text, a beautiful page, a beautiful book. absolutely not! we simply refuse to be defeated:
1) by the beauty or fascination of nature, or even the humblest object; nor do we recognize any hierarchy among the things to be said;
2) by language; we will continue to try;
3) we have lost all desire for relative success and all taste for admitting it. we couldn't care less about the usual criteria. only lassitude stops us. the monopolization of these criteria by a few hucksters has thoroughly disinclined us from any further sermonizing on measure or excess. we know that we successively reinvent the worst mistakes of every stylistic school of every period. so much the better! we don't want to say what we think, which is probably of no interest (as is evident here). we want to be unsettled in our thinking.

the silent world is our only homeland. we make use of its possibilities according to the needs of the times."

1. apple, 2. Winding Road, 3. le parapluie, 4. Adventures In Perspective, 5. IMG_0125, 6. Anagrams Embossed Edition No. 79


we are planning our day



the alchemy of spam

a wonderful flickr photoset of spam one-liners turned into art.

bb you are so the best.

'A great Parcel of Earth is every Year carried into the Sea.'

andrea's parcel journal is wonderful. the first two are out and are satisfying to take the strings off and unfold the brown paper..

in andrea's words:

'PARCEL is a non-profit online journal that publishes innovative poetry, prose, artwork, essays, and reviews. Long poems, collaborations and works from a series are especially welcome. Featured visual artists will be solicited until further notice, though feel free to send queries. Chapbook submissions will be solicited from past journal contributors only. '

here is a poem from parcel 2 by mark cunningham:


I was going to tell her I never wanted to lose her, but then I lost my train of thought. If you have to go back inside three times to make sure the coffee maker is unplugged, you've forgotten something else. I tried to explain to him that it wasn't ambient if he paid attention to it, but he wouldn't listen. We exhausted all the senses: he touched his eyes and ears, I said, "What?" and he sniffed and walked away.


perfume: the story of a murderer

i cannot shake the riotous perfume of this movie. the chords it played in me are still ringing high and low. it is the most beautiful movie about a serial killer as i think there could ever be. it makes me think of a line from another movie, one from the thirties or forties but i can't remember its name, in which someone says "crime is just a left handed form of human endeavor."

the main character's single-minded desire to preserve scent is really only his quest to capture the fleetingness of beauty in life. born into a loveless existence of squalor, his sense of smell is the only part of him that seems capable of developing to maturity. in other aspects he remains stunted; his movements and expressions take on a feral quality. scent for him is the only form of higher beauty to which he can aspire, as it is given without any exchange of consent. in all other ways he is locked out of the world of exchange between human beings. his uncanny ability to identify and orchestrate scents into inebriating harmonies is precluded by the fact that he has no identifying smell of his own, no sense of a familiar origin. the source of his primary strength lies in his most profound lack, which his strength cannot correct.

isn't it within this tension, between what we have and what we are missing, that all of us must make our alchemy?



a finely tuned inner world

well, the joseph cornell exhibit at SF MOMA was as inspiring and evocative as i could have hoped. i floated through the gallery rather than walked, increasingly intoxicated by each piece. i saw the real constructions behind the representations i had seen in books, and i met new works of which i hadn't been aware existed. i made my little contacts with a kindred soul. i felt resentful that photographs were forbidden. then, when one of the guards saw me writing in my notebook with a pen, she made me put it away and gave me one of those eraserless half pencils they always give you to fill out forms with. i hate writing with those pencils. they are the stingiest of writing instruments.

one of the works of cornell that i had never seen or heard of was a compilation of his "Goop Joe's Poultry Pages," a charming series of collaged newsletters that he constructed and sent during the early thirties to his sister who had a poultry farm. follow the link to see more of them. the one to the left concerns a watermelon-eating contest. included are "quotes" invented by cornell from the alleged participants. this from the first prize winner, mr p. warts montgomery bildge: "of course there seems to be a lot of glory and tinsel fame connected with winning a watermelon contest, folks, but when i think of the hours my wife will spend with the vacuum cleaner getting the seeds out of my ears, i cannot help but say like the prophet of old; "all is vanity."


compelling and sensuous

'The Double Life of Veronique' cast a deep spell on me. The world of that film is a world like the one i would live in if i could choose a world.

i was also fascinated by the supplemental documentary of the making of the film, in which kieslowski discusses the impetus behind the making of it. i found myself hanging onto his every word. i was specifically taken by what he said regarding documentary as a genre. apparently he started out wanting to make documentaries. but then he realized there were too many areas of life that a documentary couldn't, and shouldn't, cover about human intimacy and the way things are. he said: "you can't take the camera into people's bedrooms while they're making love, because to make love they have to be alone without the camera... to film people's innermost thoughts and emotions that they show to no one, to film that i need an actor, glycerin tears, and a fake death. everything has to be fake to look real onscreen. thanks to all these fake things i can breathe life into my story. it's more interesting in real life but you should never film those things in real life. that's why i don't make documentaries anymore."

i have had that feeling of wanting to photograph someone, freeze the moment of them being in the moment, standing a certain way against the light, holding a certain gesture, portraying some compelling emotion, and then shying away from actually taking the picture because it seemed as if i would be intruding upon the intimacy of that moment that was his or hers, and not mine. kieslowski addresses this in his film and in his explanations about the film's meaning for him. we have to live "carefully and attentively," he says, because we never know how our slightest action may affect the lives of others. this is a sense i have also had, of the minutest ripples that could send me off my axis if they converged in some specific way, of the havoc i obliviously wreak, the chain reactions of which i am a domino. how many strangers' memories am i in? how many people's vacation pictures feature the back of my head? this movie will make you think about these things, and make you wonder if you don't also have your own double, living a parallel life to yours, providing you with a vague and elusive sense of equilibrium that, if you tried to articulate, would come out sounding clunky and trivial.


"I'm not trying to be sexy. It's just my way of expressing myself when I move around." ~elvis presley

the sweetest two trick or treaters this side of tennessee.