Thursday, January 29, 2009

Amelia, where are you?

presented with a bouquet at boston airport, july 1928. photo: new york times archives, courtesy of the icp

posing in her flight suit, november 1928. photo: unknown

on the roof of boston's copley hotel. photo: jake coolidge

posing with her autogiro in rock springs, wy. june 4, 1931. photo: courtesy of steve pitcairn

amelia earhart. aviatrix. in june, 1937 amelia embarked on the the first around-the world flight at the equator. on july 2, after completing almost two-thirds of her flight, she and her navigator frederick noonan disappeared. nobody really knows what happened. search efforts to find them or at least the wreckage of their plane lasted until july 19th, 1937. but nothing was ever found. completely disappeared. forever. no answers. she was already glorious, and then she vanished and became sublime—endlessly trapped in some halo of light and magic. and that is what i think of her...that soft beautiful face seems to radiate the big life rambling wide and gallant inside of her. she looks at once shy and girlish, gutsy and relentless. and i think about what happened in those moments at the end... and how strange it is to want to know exactly how it all went down. did she sink, did she gasp, did she think about how to save herself, how to save frederick, did she wonder about her husband george, did she put her hands up in front of her face? why do i think i need to know? i have already begun to imagine and that's what matters. she vanished but that isn't the end, i get to pick up where she left off, she's gone but the story is still here, alive and shifting,... the story goes on. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

home free

beach house in pouto point, north island, new zealand

apartment in venice, italy

judith mountain cabin in alpine gulch, montana

brownstone in brooklyn, nyc

the grove plantation house in charleston, s.carolina 

bungalow in goa, india. photo from msms

cottage in regneville su mer, normandy, france. photo from *susie*

i think maybe, just maybe, i could manage to live forever in one of these homes. like maybe i wouldn't get bored and wouldn't want to move and wouldn't think that their was some better place to call home. i would just think —i've got home covered, i'm good. and then i could go about breaking life up into beautiful tiny pieces, minute by minute, day by day, week by week, year by year...

Monday, January 26, 2009

what didn't happen

photo from the film the virgin suicides, based on the book of the same name (the book is great)

in class today we talked about how stories begin, how they open up and what happens in those first few lines that makes us want to keep reading more and more. we read aloud the very beginning of a story called "we didn't" by stuart dybek and after only the first sentence i could feel my skin raise up off my arms and the blood in my wrists pump and the hard bones in my knees ache. dybek was inspired by a poem called "we did it" by yehuda amichai, and he opens up his story with a couple of lines from the poem that he incorporates into his story...

we did it in front of the mirror
and in the light. we did it in darkness,
in water, and in the high grass.
—yehuda amichai

and then dybek begins his story...

we didn't in the light; we didn't in darkness. we didn't in the fresh-cut summer grass or in the mounds of autumn leaves or on the snow where moonlight threw down our shadows. we didn't in your room on the canopy bed you slept in, the bed you'd slept in as a child, or in the back seat of my father's rusted rambler which smelled of the smoked chubs and kielbasa that he delivered on weekends from my uncle vincent's meat market. we didn't in your mother's buick eight where a rosary twined the reaview mirror like a beaded black snake with silver, cruciform fangs.
at the dead end of our lover's lane—a side street of abandoned factories—where i perfected the pinch that springs open a bra; behind the lilac bushes in marquette park where you first touched me through my jeans and your nipples, swollen against transparent cotton, seemed the shade of lilacs; in the blacony of the now defunct clark theater where i wiped popcorn salt from my palms and slid them up your thighs and you whispered, "i feel like doris day is watching us," we didn't.

i'm just completely floored by this beginning— its honesty, its lyricism, its tenderness. and i'm so taken with how much can be told through what didn't happen...
that by telling what specifically didn't happen, we understand just as much as when we are told what did happen... and perhaps, more.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


...she was so perfectly sexed, so perfectly suggestive...that tousled hair, that parted mouth, those angled indecent eyes, that curving flaunting silhouette...even her name—brigitte bardot—oozes and burns and glistens, those syllables so ripe with desire and promise and longing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

river run

when i was a kid i lived for a while in a desert town with a wide river that ran through it. in the summer months the water level would drop and long soft hilly stretches of sand would appear in the middle of the river. but along the banks the water would still remain deep and cool, shaded in part by the thick clumps of grass and the occasional cottonwood tree. my best friend and i would ride our horses, along with my two dogs trotting close behind, down to the river to spend our long hot endless summer days. days of no school. days of abandon. days of running around and doing exactly what we wanted. we would swim the horses along the banks and then come up onto the stretches of sand, and then we would wildly race each other. there was nothing to hear in those moments except the heaving legs of our horses and their hard breathing and the urgent dull thumping of sand. our faces in their whipping manes, our eyes squinting, our small tough hands steady on the reins. and then the stretch of sand would finally run out and we would crash straight into the shallow water, still in a dead gallop, until it began to gradually get deeper and then the horses would slow down and ease themselves into the water...that cool green water that came up to our thighs, surrounding our horses so completely, and everything seemed to go soft again, only the blowing of the horses' nostrils and the panting dogs paddling behind us, and that high ballooning sun. 

14 songs for a hot hot heart

Monday, January 19, 2009

plum pickings: a list of labels to love

the best, ever

i think this simple little lovely idea is brilliant. how great would it be to get the t-shirt you lent to your friend back with that quiet clever little trick sewn in? maybe you wouldn't even discover it right away. and then the surprise would be even better. and how fun would it be to sew that word on for your friend, who you really do think is the best, and how fun would it be to anticipate their discovery? what an easy, loving thing to do. 
you could even make your own labels, a variety of warm-hearted words to choose from,... or if you are too tired or lazy or uninspired, or just a damn bit too busy,  you could always buy this one at the curiosity shoppe

bright & brazen

photo by cass bird for sophomore's lookbook

maybe because the weather has been so unusually warm these days... i am preoccupied with the look and feel of summertime... i can't help thinking of youth and bare legs and primary colors and dirty fingernails and secret hard kisses and slurpees and random touch-and-go adventures and bright glaring brazenness. and days that go so long you don't know how to fill them, and nights that are so warm you can never shake the heat from the nape of your neck or the back of your knees. and i love this photo because it manages to capture exactly all of that with such insolence and honesty.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

the ruffle shuffle

i like the understated ruffle. i like that it might take a second look, or maybe just a  longer first look, to notice the voluptuousness of these ruffles, soft and curving and subtle, but still titillating... a slow, whispering va-va-voom... just a teasing little ripple of heat.

Monday, January 12, 2009

the swing of things

cane garden bay tire swing, british virgin islands photo from sseana1

there is something so devastatingly lonesome about the tire swing. out there in big landscapes under big skies it hangs still, waiting. or unobserved, it swings with quiet breezes or shakes with heavy winds or sags with thick snow. dangling and swaying alone. of course someone will come every once in a while and swing or sit. a band of hollering, jumping children or a soft-stepping solitary old man or a pair of ladies with their summer skirts and brown ankles and bending necks...of course they come, with all their nostalgia and hope and laughter and awe and sorrow— and they swing for a while, pumping the air with their legs, letting their hair stream and flutter, closing their eyes against the heat or cold. but they go away eventually, feeling a little lighter maybe, a little more alive or relevant or enchanted, or maybe just hungry and flushed. but they walk away, or run or skip or amble, and leave the tire swing to drift for a bit in the air, underneath the creaking branches and the humming leaves and the hopping bird feet and those immense startling skies. and then it slows to an almost standstill, just barely pulling at the rope or chain it hangs on, but still softly thumping the air without anyone watching or knowing or wondering.  

black & tan

buckskin breyer model horse originally posted on flickr by princes milady

what can i say? black and tan looks good together. 

Sunday, January 11, 2009

she-wolves & pussycats

masked women... they are like gifts still unwrapped, waiting for the ribbon to be pulled and the paper torn open... they are hot-blooded half-truths, sudden super-heroes, cinematic pauses, glinting hints of hazard, cryptic codes, slowly swelling silences, she-wolves and pussycats... and i think there is nothing hotter than the heat of the eyes and the mystery of the mask, and that everything on the face grows bigger because of the mask—especially the mouth and the teeth... that soft pouting pink, that sharp bright white. everything at once becomes delicate and dangerous, dreamy and dark...