11 April 2007

I know you like to line dance, everything so democratic and cool, but baby there's no guidance when random rules

Photos by Christian Patterson

I haven't been able to get out and shoot much during the last few weeks, and I don't have much of my own work that I feel like posting, so I decided to post on Christian Patterson, who I initially learned of through searching for interviews with William Eggleston. If you're interested in his work, he has a nice website: christianpatterson.com and a blog. On his blog the other day he mentioned how he admires photographers who incorporate a variety of subject matter and approaches in their work, but still manage to convey a consistent style and feeling, and--as you can see from the above photos--this fits his own photography well. The influence of Eggleston is obvious, but he stills manages to create a distinct style/feel--absurdity, detached humor, understatement. To me, his style brings to mind James Tate's poetry--or, perhaps even more so, the poetry/lyrics of David Berman (Silver Jews), who studied under Tate.

--this first poem is from Tate, not the best example of the style I'm thinking of, but a good poem.

Never Again the Same

Speaking of sunsets,
last night's was shocking.
I mean, sunsets aren't supposed to frighten you, are they?
Well, this one was terrifying.
Sure, it was beautiful, but far too beautiful.
It wasn't natural.
One climax followed another and then another
until your knees went weak
and you couldn't breathe.
The colors were definitely not of this world,
peaches dripping opium,
pandemonium of tangerines,
inferno of irises,
Plutonian emeralds,
all swirling and churning, swabbing,
like it was playing with us,
like we were nothing,
as if our whole lives were a preparation for this,
this for which nothing could have prepared us
and for which we could not have been less prepared.
The mockery of it all stung us bitterly.
And when it was finally over
we whimpered and cried and howled.
And then the streetlights came on as always
and we looked into one another's eyes--
ancient caves with still pools
and those little transparent fish
who have never seen even one ray of light.
And the calm that returned to us
was not even our own.

The Wild Kindness
by David Berman

I wrote a letter to a wildflower
on a classic nitrogen afternoon.
Some power that hardly looked like power
said I'm only perfect in an empty room.

Four dogs in the distance
each stands for a kindness.
Bluebirds lodged in an evergreen altar
I'm gonna shine out in the wild silence
and spurn the sin of giving in.

Oil paintings of x-rated picnics.
Behind the walls of medication I'm free.
Every falling leaf in a compact mirror
hits a target that we can't see.

Grass grows in the icebox.
The year ends in the next room
It is autumn and my camouflage is dying
instead of time there will be lateness
and let forever be delayed.

I died my hair in a motel void
met the coroner at the Dreamgate Frontier
He took my hand said I'll help you boy
if you really want to disappear

Four dogs in the distance
each stands for a silence.
Bluebirds lodged in an evergreen altar
I'm gonna shine out in the wild kindness
and hold the world to its word.

Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007, RIP


La Cuoca said...

very nice hause.
kiss kiss

Karen said...

I really like the Tate poem. If we ever have another poetry day, I'd like it if you read that poem. I already have a half written response for it in my head.