The grime was no man’s grime but death and human locomotives, dead men were on that train, wearing all that dress of dust, that veil of darkened railroad skin, that smog of cheek, that eyelid of black misery, that sooty hand or phallus or protuberance of artificial worse-than-dirt. Industrial, modern - all that civilization spotting your crazy golden crown. And those blear thoughts of death and dusty loveless eyes and ends and withered roots below, on the home-pile of rotten railway sleepers and sawdust, bath of steam, skin of machinery, the guts and innards of the weeping coughing car, the empty lonely overheated tin cans with their rusty tongues alack, what more could I name, the smoked ashes of some wood stacks, the noise of wheelbarrows and the milky breasts of iron, bloated espresso machine balancing on thin narrow tracks and sphincters of dynamos - all these entangled in your mummied roots. And you there rolling towards me in the steamy sunset; all your glory in your form. The nightmare train went on through the milky sunlight its whistle screeching and the dead men inside laughing.
Through photographs, each family constructs a portrait-chronicle of itself; a portable kit of images that bears witness to its connectedness. Now they are on the auction block; a big ’4 Children For Sale - Inquire Within’ sign in a Chicago / Illinois yard mutely tells a family’s tragic story. For long months the family waged a desperate but losing battle to keep food in the mouth and a roof over their heads. With no place to turn, they decide to sell their four children. The mother was shielding her eyes from the camera while her four small children stare wonderingly sitting huddled on the steps outside. Photographie à clef -- this photograph is the remake of an infamous historical photo originally taken in 1948, that made its way into many U.S. newspapers. Redone to put a focus on the tragic case again because things have not changed that much. Human trafficking is still around in many countries and numerous children are still sold throughout the world. Many of them abused by child labor and kept in child slavery; not to mention sexual abuse and child prostitution. The little dog was not part of the original story but was added to the scenery to make its own, personal statement on animal cruelty.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood but it is an illusion that youth is happy, an illusion of those who have lost it; but the young know they are wretched for they are full of the truthless ideal which has been instilled into them, and each time they come in contact with the real, they are bruised and wounded. It looks as if they were victims of a conspiracy; for the books they read, ideal by the necessity of selection, and the conversation of their elders, who look back upon the past through a rosy haze of forgetfulness, prepare them for an unreal life. Grown-ups are an untrustworthy, treacherous lot, they do not take their games in the serious wholehearted way children do, and yet they too have their own games, one more serious than the other, one game inside another, so that it is impossible to discover what the real one is. As for children, they must discover for themselves that all they have read and all they have been told are lies, lies, lies -- and each discovery is another nail driven into the body on the cross of life. It was good that God kept the truths of life from the young as they were starting out or else they'd have no heart to start at all.
"What have I become?" she asked herself in softly whispered tune while laying the unknown depths of her thoughts down beside her. Life has become lifeless and disheartening. In her hiding place, there is no soul to be smelled, not even a fowl in the air. The expanding deep sighs hurt the void within her, holding secrets that are withheld from others eyes. Only yesterdays sweeps upon the shores of her eyelids, refusing to let them shut. Oh, not another sun shall rise that cannot be seen. As her sight starts to fade to the colorless end of hues, so there on the dock in death's hands she waits for time to receive her, the black cloth upon her skin reluctant to the coldness of silent winds that brush against her shoulders in a sweeping manner. The sweetness of memories has been cast away within the ripples of the water. No longer are they soothing as the salt from her gaze stream like fire down the high rises of her cheeks. Every single one that plunged into her hands was added to her pond of many tears.
It’s disturbing. Where did everyone go? Children, horses, parents milling around the perpetual motion of the carousel. The people watchers and the people pleasers; all distracted by the magical joy of the amusing park. The spinning of the carousel eases us into the lull of dreamlike wonder, the place of our memories represented by the ticket printed on cheap paper. When the movement stops, we are confronted with reality. The deconstruction of the fairytale whose age-old wisdom is revealed through the dissolution of the disillusion. Absent mothers, always protective, allow for risk-taking and adventure that might turn into emotional growth. The fragile little princess, through suffering, becomes an adult and probably a strong woman. Life demands fulfillment of assigned, preconditioned roles. So the carousel can lead to emotional conditioning. The up’s and down’s, within predetermined patterns, is permitted, just don’t jump off, the carousel offers no exit. Comply. Submit. Discipline, or existential boredom? Emptiness powers the jump, but knowledge gives the power of choice. At some point there was, or will be, a preprogrammed turn where inevitable shouts of joy cherish the dream of the moment where magic invades the little bodies. The ride becomes electrifying. From constancy and repetition, surrounded by the sound and lights, the hypnotic effect arises, and emotional dressing is gained. ~ Deise Lemos Almeida
What happens when we let go of our sanity? Monsters are real. They live inside us, and sometimes they win. She was one of those languid women made of honey: smooth and sweet and terribly sticky. He had not intended to meet anyone, see anything. He had withdrawn solely for his personal pleasure, only to be near to himself. No longer distracted by anything external, he basked in his existence and found it splendid. "I want to drag knives over my skin, just to feel something other than shame, but I’m not even brave enough for that," she thought as she walked along the path, away from the small town where people scent the wind with noses of uncommon keenness. When she saw him, she trusted him because he knows all too well that the trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool. It was not a very good thing to withdraw he thought while drinking in her innocence. No. I was too busy listening to other voices to listen closely to the true one. The one coming from inside. "The death of a beautiful doll is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world," he contemplated as his thoughts turned to fantasy, his monstrous heart started evolving into a beast of burden beating in the cage of his ribs. Demanding escape. "Words have no power to impress the mind without the exquisite horror of their reality," he thought as the silence surged softly backward while he wore his wickedness as a smile and hers ran away from her face.
It is as important where a young man begins his journey with daydreams, as when. Fantasies spawned in youth, with lily pad squatters croaking out nature’s secrets, stir the imagination and set a boy to wonderment. The depths of dark ponds hold the mysteries of life, none of which can be seen by the naked eye. Yet, the agile mind of boyhood finds caverns and creatures seemingly not of this world, not of these times. Silver scaled beasts diving and darting. Snake tailed salamanders lurking amongst the brush, glimpses of color against a black and white backdrop. The hum of a dragonfly, off on a mission, carrying precious information to woodland allies hidden nearby. The mystique of hard-shelled guardians that rise to the surface in calming silence to offer a warning, stay up top to avoid the marsh monsters. As you can see, fishing for whales is not easy work, with their tall tails spinning even taller tales. The riddles of the life of a man begin with a boy, a pole, and rickety boat. ~ Francesca
Looking into the lens I ask myself: people spot a big black lens, and they worry about what they are doing, or how their hair looks, but nobody sees the person holding the camera. I'm Big Shot and I had fallen hard for the whole gadgetry, eye-like nature of the thing. A tiny piece of glass slowing, bending, organizing light, the film keeping the image like a secret, tucked neatly into the sleek black box, like bugs in a jar. The first cameras had only inventors, buffs and enthusiasts to operate them. Since there were then no professional photographers, there could not be amateurs either. It was a gratuitous, that is, an artistic activity, though with few pretensions to being an art. It was only with its industrialization that photography came into its own as art. What it once took a very intelligent eye to see, anyone can see now. Recently, photography has become almost as widely practiced an amusement as sex and dancing, which means that, like every mass art form, photography is not practiced as an art. Photographers think that everything that is not photographed is lost, as if it never existed, and therefore in order to really live you must photograph as much as you can, and to photograph as much as you can you must either live in the most photographable way possible, or else consider photographable every moment of your life.
I drove all night and arrived at yesterday. Or could it be the day before? The daguerre'd past can grow foggy for a girl that does not check rear-view mirrors. Planning for this trip never occurred to me, so here I am pondering what I will do with this rare chance at rewriting my story. I knew it was a trip I would have to undertake, my heart would not have it any other way; this stubborn part of me that refuses defeat, that stays here, that refuses to leave, to fade. I feel him here in this place, a lingering phantom. Oh, I might say many things, but I very well may turn this car around and go find a new company. After all, we already tried this, didn’t we? I think I will venture out on my own. Maybe there is something in yesterday that I missed the first time around. It would be a shame to waste this opportunity. Although, I would have to drive far to find a day that does not have his scent. I am not sure if the road will ever lead away from him. I will not fight destiny, if I end up on his street, I will take love’s gift to me. For now, I am laid back. I will stay in this moment and soak up yesterday's sun, feeling his revenant eyes on my bare thighs, our hearts on the run. ~ Francesca
The camera went insistently around the gorgeous sealed white body, examining and making notes of its deep sleep and history. Dear C. S. De Ville, you are hiding layers and layers of warm dreams and richness. Thrilled by this rare white find the camera lost track of time, to be suddenly startled by a faint movement that disturbed the morbid mossy stillness. The old beauty wearily yawned: "What a persisting warm clicking, so alien to my death." She exhaled a feeble breath: "What is this emptiness where the sun seems not to gleam by day, nor the moon by night? What is this deep sleep that fell upon me?" She quivered and lifted her eyes unto the shattered horizon on a mapping created by cracks and rust, shadows of memories fell upon her foggy windshield, the silence was broken by this movement outside her wintry coffin. The glorious white Cadillac De Ville, Sedan, four doors, Hard Top 1960, the dream of all dreamers - now just an image of herself. A whole era was ready to spring to life but her memory faded, what is left is a sad smile, which deepened the lines on her wrecked face. She felt cold and rusty but didn’t bother asking who and why surrendering to the clicks that bring her back to her past golden glory and give her eternity. With despair, she sighed: "I was the aspired prize, implied under the glitter blinding those who came chasing for a richer existence. I lost it all; wealth and beauty are buried deep under this crystal white meth. White trash? No, no, no! Winter’s Bone? Yes, you can call me Winter's Bone!" ~ Shadia Alem