by Hammie Fay
Is Nick Jonas the new Usher? All white everything the new black? Nigella the new chia? Is two the new one? The year is 2015 and the future is now. Mallwalking is the workout you need in your life.
Imagine hiking indoors without any incline or bugs and surrounded by the sweet scent of soft salted pretzels. I dare you to find something wrong with that sentence.
I contacted a mall walker I found on the world wide web for her take on the workout trend that is not quite sweeping the nation.
ME: So how did you get involve in the mall walk movement?
MALLWALKER: Well it was kind of on accident really. I went out to a shopping mall one day and slowly started to realize, I didn’t actually need anything. I don’t enjoy giving the appearance that I am doing something without purpose, so instead of turning around empty handed…I just…kept…walking.
ME: Wow, interesting. How often would you say you go mall walking?
MALLWALKER: I try to go at least every other day. On Fridays I reward myself with an Orange Julius.
ME: What’s your routine like?
MALLWALKER: Well, I never go mall walking without my skechers shapeups. I know I’ve heard some lies about them being ineffective but it is my goal in life to look like the coolest demi lovato fan in all of america.
ME: Do you mall walk alone or with a group?
MALLWALKER: Mostly alone. I have a great group of internet friends though and sometimes I chat with them online while I walk the mall.
ME: Are your internet friends also mall walkers?
MALLWALKER: OH HELL YA. I met them on a Facebook group called “mall walk america” I even met my fiancé in the group!
After learning that mall walking was also a great way to meet a spouse I charged to my local mall and IMMEDIATELY got to walking.
I wore my freshest skechers and my most secure fanny pack so all the other mall walk buffs knew I meant business. The rest of the morning was a blur partly due to excitement but mostly due to xanax. However, I did leave with the phone number to the cutest employee at Auntie Anne’s and a newfound appreciation for the human body and all of its wonders.
Learn more about the art of Mallwalking from the folks with their finger on the pulse at Mallwalk America
by Harrison Parks
she wears black tees emblazoned with slogans--
'lie down i think i love you,' and other
callings for our lips to tease and play--
coy expressions; one is a challenge to hurry up &
get in her past. bright minds like hers inevitably
burn through people to find truth in flame.
gladly, i am kindling for her fire's mise en place.
no regrets--save that we don't trick ourselves
as many can to prolong it. though i am no
stranger to cynics, somehow i cannot yet
relegate her and me to that quick inferno;
we burn through a city; through sister cities;
fuck, we consume nations.
all the tricks one needs to be led to
paradise are in her repertoire. it has been a day
or two and she already is a second sight.
unlike most, she masters every sense.
we both need little affirmation. obviously,
this time-frame speaks to foolishness but
instinct quickly knows where it ought,
needs to be led. forces of nature fall into place
without dawdling. the words marked here
i can postpone so she won't know of them
until marks of time or bruises she leaves ebb
away fear. we incubate. soon is soon enough.
soon is eternally far away; soon is the future
that has become our muse. we are consumed by soon
and burn sacrifices from her admirers; though i am
her chief admirer and i shall always burn brighter.
someday, men may topple her monuments.
these words remain eternal.
Read more from Harrison in his ongoing project The Banter Ship
No one believes my tale . . . what happened . . . no one, that is, but the two most mentally ill people in my mental health support group. This sort of thing just doesn’t happen! But maybe I should tell you about “the curse” I live under that led up to the incident before I tell you what happened.
I live under a curse! I don’t know when it started . . . yet over the last two years it has become obvious. I have had nothing go right for two years! I hear my beloved optimist reader: “Fishspit! You are just looking at the negative! You dismiss the positive!” I hear the cognitive behaviorist counselor say, “Fishspit, you have developed a negative cognitive schema. You need to change your cognitions.” Bullshit! I’m under a curse!
Does a person who gets in four wrecks in four months have a problem of mere cognition? Hell no! There’s someone out to get him! I can hear you! You blame me! Say I am cognitive deficient and caused the wrecks . . . but no! I admit to two of them . . . but the other two . . . well, I got rear ended. I was sitting at red lights.
Everything was going wrong! Had been for so long I can’t even remember what to regale you with as proof since it was a daily occurrence! While I try to cull some of the big miseries from my curse, I’ll go ahead and regale you with a strange tale.
I had me a girl. I loved her. She always had good luck! It irked me! But her karma was so good. It was just unbelievable! She didn’t lie, cheat, and steal like yours truly. No . . . she was a good person. I’ve often wondered if my curse is me paying for my decades of terrible actions. But in all reality, I believe it is some woman who has put a curse on me. Really! I was lousy to a lot of them when I was a drunk . . . a bad drunk . . . I must have hurt one so bad that she put the whammy on me . . . a voodoo curse.
Back to the girl though . . . damn! . . . I’m always taking you on long tangents reader. I don’t know how to avoid it. How do you avoid rambling off like this? It’s my poor bean. It’s so fried. But that girl! She didn’t do bad things! She really was good! A good woman?! I know it’s hard to believe. But she was one if there ever was one. As a matter of fact . . . as I ponder it here . . . every broad I went out with when I was so rotten was a good person. Hmm. Maybe those stories mama told me that all women were bad (except my mama) weren’t true. Maybe misogynist dudes like me have it all wrong about broads. Hmm?
But back to the girl . . . goddamned . . . she was a good soul! I ain’t lyin’ either! I ain’t stretching the truth! She was my girl and we loved each other a lot. I lost her though. I was too mentally ill for her . . . I liked to live too hard and fast. She wanted a smart, mellow fellow. I sure wasn’t either of those things. So she left me for a smart, mellow fellow.
Ugh! I’ve got to do it reader . . . I’m so sorry . . . but . . . well . . . I’ve got to take you on another circuitous route . . . but I’ll get back to “the tale” soon . . . . . I promise.
In my heartbreak over this girl, I spent a lot of time reading 18th century British poets. I do that when I’m low. Somehow I stumbled upon this poet from this period of literary genius whom I had never heard of before. His name is John Bampfylde. Nothin’, or hardly anything, is known about him. He wrote 16 sonnets . . . fell in love with the famous painter Joshua Reynolds’s niece (or daughter, or some other pretty she-devil related to Sir Joshua) . . . and went insane from unrequited love.
He then threw a lot of rocks through Joshua Reynolds’s windows . . . and mad as a hatter at age 25, he was carted off to the lunatic asylum. He spent 20 years there! They let him out at age 45 and he immediately got consumption and died. And I complain about my lot in life! Sheesh! Here was a fellow that had worse luck than me! Well . . . almost. I became intrigued.
His sonnets were published once in his lifetime. Sometime in this century, an eccentric sort fell in love with Bampfylde’s sonnets and published the 16 of them in an edition of 300. It cost me 50 bucks but I got ahold of a copy. These were the first sonnets I’d ever read (except for a handful of Shakespearian which bored me), and I dug them. I really did. I decided to learn the form and write 16 of my own. There are a number of rhyme schemes in the sonnet form. You’ve heard of the Shakespearian sonnet. It’s the most commonly used form. I think! I’m no fuckin’ scholar, so don’t quote me on that. . . but it’s the one they taught us in high school. Bampfylde deviated from this form and so I used his rhyme scheme.
But I needed a muse! I needed a fair dame to write the 16 sonnets to. I chose the girl who broke my heart. I wrote sad sonnets to what we had, and what we’d never have again. I had written 13 of the sonnets or so . . . worked goddamned hard on them! One night I was writing on one late into the dark hours, but had stalled out. I couldn’t finish a line. “Fuck it,” I concluded and put the journal containing all the sonnets so far writ onto the nightstand beside my bed. I took my anti-psychotic meds, turned off the lamp, and laid back.
The mind never shuts up of course. Mine kept working at the line I couldn’t finish. Whammo! Hot dog damn and diddly! The line that eluded me! I had it! I turned on the light excitedly and reached for the sonnet journal . . . it was gone!!! Reader! I am not a believer in weird shit! I’m a pragmatist! Obstinately sensible! Way too imbecilic to appreciate the fantastic! These things just don’t happen! Figuring it had to have fallen down behind the bed, I crawled under . . . nope. Must be in the bed . . . tore the bed apart . . . nope. I started feeling really weird . . . totally zizzled in the noggin! Already dizzled in the head enough, this sort of situation sends me to the other side of the rainbow. I freak out!
I tore my room apart. Nothing! I started searching in places it could not possibly be! I checked all the other rooms I go into . . . rooms I hadn’t even been in that day. Nothing! I was going mad. I knew I wouldn’t be doing any sleeping anymore. It was a Saturday night. I live in my parent’s basement as I’m going to school and can’t afford both tuition and rent at present. My folks were upstairs asleep. I did not want to wake them over this. They already think I’m bonkers! Hell . . . one night last December I got a push by God . . . up the stairs. . . at 3 a.m. . . . and God told me to go to my mama and tell her Jesus loved her. Really! I was standing there at the bottom of the stairs and something came along and swooshed me up the stairs! Right on into the bedroom . . . I didn’t even walk . . . I floated! I swear. I did it . . . which totally confused my shaken awake mother as I gave her the message. It was crazy! But . . . well . . . hell. . . that’s a different story. I want to talk about that fucking sonnet journal. . . not God. I just wanted to show you, dear reader, why they are wary of me. I chose not to give them the further opportunity to wonder about me . . . and I laid there in my bed staring at the ceiling.
When you are awake all night, the chattering mind comes up with some doozies! My mind decided that my lost love was dead! And her spirit had come by to take the sonnet journal. I wanted to call her and check on her . . . but like I said about my folks . . . she already thought I was batty . . . a regular doodlesump! I didn’t want to run her off anymore than I had. At that time, though she’d kicked me to the curb, we still were in communication and civil to each other. Deciding she was dead, I decided to think what I’d wear to her funeral.
Dressed up in my imagination in my suave black suit and slick Italian-made wingtips . . . for the funeral you know . . . man I was looking sharp . . . well . . . I laid in bed, eyes wide open . . . waiting for my folks to get up to go to church . . . so I could nab them before they left to come have a look-see into my abode. Surely they’d spot the journal. I was just missing it somehow. My parents were even more practical than I! Things didn’t disappear in their world. Hell no! Just didn’t happen. The laws of the universe that we all follow slavishly . . . they too followed unquestioningly. It’s a comfortable way to live.
I certainly wasn’t comfortable in my own mind. I waited. They were up. I waited. I could tell breakfast was going via my nozzle. I jumped up and nabbed them! My mom went at it; then my dad. Every nook and corner! Every cobweb! The cat’s behind! Places the damned thing would have to shrink up something awful to fit in to. My mother was getting flustered. This scared me. The woman’s a rock! She told me that they had to get on to church but when they got home we’d all do a full spring cleaning of my bedroom. It would certainly show up. But there was a twang of nervousness in her voice. She was a little flumdiddled. That had me feeling . . . well . . . spooked!
After they left I lay back down and stared at the ceiling. I wanted to call the girl and see if she was up yet, but I didn’t wanna wake her up with a frantic “Are you dead?!” Then if she was I’d be really spooked! Or if she wasn’t, how could I explain the sonnet disappearance? She was even more pragmatic than the rest of us put together! She’d think I was trying to pull a fast one! An attempt at getting her back involved with me . . . in some unfortunate manner. I got my pride goddamed it! I loved (think I still do too) that girl though she don’t love me no more . . . and besides my pride, I still have a modicum of concern for others left, and I didn’t want to disturb her sleep or her peace.
I'd call her later. If she was dead there weren’t no hurry. If she was alive there wasn’t any either. There commenced two hours of dreadful waiting. Thems two hours I’d like to have back . . . staring at the ceiling. And worse . . . thinking! Thinking that some evil spirit was cursing me. Damn! My ass hurt from the reaming I’d been getting by good old bad luck. Bad, bad luck! And let’s not forget hardship! Hell no!
Finally! The folks got home. We donned our gloves, grabbed 52 brands of cleaning supplies, and went to town. We cleaned every inch of that room! No notebook! My mother sent my dad to clean the rest of the basement. Places I didn’t even go to! She had a new theory that I’d been sleep walking. “I didn’t sleep walk mama! I turned the light off, thought of a verse, turned the light on, and it was gone!”
My mother, totally out of ideas, well reasonable ones suggested, “Maybe Pip took it.” Pip! My 3 and a half pound 15 year old cat! Was she joking? Her face didn’t imply she was. But every spot had been checked! Double checked! Quondrupledouble checked! The sonnet journal was gone.
Over the next week I lived in a surreal world. I tried to live the practical life. . . but that journal kept popping into my mind. Was I really cursed? Maybe it was that Jewish girl I used to tease so bad! She’d moved to New Orleans! Had she put the hoodoo on me?! I was getting paranoid! I spent hours going over the broads in my life and trying to figure out which one hated me the most and had a personality inclined toward witchcraft. I visited one of my local gurus. She had me keep something precious in my pocket (I chose a clipping of Pip’s belly fur), to immerse myself in salt water baths, and to say “return to sender” whenever I could . . . all this to send this curse back to the one that sent it. I did them.
Things seemed to get better . . . I started to slip into a normal routine. The girl was not dead. Life went on. I started a new set of sonnets called “Who stole my sonnets!?” All sonnets about broads that had good reason to put the hex on me!
Things settled. I concentrated on school. Then . . . about 2 months later . . . I woke up . . . sitting on the floor . . . three feet from the side of the bed I sleep on . . . yeah . . . you guessed it! The sonnet journal!
This piece is a part of Fishspit's ongoing project Wiseblood. Learn more about the author and the project at WeMakeZines.
by Raquel Wasserman
Jung says we all have a feminine half and until you share it, you’re not really you. Toby liked girls. He had a line-up of chicks over the phone, on afternoons at the pizza shop, and in class. He would poke around his mother's closet for high heels from the 70’s, sinking into them with sensual ecstasy. Then he’d flip through her beaten up Cosmo's, tracing the sexed up pages of Janice Dickinson gingerly.
This tranny nonsense just wasn't done in Clark, his small Nevada town amid the grand arid desert of America. Maybe it was a dryness that extended to the simple people who lived there. The boys he knew were brawny and virile animals. They beat him up, and often. He was the Pretty Boy.
He knew he was not gay -- not at all. He loved girls. Their world, after all, was the world he wanted to be a part of. When they gossiped at the bus, he felt a longing in his deep heart. Maybe the problem was his connection with girls was too tight, too personal. He knew their souls like the back of his hands.
He knew what they wanted: to be pretty, to be popular, to make varsity, to date the cool guys. And he had even chosen a girl to date: Stephanie Koupos, who sat in front of him in Biology class.
Stephanie was an upper-middle-class girl who smelled of patchouli, and wanted to go to school at Brandeis. He had a hopeless crush on her and her gorgeous kinks of Greek hair. She had a big bosom under her creamy sweaters, which to him exemplified all that was feminine.
She was a very smart, competent girl. But he was a young man, and he loved dresses, and Nevada didn't cut it. He had a big poster on his wall of the only place he knew he could survive. New York.
And from the minute he went there, it was his town.
At eighteen he ran away from his violent stepfather, who would not deal with his rebellion. He had his whole trashy/ classy vamp look down by now. A long black satin dress with red Jimmy Choos. Powdered face, china white, with a smoky Bardot eye and nude lip gloss. And he bought a stunning wig from an Orthodox store in Williamsburg.
He tried a dozen shades, from blonde to red or nut brown. But his favorite was a black wig by Fosse. It cost over 200 dollars. Straight across his shoulder with bangs. He loved black.
It opened every door. It was so beautiful that the bus drivers would ask him out on dates. Then he would open his mouth, and they would hear his low voice and grow pale with Republican fury. He got kicked out of a lot of places for his real voice.
He changed his last name to Fatone. He liked the sound of Fatone. It sounded like a wonderful gangster with a dame in the back room. All the other drag queens thought he looked like Ava Gardner, when she did that cult movie The Killers. He was eighteen and new, and they showed him all the stores and clubs.
He met a blonde model, named Vega. She was his new dearest friend. She was lovely, from Missouri. He would brush the knots out of her hair as they discussed makeup. She was climbing to the top of fashion, no sweat, until she met him. He destroyed her career. Her addiction to drugs took her down. He had taught her this. He felt a little guilty.
He had another bad habit. He liked to tease straight guys. He would get them to buy him a drink. He would get presents, rings, dresses, lingerie, whatever. And then he would unceremoniously drop the guy. It worked out perfectly.
He realized that city life was changing him.
He was becoming evil.
He was becoming hard and tough and unsentimental. There was a Frank O'Hara poem, about the wonderful aspect of cruelty. He got that now. The coldness as comfort.
One night, he came home late from a club at three AM and his makeup was dripping off. A man on the street had tried to punch his lights out. He wasn't in the best mood.
“Queer!” the punk had screamed and grabbed onto Toby's Fosse wig and ripped, “Go back home!”
Did he have a home, he wondered? Where was his soul really going to? If he couldn't blend in New York, where could he blend? This feminine half, this masculine half, where were they going to?
He’d staggered into a deli for a bagel. His expensive wig was off, and two teenage girls from Brooklyn fawned over him at the counter.
He went before his mirror. Removed his base, his false eyelashes, the Chanel gloss. And with his face bare, it struck him that he was a very handsome man. He looked like the kind of guy to be a lawyer or doctor or something. He looked very staid. He should have a wife and kids by now. But he didn't. He was in transit. He was like New York itself, the beautiful secret that looks like a Swarovski necklace but which is actually a snake.
by Zander Sattee
Find more great art from Zander on his Instagram
by Zachary Scott Hamilton
( 1 ) BALLOONS
My mind is still a balloon full of helium. I am wandering the shale cliffs, I store a few balloons, and a dream, like a good idea, in your home. I found a glass of water in the forest vines, and filled my wandering legs without a doctor. When I arrive at your residence, seven seconds pass. Topics like healing with garlic, the state of the union, homelessness in the inner city make up an hour for me, and when abandoned, a few weeks. I figure if I sit down with you, and bring glyphs into your eyes, and the spinning summer waterfall bathing--I've forgotten about it--and the rest of Berlin unfolds with us, please notify the author Gertrude Stein right as six seconds (you seem pretty sure) are going through equations of creating that seven seconds stuffed in a box with a key.
( 2 ) MID NIGHTHAWK
Earthworms burrow three holes into 4465 east Remington place. China plates, cabinet flower print, vine dreamt, and vertical ladders tied at the top to the painted sun, then the education of light. Healing a freeze-frame with that black hat floating underwater, upside down in a profile, split in screens, two each side of a mule passing Arc St. digging glass with their new album, spectacles like spiders, walls, and a queens hand, gloved-handkerchief umbrellas flying over the ocean. One, spinning nowhere, one in the rainbow. Middletown, turning a record beneath the needle claw, his wife closes herself in eyelashes.
Leprechauns climb out of the pottery all around the floating room. Middletown is a strange place, each bit of burning aroma wanders like tourists to the sea, the passage is in ocher locks of lichen, like arms. For a thousand breakfasts, in a claw foot tub, before moon and flame, bathing in leaves on the webs of sleep near the eaves of a French impersonator, Godfrey, with rockets in her dreams, large green eyes, and delicate hands, flirts with a tv remote. Her finger nails glitter in the static, dreams switch channels, static as she sleeps.
Closely trimmed in a white dance of basil lakes, and parasols that leak out speakers, the boats turn green. The algae, laughing, goat for halloween! Waking (A. in glove), (A. in goat) eating cakes. Godfrey Samples small locks of her keyboard with knife-point algebra. The road lets in floating military backpacks, to wire with solder, and children and Leaf the childrens’ world, just left heart beat, just playback oxygen, Oxen wanderlust.
( 3 ) EATING
Face the symmetrical furniture, the chandeliers, the jacket, the green, neon clock. The angel Auriel makes sure of the favorite pair of color swatch eyes, the best way to the nose, wakes eating cakes in an identical Wednesday, dancing on the slides with a hundred years in a letter to the post office, or over a week, so galactic.
I am curious, humane, sheltered in scarves. I have grown a lot of wings from maple, and friends in New York. I even found a place for the past, and I will have a healthy fear of you who jangle your keys next to the passage in twilight. I join handmade letters from cardboard, kiss under heavens, float to shore, as Zachary.
( 4 ) GERMAN DOLL
At the felt sleeve of the cosmos, the Catalina stairways practice Eucla cod, the Elvers are fed atoms, and suspended in animations so the Danio can gorge on tv commercials.
There are nine awkward turns to go, thanks to the iceberg crystalline. Her first frozen mammoths appear in the story bridge, and reflecting ponds, in the snow suits, and warm tongues.
( 5 ) BLUE INK
Swerve into a hat, into a white whale, a bird, throwing glitter, glowing retina tin can, sewing machine spit, conditioner lathered foam noises. Lurching on a wire, a maple figure, is woven black threads, a new nightmare stitch under the winding of doors, sculpted all hair for songs, and gold furniture, rewind --
by Michael Prihoda
horse to the left
just because you wore a hat doesn't mean it's your birthday
by John Lowther
I can't resist a magnanimous offer like that.
It ain't easy, but you have to work with the material.
It's really really horrible.
The very fact that we disagree brings warmth to my heart.
My philosophy professor recommended that I learn about sports so that I would
have something to talk about with normal people.
What this taxonomy means, I don't know.
All that is left to do is bury my head under my knee and wait for the end.
Reading rosicrucial shit.
I don't know why you would come to that opinion.
Anyhow –I’m out of it– really dumbed down by the desert.
If it was intended only as verbatim reportage then in a sense it's even funnier.
The name comes out of thin air, but seems to fit.
A belt on the car is screeching like the proverbial banshee.
Your rude trimming is in fact terrific.
Asking about summer stock and choice cuts of botany.
It all started after I decided it was time for a return to the body.
Where have all the flowers gone?
That's where I think discussions actually operate.
It adds invisible exclamation points.
I have done nothing but write and translate, and when I finish what I have to do
for the day, the last thing I feel like doing is writing or translating.
Sense of what, or why, is a different issue.
I go at it entirely in the dark.
Whitefish and kipper snacks with too much treble on off-balanced headphones.
And my friend and I looked at each other and went pale.
Enough, this is not really pertinent, but it's an interesting periphery.
Nor am I trying to win.
I can sort of see your comment about that taking some of the fun out of it.
read more from John here
by George Zamalea
Broken free and with it
The parade of gashed angels moving in step
By the edge of the enormous
Galaxies starting to sing:
I'm the uglier one you kill at last, freaky seer!
I'm the seamier one you need to feed, you pervert!
I'm the freakier heart you kiss at last, you bimbo!
Where I am unfinished like a beast,
I am everywhere I am the real explorer
And if you do not believe me,
Go! Go! Go! To the hottest valley
And find underneath any rocks
The virgin snake and squeeze her to death.
Could you feel the fenestration of my fingers?
Could you feel the decontamination of my pain?
Could you feel the warm blood running heavily through your large fingernails and palms?
Can you like it?
Can you feel it?
Do you believe me now that I am a dangerous animal?
Welcome to the same ghostly hour,
Because there are few men who like it
And who love it...
Just a few of them, my dear hawk!
Into you the veins of the sweetness of this flesh
Explosion of your mind, like a rebirth circle, alone against
The black wall of your desire, not the limitless
Thoughts of being your haymaker and the final deliverer,
It will make you see a hibernal angel;
The plotter, you are strong and sick and unique;
And again, and again the sound of Evil rebounds freely:
I'm the uglier one you kill at last, freaky seer!
I'm the seamier one you need to feed, you pervert!
I'm the freakier heart you kiss at last, you bimbo!
Ha! Ha! Ha!
The Black Spell Magic
At the foot of the Wichita Mountains
Where wolves and coyotes and foxes
Grew fat from human fleshes and hearts
A Savannah’s eye reproduced an enormous
Screen of tropical meadow; a face
Lit up like gold underneath a bright shadow
Fascinated by the comical unborn sigh
Or the affection of an equal line:
Iodine lips totally visible come to me
Dancing in multiple but unusual fingernails
This isn't God I am talking about.
It's the Mind.
The Beauty of Being Humans!
As they turned fastest without faces
Less weight than a body with a throne of cloud
Detesting the picture filled with Wonders
Their hands then hoof along their bodies
And shake them with large tongue and cracked heads.
I think they're ghosts or pieces of dead flesh
Coming with it! But wait!
The finite winter emerged from the emptied holes
Of their faces, looking around, as I was asking:
"Are you Isis's maiden goddess from Egypt?
"We're the Black Cloud...!
We are the mutation
We are the salutation
We are the dilatation.
We are the sickened love as tooth-like projections!!!!!!
What do they want? Or have they just arrived
From vacations to visit the tribe of Azteca:
Non-human here nor yellow toque or white
Snake who wished to gallop beside me. I'll not allow it.
"Oh, no," they said. "We're the possessive snake!
The underworld journey and the breathing Grief
Eventually it will bind you!"
And when they kiss my lips (hundreds of them!) these inflaming lips
Under the cold water of this fallen afternoon,
In a reverberating wave below my kindling tunic
I saw the transparencies of the stone
I received all the embraced ashes as an absolute
Night shifting into memory...
The racing Mind!
A memory for a day or so
Filled with passion in its possession
By the rumble glitter tits
Tits of Velvet ants
Tits of my own shadows.
by Robert Leeming
You lined up empty metal film canisters, like bullet casings, across the glass dresser top and filled each one with paper scraps ripped from your notebook covered with bits and pieces, patterns of thought, observations of endless fields through train windows, nothing special, nothing particularly revealing, just little written trinkets ready to be given away.
After each one was loaded you would pass a dozen to me and keep a dozen for yourself and we would duck below the wooden window ledge of our fourth floor room in the Bristol Hotel and toss the canisters out as gifts to the city. Christ Almighty people don’t half kick up a fuss when confronted with the milk of human kindness, consumed by the unruly nature of the presentation rather than the contents, hammering at the door, summoning porters and night porters who would flee their elevator homes throwing back the cage doors with a flourish calling for explanations and room keys.
You were all frowns and vapour in the wardrobe mirror as I threw you your overcoat and you threw me back an inflatable beach ball and you told me to let it down or leave it behind because we couldn’t move quickly with that and I decided to let it down.
In the street I slipped on our own canisters and you cursed me with one of those words you’d picked up while working the zeppelins in that brief period during the twenties when you could make an honest living checking tickets up there.
And I seemed to be recognised in the street, you weren’t, but I seemed to be, everyone seemed to be looking at me and I didn’t know why. Perhaps they recognised me from my television days? My radio days? My Kinetoscope days? My picture book days?
You waved your hands and gestured towards me to hurry up and I did and then I fell backwards and I slipped away again.
by Caitlin Crowley
"The pen is mightier than the sword," — Edward Bulwer-Lytton
I re-examine the surrounding world with my photography: taking a second, closer look, to realize the texture of plant life or see previously unnoticed details for the first time, or the change in perception a strange angle creates. This leads me to photographing small objects in extreme macro, things old and forgotten, and the natural world.
I chose to work in medium format film to achieve a very shallow depth of field. This allows me to print large with high detail. The use of bellows and macro tubes enhances the macro images and creates an even shallower depth of field. I process and shoot with standard roll film, polaroid film, and bulk film I re-spool myself. The technical aspects achievable through medium format film is why I chose it initially, the analog process behind it is what made me continue.
My film never leaves my hands. Whether it is roll film I shot, developed, and printed in the darkroom; or polaroid film that was shot and manipulated to create a transfer, emulsion lift, or recovered negative. I have total control, which comes with the knowledge of where every modification came from. The digital revolution has automated time consuming tasks, aided problem solving by readily providing useful information, gives instant feedback, and makes things more cost efficient. But the ease of use can make it easy to work without thinking. Working in an analog process forces consideration and builds a vested interest in each image. Each image can represent hours or days of work, each has a story of the journey the film and I took.
Caitlin Crowley is a film and darkroom photographer based out of Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her work has recently been published in F-Stop Magazine. In addition to photography, Caitlin enjoys painting, running, roller derby and cooking new foods.
(A found poem based on his last blog post, written the day before he died)
by Josh Medsker
Through articles, books,
I admired film.
Now, I am the universal film,
Some part critic,
some… part of a...
Now I will be able to
be me, or you…
or a film, brilliant and
Thank you all,