Tag Archives: photographs

Picture It

A Blue Jay hops
In my autumn garden
From the fence

To the red wood chips
Don’t photograph me
He says among the green

I’m not in the lens
I’m the tail feathers I preen
You can’t capture

The summer song I sing
The way I hop
So the spots

Of colors blend
The  blue
And the white

Winters I’ve seen
And with each picture
I am forever

A machine thing
I am forever
Blue and white

Don’t photograph me
Remember me
Until the spring.


She had tattoos of photographs. It was the first thing I noticed. And they weren’t Polaroids either. But her body art was framed like pictures, mostly in landscape, collage’d across her calf like a scrapbook. Frozen slivers of light and time, divided by the rule of thirds. You could tell that whoever took the originals knew a thing or two about composition. Or was it the artist who arranged the images in just that way? I thought perhaps that they were photographs that she had taken as a child with a cardboard Kodak camera. The pictures came out sloppy, clumsy, but the memories were true. In this way they were immortalized with the Lichtensteinian precision of a needle by a steady hand. These instants that once left their scars within her, now scarred her from without. Sure, the details of the moments may have changed as she looked back at them, but they were frozen now the way she knew them, the way she wanted them to be. If the pictures changed in the translation from celluloid to ink, did the moments change, too? Did her memories, or more, like a butterfly in time? Did the essence, or the purpose of the pictures change? Once they were honest and real, specific instants of light, captured and kept and then brought back to life in a chemical bath. Now in this new medium, they had become something else entirely. Did the tattoo artist play the role of translator, or adaptor? Both rely heavily on interpretation — it becomes his perception of her moments, of her memories. Of her life. The back of her leg had become a strip of film, unrolled and exposed, and I couldn’t help but wonder where the negatives were, and what they looked like in their sepia tinge. I tried to read their story the way that I read comics, a sequential narrative postulated in the panels, but she walked away too quickly and so the page was turned. I finished my lunch and went back to work.

Time to leave…

I am home. Back in Colorado in the house that used to feel so comfortable. The simple drive to the grocery store brings memories of laughter and frustration as I spent years cruising every inch of this town. Three years ago I couldn’t wait to escape, and I made few attempts to stifle my desire to get away. Even now, I go to school 800 miles away, spend my summers on the farthest coast, and make plans to not be in town during the long winter break. So, hell, I’ve been a bit too nostalgic for my own good in the last couple of days. As I cleaned out my shelves I came across a box of notes and cards from my younger days.

All of the notes from my older high school days are in a box- and glancing at them reminded me of beautiful people that I was lucky enough to spend considerable amounts of time with. As I read old stories of daily woes, I found myself searching for older notes and older interactions. Older insights into an old life. And I couldn’t find many. As I tried my best to think back to what may have happened to them, I remembered the day that I trashed them. My reasoning: It was time to grow up, move on, and buck this note-saving trend. I was going into ninth grade at the time. In retrospect, it did not serve as an attempt to grow up but rather a true extinction of my childhood crushes and romances. I implore you all, save everything that somebody takes the time to truly write to you. Delete your emails and messages- keep letters and notes. There is something truly beautiful in a handwritten piece that can bring joy to your heart and memories to your head.

Now, a twenty year-old, I find myself thinking of the people who I would like to see. If only briefly, who would I truly want to reconnect with. I was lucky enough to know a number of fantastic individuals; they have maintained their friendships with eachother and I have left indefinitely. I hope they all know that I wish them true happiness and success in whatever they pursue. Ya’ll are great people. Don’t forget it.

Thank you for who I have become by knowing you.