Through the square window

Thanksgiving. It pours; a menacing sky. I hope for a break in the rain so I can take pictures. That seems unlikely: it won’t clear up until Saturday. I retreat to the studio, fondling some of my medium-format cameras: a Mamiya RZ67, a Hasselblad 500 C/M, a Rolleiflex and a Fuji GW690, a monstrous rangefinder […]

Common refrains

This is my first post in a year. My passion for typewriters, books and fly-fishing hasn’t abated, but I have focused my energies on photography projects. Since my last post I have published five photography books: “300 X 200,” “Feeling My Way Toward The Door,” “Urban Poems,” “The Open-Air Bookstore” and “Fragments,” my latest collection, […]

Photo essay: Poetry in the parking lot

I’ll let you decide on my definition of poetry. The premise is that beauty, or at least traces of it, surrounds us in urbanscapes. Among concrete, asphalt and the fumes of cars,  roots take hold as they are uprooted, recomposing our ways of seeing through their tenacity. What stays with us is redefined. These were taken in a parking lot at […]

Photo essay: The Rosicrucian Fellowship

  I learned about the Rosicrucians after my girlfriend visited the grounds in the hills of Oceanside, CA, in December. The eeriness of the place struck us: it seemed abandoned, but one felt eyes peering from the dilapidated buildings. Although there is housing for the needy, I saw almost no people and cars while photographing the temple grounds from December to March. […]

Life at the swap meet

It started as a lark: go to the swap meet in Oceanside, California, just to check it out and maybe find some cheap cameras. I had told a good friend about a project involving an alternate take on downtown Oceanside, and she suggested a narrower focus. The project became a reality after a few trips. […]

The poet’s camera

I haven’t posted in months: I’ve been busy with correspondence and, recently, new and old photo projects. Photography is an integral part of my artistic career: I started shooting in my boyhood with a Polaroid camera. Before I put aside “Urban Poems & Other Explorations” (a series of urbanscapes in California) eight years ago, I […]

Triumph Perfekt

I had to wait months to relish this one: the drawband  snapped during shipping, and it lay idle as a wounded bear for months. My handyman fashioned one out of twine. The repair was complicated, and involved drilling a new hole for the twine in the drum. After two days, my friend got it going. […]

Cut lines

While compiling my last collection, The Elastic Dome, I began a series of poems titled “The Radio Odes” using various cut-up techniques. Some of those surrealist works were included in the book. They were composed by arranging excerpts from feature shows and news reports from a popular broadcasting station. I wrote down the snippets that struck me, rearranged and tweaked them, and added a […]

Olympia Simplex

This one gave me a hell of a time. The carriage kept sticking halfway, though sometimes it only stalled, piling on letters.  I oiled it, cleaned it, shook it (small pieces of rubber came out), pried it with a screwdriver and damn nearly slammed it against the wall. It frustrated me for three weeks. And […]

The afterglow

Publishing The Elastic Dome, my new poetry collection, was anticlimactic. I got home late in the evening, exhausted: no feelings of exuberance and triumph. I drank merlot, wrote to a friend, and listened to records of Dylan Thomas reading his poetry. In hindsight, that seems fitting: writing is a solitary craft. I also knew there […]