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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

Royal KHM

    This is a stunning typewriter that exudes elegance. It’s in great cosmetic shape and seems rarely used: the seller’s relatives said the father liked to collect typewriters but didn’t use them. Besides the customary cleaning and a brushing of type slugs, it was ready to pound paper. But it had a glaring flaw: the capitals were misaligned. […]

Olivetti Lettera 36C

This is delightful electric, and my favorite so far. It was Olivetti’s first portable electric, and was made in the ’70s. It was designed by architect Ettore Sottsass. The first versions had rounded keys which which were later determined to be impractical for faster typing, and later models had rectangular keys. It has a metal […]

L.C. Smith No. 8

Shortly after a renewed interest in older standards, I retrieved this L.C. Smith from the garage, where it had lain dormant since last year. Newer machines held my interest since then, and only a fascination with an Underwood No. 5 drew me back to the venerable standards I had long ignored. I ignored the No. […]

Underwood No. 5

This is the machine that renewed my interest in older American standards, specifically those of the ’20s and ’30s. I’ve had it for a few weeks and can’t put it down: it fascinates and excites me. I love its feel, which I find unique. It’s a great typer, and the pica typeface is stunningly neat. […]

Olivetti Lettera 35

This one ended up in my hands because of a misunderstanding. A friend wrote to me with a Lettera 31, and I was so impressed by the elite typeface that I ordered one–a 35, that is. Only after the purchase did I realize I had confused the two. It turned out to be a happy accident. […]