Old Box #11: Bothering the World and Being Bothered by It Because Reality is Alive!

Both in the red and both in the ring, both an Other versus another, the new bot that is always there, there in the black and white where the broth begins, there in the rivalry, homegrown, at the bottom so don’t be annoyed. Don’t be one of those image-makers who enters a photograph and can’t get out or worse, don’t be one of those viewers not allowed, by the image, to enter. All photographs shout the exact same thing, “All bodies are worlds, and all worlds are bodies.” Lit like the levels of light that make the flesh of life, reality is alive. It lives off of us, us off of it. If it bothers you when someone lifts a camera in your direction, your birthmark is probably not the result of the invisible collision between an insult and your last nerve. Most people want to see a powerful image not be a part of one.

Through the back of the end zone, a beginning. Mama thinks they are winning, Daddy thinks they are losing. The camera eats with its mouth open. The camera snores. It can’t tie its own tie. All its organs are named after demons. Please, please,” the imitative seasons beg him, “Please come home a winner!” I am bothered by this. The camera has a problem with the toilet seat, has never untwisted a mason jar of peaches. Mosquitoes are the worse; one points, the other shoots. Blood being fires, the life in you is unrecognizable. A bothersome force. Up, down, to the side, civilizations neither begin nor end. Everything the inhabitants say, irks the image until tone is just another form of tension. To get the picture, the foreground, I had to get my feet wet. Slimy toes green as toads, no filter. I had to be a stranger among assumptions. And because every stereo types, I was peeled by spinning whispers.

Same Team Rivals / St. Petersburg, Florida / TSE / 2023

O annoying camera caught up in the spiritual act of our shared respiration, how did you know (ahead of the journey) that someone would stand in the earthly frame blocking the path. That someone is an anchor, a gatekeeper, one of those motionless saboteurs who sits by a glass of water as if it were a telescope and juries a room full of decisions. I’ve seen photographs of this but to make one requires a very wide inner focusing. Something happened in ________ and someone was killed in _______. The edges of history are a blur, an empty pyre scorching a pinhole. Is it possible to fit a piece of that, of this conflict, the tragedy that ends in a rangefinder of rage, in a pretty picture of paradise? The map of the world roars, tables of contents like tables of continents, and thanks to photography the thin skin of words like “negative” have more than one meaning. Hidden disclosure: eye level does not end where it meets the ground.

Almost the Center of Everything / St. Petersburg, Florida / TSE / 2022

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