Drawing and photography are central to my practice. Both make pressing - if sometimes fictitious - claims to the capture of lost moments.


on impending loss, foretold

[...] How could I turn and say: but this is him.
How could I say: he bounded when he walked. 
How could I say: when he came home at night,
A gust of snowy air around his coat,
I drew him closer, holding his lapels;
He caught me by the wrists and closed his eyes. 

How could I say I tried to memorize
The truthful face, his smile a truthful blaze
Untrammeled still. I tried to learn by heart
The light-brouwn gaze: unguarded chrysolite
From such another world that heaven made.
Left iris, with a comet-fleck of gold.
How could I memorize his gentle ways.
The way he mingled friendliness with passion,
Plain dealing, open-handed, unafraid. 
The swift, reflexive generosity. 

His striking conversation, magic ease
In seeking what the other could, then more,
In understanding, warmly understood; 
A quest for truth but not certainty.

And the integrity I idolized:
Another's mystery never trifled with.
No one was belittled in those eyes.


I found a phone booth, place to bawl unheard,
And sank beneath its automatic light.
The phone book hanging from a broken chain -
I drew it to my lap, a sprawling weight
Of paper pulp from long-forgotten trees
Snuffed-out and boiled down and pressed in sheets
Of ashen paper, faintly blue and gray,
A book unreadable and authorless,
A mystical directory of the living, 
Each page a random sample of Creation
And changing version of the Book of Life;
I ran my glove over the listings: throngs;
And found his name, still listed with the living,
Whose stories vanish, leaving only names
Recycled and reused. This faring on
And on, O mendicants. And overheard.

A page that can't be turned. He can't survive.
But let him live. My gloves pressing my eyes,
A thousand stars rotating inwardly
A millimeter past the streamered dark,
And nameless comet-phosphenes streking by.
With an alter, death. Without a place.


Gjertud Schnackenberg, from 'Venus Velvet no. 2,' in Heavenly Questions


The last time I looked, the dog was lying
on the freshly cut grass
but now she has moved under the picnic table.

I wonder what causes her to shift
from one place to another,
to get up for no apparent reason from her spot

by the stove, scratch one ear,
then relocate, slumping down
on the other side of the room by the big window,

or I will see her hop onto the couch to nap
then later find her down
on the Turkish carpet, her nose in the fringe.

The moon rolls across the night sky
and stops to peer down on the earth,
and the dog rolls through these rooms

and onto the lawn, pausing here and there
to sleep or to stare up at me, head in her paws,
to consider the scentless pen in my hand

or the open book on my lap.
And because her eyes always follow me,
she must wonder, too, why

I shift from place to place,
from the couch to the sink
or the pencil sharpener on the wall –

two creatures bound by the wonderment
though unlike her, I have never once worried
after letting her out the back door

that she would take off in the car
and leave me to die
behind the solid locked doors of this house.

Billy Collins, 'Two Creatures'


on staying at home

[...] Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?
Is it right to be watching strangers in a play
in this strangest of theatres?
What childishness is it that while there's a breath of life
in our bodies, we are determined to rush
to see the sun the other way around?
The tiniest green hummingbird in the world?
To stare at some inexplicable old stonework,
inexplicable and impenetrable,
at any view,
instantly seen and always, always delightful?
Oh, must we dream our dreams
and have them, too?
And have we room
for one more folded sunset, still quite warm?

"Is it lack of imagination that makes us come
to imagined places, not just stay at home?"
Or could Pascal have been not entirely right
about just sitting quietly in one's room?

Continent, city, country, society:
the choice is never wide and never free.
And here, or there . . . No. Should we have stayed at home,
wherever that may be?"

Elizabeth Bishop, from 'Questions of Travel,' 1956 (in Brazil)