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Writing through Photographs

asomeshwar's picture

Looking down at the ground


                                                            the earth holds a world


            all on its own.


People associate you with me and me with you and believe that we are one. I am me and you are you.

People don’t acknowledge that we were our own before we became best friends.

My frustration doesn’t mean that I don’t love you. I do. I promise, I do.




How much further to wander before you get lost? Before the light stops falling on your face in shadows and you’re in complete darkness? How much longer till the trees engulf you? Before you’re trapped in another’s home?

You may think you own the place, but remember you’re just a guest.


If life were music, I’d be pianissimo and you, fortissimo.
(Louder, bolder, more confident)

If life were a metaphor, I’d be a star and you, the sun.
(You always shone brighter)

 But life isn’t music and life isn’t a metaphor.
(Because I still remember the times we had and it’s all lost to you)


Tree climbing --> childhood --> freedom --> security --> happiness



Death and art.



I built a home in you.
You showed me what comfort truly is and how warm and welcoming it can be.
Thank you.



Life and death: it's a cycle.



Anne Dalke's picture

I’m stunned by the quality of these photographs, and curious to know how you made them: they really are gorgeous.

I’m liking, too, the cutting back and forth between image and word, and have enjoyed puzzling over the “slant” relationship between them. The words are, for me, less successful than the images (“Looking down at the ground/the earth holds a world/all its own” says –grammatically—that the earth is looking down, but the image is of your friend doing this. I’m sure it can/could—perhaps was even meant?--to be both, but I got confused @ the very outset…).

My second, and most profound, confusion had to do with who “you” is—grammatically, me; visually, your friend (speaking to the other friend in the photos? and/or spoken to by you, the photographer?); ecologically, the earth, the world, one with you, a best friend, beloved…? Hm, not so sure…

The list of words seems random, not parallel. I can’t make them cohere (but maybe I’m not “supposed” to?). The claim that “life isn’t a metaphor, because I still remember the times we had and it’s all lost to you” doesn’t make sense to me.  I’d like to understand more/better how “freedom-> security.” And so forth…

As I just wrote to Purple Finch, I’d like more explanation from you—reflections on how this exercise contributes to our discussion, over the past few weeks, about challenging normative modes of representation. We’ve been playing with mixing up language, replacing the conventional subject-object-verb sequence with intransitive forms, nouns with verbs root verb forms with progressive (“ing) ones….do you (and if so, how do you) also see these photographic and poetic exercises as engaging in a similar acts? Are they “purely” creative, or also analytic? What “critical making” is expressed in this project?

In making it, you have of course violated 13 years of schooling that asked you to follow directions, to master conventional forms of showing that you’ve learned the subjects you’ve been instructed in….so what has happened, in this process, to the traditional analytic paper? (A continuation, surely, of the questions you were asking, last month, as you queried the subjective-objective dichotomy….)