Monday, August 13, 2012
On the flipside, I remember every single portrait and shot I took, clear as day. If I took your portrait it's imprinted in my mind, and I promise I won't lose it until the Alzheimer's hits. These photos were supposed to be my contribution to all the wonderful people I met and the places I found. I wanted to give something back to you. But, once again, I am empty-handed. I guess, though, al fondo, all the words and all the photos are just a long-winded way to say that I won't forget.
Won't forget how regal my Chilean papa looks cracking jokes at the head of the table, with his kind eyes and his sad smile. My mama doing dishes and singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow in the pale winter light of the kitchen or having a cigarette out the window.
Ben in the subterranean, with light in his eyes and a road to catch and the world to meet. Leah in the sunset looking out at the urban sprawl, unsure if it rolls to or away from her, Imogen sipping box wine on the beach with the tide trying to reach her tranquila tranquila.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
student protests on the 21s. I believe they were looking at a clown harassing the cops...
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Sunset is most beautiful when it's the most grave--brightest light, sign of rising hope the closer it grows, when one is lost amidst the backroads. Hustle down the abandoned streets, past Jack Nicholson on a monster's body, past Colon. Hustle past a house of screeching parakeets: which is it--the purple house the orange with rainbow blankets in the windows? Oh, it's a wild cloud of sound in there, is there a woman in a Lay-Z-Boy sitting by those cages with eyes closed, sighing, ah, the sound of home?
Where to now? to the park with tear gas residue, making all the skaters sneeze, upa dark alley and into the arms of famililar faces and your favorite poor-man's beer. Once you've said goodbyes, into the slopes of cerros once again. Sparkling lights wavering tot he sound of drums and frantic trombones. Now a man's voice rings, a ballad down the winding streets and I'm alone on dirty stairs an for a moment I'm at peace.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Thank you for sunsets with mate and bread on the beach, thank you for palta and hot sipping cacao and Waking Life conversations, thank you for flaming shots and girls who wanna be DJs, thank you for live music and impromptu moshpits, thank you thank you thank you.
We put a leash on them.
On the wolves, we put a leash on our wolves, we tied ‘em up tight. Wrapped their claws and wrapped their jaws, and now they cannot get us. But oh, I feel them breathing sometimes, growling in my chest cavity—it makes me nervous! The trauma of their canines, I used to dream of that pain, twisting in my gut.
We a put a leash on them, and we don’t know how long it’ll last, and we don’t know if their submission is our chance at freedom or this is all a big mistake.
And what did you do once the wolves were subdued?
Well, instead of being chased, we could finally chase down anything and so
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
work in process. Thanks, Imogen, for sharing this place with me.
Love Letter From the Desert to the moon
What has become of us?
I awoke in the middle of the night
Cracked and frenzied
With fossils in my veins
And limestone beneath my nails.
I had dreamt of darkness:
I dreamt I’d lost you among the stars,
Shimmering beaded curtains
Filled with gemstone arthropods and diamond twins.
Had you dropped off the horizon?
Had you failed the night because you could not face me?
My spine stamped with the footsteps of so many travelers,
My tears dried to ancient riverbeds.
The vastness of your absence
gaped at me
My mouth tasted of ash
As my kingdom crumbled into clay.
But in my terror I awoke
And none of it was true.
You were there
Staring down from such a distance.
Now, I lie beneath your silver sheets
And shiver without solace.
I forget your scent:
Do you smell the way ice tastes
Did we fit together
The forget has deepened canyons in me:
They howl with the wind
And I cannot quiet them.
I sift the smoothest rocks between my fingers
And close my eyes
Trying to remember.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
It is the sea gone off
With the sun."
(From the poem that is my present mantra: "Festivals of Patience," Arthur Rimbaud. go read it read it read it)
The moon rising over the fence around my back yard.
I have a deep fascination for bus drivers and the things they decorate their buses with. I hope that's not weird.
Our homes were skeletons we could not escape from, our skeletons were homes we could not escape from
beautiful sand patterns at playa negra, concon.
Monday, April 2, 2012
Impatient impatient, fear I will be fossilized alive by this place. Bought the next bus ticket out of town and jumped on . Sped past shanty-towns and rubble lands and fog, so much fog—-it will freeze you inside-out if you don’t hurry now. I get lost to get found—find me dancing wildly to Billy Idol, chase down kids who got a lust for life, got struck dead lucky, gonna have ash-filled lungs in the morning. Let’s be merry. Let’s be merry until sunrise. Let me get the gray and dead out of me, let me sit real close to you until I remember what it means to feel and forget to breathe. And if you’ve a tattoo on your arm, let me kiss your face so I can have something to hold on to, when I leave this all behind.
Birthday party. Beautiful people. Killer live music, killer dance music. ASADO! Pisco. At one point I sat on a couch with a bunch of great people, listening to the birthday boy and his band jam it out in a room filled with old mattresses. The person who owned the building used to sell fake glasses, so apparently there are cardboard boxes filled with glasses frames. Had one, lost it, obvio.
Also, if the following songs are in your playlist, I probably love you.
“Rebel Yell” Billy Idol
“Lust for Life” Iggy Pop
“Modern Love” David Bowie.
But actually. Never been to a party I was so musically in-tune with. SO MUCH LOVE.
'On Friday, March 23, [Geraldo] Rivera sparked outrage over his comments on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" regarding Martin's clothing. He said that "the hoodie is as much responsible" for the teen's death as George Zimmerman was.
Tracy Martin added his own thoughts on that part of Rivera's apology, thanking him for his words.
“Your apology is accepted," Martin said. "Let me just add one thing with the wearing of the hoodie. I don’t think America knows that, in fact, at the time of the incident when he initially made the call, it was raining. So Trayvon had every right to have on his hood. He was protecting himself from the rain. So if being suspicious, walking in the rain with your hoodie on is a crime, then I guess the world is doing something wrong.” [Via Huffington Post]
Not that any country I've experienced thus far is dealing with prejudices and hate with particular grace. Here in Chile, a 24 year-old homosexual young man was attacked and killed by neonazis, prompting public outcry over Chile's apparent lack of hate-crime legislation.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
go to the cemetary, maze of mausoleums tombs and small wood crosses. if you have enough money you can buy yourself legacy, your name carved into marble, your bones encased. if you don't, you'll be wiped away by time--your cross will crumble, your remnants erased. watch out, you explorers, it's dangerous: vagabonds and looters and torn souls haunt this place
Stay out of the hospital if you can. If you must go, buy a pastry from the woman with the giant tupperware of baked goods, she circulates the waiting room. It will make you feel better, maybe, mostly because it's caked in powdered sugar.
Don't take the elevator, the one with broken, illegible buttons, the one that threatens to break beneath the weight of bad news--the stress scribbled madly along it's peeling walls.
Celebrate Friday again, celebrate because all your bones are intact. Go to Valpo sit in Cerro Concepción with good people and a couple 40s below a purple sky, trace the curve of her illuminated hills with your finger--they look like frozen, electric waves, or a piece of God's Light-Brite art. Fight off the fear that's been planted in you by surrounding yourself with strength. Eventually approaching silhouettes cease to be potential threats, and melt into possible companions--we're not the only ones out to soak the night in. With wonder in our eyes, we stare down at the spiraling night city. Mangled Spanish sounds better with every swig I promise.
Kings and queens of the sand dunes, hurdle ourselves as far as we'll fly, always wanted to fall without fear. Miss the desert like a mother, first time I ever saw myself was in her canyons. But I'm not there: I'm here by the coast, where I'm supposed to be.
Friday, March 16, 2012
Will I get lost at sea? Inevitably: I’m just trying to be more than a queen of debris--
Here atop waves do I beckon the universe to disturb me.
Don’t got my sea legs so I quiver with every lurch of the earth, staring down the spines of winding streets
where aerosol women watch from walls as the day crumbles to a break,
and smokestack lightening boys (ohso addicted to those Lucky Strikes!)
only vanish when you blink—
Fight off death and fear with a discotheque and a couple beers,
Track down life—it sounds like untameable laughter
or wanderers in the middle of the night—cachai?
On certain nights the marina speaks
with the rusting sonata spun from melodies of open sea,
and nightmares of being trapped at port—
damned to merely watch the world spin off,
And many nights the street dogs howl
and they don’t know why or what they’re looking for.
Look for me in the window of speeding busses,
I don’t know where they’re taking me,
never take the same route cause I’m afraid to find my footsteps,
just trying to trust the pulse of people who know her best,
I’m still timid, too soft to track her down, but fija:
Women like myself fall prey to solar flares and full moons—
this place took a bite of me when I had let my guard down.
Now I’m just trying to return the favor
Plan on breaking you down, painted impatient electric aggressive—
you hate people like me who tread too softly,
always preferred the threat of earthquakes.
Oh crazy city so colorful, so rabid and starving,
Mother of shipwrecks and father of blind men with insatiable hands.
I am here and you will take me.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Sunday, March 4, 2012
You know, like in a novel the narrator can say: “One week later…”
But I don't welcome that. In fact, I think that's what scares me the most--that white space. I don't want white space in my story, I want tension.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
It's like this: even if you've traveled geographically, you haven't really traveled to a place until you've caught its pulse. I think I'm finally catching the Viña/Valpo pulse. Ayer my brother Francisco taught me how to use the micro--the bus system--to get to my school from home. The micro confuses me, in that there are no route maps, and if you want to get off at a stop, you have to run to the door to make the driver pull over. Well, as we drove to and from the university, the sun was setting over the glossy blue waters, and Valpo's nightlife was beginning to bloom. Yes, the dream has finally come true: sunsets on the beach, anytime I want.
Also, I adore riding buses and going on drives with people beacuse it's a great way to get to know them. Poor Francisco: he thought he was only getting a housemate. Oh no, sir, you just got a sister and we're going to be the best of buddies. So we chatted the valpo twilight away, me in broken Spanish of course, as I stared out the windows with wide open eyes.
This morning I woke up and caught the micro to school, where I was surrounded by more gringos than I've been around since December--a tad overwhelming if I do say so myself. Then me and a couple other girls walked around Valpo before we had to head back. Imogen took us to this really cool hill, where all the buildings were painted with beautiful, beautiful murals. We sat in the shade, on a colorful mosaic bench, staring down at the rows of murals, at the sparkling ocean, and I thought to myself, yes: this is why I chose Valparaiso.
After a really wonderful nap, I spent the afternoon with my parents on the porch drinking coffee and talking. My mami is loca. I think she's in her late sixties or so, and she's this funky little woman who says whatever pops into her mind, which quite often has to do with the heat, or how I'm going to find a pololo (boyfriend) in Valparaiso very soon. (That's my favorite Chilean word so far. POLOLO! Kind of reminds me of pollo loco, not gonna lie.) At one point she told me that her favorite gift is soap, an she pulled out a ziplock bag filled to the rim with little soaps, which she would pull out over and over to take a whiff from. She said she collected them not to use them, but because she loved their smell. My Chilean dad is also really awesome. He's one of those very quiet men, who commands all the attention in the room, even though he speaks very, very softly. He also collects things. A lot of things. Like ships in glass bottles and electric train models: I could write a poem about him. He's my sage papa. So, we all ate chocolates that I brought from Infusions at home, drank coffee, and just talked for a few hours. I like that. I like that Chileans can just talk and be with eachother.
Tonight, I'll probably go to a gringo party thrown by one of the guys who's been here since last semester, so that should be fun. And Saturday, I am invited to attend a wedding! One of my friends needs a date, and who would pass up a chance to go to a Chilean boda?
Saturday, February 25, 2012
I am terrified of rollercoasters. It's a dreadful feeling, being strapped into those seats, locked in with your legs or your arms dangling, watching as you climb up up up the tracks, listening to every slow, mechanical step of the climb and knowing that as soon as it slows to a stop at the very top, the descent begins and you will have no control over it. I usually cannot remember what the giant drop of the roller coaster feels like, i can never remember if it feels good, or horrible, I only remember screaming and laughing at the same time. I remember in middle school, standing in line for the Medusa at Six Flags theme park, my head going crazy and my stomach a box full of rabid butterflies. I remember knowing that backing out was simple and not simple, because I had to know what it was like to ride this thing through--had to. I mean, by stepping out of the line, I could easily cure myself, feel like a normal human being once again, as opposed to a bag of untameable electricity, about to explode into a million lost molecules. But I didn't step out of the line.
Rarely have I felt this feeling outside of theme parks. This strange, potent mix of terror and excitement that can only come from the absolute unknown. I felt it today. Days ago, saying goodbye to my parents, I didn't feel it. Even landing in Santiago, it hadn't come. Not until I was on the bus from Olmué and I looked out the window to see a sign reading "Viña del Mar" did I feel it. That terrible feeling of "Why am I doing this?!" mashed violently to it's own answer, "Because I must."
I can't explain it to you. I can't explain why the idea of living with a new family for 4 months makes me terrified me in this way, when backpacking alone with no sense of direction in Europe gave me no such waver.
I can't tell you, but I feel like the next four months will be an opportunity to figure that out.
tiempo de vestirte,
te despertó la muerte,
en largos calzoncillos
con flecos de colores,
con un nombre
tatuado en la barriga,
y con sombrero,
te agarró el terremoto,
te quebraste las uñas,
las aguas y las piedras,
de tus navegaciones,
y la tierra,
levantó su oleaje
que el vendaval marino,
quemaban tus zapatos,
casas de los banqueros
como heridas ballenas,
las casas de los pobres
que probando las alas
de las lágrimas,
a colgar tus moradas,
a pintar puertas
lo transformas en nave,
la remendada proa
de un pequeño,
La tempestad corona
tus cordeles que cantan
y la luz del océano
hace temblar camisas
en tu vacilación indestructible.
en la altura de la costa
tu escondido fuego,
de tus sordos callejones,
de tu movimiento,
de tu marinería.
Aquí termino, es esta
como una camiseta
en tus ventanas harapientas
en el viento
de tu suelo,
de los mares, el beso
del ancho mar colérico
que con toda su fuerza
golpeándose en tu piedra
porque en tu pecho austral
y la alegría
las olas de la tierra.
We were anointed cartographers.
confused; pens and tools sprouted from our palms.
We cried out, 'but we've no eyes, we've shaky hands',
but still, they demanded maps.
How could we trace the things we'd seen,
how could we know the scale of the mountains-
we get altitude sickness from the size of our dreams.
The storms we've seen have washed away kings,
The terrain we've trekked has been forsaken.
How can we measure the depths of those rivers
that left currents in us, leading to what?
What can we make of the places that made us-
How can we explain to you of the paths we have taken?
We followed the glint of a golden spool that pulled us
From our minotaurs and from our mazes,
That is all that we can say.
And from this grew tracks,
Perhaps we can hold you in our eyes until you
Get a glimpse of what you're looking for,
But we cannot show the way.