Friday, April 04, 2008

Sunday Scribbling #105

Funny thing: if you go to Rebecca’s site, you’ll see the first photograph that came to mind when I saw this prompt. I liked the (likely) unintentional ambiguity of this statement of hers: "Immediately, I thought of Gregory Colbert's photograph below, which touched my heart and I immediately fell in love with myself." I think she means that she fell in love with the photograph (as did I, and used it for several weeks as my computer desktop), but I like the idea that a photograph might move us to fall in love with ourselves. Still, short of Rebecca’s photo of the elephant girl or Stieglitz's portraits of Georgia or Steichen’s photograph of the Flatiron Building or Ansel’s wild and wide-eyed wonders, or short of being either professional photographers or more than casual viewers, it’s hard to get right down to the real soul people of photographs that have moved us to love ourselves—translation: it’s hard to do it off the top of your head.

As a boomer, I keep thinking of photographs on album covers, because album covers were the libretto to albums long before printed lyrics were de rigueur: Santana’s Abraxas and gorgeous sleeping ebony Yemaya, the blur of the cover of Stan Getz’s Sweet Rain, Van in his ridiculous leprechaun matador getup on A Sense of Wonder, or Van with those very cool Irish wolfhounds on Veedon Fleece, Cassandra Wilson’s sleek coffee-colored back on New Moon Daughter, Monk and his porkpie hat and curling smoke, Dizzy with his Albuquerque Balloon Festival cheeks, Johnny Guitar Watson and his shamelessly incorrect cover to Ain’t That a Bitch, Miles in profile on Jack Johnson, all those nasty-tasty Ohio Players covers, Dylan as a Nashville leprechaun on Nashville Skyline, Dylan-Rimbaud as the troubadour of Desire, sister Joni naked as a jaybird over the blue Pacific on For the Roses, Nyro’s classic head thrown back pose, getting ready to channel the muse, Keith Jarrett lost in possession by his muse, bent in prayer over the keys of his piano on the Köln Concerts…

wild wonder moves hard:
the chill of Abraxas
torn off the top,
back from the blur,
ready to muse:
is it wonder?
are we lost?
will we curl and fall in love,
porkpie jaybird on the leprechaun
this, my sweet libretto,
my new moon rain,
my fell in love again—

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Blogger Granny Smith said...

Wonderful and poetic marshaling of examples. I like the poem, too.

6:06 PM  
Blogger jsd said...

I buy new cds based on three criteria: album cover art, titles of the songs, and name of the band.

It seems to work for me 90% of the time, every now and then this technique leads to a dud.

6:59 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

GS: Thanks for the visit and the good words.

jsd: 9 outta 10 ain't bad, eh? It's how I choose my mac and cheese, too. I'm at about 50/50 on that one. Good to see you cruising the blogosphere again. Peace.

7:14 PM  
Blogger paisley said...

what a beautiful reminiscence... thanks for the ride....

10:00 PM  
Blogger murat11 said...

paisley: thanks for the words: thanks for visiting.

7:58 AM  
Blogger rebecca said...

Santana Abraxas is still one of my cover and album...

and, YES! unintentional ambiguity is right! "I immediately fell in love with myself." will have to fix that as soon as i leave this did i not catch that?

well, if i ever publish, i'll make sure to look you up and hire you as my copy editor to keep my narcissistic vanity in check....LOL...


9:08 PM  
Blogger GreenishLady said...

Oh... I felt like I was sitting cross-legged on someone's floor, flipping through their album-pile. Wonderful evocation, and to distil it all into that poem - bravo!

5:17 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

Rebecca: I left a longer note over your way, but for the record over here, let me say again: your "ambiguity" is what I would call a happy accident, revealing the heart's truth, and a beautiful one at that.

Abraxas' "Incident at Neshabur." Molto bene.

11:09 AM  
Blogger murat11 said...

GreenishLady: Thanks for your visit and for catching the evocations. Cross-legged and flipping through, indeed, an "art" lost since the "death of plastic", as one of my students just said on Friday. Miniaturized CD art covers are just not the same, certainly not for these 54 year old eyes.

11:14 AM  
Blogger tumblewords said...

Excellent work! Evocative and stirring!

2:32 PM  

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