13 June 2017

09 April 2017

Taking of the Rock

Jack says there's a beautiful rock out in the desert in an abandoned quarry he had to leave cause the 4 wheel drive on the Nissan failed, and do I feel like giving him a hand going back and getting it.
Now that sounds like fun.
We meet up in Riverside.
Drive northeast, 30 miles or so. This is Desert, in the Lucerne Valley. I follow him to a lonely and lonelier road and we go and go, till it turns from pavement to dirt, and 10 more miles that way.
Till my two wheel drive can't proceed.
Ride the rest of the way with Jack.
All alone out here. The silence, solitude, plain air and vast nowhere vista is awesome. Now out of the valley and up into hills.
Jack creeps the truck up some gnarly rocky rutted winding road, till we can proceed no farther. Park and get the rock dolly Jack made for just this occasion, using the wheels from my old Yamaha 550cc Seca, welded an axle, a cradle, and a handle. Even tied a little rope to the arm of the brake drum in one of the wheels, so we can stop.

We go up the way, winding around a turn, a hundred or so yards.
Beside a gully where rests the ancient wreck of a big A-frame truck, and then up some more to the Quarry, which looks dynamited outof the hillside. And there's the Rock.
Jack spills some water on it for me to see.
A luster of pale avocado jade, veined with purple, flecks of gold.
Now he taps it with a hammer.
It very purely rings.
That's how you know.
Okay, lets go.
He wants to do a surprising amount of pussyfooting to lift it up straight to fit on the dolly. Its rectangular, about 18" square by about 40" tall.
To use boards and other rocks to leverage it step by step.
As a kid I learned how to lift prone 55 gal drums of stuff much easier. Jack doesn't think so, and it won't do to injure myself.
What you do is squat, grab one end and rise, legs, back and arms into it, just a little wiggly reaching a fulcrum, then its easy, 600 lbs, I guess, straight up.
My technique has prevailed. Not often that happens. Heh heh.
Now he secures it with rope to the dolly.
This is early May and its warming up.
There's also a bowling ball sized chunk of the same stuff.
Very difficult to break the dolly back from vertical to the slightly canted horizontal position we'll need to roll it down the hill.
But we try.
The loaded dolly, as we lift it to aim its downward roll, becomes a catapult when the weight of the rock shifts, suddenly flinging us aside. The string operated Brake is a joke, the cart crashes.
The Armbreaker I call it.
90 yards to go down this rock strewn path.
We have a length of rope.
Wish we had a rake.
I help him tie a harness around the Rock, an immense effort.
He takes his 30 feet of slack in front of it and starts to pull, while
I push behind it, for momentum. We make 20 feet or so.
And then the harness has to be fitted again, which takes a while.
We get another 8 feet.
Eph this, I clear a path, turn the rock from narrow to wide so I can roll it. Jack's shaking his head, saying Dude as in that's wasted energy and that ain't gonna work, but I get it it to tumble - a 20 plus something foot advance.
We try that again.

It goes like that.
Its absurd, but you can't leave behind the efforts taken to get it this far. And it is getting closer to the truck. You think of the pyramids and, two guys ought to be able to figure this out.
Every now and then I roll the balling ball rock in front of us a ways. Till we catch up. At the turn, we're halfway to the truck, but fortunately our decline increases. I toss the little one down and it tumbles off the path, down the hill. Jack is tying the harness together again, and taking a break.

I tromp down for it.
Lift it up.
Audible Shudder - the Willies.
Fling the rock up and scramble up the hill.
Watch it from up there.
About 5 feet long. Sidewinding. Wow.
Wonder and a slightly sick feeling.
Jack gets a chuckle.
That's the last response you want he says.
For one you don't drop the rock. Its a weapon.
Two be still and look around.
Where's the one, there's usually another.
Is that right.
About 5 hours in all, the sun is going down.
We set planks from the hill to the back of Jack's Nissan.
It is a rare unrestrained excitement on Jacks face at our accomplishment.
Big boys with real toys get the good rocks, he proclaims.
I'm envious at the relation of the artist to his material.
I think of my drugstore rolls of film made from the hooves of cows.  He shakes my hand and says
I couldn't have done it without you.
Jack who specializes in not needing help.
Immensely satisfying to see it on his truck.
Drive back to Big Bear, get a hotel and hardly move for 24 hours.
And then very slowly for another day - all beat up.
Jack's geologist friend estimates its weight - 700 lbs.
In the next few years Jack whittles it down to about 90.
Carves the bowling ball chunk into a water bowl for Sasha.

I'm always hoping he's going to offer it to me.
That's alright.
I got plenty of other stuff.
Two months later I'm listening to him tell the story at his 4th of July party.
And somebody says,
- Really, you can just take rocks like that?

I think we shared a grin, thinking

Yeah, you just take em -

01 May 2016

My Back yard June 2006                                                                                                                 

17 April 2016

21 August 2015

Po Boy New Orleans

"Mere Nola got me. It's the first poetry book in a very long time I read cover to cover and felt bad that it didn't go on. It's a hell of a book, memoir, diary, journal, told with perfect pitch, great ear, perfect spoken Ingles. Tremendous writer, truly, master of the new Nawrleans lit, if not a chef d'ecole."
-- Andrei Codrescu

I Wuv My Van
DIY Couch Demo

Pahokee by Otis Ike

A West Texas Middle School Hell House by Otis Ike

From the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center by Otis Ike

Savoy Gras by Otis Ike

The Mona Lisa Contest

Flower Photography in the Nineties


Rivers Paw


The Garage Door Storey

The Coffee Shop Photographs

There Is A Foot on Geary Street

It's in the Muni bay in front of Martell's Liquors at 20th Avenue; these pictures began in 1987 and end 2003. The last time I checked in 2011 it was still there, collecting its whathaveu. Nathan tries to correct me that Geary is not a Street, but a Boulevard, and a Grand one at that - its mail codes go from 94108 to 94121. But "there is a foot on Geary St." was the mutter that directed me to click my shutter the first time (after three years of notice) and this is what I mean by Language Photography...I recall my mild concern in 1997, when it was marked with orange paint as a defect to fix by a public works employee, but they never got around to repairing this impression made by a shoe cast in wet cement.


Colour Night Real Estate Photography

Corners and Napkins

in the end a pen takes to brick and flails

in the beginning, next to portions of four bricks

is a filthy paper waiting thumbnail, a napkin

chats about waiting in chairs at a reading to hear

then, turning the page a door slams

eardrum pulsing last cigaret looks

these are real corners you could encounter in the world

close at the scale of napkins, inside and out

what I have found, is a wave form

of course,  lunar lighting. stubble of stucco -

I could tell you plenty about Stucco, but Corners and Napkins

is not concerned with stucco, some corners trap

some corners - we do not know

some corners we do, for they Deify light

lime says cool

orange invites lizards to cross

green on the produce sign says notice

napkin relieves, assures

napkin will take a bullet for the Chief

napkin signed verifies invention

napkin tapping at corners of mouth

now decide if to lie and emphasize

cloud billow sail

perfection can be  routinely achieved in the photography of napkins

these resin coated colored 4"x6" papers are satisfying to compile

for the napkin photograph solicits its surface to write on and

i love cycles of perfection to ruin

some of these corners are severe

they are hard and promise it is a cold cruel world

corners you would not like in a prison guard

we like the corner that wanders for god

that cant, that wiggle, is ours

10 Covers of Triton


Inspector Wear Skirts

Hypermiling Saved My Life

   My Life in the Photo Booth

Sqibb City

20 August 2015




Randy's Discipline

Teacher dictated the lyric to Randy transcribed it 25 times.
It was exhibited in 1989 at New Langton Arts in San Francisco,
"Special Collections."

From a collection of mostly handwritten papers gathered by William Passarelli
Including a distressed loose leaf by Randy with a no two letters alike handwriting:

1. I will come when I am called. I will not break dance in
the halls. I will not laugh when teacher calls my name.
(x 25)

I heard, and became a colony of its refrain...

Chris Sullivan April 2009 New Orleans