photography

messes of men

i’ve talked before about my love for mewithoutYou’s album brother, sister, and my desire to “illustrate” it, so to speak, through photography and other media. a desire four or five years in the making finally got off the ground last march when i did two shoots based on “messes of men,” the first song on the album.

then life happened — i couldn’t decide for sure how i wanted to edit the photos, of which i’d taken far too many and i couldn’t bear to part with any of them … i was involved in five weddings from august through december … my schedule seemed crammed to the gills … anyway, all that to say that i’ve finally finished editing them. whew! now to plot out the mixed media finished product.

here, for your enjoyment, are some selections.

‘i do not exist,’ we faithfully insist
sailing in our separate ships
and from each tiny caravelle
tiring of trying there’s unnecessary dying
like the horseshoe crab in its proper seasons sheds its shell
such distance from our friends
like a scratch across a lens,
made everything look wrong from anywhere we stood
and our paper blew away before we’d left the bay,
so half-blind we wrote these songs on sheets of salty wood

caught me making eyes at the other boatman’s wives,
and heard me laughing louder at the jokes told by their daughters
i’d set my course for land,
but you well understand
it takes a steady hand to navigate adulterous waters
the propeller’s spinning blades held acquaintance with the waves
as there’s mistakes i’ve made no rowing could outrun
the cloth blowing on the mast like to say i’ve got no past
but i’m nonetheless the librarian and secretary’s son
with tarnish on my brass and mildew on my glass,
i’d never want someone so crass as to want someone like me
but a few leagues off the shore, i bit a flashing lure
and i assure you, it was not what i expected it to be!
i still taste its kiss, that dull hook in my lip
is a memory as useless as a rod without a reel
to an anchor ever-dropped, seasick yet still docked
captain spotted napping with his first mate at the wheel,
floating forgetfully along, with no need to be strong
we keep our confessions long and when we pray we keep it short

i drank a thimble full of fire and i’m not ever coming back

oh, my G-d!

i do not exist we faithfully insist
while watching sink the heavy ship of everything we knew
if ever you come near i’ll hold up high a mirror
Lord, i could never show you anything as beautiful as You
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258

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31

47

57

81

86

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109

114

128

143

154

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162

166

242

271

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254

248

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246

236

214

213

188

186

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