Sunday, October 25, 2009

Like Two Birds in a Leek Garden

“Well that’s another piece of Seattle culture we can put in our pockets and take home,” Jennifer said as we walked out of the Seattle Bookfest admiring the purple slouch-sock boots of the woman walking in front of us through the front gate of the Columbia City Event Center which is a reinvented elementary school. Seattle Bookfest people feed on nostalgia for old general stores and lost tribal myths. They say they look not for streams of consciousness, but for little splendors to emerge from chaos (“it happens more often than you might think”).

We ate our dinner to the faint tinkle of Billie Holiday overlooking the leaf strewn street, watched carefully by the Frenchman at the Thomas St. Bistro (ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice). Looking up from my corner of that small place I could see myself reflected in the small round mirror across the little room and again in the reflection of the small rectangular mirror above my head, then again in the round one (and in my antique silver spoon). Outside on the street the Space Needle and the Sound were like an old man slowly falling asleep in a very comfortable chair.

If it were possible to be whoever we wanted to be in Seattle maybe I would be
Imogen Cunningham and Jennifer would be Morris Graves. Then I could write (as they wrote about Morris):

Now she comes from the Pacific Northwest:
A thin figure with alarmed eyes.
She is shy and skittish, aloof yet (you suspect)
ruthless in her opinion.
She is birdlike, on the horizon,
receding, private, mobile, and migratory.
She has the willful steely sentiment of a bird:
its fierce capacity to survive.

Imogen and Morris who haunt the Seattle Art Museum and the steep streets like Thomas St. give us reasons to keep looking at the landscape for the details which shiver our spines. To look around like Nabokov and think “a good laugh is the best pesticide” (and imagine that Nabokov’s laugh sounds like Regina Spektor).
Self-Portrait by Morris Graves. Photos by Imogen Cunningham


Blogger Nic Miller said...

I would be Chase Jarvis, because I'm commercial like that.

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Start Making MOney for FREE here said...

I would be Chase Jarvis, because I'm commercial like that.

12:50 AM  
Blogger matt said...

I would be Chase Jarvis, because I'm commercial like that.

8:35 PM  

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