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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

On the Fringes (Matt Black: Saroyan's Ghosts)


Matt Black photos - Saroyan's Ghosts - Abandoned restaurant. Fresno, California.

Abandoned restaurant, Fresno, California

At the end, souls barely touch down
on the ghost town streets
as they drift toward forgetting
on an oneiric wind

Matt Black photos - Saroyan's Ghosts - Bicyclist on empty street. Fresno, California.

Bicyclist on empty street, Fresno, California

Photos by Matt Black, from Saroyan's Ghosts, 2011


ACravan said...

This so subtly shifts the atmosphere, like an oneiric wind, and captures the feeling (which I've had before and I imagine many readers here have had also) of a ghost passing close by. During my brief bit of alert consciousness today before being felled by Philadelphia's heavy dense atmosphere and heat, I became interested in seeing Fresno (a place I've never visited) in color images and learning what kind of weather they're having today, so I visited the city website. (Good weather, apparently.) Now I won't be able to think for hours, until long after the sun sets. Curtis

TC said...


On his photography site Matt Black frames this poignant and arresting set with this quote from Fresno's laureate:

"In 1914, when I was not quite six years old, an old man came down San Benito Avenue playing a solo on a bugle and stopped in front of our house. I ran out into the yard and stood waiting for him to start playing again, but he wouldn't do it. I said, I sure would like to hear you play another tune, and he said, Young man, could you get a glass of water for an old man whose heart is not here, but in the highlands?"

William Saroyan: The Man With The Heart In The Highlands

Matt Black comments:

"Author William Saroyan produced hundreds of short stories, plays, novels and memoirs during his lifetime, many of which drew heavily on his boyhood in the Central California town of Fresno. Today, little remains of the thriving immigrant neighborhood where Saroyan grew up, once known as 'Armenian Town.' One now has to look harder for the moments of poignancy, rightful defiance, or childish wonder that Saroyan captured so convincingly in his works."