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Monday, 31 October 2011




Untitled 2312-a: photo by Todd Hido, 1999 (Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery for Contemporary Photography, Cologne)

The moon coming through the curtains
makes geometrical patterns in bars
a calligraphic grid through which pass
the ever vigilant ones
the souls of “my” dead though of
course they’re no one’s
not even their own any more merely
messengers of the mirror negative
dispatched from a mute past
to efface a haunted present

White Noise

Still from White Noise, dir. Geoffrey Sax 2005

White Noise

Still from White Noise, dir. Geoffrey Sax 2005

White Noise

Still from White Noise, dir. Geoffrey Sax 2005

File:Curtain light.JPG

White curtain in warm light: photo by Christoph Michels, 2006


Untitled 1738: photo by Todd Hido, 2003
(Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York)


Untitled 1726: photo by Todd Hido, 1996 (Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York)

Untitled 1975-a: photo by Todd Hido, 1996 (Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery for Contemporary Photography, Cologne)


Untitled 2376: photo by Todd Hido, 2000 (Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery for Contemporary Photography, Cologne)

Untitled 3510: photo by Todd Hido, 2008 (Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery for Contemporary Photography, Cologne)


Untitled 1154-a: photo by Todd Hido, 1998 (Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York)


Untitled 8350: photo by Todd Hido, 2009
(Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York)


TC said...

Dear Spooks:

You know you're not alone on the night shift

nor on the nightshift

nor on the nightshift



going be some sweet sounds
coming' down
on the nightshift. . .

that house in the fog in Todd Hido's photo, one lone light in the upstairs window. . .


grey whiteness of fog against invisible
ridge, golden-crowned sparrow’s dear me
in foreground, wave sounding in channel

given here, in the same way
consequence ‘is there’

in particular, in one alone
almost, as one can see

cloudless blue sky to the left of point,
whiteness of gull perched on GROIN sign

TC said...

Steve, I think that that great Commodores tune, an elegy for Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson, is also a spirit-shifter, one of those rare songs that seem to communicate between worlds

in the same way
consequence ‘is there’

in particular, in one alone

or two, or three
or more...

In the Claire Denis film 35 Shots of Rum it becomes the pivot on which the dynamics of a complicated set of filial and erotic relationships swings. When it enters the picture, the world changes.

ACravan said...

Dark, dark. Between your two posts, I feel I've received a full measure of Halloween spirit and content, from the relatively smooth (Halloween: A Time To Read) to the relatively rough (Spooks). When I discontinued my last round of psychiatric consultation a few years ago (my doctor was a wonderful man -- he even wrote a book on Hamlet!), the decision followed him telling me that our progress had now taken us to the entrance of the graveyard and I needed to decide whether I felt like entering and exploring it. I decided that I didn't want to (I guess I thought I didn't need to). What I find to my surprise is that the

"messengers of the mirror negative
dispatched from a mute past
to efface a haunted present"

in my life are actually all living people. I hope that makes sense. Because you've given a full measure, this will be with me for a long time. Curtis

TC said...


I would have made the same decision.

TC said...

But do you suppose he meant a literal graveyard, or was just enjoying a jolly little figure of speech?

There are graveyards and there are graveyards, I reckon.

In Colorado we dwelt in a tiny town high atop the Front range where the local cemetery told a curious history of the struggles of the pioneer folk of the place. Twas quaint to stroll there.

In our next abode a few thousand feet below, we lived across a stream from the graveyard where lay the remains of Tom Horn, again a figure of some interest. Communing with the phantasmal simulacrum of his spirit, even when covered over in ice and snow, was... a thing to do.

But to let the sun set upon one in a graveyard, no.

Or again, the ultimate, sunset, burial, no.

In college I had an internationally respected anthropologist as a teacher in a strange little seminar class that met at his home. One night during our meeting there came a call from local police saying the young son of the family had been arrested for trespassing and vandalism in a local cemetery. The lad had to be fetched from the police station. What had rankled most with the police was the boy's bewilderment when they had asked whether he understood that his behavior had offended God. The boy explained he had never heard of God, an entity that had never been mentioned in his home.

ACravan said...

The shrink in question was speaking both figuratively and literally; a significant amount of the conflicts I suppose I was seeking to resolve involved entanglements with departed souls. By the time my doctor and I had finished our conversations, which conveniently coincided with the end of Jane's 5th grade, as I recall, I really felt I understood better some of the things that had been bothering me for a long time and I no longer wanted to: a) revisit these problems in my own mind; and b) tell the stories again. I mean, it's bad enough that Caroline had to hear them multiple times and live through some of them. I felt like sparing myself and the rest of the living the bother. I myself was raised being taken to cemeteries by my mother, who enjoyed and was very observant about visiting her mother's grave, so I've always been fairly comfortable in their vicinity. The cemetery in Tuxedo Park, NY, where most of my family is buried, is extremely "charming," lying appurtenant to lovely St. Mary's-in-Tuxedo church. Coincidentally, my "people," as it were, lie adjacent to Frederick Augustus Juilliard, whose impressive white marble stone has him placed all alone with no relatives around. Caroline's family are interred in a very old Quaker cemetery in West Chester, PA, where generations of Carolines and Williams (they're all Carolines and Williams in her family) are buried, seemingly on top of each other, densely in a very small area. When Caroline's mother passed away, she made it clear that she wanted her own place, so she's in the "newer" Quaker cemetery across the road. When we purchased the plot for her (I hate to say it, but one of the last “bargains” on Planet Earth), the Quaker Meeting's registry book for recording such transactions was a still-in-use volume from the late 1800s. They must have originally ordered a significant inventory of these binders and they kept them in friendly environmental conditions because the paper (on which they needed to cross off the initial “18” in the date and replace it with “19”) was in perfect condition. Caroline’s one relatively well-known relative is buried there also – Major-General Smedley Darlington Butler (1881-1940) of the United States Marine Corps. Also known as the “Fighting Quaker” and “Old Gimlet Eye” (which is the name of Lowell Thomas’s biography of this truly fascinating man), Marines see that his “grave is kept clean,” as Blind Lemon Jefferson advised. Your story about the boy who had never heard of God is really amazing. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard one like it, but I can easily see how such a thing might occur. The oddest thing that happened today, which might be considered a Halloween occurrence, is that I read in my own college’s online newspaper the editors’ new policy for posting reader comments. It was a tediously elaborate, sort of custom procedure for creating and curating their own “comment sewer.” Anonymous posting isn’t only permitted, it seems to be encouraged because it is said to incite “passion and candor” in the writer. I sent in a short note politely saying that people should really sign their names to their correspondence (I won’t recite the reasons; you know them) and seem to be in the process of being shouted down by the anonymous and virtual ghost polis. I find this most dispiriting as well as weird. Happy Halloween! Jane's a commercially acquired, but pretty faithful rendition of Tenniel's Alice. She lost the Best Costume prize to a girl who came as Drake, the rap artist. Oh well. Curtis

Ed Baker said...

just looked about and at some of Todd Hido's .... "stuff".

he's got a good "eye"

here is a 'window' piece:


now back to The Son of Dracula starring Lon Chaney, Junior.

his dad made the greatest of all Hunchbacks !

& was a terrific (original) Phantom of the Opera....
& other 1,000 Faces.

images that you've posted playing with my mind...

off tomorrow to get a four by eight foot sheet of either masonite or 1/4 inch plywood to do my first HUGE painting. I think that I'll use an old mop to "draw" (out) some new mystery...

thanks for the images I like the tones and temper/tempo of the light-in-black

TC said...


There's something oddly securing and consoling in the idea of a Family Plot (Hitchcock's dark joke on the phrase notwithstanding). From deep childhood there do waft up some misty whiffs and musty hints of cemetery visits. Never much liked mausoleums, though, until years later I got to Ravenna, and entered one made of alabaster. Nice light, in an alabaster mausoleum. (Rather elevated family in that case, however.)

In the centuries since, such disposals of remains in the family of which I have been aware have all been of the fire to air variety, no leaky earth added in. Much as one shrinks from the idea of being set ablaze, the thought of being slowly et is far worse, said he... as the actual occasion rapidly advances from a hypothetical to a practical consideration.

The posting of anonymous comments anywhere I take to be an encouragement to the cruel and craven demons that lurk within the depths of, no not the innocently moldering humus, but the human... er... soul?

But good for Jane. There is at times a kind of nobility in defeat. Drake the rap artist is unknown to me. Then again, if she'd appeared as Sir Francis Drake, the sea dog, I suppose the persona would have simply seemed recognizable to no one. Still, a useful character to have around in the event of the sighting of an enemy armada... of ghosts.


Thanks for the link to the Wirtz show. That represents some of TH's later preoccupation with the slinky/ghostly inhabitants of all those haunted houses in both northeast Ohio and the greater Bay Area. Just in case anyone was wondering if there is/was really "anybody home".

ACravan said...

Regarding mausoleums, I hear you (and can see and see through the alabaster). There is one mausoleum in the Tuxedo Park cemetery (I'm telling you what I've been told; it's a small community and we know everybody who should know), which belongs to one of the early resident families, that is rigged with a perpetually paid-for, working telephone, Just In Case.

I don't know Drake's music, but in my capacity as a lawyer I once dealt with his legal representatives and they were ok, so I say "no harm, no foul."

Daughter's home safe and sound from the Halloween evening. One dog is recuperating and being well watched by the other dog. The cats are on the loose; the birds and fish are well. 10:55 pm, "nothing cooking on the Threat Board," as General Buck Turgidson would say, so so far, so good. Curtis