Thursday, July 29, 2004
C I T Y - C A M E O S
From: ‘The Transmutation’
That all should change to ghost and glance and gleam,
And so transmuted stand beyond all change,
And we be poised between the unmoving dream
And the sole moving moment- this is strange
Waiting for my turn at the teller in a throng of saturday afternoon shoppers in the big underground supermarket area- I’m scanning the vast space around me- until my gaze locks with N.- standing closeby two queues down.
I met N. before on two separate occasions- through a mutual friend. Though not personally introduced to her the meetings had left an impression on me. N.- an actress and a budding movie star- has a slight and unassuming presence. Her body is petite- her tiny frame reminiscent of variety artists- dancers and acrobats.
N.s mental image resembles a spooky wood-elf. Partly of Indonesian descent- the wide-eyed expression on her face travels the gamut of briskness and submission. She has an uncanny gift for making herself unnoticed- and when observed- looking like a shocked child tossed out of bed after a haunting nightmare. N. is tempting me- she and I share an unaffirmed rapport- both of us fathom uncharted depths- together and alone.
SETTLING the SCORE
From: ‘Report on Experience’
‘I have been young, and now am not too old;
And I have seen the righteous forsaken,
His health, his honour and his quality taken.
This is not what we were formerly told.
I’m passing by a section of the square where vagrants and drunks are consorting. In doing so I obtain a close view of one of the benches where the vagabonds sit together. I notice that one of them- a scraggly man with a haggard- and grime-blackened face is fixed on playing a Nintendo Gameboy. The scene transmits a sudden existential urgency. The Gameboy player appears to be clinging on to his last straw. His buddies are oblivious of him and appear out of contention- except for Nintendo-man- the only one left to keep up their last stand.
ELECTRA-GLIDE in RED
Olivia’s lewd, but looks devout,
And scripture-proofs she throws about,
When first you try to win her:
But pull your fob of guineas out;
Fee Jenny first, and never doubt
To find the saint a sinner.
Most of the women are aloof; some are staring down, others show no interest at all.
One woman is vying for the men’s attention- tapping bpldly onto her window- another stands transfixed in a narcissistic poise.
The scene is a crude open-air boudoir. On the quay facing the cubicles- mostly older men of mixed creed and origin are cruising. The men are walking about- tense or studiously- some of them are smoking cigarettes- hand in pocket- head held up high- taking intermittent puffs.
Occasionally one of them moves close to the windows- engaging in a teasing standoff with one of the girls. The women behind the windows are exotic- a substantial number of them are of Slavic origin- other women are black or mulatto. Blondes however- are scoring most of the attention from the craving vagabonds. Every few minutes a prospect approaches a cubicle for enquiries. Door held ajar- the impromptu couple’s faces meet- while negotiations are conducted
in a whisper. Upon reaching an agreement the client enters the cubicle and slips into the back room. The prostitute- outlined against the dimly lit window closes the door and draws the curtains shut with sensual bravado.
posted by Walter at 7/29/2004
Monday, July 26, 2004
MAKE MY DAY
Three gems which cracked me up..
‘If a person who indulges in gluttony is a glutton
and a person who commits a felony is a felon
then God is an iron’
-From an MIT News Group-
‘I speak only for myself. When anyone asks me how I can best describe my experience in nearly forty years at sea, I merely say, uneventful. Of course there have been winter gales, and storms and fog and the like. But in all my experience, I have never been in any accident... or any sort worth speaking about. I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea. I never saw a wreck and never have been wrecked nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort.’
-E. J. Smith, 1907 Captain, RMS Titanic-
1927: Smallest photo stolen
London: Aphotograph so small that 300 reproductions would only occupy the space of an ordinary pin-head has been stolen from the exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society at Russell Square. The photograph is mounted on a slide, and is so small that it cannot be seen by the naked eye. ‘The photograph is a portrait of J.N.Niepce, French inventor,’ said the secretary of the society to a ‘Daily Express’ representative, ‘and was produced by Professor Goldberg. It can only be seen through a microscope.’
-International Herald Tribune-
posted by Walter at 7/26/2004