Green snake

A green snake bit him on the toe
Remember being a kid lying on the ground
at night looking up at stars and then
suddenly you were looking down at stars
that realization of infinity and that vertigo?
A green snake bit him on the toe
it said you know what you know but
you don’t know what you don’t know
The green snake disappeared in the grass
he sat there on the swing
agnosticism seeping through his capillaries
turning his certainties black
he tried to explain it to the kid
but she already knew

Odin looked at his toe

Odin looked at his toe it was all bloody.

He thought a minute.

Oh yeah he stubbed it earlier in the day.

One mystery solved.

Odin walked to the store, not raining, crow recognized him, followed him to the store.

Do animals have consciousness? They think. They solve problems, is that consciousness? Also crows lie and steal, they look over their shoulders when they’re doing something shady to see if anyone is watching.

Here, Odin gives the crow a hard sausage. A piece of one. Then he gives the crow a second piece to see what it will do.

It studies the pieces. It arranges them side by side, perpendicular, then parallel until it has them arranged in such a fashion that it can get both into its beak at the same time and do something – hide them or fly off with them, Odin doesn’t stick around to watch.

It could have just flown off with one, left the other, come back for it later, but a second crow was watching so it had to take both.

What say the hanged?
I seen you on the dock letting the sunrise warm your face, you were smiling.
I remember how you liked to pick cigarette butts out of the gutter, back when you were still learning to walk.
Second-prettiest eyes I ever saw, some mechanic, brown eyes glowing amber in autumn sunlight.
Prettiest: green-eyed girl in an airport long time ago stopped me in my tracks.

What say the slain?
Nihilism is childish.
Agnosticism is where it’s at.
Certainty is for morans.
Who knows? Not me.
Who knows? Not me. Let’s find out.


No crows two days in a row. Odin guesses it’s the umbrella. No rain today and a crow turns up. That doesn’t prove it was the umbrella, it might have been the rain itself, but Odin has a feeling it’s the umbrella.

It’s not like crows are afraid of the rain. Are they? Have you paid attention to that?

Odin can’t say that he has.

He stands on the corner and feeds a crow part of a random sandwich. The crow buries most of it under leaves, and discards the lettuce entirely.

What say the slain?

From above, an umbrella is a large mask.

From above, umbrellas are black monsters eating people.

That the people carry around.

From above, it is a long way down but you’re still flying so it’s okay.

Everything that can go wrong has gone wrong, so there’s nothing to worry about.

Except existential horror, that is, because even after everything has gone wrong, more can go wrong.

Rain and sunshine are equally beautiful.

The Curious Caterpillar and the Very Hungry Cat

The curious caterpillar crept across the kitchen floor.

The sleepy man turned on the coffee machine.

The very hungry cat meowed at the man.

Meow. Meow. Meow.

I just fed you, said the man.

The very hungry cat looked at something on the floor.

The very hungry cat played with it a little, as cats do.

What the hell’re you playing with? said the man.

Don’t eat that, he said.

The man squinted because his eyes weren’t focused yet. It was still early.

The man bent over and tried to pick up what the very hungry cat was playing with.

It looked like green felt, to his bleary eyes.

But it felt like a warm piece of fat.

Yuck, said the man.

Meow. Meow. Meow, said the very hungry cat.

Frickin’ caterpillar come from, said the man.

Go ahead and eat it, said the man.

The end.

The Gauntlet

sunrise01131008The day has a weird liminal feeling to it. Grey and quiet, except for a lawnmower, crows, traffic and pedestrians, like the soundtrack to a National Geographic documentary on urban corvids.

Odin tries his wife’s number but she doesn’t answer.

He walks down the street, past a line of crows. They just stand there watching him: the old black one with white feathers, three grey ones. More keep showing up.

Odin wonders has he overdone the crow thing.

He follows a little old woman with a tiny little dog on a leash. What is it with old people and little pets, he wonders. They can never, like, stay out all night drinking or anything. Sorry, I have to get back to the little dog! And they are the ones with all the time for adventures like that, and then they go tie themselves down.

He turns a corner and a sleek black crow swoops down from the other direction and follows him to the store, hopping from car to car.

Odin’s phone rings. It’s his wife.

The day has a weird feeling to it, says his wife.

Weird and grey and in-between, agrees Odin.

He tells her about the crow gauntlet because she always laughs at his crow stories.

He holds her up to his ear and talks to her all the way through the store.

I picked out a ham-and-cheese sub for the crows, he says.

Which ones?

All of them.

I’m getting cottage cheese now, he says.

He hangs up before paying the cashier.

He feeds all the crows he can find on his way back to the office. They eat the whole sandwich, except he eats the parts with pickles, as they don’t like pickles.

It’s like a day hidden between other days, he had said to his wife.

She agreed.


wetplate collodion photograph of flower wreath.

Dried flower wreath, full sun, f5.6, 8 seconds. Old workhorse collodion.

Today’s wet plate

tess05102014Tess, partial shade, f 5.6, 6 seconds, old workhorse collodion, black aluminum plate. The scratch is from a momentary catastrophic loss of coordination in my dinky dark box while putting plate into silver nitrate bath. The original plate is otherwise clean, I think the white specks etc are from the scanner.

I also did my first glass plate today, a portrait of my wife. It turned out reasonably well. Collodion lifting a little here and there around the edges, not sure why, maybe insufficient cleaning of glass before pouring.