Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Picture Above

It's not the ears, too big, like the nose. The hair is boyish and well-trimmed—his father was a barber—but a little too Kennedy, perhaps? Doesn't it have a practiced air? Partly it's the collar, the vest, and the old suit coat. They say "Poverty, but I don't care." And the bottom lip that is, forgive me father for saying so, almost too soft for manliness, while the upper lip is almost not there, as though the bottom one got more than its share.

Most of all I admire the eyes with their sweet snap of "I've got you." He was sixteen in the photo, or so I've been told, and already burdened with lying jester's eyes, too skilled by then at pushing the truth away. And, though I can't escape the truth in his eyes, I cling to the note of innocence you see in the youngster slump, the touch of arrogant twentieth-century America. But what I love most is the crease across the top.


  1. john-

    this is a great sample of what i like about your writing. time slips. i like the moment's reference to 20th century america. sounds as though the N's own point in time could have been any other century. especially like that last line. someone carried this photo for a long time. the photo/the man meant something to someone.


  2. delighted to find this blog. I like your entries so far...keep 'em coming. The smoke, illusion entry is good also and this photo is intriguing.