‘Velocipede.’ | My senior year of college in 1979, I lived and partied hard on a farm a few miles from this telephone pole, ten miles across the border from Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, in I-don’t-know-where-this-is, Indiana | february2023 | TheStoryIsTheThing.substack.com photography
by douglas john imbrogno | june11.2023 | thestoryisthething.substack.com
From where I recline in my living room right now in the West Virginia exurbs, I hear the tree frogs rasp outside on a starry night, clinging to the scaly bark and branches of sycamore, pine, and maple trees on our property. They are tiny creatures, smaller than a matchbook, wet and smooth. They sometimes drop out of the umbrella onto the deck table, near the ashtray into which I have been tapping the blue-grey ashes of a Nicaraguan cigar. There suddenly materializes a teensy life form, seen though the white-grey clouds puffed out of my mouth, which taste of heat and spice. Begging Allen Ginsberg’s line (given to him by Jack Kerouac) as to what are this little fellow’s “million unutterable thoughts .”
“What matters most is how well you walk through the fire.” ~ Charles Bukowski
It is T-minus two days since the most dishonest, scurrilous, sociopathic politician seen in my 66 years of life was indicted for behavior so jaw-droppingly dumb The Atlantic slugs a story on the charges ‘The Stupidest Crimes Imaginable.’ After pouring through several articles on his criming and, then, violating a precept not to return to the commentarial slugfest Twitter has become (using my climate crisis account after canceling a personal 2,500-follower Twitter from revulsion at the site’s Elmo Musk-led degeneration), I realize what I really need right now is to knit.
To knit together some epigrams that feel just right or are, as Ezra Pound said of the essence of superior literature: “Language charged with meaning to the utmost degree.” And to weave in some recent photos that may not necessarily cohere, but maybe will resonate and concatenate. Or at the least, be worthy of a moment’s notice, amid the maelstrom of the fustian mediaverse and its ill-disciplined bratty brother, social media.
‘Level Up.’ | A relative (a ‘cugino,’ to be specific) lines up with Lake Erie one cool evening beside a resonant great lake of my youth. My parents met as young folk upon the multi-ethnic streets of the lakeside town of Lorain, which is why I’m typing these words right now. | may2023 | TheStoryIsTheThing.substack.com photography
Let us sit together
On a mat of reeds
And watch the mountains
Turn purple in the sunset.
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“On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points; who whispers as he whispered to me that summer morning in the house where the corns comes up to the window, ‘The willow grows on the turf by the river. The gardeners sweep with great brooms and the lady sits writing.’ Thus he directed me to that which is beyond and outside our own predicament, if there is any permanence in our sleeping, eating, breathing, so animal, so spiritual and tumultuous lives.” ~ Virginia Woolf, from “The Waves”
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“The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.” ~ Voltaire
‘Level Up.’ | Christopher Vincent kicks off the evening in a house concert in Charleston WV, featuring guitar impresario Michael Gulezian. | may2023 | TheStoryIsTheThing.substack.com photography
“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” ~ Lester Bangs in “Almost Famous“
‘Waitress Reflections.’ | Ristorante Abruzzi, Charleston WV | may2023 | TheStoryIsTheThing.substack.com photography
“You meet saints everywhere. They can be anywhere. They are people behaving decently in an indecent society.” ~ Kurt Vonnegut
10 Impressions of downtown Cincinnati: Looking this way and that, up and down and all around on a recent walkabout in downtown Cincinnati: A Photo Essay
When the mic opens and the poetry flows: I am walking past the multi-culti shops and through the lively streets of Ann Arbor after dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant, living the good life. What’s that flyer say? ‘Open Mic Poetry’? And it’s tonight?!
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