Loretta Lux

The Drummer
I love Loretta Lux's photographs. That the subjects are children is especially ironic because their faces are so devoid of glee yet their context is clinically bright and antiseptically clean. The tones and proportions are John Currinish yet the vibe is decidedly A Boy and His Dog downunder. Technicolor zombies in a sterilized screen.

The kids are not all right. And that is all right by me.

The Rose Garden

The Waiting Girl



It’s hot. So hot. Each day feels like a challenge—physical, mental, emotional. I collapse at home as if I have just lived through something, only to prepare for the weird a/c sleep of the night. It feels infernal. A taste of hell. The heat steals my brain, my thoughts, my drive. A heat-induced lobotomy. Catatonia. No end in sight. Torturous, never-ending 90*-plus days hit hit hit us, making us lose it, one by one. Murder rates are up. So are ice cream sales. Tar beach is on fire. Hot town, summer in the city.


Ed Ruscha (b. 1937)


210 Shoreview Drive

 The front porch, in the back of the house

My mom sent me the link from the realtor: my grandparent’s house is for sale. I didn’t spend a lot of time there, and it has changed hands a few times since my grandparents died, yet I have so many memories. Most of my memories are the odd fleeting ones of childhood, but they are so clear. My memories of how huge the bathtub was, and that the bathroom wallpaper had little pictures of Italian villages on it. Of the linen closet that had a door in the hallway and the bathroom, so you always had access to a fresh towel (I thought that was the neatest thing!). Of my grandfather playing solitaire at the kitchen table (actually a picnic table, painted black and covered with a gingham check table cloth) underneath a huge skylight that gave the room a muted yet bright light. The TV room—that my aunt Laura drove the car through once—that always smelled damp yet had the most interesting stuff to snoop through. Of the huge holly bush outside the front door, which was actually in the back of the house, and the massive rosemary bush outside the back door, which was in the front of the house, and the smell of sweet peas from the side garden. Of following the path in down the hill in the front of the house and finding the bench where I sat with my great-grandmother, or maybe I am just remembering the picture of sitting with her. Of those funny little ashtrays shaped like peasants, and when you turned them over, you saw their bums. Of how my grandmother saved every shred of wrapping paper and greeting card and crammed them into the cabinet midway up the stairs, to be repurposed for another occasion. The wonderful upstairs room, with the great light and breeze and rugs from China (made in Cal’s yellow and blue).

When I visited, there was always so much to explore, to look through, ask about, from their travels, their lives. I can only imagine the memories of my mom and aunts and uncles. When the house was first put up for sale, years ago, I wanted to buy it so badly, I wanted to preserve everything as I remembered it. But I guess, I have, in a way, every time I remember my grandmother on her bed shouting at the tennis match on the TV or see the Checker Marathon parked in the carport.

The interiors seemed to have been changed, as with some of the grounds, but it is as I remember it. And I suppose, if I shut my eyes, it always will be.