these are some ramblings from the poet francine j. harris from the city of detroit. they are not necessarily about detroit. in fact. they could generally be written from anywhere. but...they're not and that's the point.
by that i mean, i took the shot of the typewriter at the silversmith hotel in chicago during AWP, because i love old typewriters and i wanted that picture.
i didn't notice the mag in the background with the cover dedicated to artists inspired by obama, his campaign, his presidency. which i think is a pretty hot mix of images and eras, so i'm in love with this photo this week.
but it reminds me - how we date and mark things unintentionally. how so often the latent element tells us more about the picture than anything we were aiming for. what for example would an expert have to say about that shabby old throw run under the table? probably that it's a piece of crap from the 70's but by far not an antique. what would a typewriter connoisseur say about the mix of old yellow keys and crooked replacements on the keyboard?
likewise. most often in conversation with people, it's not the things they are trying to say to me that give me the most information about that person. it's often the unintended things that shape my opinion about them. the way they hold the door for someone or don't, maybe. how they warm their hands in the cold, whether they blow into their hands or rub them together like sticks for a campfire. the way they speak to a waitress when the food is too cold. the way they purse their lips when a certain someone walks into the room. the way they carry a box.
we are nothing but a multitude of signals. we tell on ourselves constantly. alot of times, i feel like we're also a bundle of tools trying to fix our signals. watching how we eat and fold our legs, curbing (crafting, crafting) how we say our truths (and our lies) to make sure they sound ... just ... so.
i'm not arguing against etiquette. i appreciate protocol to a great extent.
but far from convincing ourselves we can control how we are viewed, it is worth bearing in mind that in how we live - how we carry ourselves, how we write, how we speak. however we go about our day to day lives, we are unintentionally telling on ourselves. telling the world all our private strenghts and our wretched neuroses.
i find this incredibly freeing. it means no matter what i try to do, or say, if someone is paying attention, they can tell where all my fuckups/assholes/egomaniacs live.
no use in trying to hide the fuckers. suffice to say. we all have an understanding. we tend to keep our sides of the fence. it doesn't mean they don't exist.