Tree By The Water
© jonathan saunders
In there, in there, in here this place on you not you where I wanted to place that Hand Of Mine.
Feel your rushing blood.
Tick, tick, tick. Just for me to see. Aim at my Heart.
As predictable as time itself once was taken, away, by only you, again, for my ever.
Coward Of My Touch
The Texas Perimeter Hike
“The Story Of Texas, Its People & The First 3000-Mile Trek Along The Perimeter Of The State”
This man, they call him S.Matt, he likes to trek. I did the photographs the magazine requested of me, of us, S.Matt alone on white. I then asked him to go for a walk with me after I took too much of his time, albeit a shorter walk than usual. He agreed, as his nature is calm and S.Matt has an energy that makes you so as well. We started in his yard and went in a straight line towards the Gulf as I shared stories and he listened. We were there before I could hear more of his and then it was dark. I talk too much.
This land of ours, it is his and it is mine in ways and whys unique to us both and this shape is like no other. We talked about it, we touched it’s line by the water this day and wondered how such a simple thing like shape can be so much and inspire so much in so many. I cannot think of one tattoo I have seen in the shape of any other state, yet here in Texas, (and elsewhere) I have lost count. Mark it on your skin, go walk around it, get lost in myth here & try to tell me it won’t change something about who you were before you touched this line that defines it or us.
I don’t think S.Matt finds himself as lost as much as I do here.
for Texas Monthly
– thank you Leslie
– thank you S.Matt
A Name You Know With No “A” At The Front
The Last 30 Seconds Of One Year & The First 90 Seconds Of Another | Please Press Play Or Listen Forever
please press play
A Different Time, Repeated Patterns Of Specifics
Crocodile Tears – The expression comes from an ancient anecdote that crocodiles weep in order to lure their prey, or that they cry for the victims they are eating. The expression’s origin is that crocodile tears cannot be authentic because crocodiles cannot cry; they lack tear ducts. Yet this is a myth: Crocodiles possess lacrimal glands which secrete a proteinaceous fluid, just like in humans.
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Shakespeare Othello Act IV, Scene i:
“O devil, devil!
If that the earth could teem with woman’s tears,
Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.
Out of my sight!”
Again, Shakespeare, Henry VI, part 2, Act III, Scene i:
“…and Gloucester’s show
Beguiles him as the mournful crocodile
With sorrow, snares relenting passengers;”
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You Looking To Your Right, Your Mouth Open With Anticipation
You Looking At Me, Seemingly Softly Lustful
You, Eyes Closed, Mouth Open, Glee
You Looking At Me, Prideful Smile
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119 Minutes Before I Took A Photograph Of My Left Hand Removing Aquamarine From You
Face Down, Purple Gone, Yellow On, Sheets Of White
Your Blue Green (In Sunlight) Eyes Rolling Topsy Turvy, Open Closed
These Secret Treasures® Became Mine
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Eyes Looking Directly At You, Or, Closed So, My Hand To My Face
21 of 55 in 45 days Between Actual Sees, Sent To You, One By One, As Created, Each Time
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I once asked if I could take a photograph of us together, you said of course. I stood behind you, closely, my face in your hair, looking around you back towards my hand, my face close to yours. I raised my arm and held that dead weight of plastic, metal and glass out pointing back at us, as far as my arm would allow me. I moved my finger to press that button. As I was about to, I saw you look down and raise your hand to your face, before you heard the machine make that noise of taken.
So I relaxed my arm under that weight, that is not how I wanted us to look, I did not press. I waited, I shut my eyes and inhaled a breath, smelling your hair. I let it go and raised my arm back out again. I held that dead weight of plastic, metal and glass pointing it back at us as far as my arm would allow me. I looked into the glass, I stared at it, as I noticed you once again look down and put your hand to your face for me in a repeated expression of rethought action for me to see, for my ever, that is what you wanted me to see in you, you couldn’t just be.
That was the last photograph I took of us.
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The last photograph I saw of you, I don’t know if someone else took it or if you took it, but I see that it was not at the end of your out stretched arm, pointing back at yourself, so we cannot know, just as that would only likely tell us, or really not. Maybe it was by someone else, you showing them something too, your hand was on your face in this one as well, but differently. Maybe you took it on a timer, with some chance, but you understand self timers, so chance is unassuming. Was your camera resting on something, a stack of books, a shelf, a tripod, the windowsill over your tub of bath – the hands of a lover or someone that may only appear as so sometimes. Maybe you took it with a long cord attached on one end to the machine and on the other end, attached to your one hiding from us all hand, pressing that button when the expression was right or felt right or was what you wanted us to see. I don’t know, we won’t know, we never can, and that is just how you want it, this is what you are proud of most, no one knowing, any, real, thing.
This Is All I Know Of Mine Known You
Go Forth With True Heart Only (Without Intoxication), All Ye Who Try, Thy Treasure Awaits
29,53.47N 96,52.47W – Touch Above Or Below For This Map Of Bounty
I Do See More, I Will
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nowhereyouwilleverknow & now+youknow
2 January 2011 – 14:38:19
What I Saw Out My Desk Window, Just Now, Again When I Did Not Wish Too
“…but these are the thugs I think of when I honk about you…”
I write too many letters on my phone from places I cannot forget.
Everything I said these days was true, it flowed from me like a breath, a blink, only it took less effort than that.
I Will Miss That Me, This One, May Have Only Been An Idea, I Can No Longer Tell
Is The Fading Of Your Once Forever Always
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The Eve Of The Other Eve
It was the same dancer from the first time I went here, during the emergency. I was one of the last customers this night, I didn’t want to return to where I was staying. So I just stayed here till my money was gone. She remembered me and each time she walked by me all night she said something to me – wanting to give me another dance. Yet each time till now, she was with another, you see, she is popular.
Now it was my turn, the routine was the same as before. We didn’t talk, she sat on my lap waiting for the next song to start and I stared at her. In the loud quiet we sat there, I remembered what a woman I have known asked me once about these places, “I bet you’re the kind that wants a connection with the girl right?” I cannot remember how I answered her as in my head, all I could think was how could this woman I have known, know me so little when she likely knows more about whatever truths are here in these places than I do.
The song started and the dancer on my lap danced, as she had before, she knows what to do and works very hard, it is why she is popular, well that and she is very pretty, all over and I don’t think she knows it. It was also as it was before, as it wasn’t working. She just looked at me every so often as I stared and then looked back down at herself, trying only harder. As the song was about to end, as it faded, she looked towards my right shoulder, stopped and pulled a hair off of me. It was likely not hers and it surely wasn’t mine. I looked at her, she looked back at me and said, “Hair.” Then she went back to dancing till the song ended. The next song started and nothing changed, when that one ended she had the last of my money. I told her to have a goodnight and she said, “You too, be careful.”
When I got back to where I was staying, I found another hair on me. I took it off, took a photograph of it on white, then black and thought that one hair being taken off me by her was the only moment of genuine all night.
The Buck Rarely Is Seen As The Love Of The Doe May Die If So
So She Hides Him
I stepped outside to empty the garbage. Walking the can to the curb I heard them, that unique sound of those fancy feet dancing on asphalt. I sighed before I even looked for them. I hadn’t seen them in some while and this night, this Wednesday night between two holidays, I didn’t want to. I stepped closer then I usually do, I wanted them to fear me and made what I had to with what I had on me. They let me.
I went inside and tried to forget that I just saw them. Hours later, I left to run an errand and once again, there they were when I didn’t want them, not this day. So I made more. Much later, returning to this place I stay, I saw them all together, waiting for me on my lawn. This had never happen before, not like this. I was not having a party tonight and I did not invite them.
They loved me enough to show up anyway. So I tell myself.
They hunt me, I don’t even go looking anymore.
8 October 2010 | Before I Knew | At Of In IAH | Written (Mostly) On A Tuesday After I Knew
14 May 2010 | Here Before
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I made a portrait of that woman waiting to fly on my left at IAH because she reminded me of a woman, or maybe in some place in my mind or real life – it’s the same actual woman, I made a portrait of 147 days ago that was to my right, also waiting. She was waiting for the red light! to become green light!, a specific time I often photograph people, when they are waiting, sometimes in their cars, sometimes not. I have too many, I’ve shared too many, which means, I wish I had more, from all these many years. Complete strangers to me. I make note of what time and time between these points quite often as well, I find it important. You know this if you’ve seen a story of mine before, if you know me at all or if you are one of the few that have known me better than others with the true sense of the word know. Neither of these likely two different beautiful women do I know or have known. Nor do they know they appeared, disappeared and reappeared for me to cherish. To be shared here, forever in my time, seconds apart or days. This is why time gets noted, this is the only way I can stop it when I cannot otherwise and so fucking desperately want to. It goes too fast, it is running out every damn day as I get closer to dying and I am exhausted by all that feels lost I cannot feel ever again. So I mark and keep this time as best I can because it is futile, because I know this and because I find the attempt itself full of a grace I do not always live with, when I wish I could.
Your Unkind Line Was Just That, If You’re Known
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There were once so many little things I once loved to create, I won’t know how to anymore.
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There Is Nothing I Can Do, My Tongue Is Tied
a poem of sorts i once read that had words that read like your words, by an author i overlapped with my tied tongue, so closely, i can almost taste him. i was at a party once where i thought maybe i saw him, it occurred to me, maybe i should walk over and try to taste you:
about me, hyperme, the simulectra pivoted about my face occupying my identity? facial expressions and a dialect of gesture would do more to describe me than words can, but i suppose that this inactual reality which broadens communication while confusing the term communication adequately allows us to meet. how are you? that’s nice. i wouldn’t have listened anyway, so perhaps this resembles truth, somewhat. i am self absorbed, though not into myself, into my imagination, which is not myself, but exists within a body of thought i think to control (failure of language), therefore i am self absorbed but not self important. i watch my thoughts– which are not agrandized– like shadows of whirls in a summer pool. i enjoy these things, and […name of woman…] practices patience daily in my enjoyment of these things. she enjoys a different distraction which brings her into presence. i am absence, at times.
– mein cristof
I Believed In Something That Was Not Real, Too Much, This Is How I Learned Myths Are Real, Not Long Ago
Before I Knew
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i wrote: “you are lying on your back, drifting to sleep but not quite there yet. it’s late and dark out but there’s a soft glow from the street lights and moonlight playing with the shadows around the room. you are wearing small, black underwear and nothing else. i am lying next to you, my head resting on your tummy, there’s music playing but not in this room, it’s echoing through from another. one of my hands is tangled in your hair and i have left it that way, making a fist with it and gripping it tightly. my other hand is curled around your hips, i have a handful of that marvelous ass and am gently squeezing it one moment and forcefully rubbing it the next. i start softly kissing your tummy as my head rests in your sweat and mine. a breeze comes across your skin and you feel your tummy go cool as the wind makes the wet go cold. you cannot tell the wet from my sweat, the spit from my relentless kisses or my tears…. i am not sad.”
365 Days Ago I Once Visited A Place I Never Meant To Go Again, This Was Visit Three
Day Of Eve Of | (prelude)
From That Same Side Of That Same Road, Walking In An Ignored Circle, Making 4, Sending 1
I Could Have Written Everything I Could Have Written Nothing
I Could Have Said Everything I Could Have Said Nothing
I Desired An Action When Words & Pictures Are Just Words & Pictures Reflecting In Sunlight Off Glass
If I Cannot Touch It, It Is No Longer Nor Can Be Ever Real
My Missing Is More Than An Idea
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365 Days Like This Ago, I First Unwillingly Farmed & Now My Words Are Being Counted
Deduc Nostri Eburneum
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You Comforting Me After I Comforted You During Our Only Days Together While You Were Still The Wife Of A Man You Met After Me While I Gripped Your Hand Shielding My Eyes From That Steady Stream Of Light In The Sky During Our Only Days Together A Few Days Before You Met Your Next Husband
One Man You See Mostly On Glass | Dallas, TX
The Hours Before & After I Met Him & I Miss The Lawyer I Lost
14-x.10 & 15-x.10
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My Empty Hand I Wanted To Hide, My Closed Fist Punching A Sunlit Crack
My Empty Hand The Color Of Rain Water, Dry
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I photograph strangers for money.
Most often, men who do things I cannot understand.
– for Maggie
I was there to photograph the planes. I was allowed close, right up next to them, I even touched a few. My favorite one was the yellow one but I didn’t immediately remember why. I think I liked that it was called Miss Texas and had just that painted right there on it. That was enough. Through happenstance, I was then asked,
“Would you like to go up?”
Why, yes, I would, thank you.
I sat in the seat, was told how to work the release buckles, operate the canopy, the radio, the parachute strapped to my body and then this plane started moving. It felt just like I always thought it would. We went up into that sky and did loops, I think we did three.
please press play
I raced home later this day to look at the photographs, my father came over to look too and asked what kind of plane it was. I told him it was a T-6 Texan. I could hear the excitement in his voice,
“Like the one from that day in Florida?”
You see, in July, we had watched a yellow T-6 Texan fly by us then vanish into the sky. Moments later, we saw the crowds on the beach and heard a horrible story of no survivors. It had done a loop and then another and then went straight down into that emerald water before its third. The story we heard that day was that a bride was watching her father pilot this plane from our very beach when this happen, the day before her wedding.
You see, I had just been in a yellow T-6 Texan and I had just done three loops and I had forgotten.
The Sound Of A Penguin Singing To Me | please press play or keep it forever
“When I think about you I feel gray.”
I had been surrounded by secret wings all week and now I was standing in a Walgreens. I was in there by myself but waiting on another. I hadn’t needed anything but was along for the errand when I heard it. I turned and looked down across the aisle and there by herself was a beautiful older woman with platinum hair, blue eyes and dressed all in red with a short skirt pulled taught over the tan of her skin. She saw me looking and said,
“I don’t know how to make it stop.”
I walked over towards her and replied,
“I don’t want it to stop.”
Embarrassed by the singing penguin, she walked away and I stared at her why she did. Then when no one was looking, I hit record, I pressed its foot and I tried to not cry.
This same day I had watched a puppy fly. I photographed it all in gray. Later this same day, I watched a bird fly. I photographed it all in gray too. Then even later, in the darkness, I met a woman with wings inked onto her forever. I paid her to let me touch them and I then paid her to let me photograph them, in all their colors.
You See, I Wish I Could Fly Too, Just Like That Black & White Singing Penguin Whose Wings Don’t Work
ANYThing wiLL HELp, EVEN PrAyerS
Two Men Listening Or Talking
A Man & A Woman Sharing Listening
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11 Minutes 35 Seconds of 12 December 2010
I once heard really important words spoken directly to my face. I once heard really important different words spoken to me through a piece of glass to my ear. Both times it seems I made the mistake of believing what the words I heard both ways actually meant. When I read this woman’s sign, this woman with a heart shaped necklace, I thought it meant anything will help, even prayers. I could not possibly know any other thing than this.
So to be clear, for myself, this night one day later, as I need it: ANYThing wiLL HELp, EVEN PrAyerS.
I like to give girls hickeys although I can only recall two tonight. After this one, 12 hours after, which I had produced in jest, my mouth starting bleeding. It did not stop for another 12 hours. I did not know what this meant, but found it more than a happenstance. I knew I had done her wrong, but it wasn’t the hickey.
please press play
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the name Sid goes back in my family to at least 1813
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an Officer and a Gentleman | room 122 | no smoking | ⣰⠁⠃⠃
28 photographs/54 pages – for when you have no where else to go
158 Days Ago I Met A Man Who Was Heavier Than He Now Is, He Lost 158 Pounds
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158 Pounds Is The Weight Of This Man I Photographed Who Photographed Him
4 Of The 6 Photographs I Made Of This 158 Pound Man Across Those 158 Days
17-vi.10 | 27-viii.10 | 8-xi.10 | 21-xi.10
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City Of Violet
– thank you Em S
Remember Me, Love Me