Tag Archives: I am a camera

Random Photo: Self and Parasite


A photo a day keeps the Doctor in play.

Mrs. Dr. Omed, friend Lizabeth, and I enjoyed jazz and Manhattans (Louisville pour) at Nachbar last night. Selfie taken in mensroom mirror.

Jazz at Nachbar:

Nachbar jazz.jpg


I am a Camera: Sunday Selfie

proto selfie 1980ish twk

I took this proto-selfie with a 35mm Pentax K1000 single lens reflex camera circa 1982ish. I found this photo and others dating back to the 1980s tucked in a box of postcards a few day ago; I’ve been saving this photo for Selfie Sunday.

The Pentax was a good camera. I’m sorry to say I lost it to a Denver pawn shop circa 1989. The blurriness is due to the photographer; no autofocus. I picked up the camera and snapped the photo on impulse. Shot in available light. Even back then I disliked using the flash. The camera was probably loaded with 400ASA film.

The compelling thing about this self-portrait is I remember taking it; I was in the depths of severe unmedicated depression. This is the face of flat black Grendel, mad, bad, and sad, without chemicals.

I am a Camera: Sunday Selfie

falls o self sycamore root

I am a camera, and so are you

I am a Camera: Selfie Sunday

self thin fronds

Taken with my iPhone at Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati, Ohio.

I am a Camera: Raindrops on Clover

raindrops clover 1

On Monday, hereabouts, rain fell most of the day. I was walking the dogs in the rain that morning, and the three of us, terrier, chupacabra, and mongrel poet, came to a full stop in a tangle of leashes as I kneeled to see the miracle of raindrops on clover.

raindrops clover 2 crop1

Since I am a camera, and had my device in my pocket, I began to take pictures. April showers bring the bloom of spring to the digital panopticon as well as the wide world we walk in, many of us bearing cyborg eyes. The panoptic clouds are full of daffodils; Facebook and Twitter and Instagram are raining .jpgs of violets and redbuds.

raindrops clover 2 crop3

In the images I collected with the iPhone, the raindrops seem to float rather than rest on the surfaces of the clover. I do not know if this effect is an artifact of the camera or not, but I almost fall into a trance staring at the screen at the spheres of water that seem barely to adhere to the cloverleaf.

raindrops clover 4


raindrops clover 5


raindrops clover 6 crop 1

And here is a violet that was poking through the clover:

raindrops flower clover

Note that the raindrops aren’t the floating spheroids as on the clover. Hmm.

When April showers may come your way
They bring the flowers that bloom in May
So when it`s raining have no regrets
Because it isn`t raining rain you know
It`s raining violets

And when you see clouds up on a hill
You know they`ll bring crowds of daffodils
So just keep looking for a bluebird
And listening for his song
Whenever April showers come along

I am a Camera, and so are You

self 21c two right eyes tcrop

I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking.

Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin

We all are cameras now. In fact, we are all cyborgs now. The electric eyes, the lenses that record digital images we carry with us damn near everywhere, are just one more Borg accoutrement with which we signal our oneness with the Collective, the hivemind. That the machines we are so attached to are not yet surgically grafted to our bodies and that we are not yet required to carry them on our bodies at all times only slightly obscures our dependence on our prostheses to live what passes for life in the digital age.

human surrender

But I love being a camera. Since I got my first digital camera a decade or more ago, I’ve taken tens of thousands of photos. Liberated from the cost of film and developing prints, I click my iPhone for camera the way a four-pack-a-day smoker (Are there any left?) taps out a cigarette. I’ve salted one hard drive after another with .jpgs and no one but me has seen most of them. I simply enjoy looking at them, and playing with them in a photo-editor. I spend hours on my laptop doing this. As with my poetry and art most of the pleasure for me is in the doing of it; the composition, the editing, the tweaking. Sharing with others is way down there.

self blue bottles boost

Take it from a genuinely asocial hermit; the best thing about the digital panopticon is that you never have to share, even when you’re sharing (and you’re always sharing). In this ether, solitudes, not people, collide–a extension of Gutenberg, and Kodak, by other means. Vpeeps think they use “social media” to share, communicate, even to commune. Loners-by-trade understand the first and best use of “social media” is to erect the virtual columns from which each of us may enact our solitary passion play to a virtual congregation as a virtual Stylites. But I disgress. Let us cathect.

What I’m talking to myself and letting you listen about is digiphotographilia, this obsessive virtual fondling of images. Instead of surfing online porn I look at pictures of leaves I take myself.

falls o leaf crack

I mostly take pictures of things, not people. I document graffiti of interest wherever I find it;


also fossils; junk in abandoned buildings; buildings; architectural detail on buildings; manhole covers… I also stalk birds, butterflies, armadillos, raccoons, cicadas, and spiders. Bridges, and the rivers that flow under them.

sator arepo bridge falls o

Yes, I enjoy being a camera, and now we, the etheric we, the hash of ghosts, the mechanical turks of the virtual panopticon, are all eye to cyborg eye–A crowd of eyes seeking self, seeking a way out of self. In contraposition to the Isherwood quote, William Gass wrote, in On Being Blue:

The camera understands its enemy, and shuts its eye.

Every blink of the camera eye is a Judas kiss, a cold click by which a kingdom of beholding is betrayed. Captured.

self each art

The digital eye, the eye that in its multitudes never sleeps, the eye of Little Sister and Big Brother, is also the serpent eye of ouroboros. It is not God the Father’s house but the ouroboric eye which has many mansions.

self 21c alphabet soup sharp