Friday, 12 December 2008


My streets are empty
because I go out early
and take photographs.

My plates are too late,
mere things; what has happened
has left its mark.

Some mornings alone
I set up my camera
and just keep waiting

for the mist to rise,
for the vacancy to be
a few metres clear:

a cobbled concourse
leading to the Moulin Rouge
where dampness glistens.

Someone said I do
crime scenes, bleached and swept;
if so, the cops aren’t interested.

For artists - who else? -
these silver nitride traces,
instalment stories

where no shots ring out,
and there is no embrace, since
the world has ended.

These are documents
and nothing else. I know Man
Ray – he talks of a journal,

new existences.


Sometimes, mornings I’m alone,
passing the Metro, and stop,
set up my camera in vain
for the faces emerging
and disappearing to greet
the soul that inhabits life:

the soul which was there
in the Luxembourg Gardens,
in the mist across water.

I record stone thoroughfares,
entrances machines will block,
the shops they’ll demolish.

My horizon is noisy,
limited by offices.

What can’t be repaired:
the stairs between walls,
full of entry points,

entrances for artists.


Eugene (iii)

I took you still in your trades,
as you presented yourselves to me,
a set of prints from the streets
that you cross every day and re-cross,
imprinting yourselves at the heart
of the streets that you yourselves
create: baker, porter and tart,
peddler and hurdy gurdy man.
I made these pictures of you, and
with you, for you, as you were
each standing on your bit of street,
I with my tripod, as I presented
myself to you, fellow Parisian, graduate
of the School of Hard Knocks; we
were daybreakers on the gymnasium floor.

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