photograph by John Sapiro
So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.
— The Great Gatsby
cf. photograph by freestocks-photos via Pixabay (edit)
Marc St. Gil, “Den behind a Store Which Caters to the Teenage Group…” (1973)
I think about the first time I beheld you…
Petrarch, Canzoniere XX
cf. video by Sixstringplayer via Pixabay
O My Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June…
Lastly, dance records were put in. There were specimens of the new imported dance, the tango, calculated to make a Viennese waltz sound sedate and grandfatherly by contrast. Two couples displayed the fashionable steps. Behrens having by now withdrawn, with the admonition that a needle should be used no more than once, and the whole instrument handled “as though it were made of eggs.” Hans Castorp took his place as operator…
—Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
Tom Hubbard, “…Saturday Night” (1973)
on a summer night
shining after light years
the light in the window
the wind and your voice
I looked up at the sky last night
and thought of you
cf. LIFE, 1972
David Falconer, “School Children…” (1974)
And Bellerophon put his faith in the child, who had seen the image of Pegasus in the water, and in the maiden, who had heard him neigh so melodiously, rather than in the middle-aged clown, who believed only in cart-horses, or in the old man who had forgotten the beautiful things of his youth…
—Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Chimaera
You better believe it
You know my dream’s still alive
You can love it or leave it
But I’m never gonna be 35…
Tom Hubbard, “…Tyler Davidson Fountain” (1973)
You ask me, from what source so oft I draw my songs of love and whence comes my book that sounds so soft upon the tongue. ‘Tis not Calliope nor Apollo that singeth these things; ’tis my mistress’ self that makes my wit. If thou wilt have her walk radiant in silks of Cos, of Coan raiment all this my book shall tell; or have I seen her tresses stray dishevelled o’er her brow, I praise her locks and she walks abroad in pride and gladness; or struck she forth music from the lyre with ivory fingers, I marvel with what easy skill she sweeps her hands along the strings; or when she droops those eyes that call for sleep I find a thousand new themes for song; or if, flinging away her robe, she enter naked with me in the lists, then, then I write whole Iliads long. Whate’er she does, whate’er she says, from a mere nothing springs a mighty tale…
—Propertius, The Elegies
Ernst Halberstadt, “Commonwealth Avenue between Arlington and Berkeley Streets” (1973)
The season’s final blossoms bring
More dear delight than buds of spring.
They stir in us a live communion
Of sorrowfully poignant dreams.
Thus oft the hour of parting seems
More vivid than a sweet reunion.
David Rees, “Students in the Courtyard of Senior High School…” (1974)
Buried Flash Drive
Can you possibly imagine
that morning sun
so bright and
the grandeur that was
Bell Telephone Magazine, 1973
Tom Hubbard, “Rainy Night…” (1973)
I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.
I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.
I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,
But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.
–Robert Frost, Acquainted with the Night
Wil Blanche, “Springtime Scene…” (1973)
Benjamin Balázs, “Where My Heart Belongs…”
at the music store, August, 1979
I had to reach way up
the salesman plugged it into a Pignose
the sun was streaming in through the windows
He gave me an imitation tortoise-shell pick
my index finger pressed across
a circuit closed
on the way home
the late summer afternoon sun was starting to set
I rolled down the car window and
reached for the Pat Travers 8-track tape on the passenger seat
Ron Hoffman, Helping Hands Will Get This Skier’s Car off the Ice (1974)
Don’t think Brown ever gave up hope
Of getting home again because
He couldn’t climb that slippery slope;
Or even thought of standing there
Until the January thaw
Should take the polish off the crust.
He bowed with grace to natural law,
And then went round it on his feet,
After the manner of our stock;
Not much concerned for those to whom,
At that particular time o’clock,
It must have looked as if the course
He steered was really straight away
From that which he was headed for—
Not much concerned for them, I say:
No more so than became a man—
And politician at odd seasons.
I’ve kept Brown standing in the cold
While I invested him with reasons;
But now he snapped his eyes three times;
Then shook his lantern, saying, “Ile’s
’Bout out!” and took the long way home
By road, a matter of several miles.
–Robert Frost, Brown’s Descent, or the Willy-nilly Slide (excerpt)
Look on the map, I think we’ve been there before
Close up the doors, let’s roll once more…
cf. Bill Roughen, “Night Life” (Cincinnati Magazine, 1977)
Tom Rogowski, “Springing Out All Over” (Cincinnati Magazine, 1978)
Tom Hubbard, At the Tyler Davidson Fountain, in Fountain Square Downtown Cincinnati’s Popular Public Plaza, a Young Man Listens to the Radio with One Ear, Play of the Water with the Other (August, 1973)
Tom Hubbard, Girl with Book and Bench-Sitters in Fountain Square (1973)
“This poet may not be very important, you should say defiantly, but his work is good for me.”
—T. S. Eliot, “What Is Minor Poetry?”
Charles O’Rear, Las Vegas street scene (1972)
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
One time a thing occurred to me…
I make you laugh
And you make me cry
I believe it’s time for me to fly…
Cincinnati Magazine (1971)
In the midway of this our mortal life,
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray
Gone from the path direct…
–Dante Alighieri, Inferno
David Falconer, The Gas Shortage in the Pacific Northwest… (detail) (1973)
At night the stars, they put on a show for free
And, darling, you can share it all with me…
And if this old world starts getting you down,
There’s room enough for two…
Cincinnati Magazine (1972)
David Falconer, After a long winter without having a smiling service station operator… (1974)
cf. Cincinnati Magazine (1976)
Tom Hubbard, Strolling Among Pigeons at Fountain Square (1973)
He with a smile did then his words repeat;
And said that, gathering leeches, far and wide
He travelled; stirring thus about his feet
The waters of the pools where they abide.
“Once I could meet with them on every side;
But they have dwindled long by slow decay;
Yet still I persevere, and find them where I may…”
And soon with this he other matter blended,
Cheerfully uttered, with demeanour kind,
But stately in the main; and, when he ended,
I could have laughed myself to scorn to find
In that decrepit Man so firm a mind.
“God,” said I, “be my help and stay secure;
I’ll think of the Leech-gatherer on the lonely moor!”
—William Wordsworth, Resolution and Independence
Three days in the rain and I ain’t had no sleep
But I won’t break down now, I got a promise to keep
Showing my determination…
cf. Photograph by Bench Accounting via Unsplash and Cincinnati Magazine (1973)
Flip Schulke, Female Road Worker Directs Traffic… (ca. 1975)
cf. Gene Daniels, Children Play in Yard… (1972) and photograph by Frantzou Fleurine via Unsplash
…And with joy that is almost pain
My heart goes back to wander there,
And among the dreams of the days that were,
I find my lost youth again.
And the strange and beautiful song,
The groves are repeating it still:
“A boy’s will is the wind’s will,
And the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts.”
–Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, My Lost Youth
Charles O’Rear, Passengers view the scenery… (1974)
I know her not! Her hand has been in mine,
And the warm pressure of her taper arm
Has thrill’d upon my fingers, and the hem
Of her white dress has lain upon my feet,
Till my hush’d pulse, by the caressing folds,
Was kindled to a fever! I, to her,
Am but the undistinguishable leaf
Blown by upon the breeze — yet I have sat,
And in the blue depths of her stainless eyes,
(Close as a lover in his hour of bliss,
And steadfastly as look the twin stars down
Into unfathomable wells,) have gazed!
And I have felt from out its gate of pearl
Her warm breath on my cheek, and while she sat
Dreaming away the moments, I have tried
To count the long dark lashes in the fringe
Of her bewildering eyes! The kerchief sweet
That enviably visits her red lip
Has slumber’d, while she held it, on my knee, —
And her small foot has crept between mine own —
And yet, she knows me not!…
—Nathaniel Parker Willis, The Lady in the White Dress, Whom I Helped Into the Omnibus
It’s got what it takes
So tell me why can’t this be love?
Cincinnati Magazine (1971)
Ernst Halberstadt, Sidewalk Cafe… (1973)
To My Twenties:
How lucky that I ran into you
When everything was possible…
Kenneth do you have a minute?
And I say yes! I am in my twenties!
I have plenty of time!…
I write a lot and am living all the time…
Twenties, my soul
Is yours for the asking
You know that, if you ever come back.
—Kenneth Koch, “To My Twenties”
from Northeastern University Bulletin (1974 -1975)
Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they will not be
Coming back to…
–Donald Justice, Men at Forty
Now I guess it’s too late to speculate
On things as they might have been…
Erik Calonius, Commuters on Subway (1973)
I have known the inexorable sadness of pencils,
Neat in their boxes, dolor of pad and paper weight,
All the misery of manilla folders and mucilage,
Desolation in immaculate public places,
Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard,
The unalterable pathos of basin and pitcher,
Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma,
Endless duplication of lives and objects…
—Theodore Roethke, Dolor (excerpt)
But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible, logical, responsible, practical.
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable, clinical, intellectual, cynical…
Tom Hubbard, “…Saturday Night Rendezvous” (detail) (1973)
Missing one angel child
‘Cause you’re here with me right now…
Charles O’Rear, Mom takes a picture of the kids with railroad personnel at the Wenatchee, Washington depot (1974)
Then, quite mechanically and more distinctly, the conversation began again inside him…
“What was it all for—her struggle?”
That was his despair wanting to go after her.
“She is—in you.”
Suddenly he felt tired with the burden of it.
“You’ve got to keep alive for her sake,” said his will in him. Something felt sulky, as if it would not rouse.
“You’ve got to carry forward her living, and what she had done, go on with it.”
But he did not want to. He wanted to give up.
“But you can go on with your painting,” said the will in him…
—D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers
Nobody else could ever know
The part of me that can’t let go…
cf. Charles O’Rear, Two young people overlook the Colorado River (1972) and Sunset Time Lapse – YouTube
George Laur, Students on Their Way to Senior High School… (ca. 1975)
What am I now that I was then?
May memory restore again and again
The smallest color of the smallest day:
Time is the school in which we learn,
Time is the fire in which we burn.
–Delmore Schwartz, Calmly We Walk through This April’s Day (excerpt)
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight…
Flip Schulke, Vacationer From Ohio Relaxes near His Motorcycle… (ca. 1975)
“For me this is all mixed with memories that he doesn’t have. Cold mornings long ago when the marsh grass had turned brown and cattails were waving in the northwest wind…”
—Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
I’ve been this way ten years to the day, ramble on…
Tom Hubbard, August Brings the “D’aug Days”… (1973)
cf. Michael Philip Manheim, Constitution Beach… (detail) (1973)
And suddenly the memory returns. The taste was that of the little crumb of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before church-time), when I went to say good day to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of real or of lime-flower tea. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it; perhaps because I had so often seen such things in the interval, without tasting them, on the trays in pastry-cooks’ windows, that their image had dissociated itself from those Combray days to take its place among others more recent; perhaps because of those memories, so long abandoned and put out of mind, nothing now survived, everything was scattered; the forms of things, including that of the little scallop-shell of pastry, so richly sensual under its severe, religious folds, were either obliterated or had been so long dormant as to have lost the power of expansion which would have allowed them to resume their place in my consciousness. But when from a long-distant past nothing subsists, after the people are dead, after the things are broken and scattered, still, alone, more fragile, but with more vitality, more unsubstantial, more persistent, more faithful, the smell and taste of things remain poised a long time, like souls, ready to remind us, waiting and hoping for their moment, amid the ruins of all the rest; and bear unfaltering, in the tiny and almost impalpable drop of their essence, the vast structure of recollection.
—Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time
National Archives of Norway, Reiseradio
cf. David Falconer, Some Motorists… (edited) (ca. 1973)
Dick Swanson, One Of The Bicyclists Holds Her Ears Against The Roar Of The Jet Taking Off From National Airport (1973)
I went from Phoenix, Arizona
All the way to Tacoma,
Philadelphia, Atlanta, L.A.
Northern California where the girls are warm,
So I could be with my sweet baby, yeah…
George C. Laur, Students Arriving for School… (ca. 1975)
Lawrence Zink, Fashion (Cincinnati Magazine, 1971)