Bridge on the Ohio

Approaching the bridge into Indiana on a warm winter day, I am again struck by the structure of the thing, the joints and bolts, the idea of building high over the river. I think about the people decades ago sketching and erasing and probably smoking a lot. I think about the Yoko Ono album I’ve…

Scott County Fair #2

I feel like I have the whole fair to myself. Nothing’s open or running, but it’s the idea that I love — a little spectacle that moves from place to place on the backs of a few semis, ponies and all. I get to feel out of time here, and out of place. (Prints of…

Chandeliers, Hotel Utica

Thick columns reach from the marble floor up to rows of chandeliers so huge, so bright even Judy Garland must have stopped and cocked her head back to stare up like a mortal at the wonder the first time, like me. I follow one row and then another, back fifty, sixty years, a century. For…

Scott County Fair

I sneak in while everyone is still asleep. The midway is small—a few games of chance in the middle with low-lying rides to each side. At the end, though, by the barns, is the prize—the tall and graceful Ferris wheel with colored cages for seats. I walk around it as the sky lightens, looking up…

Op

John got me two Vasarely paperweights for Christmas, and I spend too much time watching them. Occasionally, I take one in each hand and fly them through the air as I zoom around the room. There’s no way to stop them, even when they’re sitting on the worktable in front of me. They’re not alive,…

Kleenex

There’s an apple on the table, and papers, and as I’m trying to work I notice that the box of Kleenex is beautiful. The proportions, height to width. The crispness of the edges, the swirl of colors, the strength of the thin, airy tissue reaching up. I notice how the light gathers and fades, soft…

Chandelier

Tourists head through the dark ballroom for the terrace. I check the grain in the wooden walls, vertical, pointing to the tall, coffered ceiling and the grid of chandeliers—a dozen of them, with hundreds of faceted crystals beaming light. I turn myself around in the center of the space and think of dancers, chins up,…

Anecdote of the Arch

We’re driving I-64 for 320 miles when we get to East St. Louis and notice how this part of it, anyway, looks like any place with a Lowes and a Wal-Mart and fast food ghettos. Then suddenly in front of us the arch glows in the white sun, rising above the bridges and underpasses, taking…