Sometimes it takes years to really grasp what has happened to your life.
Sometimes it takes years to really grasp what has happened to your life.
“We thrive on confusion, on not being pinned down. You should not have to be the same person you were five minutes ago,” Connie Hanson says, sharing of a point of view that has endowed Guzman with a wit and a joie de vivre. Guzman itself embodies the Dada charm of the absurd, as the husband/wife team of Russell Peacock and Ms. Hanson let it be known that Guzman had a back story. He was a fifty-five year old Czech man with a grey Mercedes. Guzman had also lived in various hotels throughout Paris. And perhaps this is because Guzman is a spirit that inhabits the space between the photographer, the subject, and the stage.
Shoots will have unlikely things, like bouquets of bok choy. Or they will unfold as happenings, a way of art and life that was of a place and a time that defined New York as a bohemia and into this personalities appear. It is just this ability to create alternate universes that makes a Guzman photograph a complete affair. Whether constructing suits of various checked patterns to be born alongside Louis Vuitton accessories (because the brand did not yet have apparel lines), Guzman came along with a complete vision of how Vuitton appears in our lives. It is in this same way that they fully inhabit fashion as a way of life that Geoffrey Beene collaborated with Guzman throughout his career.
The quintessential outsider, Mr. Beene had his own way of doing things. He created Summer/Winter, just because he could. He broke every rule and created another in its place, and in his indomitable way, he was decades ahead of the curve. It was this vision of design that Mr. Beene brought to Guzman, and together they created a series of images that blur the boundaries, as we see not only a dress and a design, but the very idea of the way in which fashion can make us feel. It appears as architecture for the body. It lays between us and the world itself, and it is this which appears as the metaphor dancing across the photograph. It is both object and idea at the same time, and in this space Guzman plays with dark and light, with a blur of boundaries and the transformation of space, as the garment slips from three dimensions into two, and what remains is a beautifully selected collection of images that take us back into time to the glamorous life that New Yorkers do so well.
Guzman shares stories of Geoffrey Beene with THE CHIC.
Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.
Poetry isn’t as much an art as it is an act. It is a way of being, a way of seeing, a way of feeling life. It is respiration. Breath drawn in, words expelled. Words that float through the mind and burst upon the lips, fingertips, the pen to paper or the stroke to key, and with each and every moment, the rhythm hits me, then you, then we. Poetry, it is it’s own means, but there is no end, but rather a flow along which we go, should we wish to share the experience.
Daria Ann-Martineau publishes her poem, “Mine” at Narrative today. A native of Trinidad and Tobago, Miss Martineau recently received her MFA in Poetry from New York University. We met at a reading, where she looked resplendent in a wispy peach shift, something like a Bellini, crisp and sparkling. She takes a moment today to chat about the place of poetry in her life…
Miss Rosen: It is evident from the moment anyone lays eyes upon you that you are meant to be a muse as well as a poet alike. Your energy is deliciously elegant while also cutting edge. Please speak about the early period, when you discovered the word and the way in which it could be used as a pillow—or a sword.
Daria-Ann Martineau: First of all, thank you for that incredible compliment. It is a lot to live up to. I do not know that there was a specific moment of discovery for me. The way poetry found me was more gradual and cumulative—almost like a poem: there are lots of tiny details (teachers, books, performances) that build to this bigger idea.
I grew up with two lawyers for parents and I think complex, nuanced language was almost revered in my house. My mother collects dictionaries. I think I inherited a craving from her for the depth and meaning of language. I wrote a lot of bad “secret diary” kind of poems growing up. Nothing serious but I started taking Creative Writing at university and by my senior year, I was ready to dedicate my life.
As for the pillow/ sword thing: I think the night I saw Patricia Smith perform “Skinhead” on television was a moment I saw what crazy things a poem could do. I was about ten when that happened. I didn’t understand the moment’s gravity until much later.
How do poems arrive ? I ask as I have heard verse. Like one time I was making the bed and a voice was like, “Stop. Now write this down.” It doesn’t always happen like that, but when I am in the flow it is as if I can hear words being said. And when I read certain people’s verse, I feel that same intuitive rhythm. Do poems come to you ? Do you go to them ? Do you meet in the park by the big oak ? Or over a cone of ice cream ?
Some poems come quite naturally. Some I chase them and hunt them down. I think my most successful poems usually start off with a perceived connection between two seemingly disparate things. This idea, this association of them sits in my brain like a seed, often for months or years, before I finally get a poem from it. The poem “Mine” started when I saw the word “canary” one day and I thought about it as a colour and a bird: how to link its purpose in either context. I had just one line for months and months and that never even made it into the poem. Then one day, I sat down and wrote it in minutes.
What is the experience for you of reading your poems aloud ? How important is it to liberate them from the page ?
I hadn’t thought about it with my poems too much. Yusef Komunyakaa says the ear is the best editor and of course I will read a line over to make sure it “sounds right.” I think, though, when I read my whole poems aloud they sound more or less as I have predicted they would. There are exceptions of course, like the time I burst into tears while sharing a piece I’d written without much thought.
I love the communal feeling of sharing my work and listening to others share theirs. It’s quite thrilling. I think I get more from hearing other people’s work. When I read a Komunyakaa poem for example, I can see and feel the music without ever opening my mouth. He’s so known for that. But when I read it out loud I hear it even more and when he reads his poems out loud, it’s almost quaking. This year I’ve also been lucky enough to perform with Pop-Up-Poets, memorizing and performing famous poems. It’s this great, expansive, bodily experience. The best way for me to understand the depth of a poem is to memorize it. Recite it like a prayer.
Read “Mine” at Narrative Magazine
Transition is always a relief. Destination means death to me.
If I could figure out a way to remain forever in transition,
in the disconnected and unfamiliar, I could remain in a state of perpetual freedom.
Sometimes I come to hate people because they can’t see where I am.
I’ve gone empty, completely empty and all they see is the visual form:
my arms and legs, my face, my height and posture, the sounds that come from my throat.
But I’m fucking empty. The person I was just one year ago no longer exists,
drifts spinning slowly into the ether somewhere way back there.
I lean back and tilt my head so all I see are the clouds in the sky.
I’m looking back inside my head with my eyes wide open.
I still don’t know where I’m going; I decided I’m not crazy or alien.
It’s just that I’m more like one of those kids they find in remote jungles or forests.
A wolf child. And they’ve dragged me into this fucking schizo-culture,
snarling and spitting and walking around on curled knuckles.
Darkness has completely descended onto the landscape and I stood up
and stretched my arms above my head and I wondered what it would be like
if it were a perfect world. Only god knows. And he is dead.
Bottom line, each and every gesture carries a reverberation that is meaningful in its diversity; bottom line, we have to find our own forms of gesture and communication. You can never depend on the mass media to reflect us or our needs or our states of mind; bottom line, with enough gestures we can deafen the satellites and lift the curtains surrounding the control room.
Photographs by Guzman
Quotes by David Wojnarowicz
I ain’t got no home, ain’t got no shoes
Ain’t got no money, ain’t got no class
Ain’t got no skirts, ain’t got no sweater
Ain’t got no perfume, ain’t got no bed
Ain’t got no mind
Ain’t got no mother, ain’t got no culture
Ain’t got no friends, ain’t got no schooling
Ain’t got no love, ain’t got no name
Ain’t got no ticket, ain’t got no token
Ain’t got no God
And what have I got?
Why am I alive anyway?
Yeah, what have I got
Nobody can take away?
Got my hair, got my head
Got my brains, got my ears
Got my eyes, got my nose
Got my mouth, I got my smile
I got my tongue, got my chin
Got my neck, got my boobs
Got my heart, got my soul
Got my back, I got my sex
I got my arms, got my hands
Got my fingers, got my legs
Got my feet, got my toes
Got my liver, got my blood
I’ve got life, I’ve got my freedom
I’ve got the life
I’ve got the life
And I’m gonna keep it
I’ve got the life
And nobody’s gonna take it away
I’ve got the life
I used to write poetry when I was young. Mostly to girls that wanted nothing to do with a introverted and timid me, hence the name SLUTLUST. I loved E.E. Cummings poetry when I was younger, The way he did whatever he wanted to do with a sentence and how it wasn’t the typical romantic I-love-you-you-love-me crap, you really didn’t get a sense of what he was trying to express unless you read it with a decoder or a kaleidoscope. So I would write my poems like that – they were as safe as they were intense and if the girl got it then I would pronounce it true love. Of course that never happened.
I grew up in a poor and emotionally/physically violent household. I didn’t identify with the machismo Dominicans are known for instead I identified with the suburban family’s on prime time sitcoms making growing up very awkward for me. I felt I was better than the constant bickering my family embraced as an everyday norm while my family viewed me as a coward for not. The older I got the further I’d tried to get away from them. At the height of my dark period I hid from my family for a year when I lived only a block away.
Many people don’t know this about me but the first time I tried cocaine I was about 26 years old with a 2 year old Sun and a woman that wanted nothing to do with me. I was so desperate to try to maintain a family built solely on responsibility and not love that I brought my 1st 50 bag and gave it to her as a gift – in hopes that we would have a good time and our “family” would have a fighting chance. She left, the addiction stayed. They say keys open doors, and when I started dealing coke opened up every door you can imagine in downtown New York and Williamsburg Brooklyn. Those photos you selected aren’t photos of people doing drugs and partying – they are photos of a underground NY scene from the last 4 years mixed with blue blood WASPs from the Hampton & poor Midwestern hipsters mixed with New York City natives doing MY drugs.
I loved pop art because of the colors and it reminded me of the comic books I would to hide from my family in. I loved Basquiat because he drew with whatever medium his personal history allotted. I love 35mm film because it can’t be corrupted or easily altered like digital. When I came across Reza (TheArabParrot.com) I became a huge fan, in part because we ran in the same circles and punished ourselves with the same substances while couch surfing with any pretty little rich girl that would let us inside. He didn’t write much though, he would just let his pictures tell the story – mostly shots of him hanging around LA/ NY/ Miami with his friends wasted in bed with flashy and artsy randoms. During that time I was a heavy and well known dealer – without the incriminating evidence.
One day while I was doing a “delivery” during the Memorial Day weekend in 2010 and I was hit by a hit & run in Brooklyn. According to the people that witnessed it I should have been dead considering I flew over 4 lanes of traffic.Instead I walked away without a scratch, only a minor limp as I turned down medical and police help due to my illegal cargo. I completed my runs and went home where I fell in a deep survivors guilt type of depression. The only thought was out of all the great people that suffer these tragic misfortunes why was I allowed to walk away from mine? I was nobody but a bottom feeder parading around like a sad clown from dive bar to nightclub abusing small talk to survive. I wasn’t a good son to my mother a good brother to my sibling nor a good father to my son.
Then I thought about my Sun and what he would know of his father. At the time he had just turned 8 years old and was a pretty smart kid. I was pretty sure all he would know of me is whatever poison my estranged and very bitter baby mother knew of me. So I said fuck it, the future is now and these kids grow up with smartphones and web access. The next day I brought a cheap Polaroid film camera from a 99 cent store. I wasn’t even sure the camera worked. I got a bunch of film and started talking photos of everything I saw and documenting them in a blog I started to write just for him. I used all I learned poetry wise and just stretched it into a autobiographical depiction of my every day life complete with crappy film photos. Thorns and all I didn’t hide anything. the one thing I wish I had from my father (who I wasn’t raised with and barely know and don’t have the desire to) was the truth, and idea of how he lived. I felt that was the greatest gift I could give to my Sun.
After a couple of posts somehow through Twitter my friends found it, loved it, then Mike (MINT) got a hold of it and the rest is history. The mother of my child always said that I was worth more to my sun dead. Now I do art to prove her right.
Launched at BookMarc, New York, on Friday, February 7, Maripola X is a collection of Polaroids from the artist’s private collection of work from her earliest days in New York through to the present day. Featuring photographs of Grace Jones, Naomi Campbell, Pat Cleveland, Steven Meisel, Vincent Gallo, Francesco Clemente, Klaus Nomi, and Joey Arias. Among many others before it, Maripola X is an exquisite guide to the art of seduction.
Many of the photographs are exquisitely risqué, giving us a guided tour into the sexual exploration of a woman deeply comfortable with herself. “I don’t have any shame. I don’t have anything to hide,” Maripol notes. “These pictures are so personal. I might have been angry when I was making them, and put drops of blood on one, or carved the pussy from another. There is a sense of self indulgence that makes this my personal work.”
See the Full Story at
L’OEIL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE
Tha smella weed smells like early mornings with the window open
and the sky turning violet blue lilac pink bliss,
like late lunches or brunches with ice coffee and cigarettes,
like fun afternoons with mixed drinks maybe mojitos made by hand
and dinner parties, dinners made in the kitchen
while bottles of wine go upside down into glass decanters
that pour through lips over and over again,
like cocktails after work (work) (what is work),
like sunsets never seen and stars blocked by the haze
of New York at night and it’s after midnight, afterhours,
after all we are alone in this.
it smells like ten o clock in the garden of nineteenth
and dinner is on the table, a spread for kings and queens and me
I don’t eat meat and still I am living for this is life and me,
I am in the presence of so many people I would never otherwise know
were not for that which seems random but maybe thas not so.
Ju know what I’m talkinn bout
I’m sitting in the garden on a chair of wrought iron
with a plate fulls goodness and the spliff’s cominn this way
and I’m sure to be drinking white wine, eternally frozen in this moment,
and I’m inhaling and I’m holding and exhaling and inhaling and I feel
and it takes over me so slowly like I’m swimming through a cloud
and wow I like this cause I’m not goinn anywhere everywhere at the same time
and I am lost then found then nothing at all, evaporated and all that remains is this,
a puff of smoke coming out my mouth and floating through the world
until it smells like nothing so much as heaven and I am here,
dirty and pure.
And I’m in the garden with the snake
talkinn about munchies and I have to stop eating because you can’t have it all
because less is more and the laws of style always apply.
I’m thinking apple, something big and shiny and red and it gleams like my eyes,
like your blood upon my lips.
give me the apple & I will learn.
Weed smells like weed smells like did I just say that twice.
Yea I love to hear words as rhythms and tones and flows
until they stop making sense and that’s Talking Heads
and sometimes I stop listening to the words.