It's A Friendly World

is an exercise regimen you can commit to

I took these photographs at a very strange graveyard in north Orange County.

The graveyard is fairly small with probably around 100 graves. It’s near the Johnston Mill Land Tract Preserve off Mt. Sinai, if you know where that is.

A drive encircles the graveyard. As is typical, some graves have flowers and some do not. Perhaps this is common to many graveyards, but 10-20 yards into the woods off the drive there are hundreds of discarded silk flowers, balloons, and other decorative items. There’s even an odd sort of shrine called “Grace Place” that is just past a broken rock wall. Grace Place looks to be where you’d bury someone in an unmarked grave.

It was very surreal shooting pictures here. I felt like I didn’t belong. It was difficult to not feel poetic looking at all these discarded silk flowers buried under soda bottles, beer cans, leaves and pine needles. When we lose someone our love is much the same way: we can replace the flowers and try to throw the old ones away but in the end they exist far longer than we anticipate, gradually fading with each change in the weather. It is always this same exercise: lather, rinse, repeat.

That black and white photo is from the first roll of black and white I ever shot and developed at home. It’s not a great photograph by any means, but it’s sentimental for me.

One of the first cartoons I ever drew. And in its spirit, here’s a mashup poem about dating.I have returned to the world of internet dating and sometimes I feel like people are just incapable of writing interesting profiles. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say, “I don’t take myself seriously and neither should my partner.” Seriously? What do you take yourself as? Isn’t that avoiding some accountability to yourself? I think I exclusively want to date someone who takes themselves seriously.If you can ID all of the songs without google-ing them we are probably soul mates. Without further ado:Internet Date Me?Hey, babe, let’s take a walkon the wild side every morning.There’s a halohanging from the cornerof my girlfriend’s four post bed.Lily, my one and only,I can hardly wait til I seemy heart’s running roundlike a chickenwith its head cut off.Like disco super flyI smell sex and candy here.She says it’s cold feels like Independence Dayand I can’t break awayfrom this parade.Reach out and touch faith:it’s a god awful small affairto the girl with the mousy hairbut her nanny is yelling"No!" and her daddy has told her to go. They’re terribly moody then all of a sudden turn happy but, oh, to get involved in the exchange.
All I can sayis that my life is pretty plain.I like watching the puddlesgather rain.It doesn’t mean much—it doesn’t mean anything at all. The life I’ve leftbehind is a cold room.Summer in the citymeans cleavagecleavagecleavageand I start to miss you sometimes.So now I come to youwith open arms, nothing to hide.I may be leaving myself opento a murder or a heart attack—it’s these expressions I never givethat keep me searchingfor a heart of gold.The communist daughterstanding on the seaweedwater—it has always come to this.The red bells ringthis tragic gun.

One of the first cartoons I ever drew. And in its spirit, here’s a mashup poem about dating.

I have returned to the world of internet dating and sometimes I feel like people are just incapable of writing interesting profiles. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say, “I don’t take myself seriously and neither should my partner.” Seriously? What do you take yourself as? Isn’t that avoiding some accountability to yourself? I think I exclusively want to date someone who takes themselves seriously.

If you can ID all of the songs without google-ing them we are probably soul mates. Without further ado:

Internet Date Me?

Hey, babe, let’s take a walk
on the wild side every morning.
There’s a halo
hanging from the corner
of my girlfriend’s four post bed.

Lily, my one and only,
I can hardly wait til I see
my heart’s running round
like a chicken
with its head cut off.
Like disco super fly
I smell sex and candy here.

She says it’s cold feels
like Independence Day
and I can’t break away
from this parade.

Reach out and touch faith:
it’s a god awful small affair
to the girl with the mousy hair
but her nanny is yelling
"No!" and her daddy has told
her to go. They’re terribly moody
then all of a sudden turn happy
but, oh, to get involved
in the exchange.

All I can say
is that my life is pretty plain.
I like watching the puddles
gather rain.
It doesn’t mean much—
it doesn’t mean anything
at all. The life I’ve left
behind is a cold room.

Summer in the city
means cleavage
cleavage
cleavage
and I start to miss you sometimes.

So now I come to you
with open arms, nothing to hide.
I may be leaving myself open
to a murder or a heart attack—
it’s these expressions I never give
that keep me searching
for a heart of gold.

The communist daughter
standing on the seaweed
water—it has always come to this.
The red bells ring
this tragic gun.

I took this photograph of animal tracks sometime around 6am last summer. The tracks were canine, I think probably coyote. There were also some deer tracks. I tried to get a shot of the deer in the field but I couldn’t get close enough to make the exposure count before they galloped away.I am feeling way less despondent that I was last week! I’ve discovered that I really need to have clear definitions and expectations. Not being able to prepare for something really makes me an unhappy and anxious Kyle. I guess I feel like there’s an exam only no one has told me what it’s going to be about. I am motivated to learn and study but there are so many subjects out there! Just give me a little direction, sheesh.I had a really meaningful class visit with UNC a little while ago. I am still flabbergasted at the openness and intelligence I’ve encountered in business school. It is easily 10 times more welcoming and free-thought oriented than art school. I am shocked at how big everyone’s heart is and how strong their motivation is to make a difference. I feel very blessed and open-eyed.
I got a lot of my pictures framed yesterday! I should have the dining/piano room fully hanged this week and I’ll be mostly unpacked and put together. I am still looking for an area rug and a unique coffee table for my living room. I’m loving the projector but it feels a little empty in there.I so look forward to slightly warmer temperatures! I really want to head back to Eno Quarry and do some swimming/photography. If I have time this week I’ll probably shoot some portraits and pictures of my house and my new neighborhood. I can’t even remember when I last had time for photography! Now that I live so close to Southeastern Camera I’m going to become even more of a film junky. My Autocord is having some sort of weird shutter issue—it’ll only fire if I set it on a timer! I don’t know what that’s all about, especially considering I just had it restored for $150 last year. I need to get my 1934 Voigtlander Bessa repaired. It shoots 6x9 and those old German lenses without halo protection are so gorgeous and ghostly.I also got my garden all planted. I am very excited about these white marigold seeds I found. Marigolds may very well be my favorite flower, though I am also partial to hydrangea and daisies. And sunflowers. OK, maybe I just like flowers. I’m trying out portulaca this year and I may break down and buy some petunias too. I have a serious weak spot for petunia varieties.

I took this photograph of animal tracks sometime around 6am last summer. The tracks were canine, I think probably coyote. There were also some deer tracks. I tried to get a shot of the deer in the field but I couldn’t get close enough to make the exposure count before they galloped away.

I am feeling way less despondent that I was last week! I’ve discovered that I really need to have clear definitions and expectations. Not being able to prepare for something really makes me an unhappy and anxious Kyle. I guess I feel like there’s an exam only no one has told me what it’s going to be about. I am motivated to learn and study but there are so many subjects out there! Just give me a little direction, sheesh.

I had a really meaningful class visit with UNC a little while ago. I am still flabbergasted at the openness and intelligence I’ve encountered in business school. It is easily 10 times more welcoming and free-thought oriented than art school. I am shocked at how big everyone’s heart is and how strong their motivation is to make a difference. I feel very blessed and open-eyed.

I got a lot of my pictures framed yesterday! I should have the dining/piano room fully hanged this week and I’ll be mostly unpacked and put together. I am still looking for an area rug and a unique coffee table for my living room. I’m loving the projector but it feels a little empty in there.

I so look forward to slightly warmer temperatures! I really want to head back to Eno Quarry and do some swimming/photography. If I have time this week I’ll probably shoot some portraits and pictures of my house and my new neighborhood. I can’t even remember when I last had time for photography! Now that I live so close to Southeastern Camera I’m going to become even more of a film junky. My Autocord is having some sort of weird shutter issue—it’ll only fire if I set it on a timer! I don’t know what that’s all about, especially considering I just had it restored for $150 last year. I need to get my 1934 Voigtlander Bessa repaired. It shoots 6x9 and those old German lenses without halo protection are so gorgeous and ghostly.

I also got my garden all planted. I am very excited about these white marigold seeds I found. Marigolds may very well be my favorite flower, though I am also partial to hydrangea and daisies. And sunflowers. OK, maybe I just like flowers. I’m trying out portulaca this year and I may break down and buy some petunias too. I have a serious weak spot for petunia varieties.

I love Why?’s “Alopecia.” Here are some of my favorite lyrics:Are you a female young messiahfor stowaways in dugouts?And are you what church folk meanby “the good news”?The rest of the album is similarly wonderful. I just got it on vinyl and have been listening to it nonstop again. So stinkin’ good.

I love Why?’s “Alopecia.” Here are some of my favorite lyrics:

Are you a female young messiah
for stowaways in dugouts?
And are you what church folk mean
by “the good news”?

The rest of the album is similarly wonderful. I just got it on vinyl and have been listening to it nonstop again. So stinkin’ good.

I took this photograph last spring with a toy camera from the 1960s that was sold in The National Enquirer. It was part of a marketing scheme. You could get the camera for free, provided you sent $15 for shipping and handling. The toy camera also had a metal plate in it to disguise its cheap build and give it the heft of a better SLR camera. It’s called the Benz-Gant Helioflex 3000t.Things have been so busy and unusual for me recently. I bought a house, enrolled in an MBA program, moved. Yesterday I dislocated my shoulder and threw a housewarming party shortly thereafter. It has been an onslaught of demanding adaptations but I have somehow managed to not feel overwhelmed. Due to the end of a romantic relationship in February I’ve found myself without many of the acquaintances and friends I used to count. I’ve appreciated the alone time, but it’s a constant trial to avoid those feelings of abandonment and insecurity. I don’t regret the relationship ending but it has been difficult to put wind back in my sails. I don’t have people around who can really help me do tasks that really require two people, such as moving. On the one hand, I feel tempted to think negatively: “The only thing you can trust people to do is to let you down.” On the other, I am trying to expect nothing from people so that when they do come through for me I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude. I am working on this but it is absolutely an ongoing process. I feel like a werewolf trying to stay out of the moonlight.I can’t say that I feel exactly lonely, but I do feel a little lost. If I were in a painting, it would just be me and a blank canvas, perhaps with a magnifying glass in hand. I was feeling much better about life a week or two ago, but unfortunately something I was excited about seems to have began a slow dissolution as well. I’m caught in limbo once again without clear instructions from my brain going to my heart. Last month I felt as though I was in purgatory, caught inside the nightmare of living in a house where a relationship flourished and then ended. As my partner removed her furniture from the house, memories blossomed like shadows and I tried my best to not shine a light on them so that they might dissipate into the unremarkable darkness. Throughout this time it was difficult for me to not repeat my favorite haiku like a mantra. This is by Jack Cain:Empty room—one swinging coat hangermeasures the silence.
I feel mostly happy and a little tender. These past two months of being 27 have been less than ideal. Before my birthday I felt anxiety because it is such an unusual age to be (I used to be obsessed with the 27 Club). I’m hoping that the rest of the year shapes up for me, but I definitely feel like I have a long way to go and sometimes I do feel so tired. My New Year’s resolutions this year were to be more peaceful and to love more strongly. I wish it weren’t so, but it has been a struggle to love others. At times, it has been harder to find the courage to love myself. While the trees and flowers spurt forward with new growth I feel as though I am perpetually caught in the last week of autumn, waiting for winter to begin and with it that distant but imaginable promise of spring.To change subjects so I’m not a complete downer, here’s a poem I wrote about some of my favorite pieces by Chopin. I’m a big enthusiast of Polish art, music, and writing and I’m also channeling my favorite poet Zbigniew Herbert throughout this piece. If you’re not familiar with these Polish folk dance tunes, I would highly suggest them. They are simply delightful.
On MazurkasWhen I awoke I found Chopin’s Mazurkas in F#minor Op. 6 no. 1 lay onmy deskMy fingersit seemedhadn’t slept another nightBut my knowledge of you is otherwiselacking I wonder if I could somehowarrange yourself on my guitarpirouetted somewhat daintily and somewhatbroken much aftera fishwith one finI admire your arrogancekind sirin that you believed joyfulexclusions were the counterpointsto the soulMy fingers are now roughas though they have fallenand dragged along pavementfor quite some hellish distanceMy beloved corpseZbigniewis how I’ve come to know youdearest FrédéricAnd in his misstepsand misfiresand his measureshow there was never addeda certain flightlike a rifle’s long impositionupon wet sand

I took this photograph last spring with a toy camera from the 1960s that was sold in The National Enquirer. It was part of a marketing scheme. You could get the camera for free, provided you sent $15 for shipping and handling. The toy camera also had a metal plate in it to disguise its cheap build and give it the heft of a better SLR camera. It’s called the Benz-Gant Helioflex 3000t.

Things have been so busy and unusual for me recently. I bought a house, enrolled in an MBA program, moved. Yesterday I dislocated my shoulder and threw a housewarming party shortly thereafter. It has been an onslaught of demanding adaptations but I have somehow managed to not feel overwhelmed. Due to the end of a romantic relationship in February I’ve found myself without many of the acquaintances and friends I used to count. I’ve appreciated the alone time, but it’s a constant trial to avoid those feelings of abandonment and insecurity. I don’t regret the relationship ending but it has been difficult to put wind back in my sails. I don’t have people around who can really help me do tasks that really require two people, such as moving. On the one hand, I feel tempted to think negatively: “The only thing you can trust people to do is to let you down.” On the other, I am trying to expect nothing from people so that when they do come through for me I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude. I am working on this but it is absolutely an ongoing process. I feel like a werewolf trying to stay out of the moonlight.

I can’t say that I feel exactly lonely, but I do feel a little lost. If I were in a painting, it would just be me and a blank canvas, perhaps with a magnifying glass in hand. I was feeling much better about life a week or two ago, but unfortunately something I was excited about seems to have began a slow dissolution as well. I’m caught in limbo once again without clear instructions from my brain going to my heart. Last month I felt as though I was in purgatory, caught inside the nightmare of living in a house where a relationship flourished and then ended. As my partner removed her furniture from the house, memories blossomed like shadows and I tried my best to not shine a light on them so that they might dissipate into the unremarkable darkness. Throughout this time it was difficult for me to not repeat my favorite haiku like a mantra. This is by Jack Cain:

Empty room—
one swinging coat hanger
measures the silence.

I feel mostly happy and a little tender. These past two months of being 27 have been less than ideal. Before my birthday I felt anxiety because it is such an unusual age to be (I used to be obsessed with the 27 Club). I’m hoping that the rest of the year shapes up for me, but I definitely feel like I have a long way to go and sometimes I do feel so tired. My New Year’s resolutions this year were to be more peaceful and to love more strongly. I wish it weren’t so, but it has been a struggle to love others. At times, it has been harder to find the courage to love myself. While the trees and flowers spurt forward with new growth I feel as though I am perpetually caught in the last week of autumn, waiting for winter to begin and with it that distant but imaginable promise of spring.

To change subjects so I’m not a complete downer, here’s a poem I wrote about some of my favorite pieces by Chopin. I’m a big enthusiast of Polish art, music, and writing and I’m also channeling my favorite poet Zbigniew Herbert throughout this piece. If you’re not familiar with these Polish folk dance tunes, I would highly suggest them. They are simply delightful.

On Mazurkas

When I awoke I found Chopin’s Mazurkas in F#
minor Op. 6 no. 1 lay on
my desk

My fingers
it seemed
hadn’t slept another night

But my knowledge of you is otherwise
lacking I won
der if I could somehow
arrange yourself on my guitar

pirouetted some
what daintily and somewhat
broken much after
a fish
with one fin

I admire your arrogance
kind sir
in that you believed joyful
exclusions were the counterpoints
to the soul

My fingers are now rough
as though they have fallen
and dragged along pavement
for quite some hellish distance

My beloved corpse
Zbigniew
is how I’ve come to know you
dearest Frédéric

And in his missteps
and misfires
and his measures
how there was never added
a certain flight
like a rifle’s long imposition
upon wet sand


This is one of the first one line drawings I did. I think the cat came out just about perfect!

This is one of the first one line drawings I did. I think the cat came out just about perfect!

And now seems like a good time for a picture of the beach! I took this one last spring.

And now seems like a good time for a picture of the beach! I took this one last spring.

I am super proud of this drawing. When I drew it I was obsessed with Picasso! Obviously, hahaha.

I am super proud of this drawing. When I drew it I was obsessed with Picasso! Obviously, hahaha.

Yay, spring. I am so glad to finally have temperatures in the 60s.

Yay, spring. I am so glad to finally have temperatures in the 60s.

Negative scratched during the developing process (my film reel broke…) but it’s otherwise a nice picture.
Self-portrait, Black Mountain, NC
July 2012, Minolta Autocord, 120mm Delta 100

Negative scratched during the developing process (my film reel broke…) but it’s otherwise a nice picture.

Self-portrait, Black Mountain, NC

July 2012, Minolta Autocord, 120mm Delta 100

MOAR WHERE’S WALDO COMIX.

MOAR WHERE’S WALDO COMIX.

And here’s another humor poem that is completely unrelated to this picture! w00t.Sympathy for Bowser
Bowser, you confuse me. What are you?Your legs are Cretaceous, maybe triceratops,but scaled. Where were you in Edentime? Did you rediscover your legs at the gatebeneath a flaming sword? How complicatedit must be for you. You might scoffat cherubim, but will forever be bruisedby one who eats mushrooms, feathers,

and fire plant. How absurd this situation!If you look at your belly, what do you see?A crocodile easing into the Nile’s sunset,or a catcher blocking the winning run?

How did you get so spliced? Tail of stegosaurus,fury of orange dragon! I do not understand.What god assembled you from spare partsin the Villain Bin? How does the Princess feel

when you grab her?  With reptile hands coldon her jaw, does she fall weak with swoons?Does she call you Bad Boy and tugat your tail? When you kiss her she opens

her eyes and regards you. Bovine slug, she thinks.Hair of a collectable troll! Octogenarianeyebrows! Worst of all, close-set eyes!But my, how his tongue plays in my mouth.

I can feel the sulfur in my throat.In moments like these, you remain lost in herpeachness, considering yourself quite progressive,a Feminist at heart. It is Mario with his infinite lives

and infuriating impulse to sacrificewho always plays the two-dimensionalsavior. It is he who domesticizesToadstool and makes her greasy

with dishwater, with plumbing,with managing the struggling pizzeria.You watch from behind the Last Castle,forever awaiting Judgment Day

when he will come and take her back. Parapetsand turrets will enclose you, cannons reportin your heart. At the end of the World,you stand on a tower carving your own cross.
Something like spores snows from your eyesand covers your Kingdom in darkness.You whisper an adult prayer, a Villain’sLament, for someone to press reset.

And here’s another humor poem that is completely unrelated to this picture! w00t.

Sympathy for Bowser

Bowser, you confuse me. What are you?
Your legs are Cretaceous, maybe triceratops,
but scaled. Where were you in Eden
time? Did you rediscover your legs at the gate

beneath a flaming sword? How complicated
it must be for you. You might scoff
at cherubim, but will forever be bruised
by one who eats mushrooms, feathers,

and fire plant. How absurd this situation!
If you look at your belly, what do you see?
A crocodile easing into the Nile’s sunset,
or a catcher blocking the winning run?

How did you get so spliced? Tail of stegosaurus,
fury of orange dragon! I do not understand.
What god assembled you from spare parts
in the Villain Bin? How does the Princess feel

when you grab her? With reptile hands cold
on her jaw, does she fall weak with swoons?
Does she call you Bad Boy and tug
at your tail? When you kiss her she opens

her eyes and regards you. Bovine slug, she thinks.
Hair of a collectable troll! Octogenarian
eyebrows! Worst of all, close-set eyes!
But my, how his tongue plays in my mouth.

I can feel the sulfur in my throat.
In moments like these, you remain lost in her
peachness, considering yourself quite progressive,
a Feminist at heart. It is Mario with his infinite lives

and infuriating impulse to sacrifice
who always plays the two-dimensional
savior. It is he who domesticizes
Toadstool and makes her greasy

with dishwater, with plumbing,
with managing the struggling pizzeria.
You watch from behind the Last Castle,
forever awaiting Judgment Day

when he will come and take her back. Parapets
and turrets will enclose you, cannons report
in your heart. At the end of the World,
you stand on a tower carving your own cross.

Something like spores snows from your eyes
and covers your Kingdom in darkness.
You whisper an adult prayer, a Villain’s
Lament, for someone to press reset.