Rejects — Elan Mudrow Photography

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To Wander

This south wind

Brings a warmth

Tickling the side

Of rhododendrons

Waiting for the fluster

Of petals who fall

The quickest, earliest

Sticking to shoes

Tracked into the kitchen


“I meant to tell [you]

How I longed

For just this single time”


Late summer petals

Dried, lightened wishes

Caught in kitchen corners

With lone coffee beans

With runaway grains

Who stick to shoes

Tracked out, where

The north wind

Tickles the sides

Of oaks and beech


“To wander—now—is my repose”


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Chainsaw (Portrait 12)

Open to the air are rings measuring my past. It was you who told me once, I have depth. (Yes, you did say that.) A culmination of sense growing under thickened hide, a comforter of bark, a cloak of wood.

And you must remember, when the snow hit hardest, that one time, my skin, my essence, lost its protection, but, only for an instant. I internalized the cold, and for once I thought I was just like everyone else.

Normal. Like I could feel.

That’s when my lips showed their reddest. As if I bit my tongue, but I have no real fangs, as you once wished, and in regaining my composure, I drooled like a fool for you, my saliva drying upon me, leaving streaks upon that depth you said I had. For, I believed you. That was my mistake. And you believed yourself. That was also my mistake.

You see,

I’m not elusive enough to avoid cracks, internal or external. Laughter and tears are methods to expel your illusions. At this time, I could only ask you to see, to take the time to count my rings, for my shadows are a part of the sun. You will find we have a kindred compassion. You breathe me. I breathe you.


Your hand firm upon the chainsaw.

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Cascade Soul

My Spirit

is a path built in the Cascades. Tectonic plates. It adheres to a dream where I’ve floated above the trail, without pain, not worrying about the forest. The seasons stilled and the river is silent. In this sleep, my imagined body feels like it’s falling through my bed. I abruptly wake up.


My Body

is an old child’s bicycle. Tubeless tires. The back tire had a gash chewed out of it, five inches long, causing me to bump along. Then, it refused to turn, sticking in place while I was riding a couple of feet off the ground. Made a full stop and I fell. During this life, my imagined spirit feels like it’s falling through the earth. I abruptly wake up.

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Alternating — Elan Mudrow Photography

Mt. Tabor, Portland Oregon, February, 2018

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Only through our vulnerabilities  

Can we speak of ourselves

Where no genders build language

Where no categories structure

Your reaction to my voice…..

My reaction to your voice.

Either of us can be the words

Slicing into the coolness

Of our combined angers…..

Of our singular gentleness

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Sweet Dirt (Portrait 10)

You thought it would’ve been water and initially you were right. Then, the ocean changed. No one was surprised. After all, that’s what we do, change, survive, change again if we don’t die first. Not very poetic. What nipped us in the ass was the increasing storm surges and haunting fires. Beautiful when viewed from a computer screen, the greys of wind whipped sea, the coal red of fire eating its way through forests. Sometimes I think voyeurism is humanity’s best quality. We gaze at beauty and swallow it, holding it in, while it eats at us from the inside. Damn, if it wasn’t for beauty, we might’ve been better off.

And so, it came down to dirt, sweet dirt. This is what we had to learn to respect. Funny….learning how to respect something. You think we had already learned. Again, you’re wrong. No wait, I’m wrong. Because now I know. We needed to worship dirt, not carve it up, colonize it, bend it, treat it like infinity. I could wash my hands a thousand times and this dirt would always stain my fingers. I’m ingrained with the soil. You’re the same as me.

Now scarce, we look for the sweet spots, where the dirt is still alive, wormy, nutrient filled. We’re hunters of dirt.


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Search Engine

Google has us frozen

Inside an eternal summer

Where shadows are fixed

Caught in a looping noon

Where our cursor stalks ghosts

Following the red minivan

Unintentionally caught

By all of us who watch

With the strangest interest

For nothing to happen.

Its license plate blurred

Until that uncaptured turn

Out of noon, onto another street.


You pass me by with your cursor 

I am here in the garden

Walking to the store, riding my bike

It’s warm today

But then, it’s always warm here.

I am all you’ve detected

Everything you’ve made me into

As part of your search

My face blurred

I am anyone and everyone

Busy with sun and shadow

I’m where you think I should be

I’m who you think I should be

Until you move your curser

Further from my street

Where noon will lose me



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On the edge, wind plays with the stream. Its spatter freezing onto trees, who look weak, vulnerable, bent by the extra weight.

On the edge, where the stream freezes, falling is continual, falling is a cycle. Roots are lost.

On the edge, exposed, the sun isn’t always warm. It’s fickle, flirting with the cold, funneled winds. Relentless, always cycling.

On the edge, spring holds no promise. Pockets of ice remain. Trees are cautious, curving into an array of uniqueness.

On the edge, strength takes new forms, evolves into a balance. Depth is an art never grown in easy soil.


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Gothic Horror — Elan Mudrow Photography

Gothic Horror, Mt. Tabor, Portland Oregon, February 2018

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