They swirl above me, swashes of crows, in a chaos of dashes. They cackle, arguing amongst themselves, bickering with the sky.

These large murders are new. I haven’t seen them like this, as if they’re scolding me. For, I think they follow me. I know you think they follow you too. I would ask you to look up. But who am I to ask?

I ask them if they’re trying to speak to me. Of course, because I’m self-absorbed, I answer for them, “Yes, I’ve made mistakes. Some of them large enough to follow me around for the rest of my life.”

Then, I realize, it’s my ability to communicate that turns them into metaphors. They’re my mistakes. They’re yours too. They are representations of me and you. No wonder their caws fill the air.

And that soothes me, but in a disturbing way. I can understand why it might make you feel uncomfortable. They fly as if they’re in love with tension.

As a child, I believed their eyes saw everything and they shared every sight they saw. They’ve seen everything. Once you’ve seen everything, you can’t believe anything. That’s why there’s so many of them.

The air is thick with eyes. Theirs, ours. Have I lost you yet? It’s ok. Disconnecting is a natural reaction. Perhaps, a survival mechanism. I reach for my phone to take a photo of them. You must see this, even though you’ve already seen it. For you’ve seen everything. I don’t care whether you believe. Let me show you again.

There’s not enough space for them to land. I feel sorry for us. The trees are lower than all the buildings. We’ve built it like that.

We stay inside. Our mistakes can belong to someone else. We don’t want to see everything. We don’t want to share anything. We just want to believe.


Rejects — Elan Mudrow Photography

via Rejects — Elan Mudrow Photography

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.

Alternating — Elan Mudrow Photography

Mt. Tabor, Portland Oregon, February, 2018

via Alternating — Elan Mudrow Photography


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

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.


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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