Monday, November 18, 2013

DOING THE HONORABLE THING

I adore this photograph of Danny Kaye. 
But it reminds me of my disappointment
in the colors of the world, which don’t 
seem as vibrant and rich. How can 
a photograph be more colorful than
the world it photographs? I suppose
it is because of the photographer. 
I believe that they act in secret ways
somewhere between Danny Kaye
in the world about to be photographed
and the point I am at right now as
I look at Danny Kaye in a photograph. 
It is also possible that it is Danny Kaye
who does this. That it is something
about Danny Kaye. But I have other
photographs, other times that I look
at the world, other disappointments.
I even find myself disappointed in the color 
of lipstick on a dresser, after having seen 
Lucille Ball applying lipstick to herself
in a photograph. I would prefer to see
the lipstick of Lucille Ball applied to herself 
in a photograph than to see lipstick on the dresser 
resting and nothing before me. Perhaps I am just 
afraid of what the world looks like without 
lipstick. Or of finding myself in a pink room
without Danny Kaye. A pink room without 
his pink carnation and lavender cravat and 
ivory cigarette holder and seven beautiful women
attending him and strawberry parfaits and a hair brush–
finding only myself, and an empty pink room. Or lipstick,
flattened slightly, having been applied, but to whom, why,
when–I don’t know. Faded. Lucille Ball, nowhere. Often 
I only open my eyes when someone puts a photograph 
in my hand. I feel the photograph and am happy to open 
my eyes. I open my eyes and look at the world closely. 
And I close my eyes in order to leave. Is it the same, for you?


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