My friend, the photographer Stan Snæland úr Kötlum, took about 240,000 photos of his own house and neighborhood outside Chicago, Illinois. Here are his Top Domestic Photos of 2009, with brief commentary.
Observe the Jack-o-Lantern, once a simple squash, then “made” into a jolly man, sucked of seeds, smiling for all with a burning spike of flame in his brain. And now? Tugged to gravity, decay. Can he see at all? What does he smell like? I suppose this is love.
The Boy has left his soccer ball alongside the septic tank riser and lid. We will allow juxtaposition to work its unnerving magic. Yesterday, a cat purred the nearby bird feeder. For hours it hid still, until it was no longer still, and the sky split apart with screams.
The interior of my neighbor’s shed. He had 100% of his retirement in Polaroid stock (his former employer), now worthless. Taped below the plastic slide is an ounce of very weak marijuana. In several pots he keeps the animal tranquilizer, Ketamine. In the slit tires of two bicycles he stores away Valium, Xanax, and pills for his anemia, which he crushes and snorts up his nose. The lawnmower oil bottle is filled with cough syrup. My neighbor mows his yard in the late evening, in the pitch black. Once I waved to him while walking my golden retriever. I said, “You, what are you doing?” He stopped the mower (I then noticed he wore only boxer shorts with red hearts on them; the temperature at 22 degrees) and smiled a bit too widely and said, “This is what happened.”
In my creek today the husk of a banana. We all know that Chiquita Brands International is a company who has employed murderous, terrorist forces for decades, not to mention a policy of blatant deforestation. Yet, a banana is tangy. Most Men prefer tangy to freedom.
Every home held an assortment of spoons, bubble mixtures, and knives.
With red wine and pickled herring sloshing in my belly, I once stood atop coffee tables and screamed at my guests, ‘Fools! Possessions posses the possessor!” And what say you now, Little Man?
Even the birds live in suburbs they cannot afford.