Monday, May 29, 2006

The Last Edwardian

It was then that I came to a great realization and sense of purpose in my life. In the darkest night, there is always a light. Suriya. The sun bat god. The great deceiver. The unrequited dream.

I knew that destiny was tearing me apart. I had two lives. My life with her, and my life
alone. Pleasure, flesh and an ordinary life which faded like silver plates, scratched with the passing of time. So, I was perpetually crossing to the other side. Running. I was running from something. myself. And then there was the war, the entrenchment, between the life I wanted to live, and the life I was to live. And they were never going to meet. There is only one me. This is my diary.

I wandered in and out of time. Moments of happiness came, but greater moments
of despair and deception, came and went also. I went beyond. My life was the searching for the impossible love. The girl in the picture, the night well spent.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

the subway poems : Botticelli skin

For a moment in a lifetime
our corpses became statues
in the Louvre, poised besides
Parisian porcelain, smooth and polished,
like Botticelli skin.

I see you, in this sea of rooms,
shining like a pearl and adorned
with pale innocence.
Think of me, as Géricault
seeking death
resolutely in love caverns
by the Seine.

Apertures : Cazucá

In the south of Bogotá, there exists a community known as Cazucá, where thousands of displaced persons live. On the dusty windswept slopes I came across these children infront of a corner store doing what children do, play and drink sodas.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Frontline : Colombia

Members of the marxist rebel movement Corriente de Renovación Socialista - CRS- unite in the town square of Flor del Monte with their weapons, on the eve of their demobilization, after reaching an agreement with the Colombian government.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Frontline : French Guiane

Training new recruits at the French Foreign Legion - Légion Etrangére- in Regina, French Guiane. This military outpost near Brazil, is the legion's tough and isolated camp where recruits to this elite fighting force must endure training at the hands of senior army officers. In the picture, a young recruit is made to wrestle with a boa constrictor snake.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Miami Beach

The Season of delay

I've had so many women,
I just don't remember when,
it could have been last summer
or during our season of delay.


In the Rosary islands of the coast of Cartagena, Colombia, I cam across this boy who was surfacing from the water, after diving to fetch shells from the ocean floor. I call this picture 'Surfacing'. When I look at it, I hear Sarah McLaughlan's song.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Pilgrim : Mumbai bay

Small fishing trawlers moored on the sands of Elefanta island. Not far from the bay of Mumbai, India, I saw these fishermen stepping from boat to boat in the afternoon sun.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A seat with a view

Downtown Bogotá at dusk, taken from the Candelaria neighbourhood, with the Cathedral spires illuminated against the darkening sky.


Colombians head to the polls on May 28th to elect their next President. In the picture, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez, who is up for an historic reelection with a strong lead in the polls. Photo taken in 2003, in his private office at the Casa Nariño in Bogotá.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The subway poems: prodigal son

Prodigal Son

I am your prodigal son,
squandering tears between
coffee stains and rose
blossoms chained to a velvet wall.

I am your prodigal son
spilling my seed on callous tongues
and spending nights crucified
to a sulphur moon, slipping beneath your milk
white breasts
in this gray nicotine room.

I am your prodigal son,
pissing sin on empty durex machines
and squatting my ambition to
recall a memory of my bitter youth
tattooed forever on lampshade skin.

I am your prodigal son, haunting
dens of black-leather Gods and
undressing some pretty young tart
with her Gucci tits and cocaine pussy.

I am your prodigal son, hanging
misery on bare walls with a picture
of her and the cum and get-it smile.

London. 1989

flight sequence

Gulls hover the sandy Miami beach on a cool November morning in 2003.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

MIA - Bogotá, Colombia. AA # 915

Heading south as sunset falls over the Florida Keys - Key Largo- as we climb towards Cuba, and continue the flight path to Kingston, Jamaica and Cartagena, Colombia.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


Entry into The Dairy of an Intimate Stranger. Dated October 1882.

I sat out on deck and watched my world fade away. The Calcutta poised itself at the end of Bristol Harbour, it's dry oak stern pricking the morning mist with a cargo full of rusty convicts and converts. We were ready to sail. Distant shores beckoned and beyond. The Calcutta was a clipper at the mercy of British East India Company and I was part of its strange cargo of empty ceramic ginger jars, painted with bright blue chinese characters and fading bridges with hanging willows. There were some mixed spices and botancia below.

As the wind picked up, I turned by back on the green hills of my vanquished youth. Farewell Newington with its hedges and daffodils. The cottages and the fire spent. The thatched memories of coal and soiling sheets blowing like the white sails of my modern mistress. We began the crossing accompanied by the some squealing English gulls, gliding, hovering on the cusp of the thin empty air. I was embarking on a journey from which there would be no return.


Bogotá. 1999. Black and White. 35mm, 100 Asa.

Friday, May 05, 2006


The Dairy of an Intimate Stranger registers an entry dated 17.03.17.

The story begins at the end. The day I die. It is March. That much, I remember. The year, 1917. And the war drags on. I am in a trench, somewhere. Maybe France. Maybe Belgium. They call it Passchendale. I call it hell.

It is cold and the sky, blue. Petticoat blue. I have been lying in the mud for sometime, starring up towards the eternal sky. Could it be a Wednesday? I think to myself. Does it even matter?. I’m dying now. I can’t feel my body, anymore. I live with my final thoughts. I treasure them. They will never come back. Where will my memories go, tomorrow, when I am found, and hauled onto some horse-drawn cart to be indexed, filed and buried ?. I was struck down - you see-by a bullet. I saw it coming. It was slow motion. I heard the crackle of the gunners, at close range in the St Jeanne forest and then, I snapped, like a twig. I fell on my back and there, face up in the mud, I remained until the end.

It was strange to die, but I saw it coming. It was the first Wednesday of the month, that’s right, as I treated myself to some sausages down with the tommy's in the trench. The fighting men, called me ‘Dickie’, but my christian name is Richard. So you may call me Richard.

And then it all happened in a flash. I grabbed by rifle and starred at the mud wall and the mud caked ladders. It was time to go. Go ‘over the top’. The final sacrifice. Today was my day, to die. A soldier of the British Expeditionary Force tag number 557893. I don’t remember when I was born, but I remember the day I died. It was a beautiful day.

Then the blast of a whistle and ‘ over the top’ screamed the Sargeant and over the top we went. I rose out of my darkness and stormed the wall of the trench.

I saw a forest. I ran towards it. There were birds, strange black birds, flying overhead. Crows, maybe. Larks. I began to run, but my boots dragged me down, to the ground. The mud was deep. Everywhere I could see them fall. One by one, we all began to fall. And then it hit me. There was a burst of light in my head. I lost control. I was shot. Near the heart, I believe. I never actually saw the wound. But I bled. It took me a lifetime to hit the ground, and then it all came back to me. Everything. Everything I had ever thought, I began to think again. Here. Every dream, I ever dreamed, I was dreaming again. They were my dreams. The nightmare over. This was my end.

And then, as I looked up towards the sky, I saw that it was blue.
The cold morning air crept over my face and I thought of her one last time.