Friday, September 29, 2006

tick-tick-tick, work-work-work (I Be Illin' wit' Gilli'n)

tick-tick-tick, work-work-work (I Be Illin' wit' Gilli'n)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

tick-tick-tick, work-work-work

Yesterday I wrote—“I actually like my day job.”

Well, that was yesterday.

Today, I still like my day job per se, but this morning I realized that I only really like it because I’m resigned to it, as I am resigned to making the most out of every situation. Thus, my fairly persistent gloss, shine, sheen on everything—come what may, come rain or shine, no matter what, bring it on….

Raindrops keep falling on my head,
But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning
Crying's not for me,
I'm never gonna stop the rain by complainin’
Because I'm free,
Nothing's worryin' me.

- B.J. Thomas -

Yet, this morning was different. Albeit, the sun was out in full splendor and the fall was tenderly making it self known with a cool breeze wafting through the window, I wasn’t feeling that usual burst of energy, that tide of delusional “I can do anything,” that gritty optimism that often pushes me full-steam-ahead, into the day and out and over into the late hours of the evening.

No, this time I was just too tired. And in addition to being pooped, I was perturbed. Thus, I wasn’t feelin’ it, I wasn’t in the mood to take on the day, seize every moment, and make my way through toward my true-true destiny.

Granted, although I had yet to have my usual triple espresso, there was something more than this that made it feel as if there was something else amiss.

For one, I had overslept. I hate oversleeping.

I had gone to bed at one AM, with a heavy list of to-dos penned and ready for review, impatiently waiting for me at the edge of my desk.

I had written them down right before getting into bed, so that I could rest easy, knowing I was prepared to proceed from where I had left off four hours earlier.

Once the alarm was set for 5:00 AM (imagine glaring bright red LCD display here), I closed my eyes, wearily but serenely, now satisfied that my agenda was in order.

Sure enough, I woke up at five.

And sure enough, I faltered and hit the snooze button once, and then twice, and then three-too -many times, so that ultimately, I ended getting up at 6:30.

That extra time in bed is often a precarious luxury, more peril than pearl, because it usually means I’m pushing myself out of the middle of a REM (Rapid Eye Movement) state, as opposed to just getting up during the wake of the last REM session, even if it means getting only four hours of sleep.

For I’ve found over and over again that having to wake myself up out of the middle of a dream has strange and agonizing repercussions. Because that’s when the mind is essentially putting things in order—cleaning up, taking out the trash, and getting you ready to deal with reality once again. Ultimately, if you disturb this cerebral processing, you’re simply postponing your nightly janitorial services, letting things pile up and get a tad too untidy.

As a consequence, I’ve found that by the middle of the day I’m a mess. I’m falling asleep in the middle of important roundtable meetings, and subsequently torturing myself to stay awake with sharp pinches and overdoses of caffeine. Unfortunately, it is often a futile battle.

For it is at these times that I literally can feel a deluge of warm serotonin rush through me, my gut indifferently pumping out a drowsy dose of the hormone that helps put us to sleep.

It is at this critical juncture, teetering between states of conscious and unconscious—ness, that I frequently find myself sliding back and forth between the two, experiencing intense moments when my dreams are unbelievably vivid and their vespers, willows of clawing sleepy spirits cling to me and attempt to pull me back in, just as I’m trying to pull myself out of the netherworld behind the looking glass, and back into the world of so-called reality.

It is at moments like this when I feel that I am verging upon the precipice of insanity, that at a certain point I might fall over and never come back, that the neurotransmitting time machine will be driven into overdrive by my errant aspiration, human vanity, and a mortal desire gone wild.

Hence, after a couple of days like this, perhaps it is no wonder that this morning I felt different about work-work, about my day-job.

I really wanted to feel at liberty to call in sick, because I didn’t want to spend another day listening to the tick-tick-tick of the clock looming above my cubicle, I didn’t want to feel that once again I was spending the limited time of my life working on something that ultimately had no relevance to me, to who I am, and to who I yearn to become; I didn’t want to whittle another wasted moment away at my desk that I might other wise apply toward fully utilizing my creative talent.

So, once again, maybe its not that I don’t like my day job, but rather, simply, that I have to have one.

Alas, so do most other people.

And that is why this unsettling feeling is simply another reason for me to work harder at what I love to do, another reason why I write and take photos everyday, and another reason why I’m willing to go the extra mile every night, despite how awful I tend to feel the next day.

This is why I plan to break free out of this place, working, preparing, applying myself, so that when my time comes I’m ready to jump! So that when a moment of synchronized opportunity and preparation veers my way I can hop on board and be propelled upon an ellipse of personal bliss from which I may never return…

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Each and Every Time

Crossing Madison 003b
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Each and Every Time

It happens each and every time.

Someone will ask me what I did last night or what I’m planning to do once I leave the office or what I’m doing over the weekend.

I’ll usually answer – work.

Their usual response is to question what “work” means.

And so, I often explain, “Work, as in writing and photography.”

The standard retort strikes a chord in me each and every time –
“Oh, I thought you meant ‘work-work’”

Admittedly, immediately, albeit only internally, I get defensive. My shoulders hunch, my brow furrows, my lips pucker ever-so-slightly.

I’ve learned to simply half-smile in return, to let it go – for the most part.

For I’ve learned that its no use to try and explain what “work” really means to me; that compulsion overrules obligation; that the labor of my passions has always been and will always be far more important than the trivial travail of my daily life.

It's not that I don’t appreciate the paycheck and the generous company I work for. Far from. I actually like my day job and feel that “the company you keep” keeps me because the demands are fair and reasonable, and I am well compensated for my efforts.

Thus, I’ll put in the extra time when need be, I often work 10-12 hour days, and, quite unlike a lot of people I know, I don’t feel a sense of entitlement nor do I feel a need to complain about everything.

Yet, I don’t feel as if what I am required to so from 9 to 5, and sometimes 7 to 7, is truly what I need to do.

I don’t feel that I’ll look back and be proud of my career or that I’ll even feel any sense of accomplishment. For most of the work is meaningless to me personally.

For that reason I rarely take work home and I have stubbornly resisted whenever the boss suggests I should. I rather stay as late as necessary or come in early, so that what happens in the office, stays in the office.

However, I need to do the work I take on after-hours.

Albeit, my work schedule is inherently flexible because I am my own boss in this case, and thus I will often forgo my plans upon a spontaneous invitation, I still feel rather passionately about the importance of my avocations. They are vital to my being and often determine what I am becoming. My words and pictures allow me to appreciate my life, the people I know and the places I go. In turn, I am documenting all the wonders of my world, all the resplendent beauty, all the splendor of this wonderful life, and all the glory of this great journey I am taking along the way.

My work also often makes me smile,
it makes me happy,
it allows me to celebrate, to salivate, to bristle,
and to relish and revel in the glory of my creative accomplishments
(that is, those which are personally most meaningful to me).

Moreover, my work allows me to share the lessons I’ve learned with others, to paint portraits of the ones I love, and to inspire others to be as passionate about photography as i am and to love literature as much as I do.

This is why I feel that the work I do after work is far more important than that I’m obliged to do for fiduciary, fiscal, financial reasons.

This is why each and every time I am riled when someone implies that my creative work is not as important as my office work.

And this is why, I love what I do.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

They Are Longer

The Corner 050b
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

They Are Longer
(at the corner of Sanity & Insane)

It occurred to me some time ago
that the days seem longer—simply because
they are longer.

I’ve been so consistently
getting progressively less sleep, for a couple of years now,
that my days are truly longer
than those of others.

Especially, since I can’t seem to “relax”—
to just do nothing,
to lie back in repose.

I suppose that’s because
I relax most when I’m doing something,
when I’m getting things done,
when my fun means I’m not wasting time,
when I divine a reason to write,
to delight—in life, if only,
by taking another photograph.

Alas, nonetheless, and allthemore,
even after all this time
I lose track of the score,
and still, I deplore those moments
when the days seem longer, for
alas, I’m still not used to it.

I’m still a bit spun
when day is done
when twilight touches down,
when the ground is wet with night
and the gossamer shade is drawn,
the vestiges of a star glistening
gracing the last traces of hustlers
hurrying across town—
I’m still surprised when I yawn;
I still wonder “Why,
do the days seem so long?”

That’s when I realize,
that’s when I remember—
It’s because they are.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I love people who smile

Smiling Hilary
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I love people who smile.

One of life's greatest pleasures is to be in the company of people who smile a lot, who are often happy, who are perky souls who believe in themselves, who believe in others, and who truly believe anything is possible.

It is doubly pleasing when these positive beings are also doers, makers and shakers; the kind of folk who make a difference in this world and often empower other people to do the same by inspiring, by taking the lead, taking a risk, and or simply by taking the time to show others what is possible.

One of life's greatest pains is having to suffer the company of whiners, of pessimists, of paranoid freaks who often believe the sky is falling, and are too afraid, lazy or demure to do something about it.

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened..."

Thus, although I have learned this lesson late in my life, I now know that I want to spend the rest of it surrounded by the optimists of the world; no more fears, no more doubting, no more tears, no more stifling mindsets that limit what I can do.

"Your smile is a messenger of your good will. Your smile brightens the lives of all who see it. To someone who has seen a dozen people frown, scowl or turn their faces away, your smile is like the sun breaking through the clouds."
-Dale Carnegie-


I'm always looking for extraordinary subjects to practice my portraiture on/with, so if you live in or are visiting the tri-state area of NYC and are interested in having me take your picture (or know of anyone who might be) send me a note.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Do You Know This Woman? (Part II)

Do You Know This Woman? (Part II)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Do You Know This Woman? (Part II)

Read Part I

I work for a big company, a Fortune 100 company, as a director of marketing and communications. In fact, I’ve worked in advertising and marketing for twenty years now.

Thus, I well know that the standard and most ethical business practice is that you get your photos from either internal sources for art, photos and design or your company purchases images from stock photo companies or independent photographers for both internal and external presentations, storyboards and mock advertisements.

Otherwise, I guess, like DDB, you can just rip them off the Internet….

Which is exactly what happened here. Grand theft auto, information highway robbery, a heist on the autobahn of advertising.

All my images and photos are copyrighted. Yet, they still took a screenshot and lifted one of my photos right off of flickr and used them for business purposes, as mocked up above.
It’s one thing for an individual to blog someone else’s photo with a link directly back to the page or to publicize it in a magazine after you’ve asked permission, but it is really another to manipulate it and then to ask, after the fact.

I suppose I should be grateful that they liked it enough to use commercially, albeit “internally,” and that they subsequently asked me to use it for advertising purposes. Yet, at the same time I feel, somewhat, taken advantage of.

Many photographers get paid lots of money for their photos, yet these guys weren’t willing to pay anything. In fact, last year $822,400 was paid each for Dorothea Lange’s “White Angel Bread Line”and Edward Weston’s platinum print of “The Breast” from 1921. That’s a little less than a million dollars for a single photograph.

And DDB is one of the world’s most successful, richest (i.e. according to Advertising Age’s February 27, 2006 4th Annual Guide to Advertising and Marketing, DDB Worldwide Communications boasts over a billion dollars of worldwide revenue, a 14% increase over last year) and highly visible advertising agency networks, in the world. Thus, they can readily afford to buy stock photos.

Yet, DDB pursued this precarious avenue of taking an image that is not rightfully theirs, manipulating it for their own purposes, and then audaciously sending it to the owner as bait. That’s risky business if you ask me, that’s asking for a lawsuit or some international bad press for possibly illegal and unethical business practices (i.e. intellectual property theft and harassment for looming deadlines).

And albeit their client, Max Magazine, loves flickr photographers and runs a feature on them every month— they’re not willing to pay you for your photos, for your work. They figure that since you’re an amateur (and thus a sucker) they can easily sell you a little “instant fame” in exchange for using your photos for free, so that they can sell more magazines and increase their profit margins at the same time.

Apparently, they’ve already garnered some bad press on this practice.
Here’s more information.

Read Part I

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fire Drill

The Pick of Pickle Day!
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Fire Drill

That day
Fire raged in the Hills of McHone
And the men all said, "Ain't nothin' can be done...
Them hills are too steep; that slope, She's just too slippery!
Desire or not, "Ain't nothin' gonna be done...there
in the steep Red Hills of McHone."

And so, after all was said and done,
the men sat on a bench
beside themselves;
half-hurt, half-hopeless, yet still hoping,
for hope never dies,
and they sighed,
as they ate big tubs of ice cream.

ice cream....


For the curious, that piece of verse is written in a special Morse code, so unless you know this special Morse code, you may not understand it.

By the way, out of 500 of so photos I took this day, this is my favorite. It is exactly the effect I was shooting for.

The horizontal lines are those of the subway train pulling into the station. Just like The Speed of Light phenomena, I am utterly astounded by how this happens - the shutter opens; the light from the girl acorss the way, standing languidly on the other platform bounces and burns on to the digital processor; the solid train comes into view and leaves traces of light instead of blocking the girl across the way - my mind still has trouble comprehending the complexity of this occurence.

Anyone care to offer an explanation?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Arnold, One Hot-Blooded, Blue Eyed American

Arnold, One Hot-Blooded, Blue Eyed American
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Hot-Blooded, Blue-Eyed, but not All-American

September 14, 2006, California:
“California police are looking to find out whether hackers broke into the governor's computer and downloaded a recording of a private conversation in which he said African-Americans and Latinos are ‘hot-blooded.’” - Information Week

Good for Arnold.

I don’t know about African-Americans, but I agree with the Governator—a lot Latinos are hot-blooded.

I’m a “Latino,” a Mexican-American born and bred in Northern California and I am very proud of my Latin-American heritage and the passion I inherited because of it: the passion for photography, the passion for writing, the passion for my family and friends, the passion for experiencing love and all its splendor, and most of all, my ardent passion for this wonderful life!

There is a beautiful Spanish saying which I like to use whenever I’m out drinking with my friends: ¡Al amor, el dinero, y el salud; y el tiempo para gastar lo todo!

To love, money and health; and the time to spend it all!

People waste so much time these days over these frivolous issues. This is not Watergate again, as some pundits are saying. Get a grip, get a life.

Like I’ve said before, let’s not make a mountain out of a mole hill, una tormenta en un vaso de agua, زوبعة في فنجان (zawba3atun fii finjaanin), Sääsest elevanti tegema, Делать из мухи слона,Van een mug een olifant maken, tehdä kärpäsestä härkänen, Fare d'una mosca un elefante—an elephant out of a mosquito.

Let me tell you a secret: Arnold Schwarzenegger is really not a cyborg.

Believe it or not, he is actually a human who is apt to, and in my low-brow opinion—allowed to, make off-color remarks from time to time. Cut the guy a break, he’s got the equivalent of a third-world country to manage.

And you know, regardless of what a lot of people may believe, the world is not flat, men and women are not equal (we are very different), people of different cultural heritages have different preferences, different tastes, different traditions and different ways of engaging this wonderful life.

So, as the French might say, Vive le Difference!

Because the truth is, as the philosophizing fool, the comedic genius, Steve Martin, once said, “It's like those French have a different word for everything!” As do Mexicans and Germans and Vietnamese and Turks and Ethiopians and New Yorkers. Yo! Get the fuck out of my way!

Language translates into so many things: how we see the world, our values, our pastimes, what we pay attention to, what matters to us most, and how we feel about the world and this wonderful life.

Have I ever mentioned that I think that life is wonderful?

If anything, I truly believe Arnold may have underhandedly meant it as a compliment. For I have always admired him for his own passion and exuberance for life.

Perhaps the greatest body builder that ever was (seven time, undefeated Mr. Universe), movie star, real estate mogul and now Governor of California. That to me is a sign that this guy loves life,that he is passionate and hot-blooded and not afraid to tell like it is.

The true national anthem for many Mexicans, and Mexican-Americans like me, is not Mexicanos, al grito de Guerra; no, it is El Rey written by the country’s most famous composers and lyricists— José Alfredo Jiménez.

The song has been recorded innumerable times and it describes the soul of many people who value the power of individual will, and the will to determine one’s own life. It is a particularly great song to sing-and-slur after a few too many shots of tequila.

El Rey

Yo sé bien que estoy afuera,
pero el día que yo me muera,
sé que tendrás que llorar.

Llorar y llorar,
llorar y llorar.

Dirás que no me quisiste,
pero vas a estar muy triste
y así te vas a quedar.


Con dinero y sin dinero
hago siempre lo que quiero
y mi palabra es la ley.

No tengo trono ni reina,
ni nadie que me comprenda,
pero sigo siendo el rey.

Una piedra en el camino
me enseñó que mi destino
Era rodar y rodar.

Rodar y rodar,
rodar y rodar.

Después me dijo un arriero
que no hay que llegar primero
pero hay que saber llegar.

Repeat Chorus

The King

I know well that I don’t matter,
But the day I die
You will cry.

You will cry,
You will cry.

You’ll say you never did love me,
But you’ll feel sad thinking of me,
And that’s how you’ll always be.

With or without money
I do as I please
And the law is what I say.

I have neither throne nor queen,
Nor anyone who understands me
But the king I will always be.

From a stone along the road
I learned that my fate,
Was just to roll and to roll.

To roll and to roll,
to roll and to roll.

Then an old mule driver told me:
Its not about getting there first,
Its about knowing how to get there.

Of course, it sounds much, much better in Spanish, especially when you’re really-really drunk. But there you have it.

Admittedly, it is a very machismo, very male, song in a way; but it is also a song about individuality, about the greatest feeling one can experience—lost love, about passion, and about being hot-blooded.

It is very much the equivalent to what some might argue is the American equivalent unofficial national anthem of a certain generation: My Way especially as sung by old blue eyes, the late and great Frank Sinatra.

My Way

And now, the end is here
And so I face the final curtain
My friend, I'll say it clear
I'll state my case, of which I'm certain
I've lived a life that's full
I traveled each and ev'ry highway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Regrets, I've had a few
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way

Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew
When I bit off more than I could chew
But through it all, when there was doubt
I ate it up and spit it out
I faced it all and I stood tall and did it my way

I've loved, I've laughed and cried
I've had my fill, my share of losing
And now, as tears subside, I find it all so amusing
To think I did all that
And may I say, not in a shy way,
"Oh, no, oh, no, not me, I did it my way"

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!

(written by Paul Anka).

Arnold Schwarzenegger happens to have blue eyes too…and, he’s hot-blooded.


Read more essays, stories, musings, poems and prose like this at Literary Central!.

Click HERE if you would like to receive e-mail updates whenever new lorenzodom photos are published.

original photo credits: unknown

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Do You Know This Woman? (Part I)

Do You Know This Woman? (Part I)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

September 13, 2006, New York City, School of Hard Knocks:

Do you know this woman?

Alas, I don’t.

And now, I'm sorely paying for it.

Well, sort of, nothing truly horrible. Actually, quite the opposite, in a way.

You see, the powerhouse advertising agency DDB Berlin (i.e. Gunn Report's Most Awarded Agency Network in the World. For the second year in a row Adweek's Global Agency Network of the Year. Four-time winner, Clio Agency Network of the Year. Winner of more awards than any other network in the history of the Cannes International Advertising Festival.) contacted the editor at Look magazine, which has featured a couple of sets of photos of mine (July and March).

Apparently, they were in love with the same photo that both Look and Gnostic Magazine used as well, because they called me twice from Berlin and sent two e-mails. In the process they attached the mocked up magazine advertisement for Max Magazine that you see here.

Unfortunately, I was at an off-site meeting for work all day long, and missed their calls.

However, I was never paid for the photos used in Look and Gnostic, and being that they were not directly tied to an advertisement, and thus not serving commercial purposes, I felt that they fell into the safety net of “Photography for Art and Editorial” purposes, which is legal in the State of New York, and for which one does not need a written model release form.

Hence, my frustration (Fuck!). Hence, I ask “Do you know this woman?”

Because quite honestly, my gritted teeth, my tense shoulders, my exclamations of “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!” tonight are not about the money. Far from. Because I love what I’m doing.

Photography has become such a beautifully fulfilling experience for me that it doesn’t bother me one bit that I have not made a cent since I began this endeavor a little over a year ago. It does not bother me that only get 4-5 hours of sleep a night because my passion, my fervor, my exuberance, for both writing and photography keep me working tirelessly—yet, oh, so wearily—night and day.

But it does irk me that I am missing out on an amazing opportunity.

I like to think that there is an opportunity around every corner and that you just have to be prepared to meet and take advantage of her. Unfortunately, apparently, obviously, I wasn’t ready this time. That sucks, big time.

In July, Germany’s premier magazine, fotoMAGAZINE, featured a story on my cut-out technique and now a major-major advertising agency wants to use one of my photos, but they can’t. Because this wholly amateur photographer didn’t get his unsuspecting model to sign a release form. How frustrating is that? I keep lamenting over how much instant exposure and worldwide recognition for my work that might have garnered for my work (sigh).

So, let that be a lesson to you. Please let that be a lesson for you, or at least someone out there learn from this, because I had to learn it the hard way, and that’s tough.
To paraphrase the good ol’ Admiral Hyman G. Rickover learn from others' mistakes—you’ll never live long enough to make them all yourself.

Oh, well, at least, perhaps, I can boast to my grandchildren some day that I earned my hard knocks on the gritty streets of New York. At least, I guess, I’ve got that going for me.

By the way, here are a few more lessons I’ve learned on the streets of NYC: 25 Lessons I Have Learned. Earlier this year Cyan Books approached me about publishing this work. Subbsequently, I've expanded the work from the original 25 pages into a tome of about 500 pages with lots and lots of photographs. It will be published in the Spring of 2007.

Any way, so, learn by my mistakes and Act Now! Get your release form here! Print it out and carry it wherever you go, so that when you know that you’ve got the photo that might bring you instant fame, shamelessly run after your subject, and get her to sign the damned thing.

That said, there may be hope after all!

Because not only to you have to remember, that regardless of the curve balls life throws you, you’ve got to keep thinking positively, so that you’re ready to swing at the very next pitch, but...

...I just read about a court case adjudicated this year in New York City where the judge decided in favor of the defendant, the artist who took photos surreptitiously near Times Square, and then sold 10 prints of it at $20,000 to $30,000 each. Here is the article, the aforementioned case is at the end in the couple of paragraphs on Invasion of Privacy.

Also, I met someone on the subway platform recently, and we happened to have a conversation about photography, because I thought he was dressed rather dapperly, and so I offered to take his portrait. It so happened that he’s been working in the photography print business for 15 years now, and currently focuses on producing exhibition photography only now.

He passionately stated that if he had an opportunity to publish a book of his photographs that he would not hesitate to include those of strangers on the street ,because they are in “the public domain.” He argued that the popular photography of the fifties and sixties was established upon street photos of anonymous subjects, and that no one ever ascertained release forms. In particular, he cited the exhibit of Lee Friedlander’s prolific work last year at the MoMa, whose prolific work is well known for documenting city life.

So, that said, there may be hope for us aspiring street photographers after all. If you work hard enough, if you’re undaunted, if you don’t get run over or beat up by some stranger you dared take a photo of, if you don't get taken advantage of by big avertising agenices that like to take advantage of little people (i.e. DDB), and if your genius is recognized before you ultimately perish, then who knows? Maybe you too can have your own exhibit at the MoMa….

Do You Know This Woman? (Part II)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

the right answers

Sex et La Cité
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

the right answers

ennui piques me.

and so, in need of excitement

i’ve taken to experimenting.

from fotos found in anonymous spaces—

author unknown
forgotten traces
of where and when merely lingering
in the recesses of the there and then
that curses through the sanguine sanctuary
of lust and memory

—i’ve drawn upon the lurid imagination
to extract the essence of me—

of what i see,
of what i feel and what i’ve felt,
of what i steal away
in stolen moments dealt
by self-determination.

oh, how golden moments glisten!
when listening to desire,
as it whispers—

love does not bind.

beauty has no boundaries.

only those blind to righteousness
can see how both these bound
in copious splendor
all around us.

trust the heart
as much as the mind,
for one does not always
the right answers
in reasoning.

Another Set Like This

Announcing: Literary Central

Announcing: Literary Central

Announcing: Literary Central

If you wish to be a writer, write.
- Epictetus -


I write, therefore I am, and I’m feeling restless right now, a wee-bit rebellious (Argh!), a tad-bit flippant.

I’ve decided to purge the feeling by founding a group that I’m inviting you to use, abuse and participate in as a writer, a reader or simply as an individual, but not as a member.

“I would never join a club that would have me as a member.”
- Groucho Marx -

If you’re like me at all, you write everyday and you take photos everyday, and the twain often intertwine.

Subsequently, I’ve done my best to occasionally collect these collaborative efforts into myriad sets of mine, including:

Original Work
100 New York Stories (High)
A Letter to A Muse
the lost man chronicles: book one
the lost man chronicles archives
Poetic Parities
Autres, Others, Otras
25 Lessons I Have Learned
25 More Lessons (I’ve Learned
25 Points of Creativity
Running with the Devil
there was a man: a poem in eleven parts

Quoting Others
The Colours of My Mind
Running with the Devil

Alas, the task of organizing these all into neat little groups can be a rather time-consuming and sometimes daunting chore that often leaves me with little time for creating.

Hence, I’ve been yearning for a catch-all where I can dump, store my goods, and readily find all my relevant “literary” work whenever need be.

That’s why I’m creating Literary Central.

I’d love it if you considered it your place to store your literature as well.

Let’s briefly talk about two things: 1. defining “literature,” and 2. the rules (i.e. there are none).

Defining Literature
First, “literature” to me is merely the creative use of words to describe something. Ultimately, you may end up with a short story, a delightful journal entry, a long love letter, an epic poem or merely an excerpt to a work-in-progress.

Or, maybe not.

Maybe you merely want to submit a tidbit, an anecdote, a modicum of verse, a quote; or maybe even just an idea for a short story, a love letter or epic poem, along with your photo or image. It’s really up to you.

Essentially, Literary Central is meant to be a free-for-all, for as long as you submit according to the theme. Which brings me to the second subject: anarchy rules.

The Unruly Rules
For all intensive purposes, there are no rules. Well, not exactly, or entirely, for we are all civilized mortals her after all (Aren't we?). So, mostly there are no rules.

As the Editor-of-Mischief of Literary Central I promise not to administrate or edit or censor (for the most part). I’ll stop by on occasion, say “Hi, hey, hello!” and submit my own work to my heart’s content. I’m hoping you’ll do the same.

Certainly, if you simply, merely, only, want to participate as a reader or by using quotes of others’ words and work to complement your own photographs—by all means please do so. Just make sure, out of respect, to quote your source (i.e. name the author, writer, poet, playwright, lyricist, philosopher or plain old pundit.)

“Mediocre writers borrow; great writers steal.”
- T. S. Eliot -

However, I highly encourage you to submit your very own words. Everyone was a story to tell, everyone has a poem swelling in their heart, everyone has feelings pounding at their chest, yearning to be ex-pressed, exorcised from the depths of their souls.

You can never say “But I’m not a writer” or “I don’t have anything to say,” because every photo is worth a thousand words—and thus, all you have to do is figure out how to extract them.

Moreover, everyone’s life is interesting, everyone’s thoughts are insightful, everyone has the ability to creatively express themselves (with words).

If you can write an e-mail or a pithy text message even—you can write. It’s only the crazy ones who try to write books.

“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
- Mark Twain -

With a will to see it that way, a small effort to manifest your thoughts and emotions into words, and a mere modicum of courage to share them with others you too can write. Besides, regardless of what you submit, no one is going to judge you (negatively) here. This is a positive place to be.

So once again—no hard and fast rules (i.e. no submission limits, no “leave your comment on twenty others before you can submit yours,” no vote for the best and delete the rest, and certainly no games); this is your place to store your favorite words and photos; this is your place to be inspired my fellow photographers and writers work; and this is your place to meet and discuss literature, if you like.

The only exception (for now) is that if you blatantly disregard the simple theme, we’ll just have to boot you out.

Click here to go to Literary Central now.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Masterpiece Portrait Theater (Il Teatro del Ritratto Capolavoro)

I Love You, Dominic

See Large

Masterpiece Portrait Theater (Il Teatro del Ritratto Capolavoro)

MelaPela (Raffa & Giulio) kindly commented "Lorenzo, è un capolavoro.” (Lorenzo, this is a masterpiece)

For a moment there, I simply took another look at the photo of Nicky, blinked, and thought, “Yes, it is a very nice photo.” But then again, I am wholly biased because not only did I take it, but I love our youngest son very much.

But then it occurred to me, that in a way, perhaps this is a “masterpiece,” primarily because I feel it captures his personality well.

About to turn 5 on October 4, Dominic was born in the shadow of 9.11 in the year 2001.

He was also born in the shadow of his older brother Enzo, who is two and a half years older than him.

As a result of these two ominous events, Dominic did not receive as much doting, affection and attention as his sibling. It does not mean that his mother, Domenica, or I love him any less.

It is however an acknowledgement that he was not born as an only child; that we moved from Brooklyn, New York to Bloomfield, New Jersey a mere four months after he was born; and that the turmoil of the catastrophic events that occurred four weeks before he was born changed everything.

And, as much as 9.11 moved many of us affected be the tragedy to appreciate our families more than ever before, it also duly preoccupied us in so many other ways that often our changed habits cut in to the time that could have been spent at home.

Moreover, although my recent marital separation with his mother has been fairly amicable, I recognize that the fact that his parents are no longer together and that his father is not around as often as he used to be, have likely affected him in countless ways as well. They certainly have affected me.

Thus, I think, that perhaps this photo is a masterpiece, because it does reflect his personality fairly well—he has never been
the aggressive go-getter that his brother seemingly has always been; and he has long seemed a tad more shy, less boisterous and much more reserved than Enzo.

Ironically enough, each child’s personality also seems to reflect that of their namesake parent, the one each also happens to look like most. Comparisons and comments have long been made about how Nicky’s complexion, eye and hair coloring closely match his mother’s, and how Enzo’s (Lorenzo, Jr.) likewise matches my own.

Thus, although during this photo session I encouraged Nicky to smile more, and I wanted him to move out of the shadows and into the sunshine more, much as his brother is apt to do, at a certain point it occurred to me that “This is Nicky,” and so I just let him be.

Albeit, I may not be proud that Nicky has received the short end of the stick when it comes to attention, I don’t feel guilty, I don’t regret our and my personal decisions. Both Domenica and I love our children equally and do our best to cater to and encourage each son’s idiosyncrasies, talents and qualities.

However, I definitely take pride in the notion that, seemingly, my portraiture skills have improved somewhat, so that many of the pictures of people that I’ve taken lately have actually captured a bit of the persona, along with the external beauty that I see in them all.


MelaPela (Il Raffa & Giulio) ha commentato con bontà "Lorenzo, il capolavoro di un di è."

Per un momento lí, ho portato semplicemente un altro sguardo alla foto di Nicky, ammiccato, e ho pensato, "Sì, è una foto molto piacevole." Ma d'altra parte, sono completamente il biased perché ho fatto non solo lo porta, ma amo nostro più giovane figlio molto.

Ma poi è accaduto a me, ciò in una maniera, forse questo è un "il capolavoro," principalmente perché sento che esso cattura la sua personalità bene.

Di girare 5 il 4 ottobre, Dominic era nato all'ombra di 9,11 nell'anno 2001.

Era anche nato all'ombra del suo più vecchio Enzo di fratello, che è due ed uni semestri più vecchi di lui.

Come risultato di questi due avvenimenti sinistri, Dominic non ha ricevuto come molto stravedere, l'affetto e l'attenzione come il suo fratello. Non significa che sua madre, Domenica, o l'ami qualunque meno.

È comunque una conferma che non era nato come un solo bambino; che abbiamo mosso da Brooklyn, New York a Bloomfield, New Jersey un semplice quattro mesi dopo che era nato; e che l'agitazione degli avvenimenti catastrofici che è accaduto quattro settimane prima che era nato tutto ha cambiato.

E, tanto quanto 9,11 molti di noi hanno mosso ha riguardato è la tragedia apprezzare le nostre famiglie più che mai prima, debitamente ci è preoccupati anche in cosí molte altre maniere che spesso le nostre abitudini cambiate si è intrometsso al tempo che potrebbe essere stato speso alla casa.

Inoltre, sebbene la mia separazione recente coniugale con sua madre è stata giustamente amichevole, riconosco che il fatto che i suoi genitori non sono più insieme e che suo padre non è intorno come spesso come ha usato per essere, avere probabile l'ha riguardato nelle maniere innumerevoli.

Così, penso, ciò forse questa foto è un capolavoro, perché riflette la sua personalità giustamente bene—non è mai stato l'arrivista aggressivo che suo fratello sempre è stato apparentemente; e ha lungo sembrato un ragazzino più timido, Meno tumultuoso e molto più riservato di Enzo.

Ironicamente abbastanza, ogni personalità del bambino sembra riflettere anche che del loro genitore di omonimo, l'un succede somigliare anche a più. I paragoni ed i commenti hanno lungo è stato fatto di come la carnagione del Nicky, l'occhio ed i capelli colorando attentamente uguagliare sua madre, E come Enzo (Lorenzo, Jr.) uguaglia similmente mio proprio.

Così, sebbene durante questa sessione di foto ho incoraggiato Nicky a sorridere più, e l'ho voluto muovere fuori delle ombre e nel sole più, molto come suo fratello è adatto a fare, a un certo punto che è accaduto a me ciò "Questo è Nicky," e cosí io giusto ha lasciato è.

Quantunque, non posso essere orgoglioso che Nicky ha ricevuto la fine breve del bastone viene con questo all'attenzione, non sento colpevole, non mi rammarico il nostro e le mie decisioni personali. Entrambi il Domenica ed amo i nostri bambini e faccio ugualmente il nostro meglio approvvigionare a ed incoraggia ogni idiosincrasie del figlio, i talenti e le qualità.

Comunque, sono indubbiamente è orgoglioso della nozione che apparentemente le mie abilitì di portraiture hanno migliorato un poco, in modo che molti del le immagini di persone che ho portata ultimamente hanno catturato effettivamente un pezzetto del persona, con la bellezza esterna che vedo in tutti loro.


Other portrait sets:

You Are My Sunshine

My Friend, Mia

Desiring, Courtney

The Sparkling Brooklyn Hilary

DJ Mixx Goes Boom

From Mud to Men

I'm always looking for extraordinary subjects to practice my portraiture on/with, so if you live in or are visiting the tri-state area of NYC and are interested in having me take your picture (or know of anyone who might be) send me a note.

Click HERE if you would like to receive e-mail updates whenever new lorenzodom photos are published.


More stories, musings and poems about and written for my sons:

To Live A Life Uncommon

There’s Always Something (Ode for a Son)

Nicky The Brave (The Spine of Life)

Like Father, Like Son (a paternal self-fulfilling prophecy)

I Love You, Dominic

Three Familiar Faces (Lesson 6: If…)

I’m A Father (Designing My Little Architects

Just The Two of Us (Papa Loves You)

The Quiet One

The Boys (Collection of Photo Sets )