Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Uh, Aloha!

This recent scene on the subway tickled me in a semi-adolescent way, not so much lurid, as much as ironic fashion.

The girl wearing the skirt was seemingly visiting NY with her girlfriend, because they were carrying on a conversation in Italian.

Here in the states these sorts of messages on short-shorts, skirts and sweatpants are usually printed and worn on the back. I've never seen it on the front, and thus my somewhat-shocked, semi-surprised, and wholly amused reaction.

All I could think was "Only a European..." would have the nonchalant gall to say hello in such ribald fashion.

Apart from the standard stereotype that “all Americans dress slovenly when abroad on holiday,” I can only imagine what people overseas think of us...

Please feel free to amuse us with your similar anecdotes, stories and experiences below.

Note: “Aloha” in the Hawaiian language means affection, love, peace, compassion, mercy, goodbye, and hello, among other sentiments of a similar nature. It is used especially in Hawai’i as a greeting meaning hello and goodbye.

It is also the state nickname of Hawai’i, the "Aloha State," the fiftieth state of the United States of America.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Picture New York Without Pictures

Picture New York Without Pictures
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Picture New York Without Pictures

I’m joining my fellow artists, photographers and New Yorkers in a protest against prospective new city regulations that significantly hamper your first amendment rights to take pictures in the city.

I've been harassed by law enforcement three times in the past, threatened to be "taken in for a minimum of five hours" and have been forced to delete photos I've taken around the city. I recently heard that the courts affirmed our rights to take photos, yet the Mayor's Office now wants to surreptiously hamper our ability to exercise them.

The issue as summarized by PictureNY.org:
“The Mayor’s Office of Theater, Film, and Broadcasting, which coordinates film and television production and issues permits around the five boroughs, is considering rules that could potentially severely restrict the ability of even amateur photographers and filmmakers to operate in New York City. The NY Times reports that the city’s tentative rules include requiring any group of two or more people who want to use a camera in a single public location for more than a half hour (including setup and breakdown time) to get a city permit and $1 million in liability insurance. The regulation would also apply to any group of five or more people who would be using a tripod for more than ten minutes, including setup and breakdown time.”

PictureNY has set up an e-petition and needs your signature before the upcoming deadline of August 3, please click here to sign it today.

I’ve signed the petition, and I encourage you to do the same, regardless of where you are from, because if you love New York City like I do, you’ll probably want to preserve your right to take pictures whenever you visit. Moreover, the passage of such municipal regulations only lets other cities follow suit—and so yours could be next!

For a discussion on this matter here on flickr go to: Picture New York

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Friday, July 27, 2007

The most beautiful girl in the world...

Merciless Beauty
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The most beautiful girl in the world isn’t Garbo, isn't Dietrich…

No, she’s practically every woman I know.

Inspired by my friend innita’s group ginotropia, I’ve compiled this set in honor of those who make my life complete—as well as fun, exciting, blissful, meaningful and always worth the wile.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them
They think I'm telling lies.
I say
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips
The stride of my steps
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please
And to a man
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees
Then they swarm around me
A hive of honey bees.
I say
It's the fire in my eyes
And the flash of my teeth
The swing of my waist
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.
Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say
It's in the arch of my back
The sun of my smile
The ride of my breasts
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say
It's in the click of my heels
The bend of my hair
The palm of my hand
The need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman
That's me.

—Maya Angelou, Phenomenal Woman

he jumped in first

Perfect Company for A Perfect Day (B&W)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

in color; Debbie

he jumped in first

their shoes lie side by side—
his sandals, one inside the other,
tossed without a single thought.
then she thought, pausing to ponder,
considering what she was about to do—
one shoe slipping off and placed gently
next to the other, thinking,
”i love the ducks on the pond,”
then laughing, she ran,
closing her eyes before jumping in
to join him.

Memories of a Peach

Memories of a Peach
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

1.Apt 7A, Revisited, 2. I'm in Awe of You

Memories of a Peach

Apartment 7A is a long way from here,
but still, I remember her well.
Cumming, a quaint little town off of Route 400—
God must love Georgia, because
Her light shines heavenly down there.
It certainly did that morning;
heavy fog funneled through like cathedral spires,
a handful of them scattered everywhere—
in parking lots, over mountaintops, across long plains of green.
I remember often looking up, in awe, to see
a beautifully clean-and-clear-blue swimming pool
filled with giant willows of popcorn;
I remember the bliss of watching her gasp too,
parting lips being pushed into a pillow,
and that blue butterfly, spreading its wings, careening,
slowly moving back and forth over a grove of giant peaches.

Yes, I remember Georgia;
yes, I remember her well.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Designing My Little Architects

Architecture Week 004
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Designing My Little Architects:

A building has integrity just like a man. And just as seldom.
— Ayn Rand —

I’m a father?

By the looks of it, sometimes, you’d never know it.

Fortunately, for me, it is quite true—I am a father.

Of course, it is not always easy, any parent knows that. For it is always a delicate balance between doing what is right for your children, and doing what is right for you, especially if you have a particular need to understand and catalyze exactly that which you are, as an adult, as an individual, and merely as a man.

Nonetheless, I have long made a concerted effort to understand what I can do to be a good parent considering the circumstances.

Albeit, I may not have daily care of them, when they are in my stead I do try to make an extra effort to make our time extra ordinary, and to show them how extraordinary life really is.

Starting tomorrow, the boys and I will be spending a week together at my apartment in Manhattan. I’ve deemed that it will be “Architecture Week,” so that our activities will be focused on the beauty and art and the amazing craft of what it takes to plan, create and build the houses, the apartments, and skyscrapers that we all live and work in today.

We’ll be going to the top of landmark buildings like the Empire State Building and visiting anicent monuments, such as Cleopatra's Needle, the Egyptian obelisk that stands in Central Park.

We’ll also be going to see two art exhibits that symbolize the monumental framework of architecture. First, at MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art, we’ll be seeing SCULPTURE: FORTY YEARS, a retrospective of the work of Richard Serra who creates gigantic pieces that take the viewer through a labyrinth of forms that make one question one’s perspective and the emotions evoked by the experience.

Secondly, I’ll be returning to Storm King so that they can experience the amazing awe and wonder of the congruent beauty of the sculptures with the landscaping of the land and the glory of the vast sky above, a phenomenally existential mesh that I experienced the first time I went there last week with Debbie.

I don't build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build.
— Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

We’ll see movies like:
My Architect: A Son’s Journey, a documentary about the architectural icon Louis I. Kahn;
My Father the Genius, another documentary, “where filmmaker Lucia Small chronicles the rise and decline of her father, Glen Howard Small, a visionary architect whose uncompromising but uncertain career path consistently undermined his personal life at home." Ultiamtely asking, "Is he a true genius?” Or simply avoiding his parental duties?; and finally,
The Fountainhead, based on one of the more influential books of my adolescence by Ayn Rand, who presents a philosophical allegory about Howard Roark, an uncompromising architect who is obedient solely to his own individuality and unfettered expression, and thus questions the compatibility between creative integrity and the demands of the social contract.

In addition, each night we’ll read from one of two books that I gave to my little architect, Nicky, for Christmas: Architecture, A Visual History by James Neal and The World’s Most Remarkable Buildings and How They Came to Be: Uncommon Structures, Unconventional Builders by Alan Van Dine.

Finally, we may also pay a visit to my friend Debbie’s office at Cook & Fox, one of the premier green architectural firms in the world. We’ll see the many models and how modeling, and ultimately buildings, are created via the myriad computer applications and design tools used by architects today.

Overall, our purpose will be to explore the magnificence of mankind’s ability to build, to create and achieve; to erect monuments and skyscrapers and pinnacles of awe-inspiring accomplishment.

And in turn, I hope to have designed a way to instill in my little architects, the inspiration to aspire and accomplish much the same.

Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice.
— Ayn Rand —

See related story: Lesson 6: If… (An excerpt from 25 Lessons: The Art of Living.)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Touch of Evil

A Touch of Evil
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

“There is a touch of evil in all of us”
– Anthony Quayle, The Evil Touch

A Touch of Evil

I must have been inspired by my love, Lindsay.

Because last night was crazy. Nuts. Brazil nuts.

Right before I left the office to go to a little shindig I read “Lindsay Lohan was arrested this morning for suspected drunken driving and cocaine possession in Santa Monica, CA.” Apparently, she was chasing down a former assistant, who had just quit hours before, in her SUV.

Oh, Lindsay, you know I love you, and that I’d marry you if you weren’t such a out-of-control crack-head, but I really can’t help you when we’re so far apart…

Anyway, with this little inspiration in my heart I headed over to meet my great friend and editor, Stephanie, and my good ol’ chum and former schoolmate, Alec, who had invited me to join him for “an evening of cocktails and celebration” being hosted by Esquire Magazine and the Canadian design house Jack Victor. The summer soiree was being held at The Garden Rooftop of 620 Fifth Avenue, with an exquisite view overlooking the Avenue and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

And oh, did they have cocktails...Everyone from exquisitely-dressed fashion industry executives in town for The Collective, a fashion trade show being held this week, to several of the male models often featured in the magazine. The beverages included platters of Chardonnay when you walked in, to any one of five special bars featuring different premium liquors including Patrón tequila, which served extra-strong margaritas at a large ice-bar designed by Okamoto Studio and carved out of the last of the polar ice caps.

Standing in the corner ogling all the fashion house horsepower prancing about, Stephanie and I began with some white wine. We soon moved onto margaritas and then mojitos. Our conversation careened in synch with our steady intoxication and unfurled with the soothing encouragement of the summer breeze wafting through the spires of St. Patrick’s.

Being amidst such an exclusive milieu and the throng of couture whos-who, I soon felt exuberant and began spewing my usual gleeful blathering to Stephanie.

“Stephanie, we’re going to be rich! Really-really rich! And even if we don’t become rich, we’re at least going to have a lots and loads of fun! In fact, 40 years of fun! At least, until they dump me in some nursing home out in the armpit of godforsaken Florida.”

Stephanie laughed shyly in reply, seemingly not knowing whether to simply be amused or wary of my frantic nonsense.

Excited as ever, I also began telling her how much I sincerely appreciated her friendship, her company and her role as the guiding light for my forthcoming book, 25 Lessons.

With a certain glisten and giddiness I smiled at her and thought, “God, I really adore this woman! She’s simply ‘the best’ and I’m sooo lucky to have her as my editor.”

“She's funny, witty, astute, and bright as a brand-new shiny button, a captain’s gold anchor whisked wet with a sudden sea-breeze kind-of-button. Moreover, she’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s so nice to have good friends with whom you not only can converse with nonstop for hours, but who are nice to gaze upon as well.”

At some point, we began discussing “men” or at least the kind of men we found attractive at the party, since we were surrounded by “attractive men,” per se. Ironically though, neither of us could actually find one that we actually thought struck us in some extraordinary manner.

If anything, I confessed, “What really strikes me most about these well-groomed gentlemen are their wardrobes.”

Albeit Stephanie wasn’t blown over by any of these guys, she did mention that she has always been impressed by anyone with "impeccable manners."

For a moment my blood curdled knowing that I was now certainly out of the running with her. Not that I ever felt that I had a smidgeon of a chance, but just knowing that my usual brusque, impatient, and impetuous demeanor was a thousand strikes against me, for a few seconds, my heart slowed down a bit into a sullen stupor.

I consoled myself with a rally-out of this sudden disappointment by thinking, “So what if I have rough-hewn swashbuckling, swaggering proclivities? Heroes and leaders and pioneers are not made to go along at a civil canter, progress was not built at the pace of gentility! Goddamn it, I need to move forward, not simply stand still in my summer whites, sipping fancy cocktails. Hell, life is too short to trot, I want to gallop!”

So, after pepping myself up, I took the last swig of my second mojito, smiled at Stephanie and asked her if she wanted another. She declined, claiming a three-drink limit, but I brought her one anyway.

When I returned, she commented that my pictorial fawning over Rayner’s new girlfriend, Karen was a bit “evil.” I grinned answering that I was confident that my man knew that the flirtatious interplay between die Beauty und das Beast was wholly in jest, a feigning of jealousy for some good ol’ fashioned amusement amongst friends.

Of course, this conversation got me thinking about the cuckold and I spontaneously began calling him periodically for the rest of the evening, giving him updates on what a good time we were having, and he was not.

¡Horale hombre! Stephanie and I are at this rooftop party right now….uh, and you’re not...but I love you anyway!”

Continuing our conversation about types-we-like, Stephanie and I briefly discussed the influence of astrological signs upon the chemistry of our past relationships.

She commented that the Scorpios have tended to ultimately go crazy, constantly self-inflicting wounds upon themselves and then throwing in salty laments for some sort of strange dramatic effect.

High-and-mighty on a saucy mix of margaritas and mojitos, I immediately pontificated that, being on the cusp of Scorpio/Sagittarius, I understood this guy’s dilemma.

“You see,” holding up my hand like a toreador poised for the kill, “what happens is that he’s got his stinger and he’s inclined to throw it about wildly, especially whenever he’s been scorned.

Thus, he’s constantly hitting himself in the head, because he neither has a target nor can he really think straight. And so, masochism becomes his consolation."

“I, on the other hand, don’t have that problem though, because I get to pick the best traits from both of these signs. You see, I’m a sharpshooter, because not only do I boast the deadly sting of the Scorpion, but I also strike with the poise and accuracy of an archer, the half-man on horseback,” which I proceeded to demonstrate with several sharp jabs in the air.

Albeit, she laughed (politely), she didn’t really seem convinced.

Thus, I suggested we move away from our comfortable seats along the hedges and seek some nourishment. She readily conceded and together we traversed the labyrinth of linen, seer-sucker suits, and patent leather shoes that were meddling about the clear blue swimming pool.

After filling up on some freshly-assembled filet mignon and fried pepper hors d’ouvres, Stephanie and I called Rayner again to tease him with the fact that we were now looking down on him at the Rink Bar from our exclusive purview at The Rooftop.

Yo homeboy! Stephanie and I are now I’m looking down at you...”

We also taunted him by thanking him for being the reason we were together here, having such a splendid time—for he is the one who happened to pass on my manuscript for 25 Lessons: The Art of Living to her, which quickly led to the book deal and the beginning of a wonderful friendship.

“…and thanks for bringing Stephanie and I together. If it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t be here getting smashed, having such a great time, eating all kinds of good food, as we watch you from on-high, watching you sip your sad happy hour beer, ogling all the homely-looking office admins and interns muddling about...”

Do not protect yourself by a fence, but rather by your friends.
—Czech proverb —

Of course, Rayner well knew that my barbs and the banter were all in jest. Assuredly, he will eventually take his turn at busting my chops.

Moreover, as I was explaining to Debbie the other day while we were taking the dogs out (oof! oof!) for a walk in the park, busting balls is a quintessential male rite of passage meant to both bond brothers together, as well as toughen each other up—prep for the real world where when you’re striving to make it to the top, there will always be plenty of people who want to tear you down. So, if you can survive the unrelenting ridicule of friends you’ll be ready to take shit from anyone.

Although I’ve observed plenty of cattiness in my time (meow, meow, hiss, hiss), women tend to embrace ideals such as cooperation, altruism, nurturing and saving the world. Men veer the other way—we value the piquing spirit of competition, progress and pioneering—we want things to hurt, no pain-no gain. Despite others’ efforts to pacify everything and flatten the world of differences, “real men” gradually learn that we are inherently attracted to tasks, aspirations and people that test our mettle, who challenge us into becoming mentally, emotionally and physically stronger.

Thus, we bust balls, chop chops, and our eyes glimmer when we have a chance to exercise a touch of evil.

“The scorners of friendship can…be the finest friends in the world.”
—Marcel Proust—

Besides, lest we forget, Rayner’s the one with the most beautiful girl in the world at his side. So, someone has to give him a hard time.

Just as the sun began to set, the impeccable Mr. M. came over and invited us to join him at the Penthouse Magazine DVD release party being held at AZZA, a French Moroccan Restaurant and Lounge located on 55th Street, between Lex and Third Avenues.

Understandably, Stephanie declined, and I mischievously asked her, “You don’t mind if I go, do you…?”

Ironically, it was for this very reason that I ultimately asked her to join me at the Rooftop party in the first place. Had it been practically any other female “friend,” assuredly I would have had to decline. I knew Stephanie would let me network as need be, reach out, and take advantage of any and all opportunities that came my way.

As we were gathering to leave, “Peter from St. Petersburg,” and crazy-ass, bug-eyed slick Rick joined us. I instantly took a liking to this wayward fellow, because not only was he a bit wacky, but he enabled me to redeem a bit of my depleted fashion self-esteem.

Somehow he had gotten into the party dressed in shorts, a t-shirt and biking shoes. Not that it really mattered, but to be completely honest, I did initially feel self-conscious when I found myself surrounded by a bunch of good-looking and tall men in tailored suits. Thus, for once, it did bother me that I was wearing a jacket from The Men’s Warehouse.

But then, thank God, like I said, Rick came along and saved the day. Of course, the drinks helped me forget as well...

Ironically though, his casual sports wear did not save him, because once we got to the Penthouse party, the bouncers wouldn’t let him in because he was far too underdressed.

Oh, well, so much for crazy Rick.

Once in AZZA, we met Beleyiana Bivushka, the bartender, a healthy specimen from Macedonia.

Luckily, Peter from St. Petersburg happened to be fluent in every Slavic language and culture possible, and so he talked her up into being really nice to us all evening long. She even kindly offered Mr. M and I to store our bags behind the bar.

About an hour into the evening there, Mr. M’s friend, introduced him and I to all the Penthouse Pets including Roxetta, Celeste Starr, India Summer and Karlie Montana.

Moronically. I naively asked one of them “So, what do you do?” because I had no clue as to what to say otherwise. Hence, my surprise when she nonchalantly replied, “Oh, I do girl-on-girl adult videos, and sometimes ones with my boyfriend, Dirk Diggler.”

Granted, she didn’t actually say “Dirk Diggler,” but I really didn’t hear anything much after “girl-on-girl” either.

After we got another round of drinks, we sat in the VIP lounge behind the red velvet rope for a while. There we had a perfect view of the girls when they began raffling off their new DVD releases. They were giving away about half a dozen of them, and so, after the first one, I said to myself “Fuck it, I’ll just give them my ticket and maybe they won’t notice or they’ll get confused and just give it to me.”

They were pretty good sports about my shenanigans, when I continually came back with the same ticket. Ironically, Mr. M actually had the winning number for the very last prize, and so, ultimately, I had the honor of presenting them with a real winner this time.

Once again, I decided to call Rayner to give him the low-down on all the action he was missing. “Oh my goodness Rayner, there is a horde of Penthouse Pets here and Mr. M and I have the key, because we were just introduced to them all…Moreover, I’m hooked up to an IV of free vodka. Man, you don’t know what you’re missing.”

I tried to convince him to come down to the club, but being inebriated and constantly distracted I didn’t really follow the conversation beyond my own words. Moreover, albeit I invited him with the sort of cockiness that boasted “I own the club,” I really wasn’t all that confident that we could get him in at all, anyway.

At pretty close to midnight, the curtain opened at center stage and the chanteuse Melody Sweets belted out a few songs. Surely, much like every other guy in the club, I waited patiently for her to begin stripping, but she never did, not a stitch of clothing came off and, to be honest, her off-key melody was a bit of a turn-off too.

Nonetheless, the show went on and began feeding our lurid expectations when the burlesque artist MsTickle took to the stage. Apparently, burlesque shows are all the rage these days, at least in New York City.

After the first act though, I knew it was time to go. I was too tired to wait for the orgy to begin.

Besides, it really looked like, apart from the bartender, the Pets, the chanteuse and the burlesque dancer, there were actually no other women in the house, and so it would have been a grotesque display of hairiness and big bellies anyway.

Moreover, I was drinking vodka like water now and finding it hard to curb my enthusiasm. And so I realized that I absolut-ely could not drink anymore, for even another sip would put me at the tipping point between really-really drunk and completely substituting my blood supply with alcohol. I began to feel as if there was enough rum, tequila and vodka in me now to fill the Russian national reserve.

Thus, not having a drink to pass the time, it was at this juncture that I took to my newest favorite pastime—drunk text messaging.

Apparently, I am not alone though, because according to Information Week, Verizon wireless subscribers sent 10 billion SMSs in June alone. Well, maybe they’re not all wasted while texting, but that’s a lot of texting nonetheless, and if you do the math it breaks down to 333.3 million per day, 13.9 million per hour, 231,481 per minute, and 3,858 messages per second. Since Verizon has about 61 million subscribers and there are reportedly 240.5 million subscribers total in the US, if you include the other carriers and apply Verizon’s usage rate, you have almost 40 billion text messages being sent each month in the US.

The problem with the ones I was sending though was that I was so drunk that I couldn’t remember from one moment to the next what I wrote, so that a minute later I would receive a reply and it would make no sense to me whatsoever.

Besides, considering how things can so easily get lost in translation, engaging in drunk-talk over the wire probably isn’t the smartest practice. Nonetheless and allthemore, I’ll presume that my friends forgave me and if anything, were entertained by my speakeasy blather.

On my way out, I leaned over the bar and asked Beleyiana-Buvushka if she could give a bottle of the vodka for the road, she smiled and replied “Sorry darling, we ran out right when the happy hour ended an hour ago.” I blew her a kiss anyway, and then parted, slowly ascending the stairs to the exit.

Thus, I began the stumble homeward.

It wasn’t an easy trek home though, because it was extremely humid, I was wearing wool suit pants and a jacket, I was dehydrated, tired and drunk. Moreover, I was carrying a shitload of goodies with penthouse keys printed on them for my boys—the big boys that is, not the little ones.

And although I was yearning to simply drop this package of chotskies somewhere, anywhere, I persevered, figuring the fellas would appreciate them at the next poker game—and that, strategically, my benevolence might ward off any touch of evil from my friends, who also tend to be my greatest adversaries.

“Writers seldom choose as friends those self-contained characters who are never in trouble, never unhappy or ill, never make mistakes, and always count their change when it is handed to them.”
— Catherine Drinker Bowen—

Other Tales of Drinkin’, Depravity & Debauchery:

A Touch of Evil

In the Blink of An Eye

This Diurnal Yearning

Three, Things I Like

Brain-Picking, Mind-Blowing and Just Getting Drunk
(Hanging with Hizoner at Gracie Mansion or
“A Married Woman and A Thousand Gay Men”)

Half-Crazy Wild Women

Being The More Richly Endowed, More Varied Man

Love, Lust and Other Things

The Lush Life

Having A Drink

Living The Lush Life

Vanity Fare
(Series of drunk self portraits taken after a black tie dinner)

In The Aisle, at Hy-Vee

Der Zungenkuss
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

In The Aisle, at Hy-Vee

I like watching.

And, there’s something keenly sadistic about knowing
someone might be watching you.

There are four large windows looking into my living and dining rooms;
I have no curtains—some considerable spontaneity has unraveled
in these rooms.

A million rooftops, ice machine rooms, linen closets, scummy bar bathrooms,
public parks, parked cars, and cemeteries too.

One day we came out of the underground archives
of the Mid-Manhattan Library and the chagrined security guard growled,
”You two shouldn’t have been doing that…”

I feigned shame and thought, grinning, “Yes, you’re right…but we did.”

Never done it in the back of a pick up truck though, but then again,
I’ve never shagged the drag either.

I want to do it in the grocery aisle, some 24-hour Stop-and-Shop, somewhere,
anywhere, in the Midwest maybe—Ames, Iowa, Fareway, Hy-Vee even,
first in the Midwest for "cleanliness, courtesy, integrity and prices!"

There are supposedly 2,397 video surveillance cameras watching
the streets of Manhattan, every minute, every hour, every day of the year—
watching me, watching you, watching us, do as we do, do as we please.

New York Penal Law § 245.00 considers
“public lewdness” a class B misdemeanor.
Maximum sentence: 3 Months, $500.

Please, don’t get caught....unless you've got the time

If you've got the money, I've got the time
We'll go honky tonkin', and we'll have a time
We'll make all the night spots, dance, drink beer and dine
If you've got the money honey, I've got the time
If You’ve Got the Money, Lefty Frizzle—


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Gradually Becoming

Gradually Becoming
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

best seen large.

Gradually Becoming

A man becomes confused, gradually, with the form of his destiny; a man is, by and large, his circumstances.

— Jorge Luis Borges—

I am gradually becoming.

I am gradually becoming—me.

Slowly, I am growing—from seed, to root, through trunk, sprawling into branches, evolving into tree.

Everyday that I dig deeper into the earth and reach higher to the sky, I become more of me, more of what I am gradually becoming—an organic, living, planted, yet free, being.

Because albeit circumstance plants us, it is being that sets us free.

Thus, I don’t fret what I am becoming, for I know it is being that is most becoming of me.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

The Lighter Side of Being

The Lighter Side of Being
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The Lighter Side of Being

The darker side of ecstasy, is the lighter side of being.

Bliss, the connection to where nothing matters more than being, where being matters more than becoming, where becoming makes one believe, where believing is how we become.

It is here where we become one, once again—in utter darkness, far away from the world and all its weighing expectations and its subsequent, heavy woes.

It is here that we let go and return to where we truly belong. It is here where we become strong and certain and true. It is here where the differences between me and you melt with each shutter and release of something other than what we really want to be.

This is the darker side of ecstasy, this is the lighter side of being.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Friday, July 20, 2007

Love Them All

Love Them All
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Original Photos: Bliss and I Knew That

Love Them All

So, she called me last night.

The last time I saw her was in March sometime, more than four months ago.

I had essentially erased the memory of her as much as I could—deleting her number from my speeddial at work and at home, removing photos of her, crossing her out of my datebook.

Slowly, she’s creeping back in though.

I’ve found it’s truly hard to let go once you’ve loved someone.

Despite the differences with anyone I’ve ever loved before, I can say I still, quite sincerely, love them all.

For everyone is beautiful in their own way. Thus, you shouldn’t let your own way skew the appreciation of theirs. In other words, despite the differences love them anyway.

I believe in polyamory. I believe you can love more than one person at a time. You probably shouldn’t sleep with them all at the same time, but loving them simultaneously is not impossible.

So, she called me last night.

And, I called her back.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

The Clock is Ticking

The Clock is Ticking
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The Clock is Ticking

She couldn’t stop the ticking.

It began merely as a dream. It was a pleasant dream that often made her smile.

Then one day, while walking down Broadway, casually striding in the sun, on her way to buy a new pair of shoes, it became—a feeling.

When she first felt it in her belly, it was almost like a slow awakening, a drowsy, Sunday-morning snooze-into-sunrise.

Soon, it grew from a mere spark into a warm, golden, even-tempered flame.

Sometimes though, it would get too hot, and soon would begin the crazy thoughts. “Any man will do. Just let him sow. I'll let him know that he can simply plant his seed inside of me, and then, go away.”

Ethereal thoughts of the seed sprouting often overwhelmed her with warmth.

Occassionally, the warmth would begin to burn. And then the burn would turn into yearning—a piquing, impetuous, almost-violent, hunger.

“Now! I want you inside me now,” she’d nearly scream to every new visitor that she’d bring home to her tiny apartment on the Upper West Side; a small, uncomfortable studio that overlooked the Hudson.

“Now!” she’d demand with that crazy-look in her eyes, her nails clawing at their backs, each fella foolishly convinced that her ravenous craving was his manly undoing.

Little did they know though, that her insatiable wanting came from within, and that they were merely the means to a pressing, pushing, prodding end.

She was especially flushed and frustrated, savagely longing, whenever she came home, alone; after the long happy hour and the quick turn into midnight and the hundreds of hours she found herself at bars all around the city, trolling for the right guy.

Upon the precipice of her 33rd birthday, she realized that she was hauntingly always in heat.

And this was when she began hearing ticking everywhere. Imaginary clocks tocking to her, tearing her apart with their incessant reminders that time was always moving—opportunity fleeting.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

The Seasons Why

The Seasons Why
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Note: Reader discretion advised. Rated PG-13 for sexual references and some lyrically brute, yet thoroughly honest language.

"If at first you don't succeed,
destroy all evidence that you tried."
—Stephen Wright—

The Seasons Why

“Pique me,” I thought.

“Choose me, from amongst the throng of other suitors, choose me. Let my words suit you better, suit you best.”

We corresponded for a couple of months before we met—whetting our cravings and our curiosity, abetting the inevitable; cumulating, cultivating, collecting a philosophy through epistolary tomes of words; interminable moments of going through the motions to get to where we both knew we were going.

And although we both knew that we would only have a few hours the first night we met, we fucked anyway.

For that is what it was—fucking.

Making love would come later, much later, a year of silence later. It would come after a sudden, whimsical serendipity; a mutual meant-to-be that set us back on course.

Thus, of course, again we met. But this time it would be a more tender beginning, a becoming, one with a more auspicious meaning—a promising, a forgiving, a renaissance, a race forward, toward pining hope and fulfillment.

So, months passed—golden leaves fell, rain splashed outside her window while the sibilant-symphonic kuplunk of taxi tires passing over potholes played its serenade, buds blossomed and love grew. We projected our shadows upon bedroom walls, pilfered linen when need be, and soon our souls were entangled into a perfectly, luxurious, knot.

I could not have been happier.

Yet, interminably-intertwined we weren’t meant to be.

Circumstance and the weight of subsequent expectation saw to that. And I was reminded how perfection is as deceptively promising as it is always ephemeral.

But I knew that. Only, love always finds a way into fooling me into forgetting.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Strange Murmurings (Barbs and Pitchforks)*

Strange Murmurings (From The Back)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Strange Murmurings
(Barbs and Pitchforks)*

He was standing at the basin when I walked in and entered a stall at the far end of the bathroom.

Although there was now a door entre nous, I could hear all his behavior as it unfurled and exorcised whatever demons were driving their barbs and pitchforks into his heart and soul.

First he washed his hands meticulously four times at 30-second intervals. He then proceeded to vigorously dry the basin with a paper towel for about 60 seconds. This was followed by a dozen or so nose sniffs. Finally, there were long sighs interspersed with what sounded like quick rubbings of his shirt, as if he was trying to cleanse himself of his sins or something “dirty.”

As I listened, I tried to imagine what trouble or failure, disappointment or psychosis was putting him through this tribulation. Was it heartbreak? Hypochondria? A death in the family? An embarrassing blunder?

Albeit, it was clear that something was amiss, I just couldn’t pin down what it actually might be.

Eventually, I heard him leave, dragging his feet across the tiles and out the door.

As I washed my hands I looked at myself in the mirror and pondered the weight of my own worries, woes, and peccadilloes. I smiled, realizing how worry-free I relatively was. I then turned off the faucet and quickly dried my hands, throwing away the wet ball of paper into the wastebasket, much as I had happily, quickly, dispensed with my troubles.

*Based on actual occurrence yesterday at work.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Change Her

Change Her
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Don’t Go Changin’

Change her.

You can’t. I learned that a hundred heartbreaks ago.

I still need to be reminded though, anyway, nonetheless, now and then and again, and again and again and again.

Woe to the wayfarer who tries, for by the time we pique and pop! and are wet between the ears we’re set—for life. The core of us remains the same from there on in.

And albeit we are ever-changing—where and when and with whom—the whys and wherefores of who we are rarely do.

The worrier will always worry, the dreamer always dream; the schemer will go on scheming, and the doer will just do.

That is why you can’t change a thing.

You can’t change him or her or them.

Revel in the beautiful moments, but move on if you have to.

For nobody ever really changes, once you know what love is.


Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore
I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are

Just The Way You Are, Billy Joel —


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

(Something, Somewhere,) Unknown

(Something, Somewhere,) Unknown
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

1. Something, 2. Somewhere,

Something, Somewhere, Unknown

I quickly scanned the archives of unpublished photos this morning before rushing off to work, in search of something, something unknown, but something nonetheless that might match the inspiration I was working off of.

I worked through a couple dozen folders filed under “F,” running through slideshow after slideshow of a few hundred photos spanning a year or so.

Flashback after flashback of great times, good times, bad quickly put me in a tizzy; a vertigo of happy-sad nostalgia that spun me through the memories made with a wonderful woman I once knew.

Granted, I still “know” her—I would proclaim profoundly so. Likewise, I’ll laud that I still love and appreciate her just as deeply as ever, as once before.

Yet, even though I was compelled to send her a note expressing just this, this morning, I know I couldn’t, lest I mislead her to an unknown somewhere where I can’t go.

Thus, this diptych instead. An ode and homage to her, a eulogy to the beautiful coupling we once were, but can never be again.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

This Diurnal Yearning

This Diurnal Yearning
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

In the end, love blinds far more women,
for it is lust that hones the thrust of men.

Last night, I attended the “Love @ Hotel QT” pool party, which is located on 45th between Sixth and Seventh in Times Square. I met Rayner, his girlfriend Karen and her girlfriend Marisabelle there for drinks.

Albeit conceptually quite interesting, Marisabelle and I ultimately agreed that the idea of drinking and wading about in this small pool, while simultaneously being fluffed by the throng of practically naked people, was a certain recipe for a lot of pissing in the piscina; truly not a very appealing place to be.

Thus, since none of us were all too enthusiastic about diving in, we primarily lingered upstairs in a hideaway den that overlooks the wet revelers.

It was there that we took advantage of the holistic gurus that were present for free consultations on intuitive healing, human design, vortex healing, and astrology. Ultimately, I ended up sitting down to speak with three of the four; mostly looking to prod them for their stories—how did they get here and why; and why might I be interested in listening to what they had to say and sell me.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t convinced by any of them, I wasn’t persuaded to come to the dark side or to see the light, for that matter. For although I felt truly open to listening and being enlightened, ultimately, cynicism and the harsher reality of city life kept me grounded in a more somatic here-and-now.

All of them essentially and equivocally said that their services could “improve my life” and help me get what I wanted most. My patent response, as I ogled all the twenty-something, half-clad and wet women walking about me, was that I wanted to “desire less.”

The men, the vortex and intuitive healers, both laughed and immediately replied that what I really needed to do was to embrace that desire, and not deny it.

Yet, this was far from what I wanted to hear—for what I really wanted was someone to inspire some good old-fashioned Voltairian, Candide-style discipline—no more lust, no more uncontrollable thrusting, no more yearning to chimichurri all over the place—there were simply too many things to accomplish in life to let my libido lead the way, day-in and day-out, everyday, for what has proven to be practically thirty years of an incessant desire to rub myself all over practically any woman who might let me, much like horny dogs tend to indiscriminately do.

Hence, this diurnal yearning. And thus, my disappointment with the holistic approach’s inability to stifle the thrust caused by lust, and not love.

I'm like a dog in heat,
a freak without warning
I have an appetite for sex,
'cause me so horny...

— 2 Live Crew, Me So Horny

Eyes Wide Open

Eyes Wide Open
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I Shut My Eyes

She’d often shut her eyes and smile
whenever she was happy.

She’d also shut them whenever
she was mad, frustrated or upset
and wanted to shut out the world,
often shutting me out in turn,
often because I was what was burning
a hole in her sense of being and balance.

Ironically, I always felt compelled to dig in,
rather then to let go at these times;
I wanted things to always be copasetic between us,
because for me anger was a sign that it wasn’t.

Alas, there were differences.
irreconcilable, if only because
although our bodies could share the same space,
our hearts, minds and souls were worlds apart—

I pined to wander when she yearned to settle down;
she wanted to have babies, “Now!,” when
I already knew why and how children are easier
to conceive conceptually than they are to raise
in reality.

Sometimes, I shut my eyes
to bring her back to me;
sometimes I open them
to know that she is gone.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

The Spine of Life

Nicky, The Brave
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The Spine of Life

Following is a piece excerpted from my forthcoming book 25 Lessons: The Art of Living. I was inspired to share it after pondering a photo from Rose & Olive.

In sum, their picture made me think about courage and my own experience with having the gall to pursue the fulfillment of my own potential as a person, as an individual, as an artist. To paraphrase Nietzsche, “Pursuing one’s passion is the spine of life,” in other words following your bliss often requires one to muster the nerve to consistently take many risks.

To illustrate this musing, I’ve decided to use a photo taken last week of Nicky, my youngest son, while we were camping at Bear Mountain. For I hope that by my example my sons learn how to avoid the apprehension that comes with age and responsibility, and to continue taking the risks that are the privilege of youth.

“Youth is a gift of nature, Age is a work of art.” – Scott Allen –

Moreover, both Enzo and Nicky consistently motivate me to brazenly pursue my passions.

Recently, five-year-old Nicky took the plunge and essentially taught himself to swim; he has always been the more athletically aggressive of the two, and his feats of physical bravery continue to astonish and inspire me.

Lesson 8: Strike a Chord (Be Daring)

In addition to the mental, emotional and physiological aspects, striking a chord in your life also means striving to be yourself; a self that naturally does not have one side or the other, but rather is balanced by the organic variety of ways that you are compelled to express who you are, who you want to be, who you are becoming as an individual.

This evolution however takes some daring, a bold act of faith in oneself that ultimately will strike a chord in others.

Alas, creativity, success, originality and individuality all require disrupting the status quo, shaking up things a bit, turning up the place, and tuning into one self in order to see things anew.

During our separation, my wife and I began seeing a therapist, Dr. Om Feelgood. We had been to see a social worker before, but that did not work out because not only did she seem to immediately side with my wife, rather than serve as a neutral guiding force, but she also rarely offered any constructive advice. Her opening question was always “So, what do you want to talk about today,” and then we would sit there quietly for a very long minute or two in awkward silence.

Dr. Feelgood, on the other hand, immediately seemed to catalyze each session and offered us exercises that both of us agreed to try and follow. Admittedly, he also employed cognitive behavior therapy, which was much more in line with my own thoughts on how we might resolve our marital disputes and allay the tension.

However, during one session, he actually planted a seed that not only inspired me to pursue photography so passionately, but may have ultimately proved to be one of the reasons I would ask for a second separation a year later.

We were discussing why I spent so much time alone and on the computer. I explained that I had been writing for years and that it was essentially a solitary activity that could not be done alongside someone watching TV or otherwise. I also briefly mentioned that I had taken on many creative projects over the years, and that I had long had aspirations to be an artist or a writer, but had not pursued these goals in earnest because I had taken the more conservative, “do the right thing,” straight and narrow road instead.

Just as it happens to millions of others, I began to loop around as I fulfilled the various sacraments of modern life: professional job, marriage, children, better paying corporate job, moving out of the city to suburbia. As a result, I began to take a lot less risks, I began to play it safe and in turn my soul began to shrivel, as it yearned to be on the edge, it hungered to be out there venturing into the unknown, it was eager to strike a chord.

In response, Dr. Feelgood pointed out that it is at this age, one’s late 30s through early 50s, that many artists actually break out and begin to produce some of their groundbreaking and notable work. Although I had read many books and taken a number of courses about success, genius, creativity and excellence over the years, I hadn’t heard of this trend before, and thus I immediately took it to heart. How could I not be motivated to break out of my shell and finally come into my own, be all that I always had wanted to be?

While I experienced many difficult moments after moving into the Little Church, I have also became more true to my vision of myself. Over those few empowering months I willed and experienced much that is sublime: a transcendence of self, conversations with the divine, ethereal bliss, and the manipulation and making of time; the survival and thriving upon circumstance; realizing a passion and discovering an untapped talent therein; and perhaps, most importantly, realizing that I am in control of my own fate.

When you’re willing to be yourself and finally find the courage to be different, your newfound bravery will show up in your artistry as well. I found that since I was taking a bold step in life toward self-fulfillment, that this audacious attitude and determination immediately influenced how I went about and took pictures, what and whom I took photos of, and what I did with them once they were on the editing table.

As a result of my courage, I stuck with things for which I was immediately criticized, including my proclivity toward taking photos of everyday life, my penchant for taking series of photos that “looked the same” to many people, and my “cut-out” technique, which eventually became one of my trademark artistic renderings.

Gustave Flaubert once said that “thinkers should have neither religion nor fatherland nor even any social convictions.” One’s mind, heart and soul should likewise be inspired by this general principle of evolutionary, pliable and adaptable ambiguity.

Besides being and becoming who we truly are as individuals, being daring, being courageous, not being afraid to strike a chord, also means accepting that our lives are our own, that fate is, in fact, ours to manage and determine. Circumstance, nature, nurture, and all the teachers, authorities, and inspirational figures of our lives merely influence us; they do not hold our destinies in their hands. Only we have that power.

audentes fortuna juvat : fortune favors the bold
-Vergil, Aenis-

Monday, July 16, 2007

Three, Things I Like

Three, Things I Like
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

1.Un Deux Trois, 2. A Passage into Paradise, 3. One Thing Impossible

Three, Things I Like

Like practically every man, I fantasize, often,
about having a threesome, a ménage a trois.
Maybe its because I grew up Catholic:
The Father, The Son, The Holy Ghost.
Or maybe its just because I’m a man…
I wonder, do gay man yearn the same?

My favorite skyscrapers all have pinnacles,
I guess one might surmise that I like them
because they look like giant penises,
but, for the sake of verse, I’ll contend its
because, from a two-dimensional distance,
they end in three-jagged-edges.

I’ve had three mid-life crises already,
not sure I liked having them, but
they motivated me nonetheless, and

This morning, I tried
to clean out my voice-mail box at work
by reviewing the 60 messages saved.
I didn’t get very far, because after hearing
her voice and her standard opening phrase,
”Hey mister, it’s…” three times and
pressing save three times again and again and again,
I stopped listening and gave up on deleting, anything.

I’ve blacked-out three times from excessive
drinking over a lifetime of almost 40 years
—at 13, when my parents went away
for an overnight, and I decided to dip into and delight
in my father’s liquor cabinet; at the end of a long
Night to Remember, when I had six Hennessey martinis,
each one made with 2 shots of cognac and half a lemon;
and on my honeymoon, in Firenze, where I
drank half a bottle of limoncello
the experiences weren’t too charming,
but they make for good stories, and
bad makeshift poems about tre, trois, three.

Other Tales of Drinkin’, Depravity & Debauchery:

A Touch of Evil

In the Blink of An Eye

This Diurnal Yearning

Three, Things I Like

Brain-Picking, Mind-Blowing and Just Getting Drunk
(Hanging with Hizoner at Gracie Mansion or
“A Married Woman and A Thousand Gay Men”)

Half-Crazy Wild Women

Being The More Richly Endowed, More Varied Man

Love, Lust and Other Things

The Lush Life

Having A Drink

Living The Lush Life

Vanity Fare
(Series of drunk self portraits taken after a black tie dinner)


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

I Like The Feel

I Like The Feel
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

(orginal photo)

I Like The Feel

I like the feel of your wet hair
—here and here, and there.
Especially, when it dangles over me,
small drips falling, running down my cheek,
like tears onto my pillow.

I like the willowing touch of your toes
sweeping against my feet, brushing
up my ankles and calves, heels digging
into the concave, sinking, arch of me.

I like the firm press of your fingers,
the slow stroke,
the graceful to and fro,
the tips that know where and why
and when to glide gracefully
across my back.

I like it when your nails attack,
assail me, sharpening claws against my skin,
wanting, cajoling, pushing me further-deeper in
to the greater depths of our crescendo.

I like the feel of your wet hair.


Foto Notes:

Using a photo from Rose & Olive as inspiration, I composed the verse based on the subject’s wet hair. From there, I manipulated a photo of mine by cropping, rotating the canvas in the direction of the breast and the light on the wall, as well as changing the tones and shadows to mimic R&O’s gorgeous portrait of Brittany.


Rose, Olive & Me

Saturday, July 14, 2007

(The Art of) Lying, Still

(The Art of) Lying, Still
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

(original photo) by Rose & Olive.

(The Art of) Lying, Still

I wasn’t scared.

Neither when they cut me open or when Big Al stuck the needle to my back.

I just lie there, just as I’m lying now. Truth be told, so help me God, apparently He or She did, because otherwise I wouldn’t be here with you, lying naked on a naked bed in some flea-bag of a motel, lying bare and vulnerable, my greatest frailties now being mere fodder for your “art.”

Honestly, it almost feels like open-heart surgery in a way, except that it is your lens that is slicing me open this time, exposing me to everyone. Funny how I seemingly often find myself in these same compromising positions.

Oddly enough, ever since the surgery I tend to think about lying down, lying naked, lying still—a lot. I often dream about lying, as well, as well; lying often, lying still, lying regardless of all the reasons not to in my life, all the rife and redolent and bountiful reasons not to lie, still. Still I do. Yes, nonetheless, I do.

It is actually a rather comforting feeling to lie still, despite all the reasons not to—that is the truth I tell you. It is the truth I tell you, as I am lying still, here, baring all that is all-telling, to you.

I think I’m more scared to live than to die though, really.

Sometimes, I get up excited, ready to embrace the day, ready to race and finish first, ready to make the most of every moment, every sunrise, every opportunity. But then, suddenly I fall, I feel, paralyzed, just as I was for the first two weeks of my back surgery—they thought it was quite unlikely that I would ever walk again, ever jump, or skip, eat, open doors, drive cars, drink beers and press remote control buttons much like any normal, average person can do and does, often, daily.

I remember vividly when they tried to gently tell me that there was a good chance that I may never move another limb again, for they tried to console me by saying that half of those who have had complications go comatose, frickin’ living vegetables—I was “lucky” they said, very lucky.

I snapped out of it suddenly one night. I faintly remember weight coming back to my body, it felt like a ton of bricks had suddenly been lain on top of me, it was so odd not initially knowing what it was, but then, almost an amazingly joyful, ineffably blissful, moment later, realizing that in fact I was full and rife and weighted down by the life in my arms and legs again, I was so high on this epiphany that I immediately cried, I sobbed incessantly, until I shed that weight in tears—I had held in my fright and disbelief and tough-minded come-what-may, I’ll deal with it, brazen, almost-ironically boastful, attitude for so long now that it all, suddenly, burst out of me like a giant blister, an implosion of utter fuckin’ happiness, an unbelievably wonderful, screamingful, mountain-high pitch of phenomenally immense, and intense, appreciation for being “whole” again. Because for two whole weeks I was merely a piece of me, a head with big piece of petrified wood attached to it.

So, I’ve been scared ever since, frightened that a misstep, a shock of any sort, a mere zap of static even, might jolt me back into the garden, sowing me up like a root, one big ugly stump of inanimate matter—Yes, I cower because I now know how much life fuckin matters now, and how much we all take it for granted.

Fuck. Fuck!

And of course, by the way, I was lying about not being scared when I got my tattoo and when I went under the scalpel as well—of course I was, I was scared shitless, ironically, paralyzed with fright.

In fact, sometimes, I think that this is what ultimately triggered the mishap, that having gone into surgery with this timorous demeanor made it happen; happen if only for that single ugly episode, a mere two weeks, but an infinitely long two weeks of my life, allthemore.

And by the way, I did tell you I was lying.

"I don't know what you mean by 'glory,' " Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. "Of course you don't - till I tell you. I meant 'there's a nice knock-down argument for you!'"
"But 'glory' doesn't mean 'a nice knock-down argument,'" Alice objected.
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "Which is to be master -- that's all."
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll —


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Friday, July 13, 2007

(Learning to Accept) The Look

The Look (Nothing Gold Can Stay)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

(original photo)

(Learning to Accept) The Look

I can’t go on any longer like this.

We’re on the precipice looking over. Or, rather, at least, I am on the edge of falling in.

Every time you look at me now I almost stop breathing. I can practically feel the perspiration pore out of my skin. Everything gets brighter and then whiter, and then, the vertigo begins.

So far, it’s been pretty come-what-may, here-we-are, it’s your turn to spin.

And so far, seemingly, I have been pretty lucky: go directly to go, collect $200, get out of jail free; everything seems mighty right between you and me. Almost, too much so.

Thus, the trepidation creeps in. Because that’s when women like you suddenly step back; almost like clockwork, you slowly slink away, while I woozy and wonder and awe in the wake of your being.

I’d like to continue casually—no expectations, no invitations we might not accept, no family introductions. Alas, (alas, alas, alas) I am but a sorry, weeping willow in the lingering waft of your every breath and sigh and crack of beautiful laughter, of every smile and smirk, and of every tender, yet calculated (tick, tick, tick), look.

You’re going to leave me, aren’t you?

Of course, I’m much too scared to disclose that thought to you—if only in a futile attempt to prolong the inevitable, to stretch out the parting and make it a harder, longer goodbye.

Nonetheless, I, I will continue feigning, continue pretending that I am partial to the game, and that if I erroneously take you and us and this more seriously than I should, that I know and realize and accept that…well, that, I am to blame, for nothing good ever lasts forever.

Does it?

For we both know that perfection is ephemeral.

Don’t we?

Anyone fortunate enough to experience that eventually needs to learn to accept this fleeting beauty of life and to move on before one leans over the edge a little too far and meets the jagged edge of reality below.

For I know, I know, that I should appreciate having caught that look on camera, and that it should suffice and carry me on and through to the next beautiful moment of a life that is bound to be rife with them.

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Nothing Gold Can Stay, Robert Frost —


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Where it Hurts

Where it Hurts
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

(original photo)

Where It Hurts

“It hurts right here.”

She was clawing the side of her chest, pressing the edge of her nails into the moist space where my lips had just been.

“Because I kissed you?" I asked, puzzled.

“Yes, where you kissed me. And it hurts because you stopped kissing me.”

I smiled, straddled her again, and, looking straight into her eyes, replied, “Well, let me make it feel better than…”


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Friday, July 6, 2007


The Inverse of Happiness
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


I wrote the following as two separate pieces a day apart. Initially, I had no clue as to how or why or who the first part would fit in to the stream of work I have been producing lately, I just knew it had to fit in somewhere.

Sometimes inspiration and creation take time. Sometimes the process is like a puzzle you put together, one piece at a time, one by one, days apart.

Thus, it occurred that it all came together last night.

I had written about the necessity of blood letting the day before (not literally, but literarily) and then an opportunity to do so occurred anoche.

Note: Once again, the original photo was taken by the beloved Rose & Olive. I’ve turned it upside-down, hopefully, as the title of the verse that follows reveals, for obvious reasons. I also adjusted brightness and color to draw out more intense hues and shadows, befitting my mood at the time of composition.

Oh, and please forgive the sports metaphor, I’m not a baseball fan by any means (boooring), but this is what came to mind, so I went along with it.

July 4, 2007, New York City:


I couldn’t properly challenge life or myself when I was married.

Actually, I probably can’t challenge either while in any relationship whatsoever—for any compromise often ends up being too much compromise.

This is partly why I write—I lay my thoughts and my experiences and my principles out for everyone to see to challenge the way and wherefores of how I perceive and live my life—for by being open, honest and true I get to step up to the plate and risk being hit by a curveball or, as I prefer to think of it, I get the opportunity to hit a homerun.

If you’re not willing to risk you’ll neither ever strikeout or bring everyone in, you’ll just end up always being a spectator on the sidelines of life, shelling out $35 bucks for a lousy seat and just as much for a few beers and a dry hotdog.

To be a good writer you’ve got to be willing to be in the game, willing to fall, willing to fail, willing to make yourself vulnerable. To be a great writer sometimes you’ve got to open up a vein and show people that your blood, your love, your pain, not only cures you of your vanity, but also makes you just as human as everyone else.

To me, being human means both expressing the idiosyncrasies of your individuality, as well as, as much as, demonstrating that at the core we cry, we rejoice, we yearn to voice our opinions just like everyone else.

Ultimately, it’s a constant balancing act between succumbing to the humility of common experience and embracing, as well as exalting, the evolution of our souls and extra ordinary selves.

July 5, 2007, New York City:

the inverse of
(something like happiness)

not like tonight,
a ten-hour flight, only to be
sent back home, ostracized
not welcome again in new york city,
at least not by his eldest son,
the one who left home
to get away, to start anew.

who knew that the legacy of anger
and insult upon insult upon insult
could linger even after 15 years gone.
i didn't, at least not until tonight.

he threatened to be on the next flight back
i said "go right the fuck ahead."
go back to where you came from
i don't need any more criticism or
advice on how to live my life right
or “wrong,” according to the wise old man.
fuck that, enough said, tonight
i've wiped my hands clean.

something like happiness
it seems, this sadness of letting go
of saying goodbye, of not knowing
or caring for a reconciliation;
but that is how it goes sometimes,
that is how it goes.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)


Rose, Olive & Me


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

(original photo)


1. The Euphony of Clothes Falling

She liked peeping through the keyhole.

She liked it a little too much, she thought.

In fact, whenever there was a dull or slow or tedious moment at work, which was often, she began thinking about looking, looking through that keyhole.

One morning, she watched them from 5:38 (she always looked at the clock at the first moan) until a few minutes after 8, when she knew she would now be 18 minutes late to the office.

She had begun timing the time it took her to get from her desk to her apartment door—where, after madly fumbling to find her keys, she would eagerly klink it and push it open with a sibilant “Ungh!” and a soft shove.

“5:35!” she’d shout as she saw the clock across the room, and then, smiling, almost smirking, she’d rush to get ready, to take off her shoes, pour herself half a glass of water (she didn’t want to spill it) and quietly scurry over to her favorite spot, where, patiently, she would wait—wait for the first sound of steps, for the first clunk of bags dropping, and the wonderfully wistful euphony of clothes falling, one by one, lithely to the floor.


2. Sheetless

She only went out when it was at least 100 degrees.

Otherwise, she stayed inside, with nothing but her fuzzy hunting cap on, with the air conditioner on high, while constantly saying to herself, “God, its cold in here! God, its cold in here! I wish it was hotter, so I cold go outside. God, its cold in here!”

One day, while she was sitting, padding her shoulders and repeating her favorite phrase, on her mattress, which lie sheetless in the middle of the floor—she heard a sudden, soft knock on the door.

She froze. And suddenly, wide-eyed with teeth-chattering, began chanting, “God, its hot outside, God, its hot outside….”


3. The Window Across The Room

She had been held hostage for two weeks now.

She’d been locked up in the Western Inn just off Highway 9, Room 255, but really had no clue as to where she was, to when it was and how she got there.

Bound and blindfolded as she was, she had quickly learned not to panic, but merely to be patient, thinking, believing that they would have hurt her by now, if they were going to do anything at all.

One morning, almost as if it were a dream, she woke up unbound and naked in the middle of the floor; strangely somehow she found the coarse feeling of the bristle from the industrial shag rather soothing, comforting if only because it meant she was free to feel, free to speak, free to see.

The first thing she saw was a rabbit fur hunting cap, left in center of the bed, perfectly positioned so that it was lit by the thin slit of light that came from the window across the room.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

I Don't Know Her

I Don't Know Her
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

I Don’t Know Her

Her picture hangs in my living room. Yet, I have to pretend that I don’t know her.

For practically a year now we’ve been communicating almost daily—e-mails, instant messages, text messages, quiet phone calls, dozens of hidden happy hours, and many more long lunches, sitting alone on a bench, in the park, together.

I consider her to be one of my best friends.

Yet, she is married and she is happy and they still do it . So she can’t come over, because she is married and she is happy and still afraid that we might do it .

Thus, sometimes I think I should take the picture down, put up a pin-up or photo of merely a piece of her instead. For what good is a good friend who you desire, if you can neither be true friends or truer lovers?

I guess this is the moment when I’m supposed to appreciate the extent of our amity, the diurnal back and forth, the constant undulation of words and feelings and some of the greatest secrets ever shared.

Hence, how dare I lament my imposition, how dare I demean all that she truly means to me despite the forbidding circumstances?

Yet, her picture still hangs in my home, and yet, I still have to pretend that I don’t know her.


allusionary images

(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Wet, Moist and Fragrant

Wet, Moist and Fragrant
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Wet, Moist and Fragrant

In California
I understood the earth,
for it was there, where I grew up,
that I relished the redolent pique
of the first smell of soil after the rain,
of rollicking and wrestling in the mud,
of the gritty feel of a rock before
I tossed it across the train tracks at
the punk-kids from the other side;
of sticky-milky milkweed covered with
orange-white-black stripped caterpillars;
of giant fig trees ripe with velvety-purple
plums that upon being pulled apart,
offered orgasms of pink-fleshy fruit.

It is here, in New York City,
where I grow old, that I yearn
to understand that earth again;
I think that is why I so often carelessly throw
myself into the charms and curves and company
of women. They are earthy,
they are wet and moist and fragrant;
they make me yearn freedom,
make me feel like throwing rocks again,
roll in the mire naked, build big fires;
and howl and eat and procreate
much like a barbarian; much like
an unrefined, toothy, curious kid


1.Joy Ride! 014, 2. Sex et La Cité 3, 3. Going to Bed with Gill 003, 4. Amanecí (Otra Vez) Entre Tus Brazos, 5. Sex et La Cité 2, 6. My Friend Mia 075, 7. The Afterglow, 8. Un Deux Trois, 9. Sex et La Cité, 10. Courtney 021, 11. My Friend Mia 074, 12. Mosaic Upload 2

(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me