Friday, August 31, 2007

What I Don't Believe

What I Don't Believe
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Original Photos: 1. Matisse’s Blue Nude (1907) 2. And a manipulation of Rose & Olive’s Do we not believe

What I Don’t Believe

I don’t believe
there is one for me, the one;
never was, never will be.

After marriage;
after countless “friends,” lovers,
girlfriends; even after great sex,
and falling in love
time and time again,
I find it increasingly hard to believe
there is one for me.

The irony is that, as I get older
I increasingly understand the need to compromise,
to be flexible, resilient, tolerant and understanding,
but at the same time, sometimes, I’m just too tried
to do so.

Thus, I gravitate toward the younger ones these days.
They still don’t know what they want, and thus, tend to be
less demanding. Experience also continues to validate the infamous
24-42 rule: gradually increasing their grasps as they get older,
going from pulling, to clinging, to clawing.

In three months I’ll be forty.
I’ve already got two beautiful boys,
a mortgage, rent, countless bills
and eventually a divorce to contend with.
Thus, it behooves me to want less,
not more. Yet, as far as I know, there is
hardly a woman out there that wants less.

Certainly, I am open to idea of having more—
I’m just not sure that I can handle more,
do justice with what I’ve already got, give as I’ve
been giving, and not leave my boys stranded
in the wake of my excess.

I think it is okay to be alone though.
My art tends to be my significant other,
when others are not around to distract me
from my creative aspirations.

Besides, I want my boys
to see me succeed as a writer and photographer;
I couldn’t care less if they see me succeed in love, again.
No, I rather show them how to be happy,
how to love life and embrace its beauty, and
how to make the most of the time and gifts
we’ve been given.

Thus, I don’t believe
there is one for me, the one;
never was, never will be.

And, you know what?
That’s okay.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Thursday, August 30, 2007

There’s Something About Fruits (California Dreamin')

Una Tuna y Unos Higos (California Dreamin')
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

There’s Something About Fruits
(California Dreamin’)

I love fruits.

They are clearly nature’s ambrosia. If I had to diet and limit it to one type of food, I would do it with fruits.

Eve did it with a fruit. It wasn’t a banana though.

I happen to live and love living in the “Big Apple.”

The popularity of this moniker for New York City is attributed to a 1970s promotional campaign by the New York Convention and Visitor's Bureau. According to the New-York Historical Society it was first popularized by John Fitz Gerald, who used it in his horse racing column for the New York Morning Telegraph during the 1920s. He credited African-American stable-hands working at horseracing tracks in New Orleans, having overheard one say, "The Big Apple. The dream of every lad that ever threw a leg over a thoroughbred and the goal of all horsemen. There's only one Big Apple. That's New York.''

My mother claims that I like tunas—otherwise known cactus pears or prickly pears in English and higo chumbos and higuera chumbas in Spanish—because she had a great craving for them when she was pregnant with me. Being that I do love them so, it is hard for me to refute this old wives tale.

I also happen to love figs. And figs also happen to be called higos, like cactus pears, in Spanish.

When I was growing up, for a couple years between 2nd and 4th grade, we lived in The McEvoy House, a beautiful home with gorgeously detailed wood floors and paneling everywhere. It was endearingly called The McEvoy House because it was once located on McEvoy Street, but now it only exists as part of my fond childhood memories.

Next door to the McEvoy house, was an empty lot, the old and dilapidated frame of a wood garage and a giant fig tree. I loved climbing that giving tree and often ate gobble-fulls of its utterly delicious, highly sensuous pink and purple fruit.

My friend Marcos and I used to hang out behind the tree in the shadow of the neighbor’s fence. At least, until we got caught being naughty.

We had been experimenting with pilfered cigarettes that I had taken from my Uncle Samuel’s stash and one day my neighbor Frank happened to look over the fence and find us smoking. I was probably only in third grade.

Frank happened to work for my father and eventually was regarded as part of our family. So he approached him and then—my father approached me. Surprisingly, I didn’t get the belt. No, I got much worse. For I had to apologize to my Uncle in person. It was one of the most embarrassing moments of growing up and it left an incredibly indelible impression upon me; one that persuaded me to never smoke again until I got into grad school when I was 24. But even then, I only smoked Indonesian cloves, and weed for the first time. To this day, I haven’t smoked a tobacco cigarette since third grade.

After that fateful day, we didn’t hang out much around the big ol’ fig tree anymore, and so I didn’t eat much of its fruit for years to come, because the very next year we moved to a bigger house with almond and walnut trees in the backyard.

That is one thing I eventually noticed after moving out East to New York, and New Jersey for a stint—there ain’t no fruit trees out here. In California it is rather common to have your own fruit trees around your home. Our neighbor’s had lemons, my mother eventually planted an orange tree and my father’s house has an overflowing grapefruit tree.

Perhaps than, having grown up surrounded by fruit, it is no surprise that I love them so.

The feeling is akin to what I feel about the sun, and why I believe that I am endowed with such a sunny disposition today. Apparently, growing up in California can do that to you. For it really is as wonderful as people proclaim it to be, and much like that ol’ fig tree—I miss it so.

All the leaves are brown
And the sky is gray.
I've been for a walk
On a winter's day.

I'd be safe and warm
if I was in L.A.
California dreamin'
on such a winter's day.

Stopped in to a church I passed along the way.
Well I got down on my knees
And I pretend to pray.
You know the preacher like t've croaked.
He knows I'm gonna stay.
California dreamin'
on such a winter's day.

California Dreamin' by The Mamas & the Papas —

Note: Inspired by Michelle's home sickness for California, California Dreamin' was written in 1963 by John and Michelle Phillips while they were living in New York.

Other appealing musings:

Just A Little More Wonderful

Please Have One

Vive L'Orange!

Orange Tears

The Orange Skirt and Her Entourage

What is Most Appealing

Her Orange Shoes

Appealing To Her

Una Tuna y Unos Higos (California Dreamin')

Crimson Divine

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Lines of Our Lives

The Lines of Our Lives
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The Lines of Our Lives
(Excerpts from a Recent Conversation)

Subject: Ohhhhh...

Lorenzo, Lorenzo,

Where art thou Lorenzo!

Where is Lorenzo?!@!?
Excited? Curious? Well, whatcha gonna do?

Kisses to spare,

Girlfriend Intervening
(sets up date)

I don't know if I can wait until Thurs....

I think we should secretly meet tonight.

Call me.

Your Eager Sag/Scorp

Girlfriend Intervening
It's a date and no secret meeting her tonight. Silly boy that's not how it works.

Correction: impatient boys sometimes miss dessert.

Subject: me thinx

you're going to get my in trouble somehow...

I think that is not a possibility.

Subject: basic animal training

" animal rewarded for good behavior will learn much more rapidly and retain what it learns far more effectively than an animal punished for bad behavior." - Dale Carnegie

See, it is best to reward me...

Subject: RE: basic animal training

Touché, Mr. Lorenzo.

Keep training sessions brief, be consistent with corrections, liberal with praise, be firm but avoid harsh physical punishment

Subject: yes, but

if you desire me
to remember you...cui placet obliviscur, cui dolet meminit. - Cicero, Pro Murena -
(he forgets that which pleases him, but remembers the pain he suffers)

"Pain is weakness leaving the body. It's that last hill. Or that final inch. It's knowing if you don't push beyond it, there'll never be a beyond. It's the moment when your mind and body meet and realize they have a common goal called winning."

And since I consider myself a winner, I don't mind the pain (i.e. your "harsh physical punishment"), esp. if it helps me win the prize.

Worship comes when earned.

Subject: from adulation to indulgence

As to “worship comes when earned...”

...and satisfaction, when you learn to let go of fanciful ideals.

Wilde wrote, "The way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it." I've learned to yield often.

Alas, the art of living is a never-ending education. And thus, it helps to practice giving in...

Hmmm, I must ponder this for a while. A response to be continued.

Life's Too Short

Hula Hoopin' in Columbus Circle
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Life's Too Short

The other day I was sitting in the subway, anxious about being late to a friend's performance.

Across from me were seated two children, an older sister and younger brother apparently, roughly ages 4 and 6.

Their playfulness reminded me of my sons, Nicky and Enzo, ages almost 6 and 8 and half.

These kids were poking each other and gradually increasing the pressure of each touch; moving from lithe graces to loud smacks in the face.

Regardless of how painful some of the hits seemed to be, they both remained cheerful, unspiteful and giggled raucously the entire time. They were having the time of their lives with this unstructured, pointless play. It was truly inspiring and prompted me to reflect upon how ghastly earnest I tend to be.

Life is too short to take it so seriously.

You Don't Have to Go Home from Work Exhausted!" by A.R. McGlashan

Fifteen childhood characteristics that sometimes get lost in adults:

1. Seek out things that are fun to do
2. Jump from one interest to another
3. Curious, eager to try new things
4. Smile and laugh a lot
5. Experience and express emotions freely
6. Creative and innovative
7. Physically active
8. Constantly growing mentally and physically
9. Risk often - are not afraid to keep trying something that they aren't initially good at
and aren't afraid to fail
10. Rest when their body tells them to
11. Learn enthusiastically
12. Dream and imagine
13. Believe in the impossible
14. Generally don't worry about things
15. Passionate

The Fav-o-nator 5000

The Fav-o-nator 5000
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The Fav-o-nator 5000

At the beginning of the month, I celebrated a major flickr milestone when I had the millionth streamview of my photos on August 1. We’ve added 40,000 more views since then. Thank you once again.

Today, I would like to thank everyone who has ever marked one of my photos as a “favorite,” for yesterday afternoon the 5,000th photo was added to the pool.

To commemorate this milestone I’ve researched the significance of the number 5,000 and came up with the following Five Fun “Facts”:

5. Myth has it that every year swallows migrate 5,000 miles from South America to California—or if you’re from the UK, from South Africa to Britain. Actually, it’s more like 7,500 miles on the Pacific coast and 6,000 miles on the Atlantic. It also depends on the kind of swallow were talking about, “Was it a little swallow or did she swallow the whole thing?” There are eight swallow species that live in North America.

4. 5000 is the last year of the 5th Millennium. The fifth millennium is a period of time which will begin on 1 January 4001 and will end on 31 December 5000. Do you think we’ll make it? Suddenly, it feels unusually warm in here…

3. Humans speak over 5,000 different languages. According to Ethnologue, there are actually 6,912 known living languages used around the world. I’ve studied a handful, but can really only barely speak one. My ex-wife says that I can barely even communicate at all.

2. “5000” is a very popular brand suffix for household appliances, auto parts and electronic equipment worldwide.

1. I typed in “5,000” into Google and I got 402,000,000 results.

Thanks for reading, thanks for clicking on your favorites, thanks for the memories, thanks for everything. Following is a full list of the 5,000 favorites, please peruse and mark yours.


Photos, illustrations and other images deemed favorites by fellow flickr members:

flickr favorites/favoritos:
1-1001 (the first 1,001)

More Flickr Favorites:
1002-1668 (the second 666)

Still More Flickr Favorites:
1669-2112 (444 more)

Más y Más Favoritos:
2113-2334 (222 plus)

Favorites V:
2335 - 2778 (444 mas)

Favorites VI:
2779-3111 (333)

Favorites VII:
3112-3444 (333)

Favorites VIII:
3445-3666 (222)

Favorites IX:
3667-3999 (333)

Favorites X:
4000-4221 (222)

Favorites 11:
4222-4443 (222)

Favorites 12:
4444-4666 (223)

Favorites 13:
4667-4888 (222)

Favorites 14:
4889-4999 (111)

Favorites 15:
5000-5009 (10)

Friday, August 24, 2007

choosing to leave

choosing to leave
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Just stepped outside into what apparently has been another gorgeous day.

Of course, I wouldn’t really know, considering that I’m usually cooped up inside a steel and concrete box for ten hours a day.

So, rather than complain in vain, I’ve decided to take action and quit my job to become a bum. Or maybe a hobo. A clown in the traveling circus maybe?

Anyway, after my five-minute refill of fresh air and the subsequent landing back in reality, I went back inside.

On the way up I stopped by our local stationer and thought I’d throw away a couple of dollars, just in case my number is up and the Fates are looking favorably upon me today. Today, as I diligently earn my paycheck, sitting, tapping away in my prescript three-wall corporate cube.

$222 million dollars is a nice sum. A bum could spontaneously do a lot of good with that kind of financial freedom.

Oh, lotto ticket, please be that elusive fare out of here, take me away to that lackadaisical, laissez-faire, vagabond’s life that I often dream of during my five minute escapes, those blessed little breaks that take me away from the fluorescent, grey-paneled, AC hum of this humdrum life I am sure I did not choose to lead.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Identifying Meaning

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Identifying Meaning

I don’t really care.

Really, I don’t .

I have no need to define or find
meaning entre nous.

We just are, we just do,
at least, for now.

Copasetic companions biding,
until better comes along.

We both know were wrong, otherwise.

No surprise there.

Sorry, I don’t really care.

Really, I don’t care.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

My First Gay Experience

My First Gay Experience
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Photo taken at Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park, New York City, on August 2, 2007.

My First Gay Experience
(Little Did I Know)

Mom introduced me.

I was 11 maybe, 12 probably.

I likely had just discovered masturbation.

Enthusiastically, excitedly really, I accepted her invitation
to go to San Francisco with her
to see the Village People, in concert.

We all loved chanting and dancing to Macho Man.

My sixth-grade classmates and I loved singing our favorite parody of the song—
“Matzoh, Matzoh Man, Yeah…”

This was a year before “Weird Al” Yankovic first hit it big with My Bologna.

We all listened to The Dr. Demento Show though.

Regardless, I lived in staunch Christian country, so Passover and unleavened bread meant little to us. I’m sure we had no clue as to what it meant to be a Jew, either.

I also had no idea as to what it meant to be “gay” as well.

That is, until, Mom introduced me.

At the concert we sat on the main floor of the Cow Palace, about 40 rows back from the stage.

The performance was lively and colorful. I was amused by their trademark outfits:
The Cowboy, The Hard Hat, The Indian Chief, The Motorcycle Cop, The Army Guy,
and of course, The Biker Stud in Black Leather Chaps with the handlebar moustache.

About half way into the concert,
after a big guns and lots of sailors in tight-whites rendition of In The Navy,
the two guys, men, directly in front of Mom and me,
started “making out.”

I rolled my eyes up at Mom, she smiled uncomfortably.

We never talked about that moment.

Ironically, I don’t think I realized that The Village People were “gay”
until years later.

And, I still don’t know what it means to be gay.

(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Forthcoming! 25 Lessons: The Art of Living, to be published by Cyan Books in October.

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

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That’s Just The Way It Is

The Way It Is
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

1. That’s Just The Way It Is, 2. Where it Hurts, 3. I Like The Feel, 4. ennui piques me, 5. Victoria's Secret, 6. The Seasons Why

That’s Just The Way It Is

After all, it’s all that matters.

Who she is matters almost never;
faces only count sometimes;. How’s she’s dressed?
Well, yes of course, for less is more,
and fantasy always fills in whatever's missing.

Bare the breasts though, and you’ve got show.
Show me some skin, and you’ll quickly win the hearts of many.
Suddenly, worms wiggle from the woodwork,
skyscrapers stand erect at attention,
and countless strangers gawk and click and mark
your photos as their "favorites."

As my five year old has taken to saying lately:
“And that’s that. That’s the way it is…Right?”


"There are many ways of bisecting the world, of making binary distinctions between north and south, haves/have-nots, wheat/rice, Baywatch/Al Jazeera, shirt in/shirt out. But what is most interesting, most telling, is the division between the breast world and bottom world. The United States is right at the cleavage of the breast world. Breast Is Best. It is the wholesome American bosom, perky with promise. Breasts point at you from billboards, glossy pages, shopwindows, and while you're running for rush-hour taxis..."
- "Blame It on Brazil."by A.A. Gill, Vanity Fair, September 2007 -

p.s. and lest anyone misinterpret, this is sophmoric satire, not philosophy or ideology.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Understanding Cyclops

Understanding Cyclops
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Understanding Cyclops

I’m blind in one eye.

At least, for the time being, for the train ride home.

I was sitting in a meeting—waiting, waiting, waiting—waiting for the meeting to end, when suddenly I saw my sight disappear in my left eye.

I was certain that my contact lens had simply rolled up and slipped under my lid.

Yet, upon examination at the mirror, it was nowhere to be found.

I immediately went to the infirmary to be sure. The nurse stuck a light in my eye and then swabbed underneath my lid. Sure enough, nothing.

Back at the chair where I had been sitting, I scoured and I swiped, I placed my face to the floor. Alas, nothing.

It still feels as if it's in there though. Stuck in some invisible corner, hidden in another dimension somehow, but making itself felt nonetheless.

Perhaps, all the poking around scratched my eye somehow.

Perhaps, the loss of sight and the subsequent imbalance between clarity in my right
and a gaussian blur in the other manifested into a psychosomatic irritation somehow.

Anyway, I can see why Cyclops was always angry.

And either way, I’m blind in one eye.

At least, for the time being.

At least, for the train ride home.


August 23, 2007:

The contact popped out this morning at 8 AM.

It had been lodged in there since 4 PM yesterday. And although felt, remained invisible through interminable scrutiny and 2 hours of Super Bad (which was indeed super bad) and then, six hours of sleep.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Dance, To Be Free

Dance, To Be Free
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

1. Creativity is A Way of Life (Underwear Boy Dances), 2. Doctor, Doctor, 3. Going SkinDeep in Atlanta, 4. An Angel of Delight, 5. Groovin' NY Style, 6. Nicky's Morning Dance

Dance, To Be Free

I have a million and one stories about dancing.

Tonight, I’ll attempt to relay a few.

The way I see it, my mother must have been dancing when she gave birth to me.

After all, my parents first met at a dance and were married soon thereafter.

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of watching my parents dance together.

And even though it has been more than twenty years since their divorce, they still find occasions to dance together, if only for ol’ times sake.

Seemingly, it is one of those activities in which they realized that they remained compatible, despite the world of evolving differences that couples ultimately have to accept and contend with. Because when you’re dancing cheek-to-cheek there’s little to separate you once you’ve let go and given yourself up to the music.

Mama's Romance

Marry me and Fly Me to the Moon
you asked her on your wedding day;
years later you still make her swoon
with your spontaneous kitchen sashay.

Whirling after two bites, dinner gets cold,
my baby sister and I watch you, with wild-eyes;
you make-believe, love never grows old,
she rests her head on your chest, and sighs.

Despite too many fights for any child to bear,
adoration unrehearsed proved lithe.
And as all spite dispersed with twirls undone
We saw you off upon your lunar flight.

The trajectory of your steps launched you two
into giddiness and endearing smiles;
while Mama believed dreams do come true,
you beamed, proud of your wiles.

I’ve dated many women who I first met when I asked them to dance. I’ve learned dancing is a wonderful ice-breaker and can quickly determine physical compatibility. Moreover, most women love to dance, especially if it is with a man who knows how to dance (well).

It bewilders me that more men don’t make an effort to learn an art that enables them to reach out and so readily impress and charm (i.e. disarm).

Of course, that said, I realize that it is easier advocated than accomplished. For the road to grace is long and arduous, a never-ending rehearsal really. As with any other skill or art, once you’ve learned your craft it requires applied dedication to keep your agility sharp, limber and in tune.

I’ve been learning to dance all my life. Not only did I grow up with a family that loves dancing and a cultural heritage that embraces, if not demands it—“it runs in our blood son”—but I’ve also had a lot of formal training as well—everything from grade school folk dance troupe performances, high school theater, an extracurricular and formal college curriculum (i.e. ballet , folklorio and modern), and eventually, as informal couples therapy. Alas, as therapeutic as dance may inherently be, it is not the cure to everything.

Ironically, it was while dancing that I had one of those ominous “I should have known” moments, a realization that we all console ourselves with retrospectively, especially after the love is gone.

The First Night (I Shoulda Known)

It was New Year’s Eve, 1996, a few months after the beginning of a year-long engagement. We were attending an event called First Night, which is an organized non-alcoholic initiative that occurs in major cities and small towns alike, seeking “to foster the public's appreciation of visual and performing arts through an innovative, diverse and high quality New Year's Eve program which provides a shared cultural experience, accessible and affordable to all."

My fiancée and I decided that we were going to do this evening right by dressing to the nines—I in black tie and she in a beautiful black dress and tiara. Despite the fact that I was running a fever and feeling quite ill, I made an effort to stick to our plans nonetheless, even if I clearly should have stayed home in bed, and watched Dick Clark grow older instead.

Although there were venues and events organized as part of First Night all over the city, we decided to go to Grand Central Station for dancing and live music.

Immediately, we noticed that we were well over-dressed, or rather, that most everyone else was quite under-dressed, and thus we stood out like swans amongst a flock of geese.

Within minutes of starting to dance, a photographer from the New York Times began snapping shots of us in motion. Despite being pretty sick, I did my best to ham it up for the camera and spun her around and round and round. Being that I was happy and in my element, I quickly forgot that I was sick.

Alas, I soon discovered—she wasn’t.

In sharp contrast to myself, my bride-to-be shied away from the attention. Unfortunately, this difference immediately led to some bickering between us.

Nonetheless, we both shrugged it off. That is, until all but ten minutes later, when we began dancing again, another photographer, this time from the coveted Style section of the New York Times began taking our photo as well. This time though, whereas I was now inspired to dance the night away, she’d had enough, and wanted to stop dancing entirely.

Thankfully, the discord was not for nothing, as we were called the very next morning by friends who informed us that we were on the front page of the paper on New Year’s Day, 1997—dancing (and kissing) no less. Of course, I ran out and immediately bought a dozen copies.

Regardless, I really don’t believe that I coulda-woulda-shoulda known that our incompatibility in the lime-light was a sign of our inevitable demise.

Like my parents, regardless of the differences that were born from the years of agonizing compromise, I still cherish my estranged wife as a dance partner. There have been very few that have followed as well as her, few that have proven to be such a smooth match otherwise, especially whenever we danced in our living-room, alone .

Dancing has highlighted and taught me about other critical differences as well.

It’s In The Blood

A few years earlier in 1992, when I first arrived in New York City to begin graduate school at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, I ventured out one weekend with a few colleagues to a free concert at South Street Seaport.

The performance featured a well-known Zydeco band. If you’re familiar with music from the Bayou you well know that it is highly rhythmic and will make you want to dance. At least, it certainly made us want to dance.

However, when we arrived at the venue at the base of the pier, almost all of the attendees were seated on the pavement in an uncanny stupor. The audience primarily consisted of a somber pale, pall almost, of people who only acknowledged the music with an occasional, almost imperceptible, sway of their heads, and a tap of a finger.

This lack of enthusiasm drove me crazy, nuts, and I was subsequently rankled by the irreverence for the music.

Although, my colleagues and I wanted to pay our respect to the musicians by dancing, there was no room, for the few hundred square feet before the stage was taken up by people with cement shoes. The scene was decisively depressing, and so we decided to leave after lingering for a song or two.

Redemption was not too far away, however.

For a block away or so, immediately beyond the point where the performance became an euphonic blur of static, there was a group of eight or so colorful souls making music out of nothing but the pleasure and enthusiasm of each other’s company.

Amongst this happy horde of Latinos, was a couple dancing Salsa. Their friends provided the music by clapping and yipping and encouraging calls of organic glee. There was literally no other musical accompaniment otherwise.

It was at this very moment, that I realized a poignant cultural difference that I had intuited and felt and struggled with for so long. It was something that my parents had taught by showing me, showing me that apparently the impulse to dance runs in our blood.

"What is dancing, but making love set to music playing..."
Come Dance with Me, S. Cahn, J. Van Heusen—

This is why I long struggled whenever I have had to straddle the world of my upbringing and that of my schooling.

Dancing All By Myself

At home and the in the homes of my relatives, dancing had always been second nature. We danced at every party, every family reunion and upon every occasion to celebrate, including merely appreciating life itself.

From second grade onward I had been placed in the advanced learning program, MGM, Mentally Gifted Minors, later to be euphemized as ELP, the Extended Learning Program. Thus, at school, although I was lucky enough to hang around with a bunch of pretty smart kids, unlike me, almost all of them were “white.” And so, as luck would have it, ultimately I would be one of the only non-Caucasians amongst the academically privileged for years to come.

Thus, in junior high, while I adapted easily enough and thoroughly enjoyed classic rock music by the likes of AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Who, and Van Halen, I was also often secretly enjoying the music that “the other” kids were listening to across the schoolyard—Michael Jackson; Earth, Wind and Fire, The Commodores, Prince and Grand Master Flash—music that I could have never dared be caught listening, and dancing, to, lest I face being ostracized and interminable mockery.

In 1979 my clique’s “dancing” was pretty much limited to pounding the bus seat in front of us while drinking Mountain Dew and shouting the rousting lyrics of Queen's We Will Rock You.

In turn, I often ended up dancing all by myself, while listening to KFRC on my AM radio in my room alone on Friday nights, and while watching Soullll Traaaain late on Saturday mornings.

All by Myself

Dancing in the basement
all by myself—
no cues to eschew
no doorman to sail
past with attitude
all by myself—
all alone
feeling muscles move
loosely about my bones,
exercise, now almost
a foreign concept,
except for dancing
on my own.
Most I get otherwise,
is via this unsupervised
and submerged
all by myself
no one to watch me
no one to stare
moving as if ,
I just don't care,
dancing in the basement,
all by myself.

Ironically, before I was sullied and stymied by the socialization of adolescence though, I remember that I was actually quite free to express myself.

The September of My Sixth Grade

Sixth grade was a particularly poignant and impressionable time for me in my life. I vividly remember being particularly free of feeling self-conscious, and thus feeling free to dance as I please.

I remember one particular moment in late 1978, at the age of ten, when I shamelessly showed off.

It was Kimberly’s birthday party and there were a dozen or so of our friends gathered about her small apartment’s living room. Antsy, I loitered about the stereophonic console and acted as the festivity’s makeshift DJ. I keenly recall placing the black little 45 of Le Freak by Chic on the record player, and then placing the needle to the vinyl. As soon as I heard “Freak out!” I was moving about like a banshee on crack and mercilessly attacked all the girls-blossoming-into little women, asking them if they cared to dance.

Of course, I was readily rejected all around, but I continued to dance nonetheless, all by myself. Kimberly’s mother and aunt fawned over me and asked “Do you give dance lessons?” Slightly embarrassed, I shyly smiled in return. Yet, I was so enamored by the music, the moment and the movement that I kept dancing until my heart’s content and the end of the song.

Likewise during the same year, I happily remember one Saturday at Sunday school, when we were having a party to celebrate the last day of classes. This was a particularly memorable day because it began with poor little Carmen Luna’s mother paying a surprise visit while she was stinking drunk.

You could smell her soused breath before Mrs. Luna stumbled in from the back of the classroom and asked the teacher out loud, “Do you know what God is doing when it’s raining?”

She didn’t wait for anyone to answer, blurting, “He’s pissing on you!”

Of course, we were all quite shocked and the teacher quickly moved to get a nun to help Mrs. Luna out and away from the classroom.

Upon the teacher’s return we began our party nonetheless, as if nothing had happened.

I had brought in my little portable Panasonic tape player and a cassette on which I had recorded one of my favorite songs off the radio—September by Earth, Wind & Fire.

I played the song over and over again and half a dozen silly sixth graders danced in the hallway, looking much like the Peanuts gang (Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, Charlie Brown…) dancing to the punchy piano tune “Lucy and Linus’s Theme.”

September remains one of my all-time favorite songs to dance to. And I feel that it is no coincidence that the hit film A Night at the Museum featured the song in the closing scene. For surely the makers of the film were astutely aware that such a song would not only appeal to the children of today, but also spark a certain gleeful feeling of nostalgia for those people, like me, who are now budding parents, taking their children to the movies, much as my parents did thirty years ago.

Looking back, in addition to acknowledging that I inherited the gene for happy feet, it should be no surprise to me that dancing became such an important part of my life, for I came of age at the height of an important dance music era.

In 1977, a polyester white leisure-suited John Travolta and Saturday Night Fever sparked disco fever across the country, if not the world. In 1978, T.G.I.F., Thank God It’s Friday, starring disco diva Donna Summer, fed the fire with her iconic song the Last Dance.

In addition to the entire soundtrack of Saturday Night Fever, other unforgettable songs of the time that instantly take me back include: Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive, The Village People’s Macho Man and Y.M.C.A., and of course, Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall album.

Ironically, as I grew older I find myself yearning to return to my innocence, longing to break free, to be me, to simply dance when and as I please.

Fortunately, at times I succeed.

For at times, I muster enough courage to let go, make the right choices., and dance as I please.

And you can dance!
…for inspiration.
Come on!
I'm waiting…

Get into the groove
boy, you've got to prove
your love to me, yeah.
Get up on your feet, yeah,
step to the beat
boy, what will it be?

Music can be such a revelation,
dancing around you feel the sweet sensation
We might be lovers if the rhythm's right,
I hope this feeling never ends tonight

Only when I'm dancing can I feel this free.
At night I lock the doors, where no one else can see.
I'm tired of dancing here all by myself,
tonight I wanna dance with someone else.

Into The Groove, written by Madonna and Stephen Bray—


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

, but I did

, but I did
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

, but I did

I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it,
but I did.

She wore her shoes in bed.

Black leather, single strap.

Having her sharp heels dig into my chest
is more of a turn-on than I thought it would be.

Of course, I got to dig into her too.

The more I did, the deeper her spikes dug into me.

It was a cruel balance between a distinct pleasure
and certain pain, vanity and humility, power
and submission.

I wasn’t sure how much I’d like it,
but I did.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Theory of Relativity

The Theory of Relativity
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The Theory of Relativity

Excerpted from 25 Lessons: The Art of Living; Lesson 18: To Tell The Truth

Regardless of the truths I have realized through loss, I have also long known, and adamantly believed, that truth is relative.

We fashion reality, for ourselves and for others, everyday, with each new perspective that we offer through our words, through our opinions and recollections and opinions, and even through our photos. For what we choose to photograph is merely a manifestation of what we value, what we deem special enough to us, if only at that moment, to remember via a picture, and perhaps to eventually share with others.

Being conscious of this, I have made an extraordinary effort to see things and situations and environments in more ways then one, especially when I take pictures, especially when I venture out into New York City, which, with more ethnic populations than any other city in the world, is in and of itself an exemplar of how diverse truth can be.

It is mind-boggling to me to hear people say that there is only one truth, one right way. Throughout my life I have met and known a lot of people who see the world and life as divided between black and white, good and bad, right and wrong. On the contrary, I see truth as something, somewhere in between.

Life is rarely, if ever certain, for everyday we are blessed simply to be alive. And by keeping this thought in mind I am motivated to make the most of every opportunity, to seize the day and live life my way, by always seeking the truth and being true to how I feel as an individual.

Understanding, and most importantly, accepting, the relativity of our existence has long been a means of maintaining my sanity, my optimism, my composure, and most of all, my happiness. This mindset allows one to be flexible; allows one to seek a better, fuller, understanding of why people behave as they do; allows one to remain calm at all times; and it also allows one to change and adapt with each turn of events, with each surprise, with each change of plans, and with each relatively minor disappointment.

For disappointment is generated because of our mindset, that is—how we see and perceive and feel about things and situations and people (and their actions, or inaction); it is in other words, a relative truth.

Thus, whenever we feel any negative emotion because of others or because of our differences with them, because of the clash of truths that arise from the congress of realties, it is incumbent upon us to see the situation differently, so that we do not let the situation impede, impose upon and hinder our lives somehow. Either we must learn to compromise (often), accept the situation and be happy with it, accept the situation and move on, or make an effort to see it differently, in a positive light.

Perhaps more vital to living a happy and healthy life though, is our ability and willingness to act once we’ve realized a more positive truth. This is the hard part. Seeing things differently is one thing, doing something about it is another.

Vision without action is a daydream.
Action without vision is a nightmare.
- Japanese Proverb -

(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Words, No Less

Words, No Less
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Words, No Less

Word I to desire you no less
I word find you surly alluring allthemore.
Skinless grapes, peeled with my teeth,
froth forming beneath the corners of my
parched lips—your hips, host to all
I’ve ever wanted. Wanting,
I wait for you;
can’t you pick it up, please? Hurry.
Do not tease me with your whet sighs
and sultry delays, for my aching and longing
just might go away, and I, words and all,
head south for the winter.

(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


I stir my martinis
with my finger.

Uncouth as it may be,
naturally, I find my finger
useful for many things:
pushing all kinds of buttons.

Dipping (into),
walking through little black books,
stirring the senses
of the wanton who likewise
like to drink.

I think, therefore I drink;
it’s an easy escape
from the consequences of thought,
for one ought not think too much,
lest you get confused.

Act more, think less.
Unless, of course, you’re an aspiring academic.
Than, well then, you can think all you want,
for no one is going to pay much attention to you otherwise.

I write, therefore I am;
scibro, ergo sum.

1. Often, I find words
to be as useful as a finger,
especially when a finger cannot be used.

2. I can stir up trouble with words,
light whet girls on fire—
plant surly thoughts that grow
into feral plantations of desire.

Life can be very exciting
when you can stir with words,
as well as you stir with a finger.

(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Original Photos: 1.Where it Hurts, 2. Breasts, Like Olives


Breasts, like olives.

Faint recollection:
a buzzing in my hands;
fingertips touching, gracing—
explorations, discovery, piquing
demand. Tongue flicking,
sucking, suckling~smiling=
I am an infant again.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

just not now

just not now
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Just Not Now

It’s beginning to feel all the same.
Same expectations
Same demands
Same lame hands, same just lying there
Same lame excuses, every time.

And, as always, there’s something that just ain’t right.

Too far away
Too close
Too slow
Too damn fast and easy.

I need new, I need old and familiar;
I just don’t need
The same ol’ same ol’
every time.

There’s no substitute for the sublime
just knowing
just being there
just perfect

Maybe I really don’t know
what I need.

Alas, I do.

For what I need
is just not you,
just not now.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


The eye sees no more
than what the heart wants to see.

Otherwise, beauty
does not exist.

We resist seeing
that which we do not desire.

That’s why I can’t see you


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Pulling Away

Pulling Away
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

The original set that this photo eminates from: Vanity Fare

Pulling Away

Your breath stinks
You’re often dower
You won’t take a shower
You’re too much of an effort too.

I’m not exactly happy
not ever very satisfied, nor genuinely excited
at least
when I’m with you.

It’s too much to be happy
for both me
and you.

(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Getting Away

Getting Away
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Getting Away

I’m having dreams of getting away.

California, at her car convention, dreams
Connecticut, at her private island retreat, dreams
Holed up in my bedroom, with her, dreams
In a dark corner of some bar, while her husband is away, dreams
And sometimes,
even I just want to get away, alone, dreams.

But just not with you,



(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Much to Consider

Much to Consider
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

Much to Consider

I’m considering
how little
I really like you.

It’s not that I don’t like you,
I really like you,
but I’m beginning to see
how you not like me.

Not that you don’t like me,
I know you like me,
but, its just that,
you’re just so
quite unlike me;

from like a dead beat to ginger,
white bread to latin bred,
sourpuss to “Good morning, sunshine!”
to I just can’t divine where this is going
for I can plainly see
where it's not.


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


You wanted to cuddle, up next to me,
last night.

I tolerated it,
pretended (I wanted to, too);
but I didn’t,
I really didn’t.

I wanted nothing less.

Lack of desire
has a funny way of abetting
want for affection.

I gave you affection, nonetheless.
Caressed you from fawning into
a frenzy of fucking.

Then I took a shower,
pecked you good night,
and noticed the moonlight
gleaming against the window
before I closed my eyes.

(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Goodbye, Sweet Georgia

In Georgia, Every Block Has A Steeple
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

August 12, 2007, Atlanta, GA:

Goodbye, Sweet Georgia

On my last day in Georgia I decided to go take a look at a bunch of dead people, a big-ass chicken and a grocery store, all of them in what appears to be a rapidly growing Mexican enclave of Atlanta—Marietta.

The first stop was the Marietta National Cemetery.

I love going to cemeteries, for it is almost always a beautiful respite to the usual scurry of life, it is peaceful and respectful, unlike life in the city can be. Moreover, the aesthetics are usually extraordinary—meticulously carved marble statues of cherubs, eerie looking ladies and the like; a well-kept and crafted landscape; as well as a sun that streams the essence of life through trees—combined these elements make me feel like a teenager gawking at all the girls on the beach.

Alas, there was no wood to bury in the sand this time. The only thing that turned me on was the dead wives club gathered at the top of the hill. I was ignorant of the fact that apparently wives of military men can elect to be buried along with them at our national cemeteries, and thus it tickled me to learn something new. Most of the gravestones in this area were conspicuously absent of any names though, apparently plots to be filled by those widows who never marry again.

Moving on, I had planned to visit the Confederate Cemetery, but with a little more than a couple of hours left before flight time, I skipped it and stopped by Harry’s instead. This made my little detour back to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport all worth the while.

But first, I paid my respect to The Big Chicken, a wonderfully unique historical landmark which the locals apparently use to direct people about — "In the shadow of the Big Chicken" being a common phrase around town. The original owner, Tubby Davis, decided to ward off competition to his hamburger franchise, Johnny Reb’s, by focusing on fried chicken instead and thus commissioned Hubert Puckett to design and build the sheet metal structure that rose 56 feet above the ground.

Over time though, the giant bird dilapidated until finally KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) came to the rescue in 1993. After pressure from the community to keep it, the company chose to refurbish and keep the gargantuan icon.

Apparently, Pepsi made an even more prudent choice when it bought KFC. Because, not only did it acquire a staple of food in the south—fried chicken—but it also got a notable landmark in turn. Quite a coup, considering Atlanta is staunch Coca-Cola country.

At Harry’s Farmer’s Market, although the synopsis on intrigued me—“The ethnically diverse staff at Harry's crosses every racial line and geopolitical border. So do the vegetables. It is easy to find vegetables that you probably have never heard of, and probably can't pronounce the name, so don't try.“ —admittedly, I was pleasantly surprised to find much more than I could have ever imagined or expected.

Beyond the impressive variety of fresh produce, the arrangement of every basket of exotic fruit, root and vegetable was more aesthetically pleasing then any visit that I’ve ever paid to the Met, MoMA or the Guggenheim. I was convinced that whomever arranges their food must have went to art school. Moreover, I haven’t been this picture hungry since the last time I was in aVallarta popular Mexican supermarket in Pasadena, California.

That time though I was accosted by the store manager and asked to stop taking photos—with anthrax scares and 9.11 weighing heavy on everyone’s souls, having some uninvited phototog taking pictures was a bit too unnerving.

I also figured that they might also be afraid that I was a health inspector or journalist looking to exploit the fact that Mexicans like me eat chicken feet and tripa,stomach lining, which is a key ingredient in the Mexican breakfast of champions, Menudo, one of my all-time favorite dishes.

Nonetheless, this time I got away with it and I felt as if I had just stolen a bunch of Mirots, Pollocks, and Manets.

As I finished my tour of this amazingly artful supermarket, I realized that I was only an hour and a half away from my flight.

Of course, suddenly my corporate AMEX didn’t work at the check out counter, so I had to pay for breakfast out of my own pocket today. Despite the delay, the young man at the counter assured me that I was only half an hour away from the airport.

Thus, with all the good folks in churches there was very little traffic at this time I was able to cruise along at an 80-mile an hour clip (no one seems to heed the speed limit down here). This allowed me to say goodbye to sweet Georgia, with a few self portraits.

Along the way I heard a new favorite song, Bucky Covington’s It’s a Different World, which is number 6 on the country charts right now. It made me feel quite nostalgic. More importantly, it made me think about how much I miss my boys—because I truly miss them a whole damn bunch. I can only hope that their childhoods don’t pass me by while I vie to make an example of my life.

We were born to mothers who smoked and drank
Our cribs were covered in lead-based paint
No childproof lids
No seatbelts in cars
Rode bikes with no helmets
and still here we are
Still here we are

We got daddy's belt when we misbehaved
Had three TV channels you got up to change
No video games and no satellite
All we had were friends and they were outside
Playing outside

It was a different life
When we were boys and girls
Not just a different time
It was a different world

School always started the same everyday
the pledge of allegiance, then someone would pray
not every kid made the team when they tried
We got disappointed but that was alright

We turned out alright

It was a different life
When we were boys and girls
Not just a different time
It was a different world

No bottled water
We'd drink from a garden hose
And every Sunday,
All the stores were closed.

It was a different life
When we were boys and girls
Not just a different time
It was a different world

—Bucky Covington, A Different World

After dropping off the sporty Mariner at the car rental station and taking the shuttle to the check-in counter, once again, for some strange reason, my charge card failed to work for me.

The e-ticket kiosk said it could not check me in. When I asked for some assistance I was informed that it wasn’t the card’s fault. Apparently, no one had bothered to tell me that beyond dressing in pajamas so that I can get through the security line easier; putting liquid toiletries in a clear zip-lock bag, and not carrying nail clippers, lighters and corkscrews, two of which I’ve lost to the security agents before, one of them this time around; apparently now you have to arrive at least 45 minutes before your scheduled departure at the ATL or otherwise they won’t let you on the plane.

At least you’re not supposed to be checked in—for even though I had missed the cut-off point by five minutes the stern lady gave me a break after I softened her up with her my biggest, most charming, humblest smile ever and politely asked if she could please make an exception on my behalf this time around. Gratefully , she did—and so I ran and was the last person to board the plane.

It was a fairly full flight but to my delight I was able to switch to a three-seat emergency exit row, which I had to myself for the next 2.5 hours, while everyone else had to share their rows on the plane.

I scrawled away and read most of the time, and as usual, was also inclined to take a few pictures of the majestic sky at 30,000 feet. Very few things beyond the beauty of a woman, art, and now, some gorgeously arranged groceries have so consistently turned me on aesthetically as the heavens above have, especially when I’m flying or enjoying the good life down south in sweet-sweet Georgia.

Nonetheless, as great of a time I had while working and spending time with good ol’ and gorgeous new friends, I’m looking forward to coming back home—and seeing my children, getting back to the grind, and taking more of the kind of photos that I love to take most—of the city, the streets, and its people.

For as much as I love the country, I still thank God that I’m a city boy.

Friday, August 10, 2007

We Jumped in The Lake

We Jumped in The Lake
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

August 10, 2007, Atlanta, GA:

Life is Good (at Lake Lanier)

We ate, we drank, we jumped in.

It was an absolutely splendid evening and all night long we were reminded that “Life is good.”

At six, the four of us took Harry’s boat to the water’s edge of Lake Lanier and ate at Big Creek Tavern. None of us had ever eaten crawdads (crayfish) before, and so we tried some as appetizers, and loved them.

Delilah, our waitress was quite charming from the start. Jimmy seemed to think that she had a thing for me and kept mentioning it for the rest of the evening. "Lorenzo, she couldn't keep her eyes off of you."

Thereafter, he also jokingly said a few times, “We should just tie Lorenzo to the bow of the boat,” suggesting that I could serve as bait for the babes somehow. Being inebriated I was tempted to tell him that I had that dreaded ailment—ABD, but I knew it was in my best interest to keep my mouth shut, doing my best not to argue with him, if only to let him inflate my ego undeservedly just a little more.

After dinner we all got back in the boat and traveled for about fifteen minutes until we reached a beautiful little cove, the perfect swimming hole within Georgia’s largest manmade swimming hole.

Lake (Sidney) Lanier was created by the completion of Buford Dam on the Chattahoochee River in 1956. It encompasses 38,000 acres or 153.8km² of water, and normally 692 miles or 1114km of shoreline. A "full summer pool" consists of 1071.0 feet of water above mean sea level (AMSL). Named for the poet Sidney Lanier, it was built by and continues to be operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

According to the boat’s depth meter, the cove we were in was about 35 feet deep. The shore that surrounded us consisted of this incredibly deep red clay, which eventually I discovered I could lay in and lie still, to experience a renewed sense of serenity.

The silt was so soft on one edge of the cove where the water undulated lithely to and fro, that my body sunk into about six inches of what felt and looked like crimson silk. I was immediately smitten by the experience, putting my head back into the water, so that all I could hear was my heartbeat and an occasional breath or two.

It wasn’t until I start hearing faint yelling about fifteen minutes laters, the muffled shouts sounding almost as if I were in a dream, “Lorenzo! Lorenzo!” that I stirred myself up and sat up to see that my colleagues were calling me because they thought that perhaps I had drowned.

Thus, I doggy paddled back to the clamor of their conversation and found myself back in the middle of gruff voices and high-blood pressure once again.

To escape, I decided to try and take some self-portraits of me jumping off the boat, if only for fun, if only to experiment a little and to see what would happen, if only to escape the ennui of a perfectly calm evening.

My colleagues thought I was crazy trying to take photos of myself jumping in. And although I never really got a good shot, what I got was good enough for me.

In fact, I tend to believe that often the mere allusion to something leaves a far stronger impression, because it pulls them in with intrigue, and the opportunity to use one’s imagination and maybe even solve a mystery.

Thus, when Jimmy asked me later on in the evening if waitresses usually were that friendly with me, I merely smiled and deftly diverted the conversation by commenting that it was Sasha who had all the charm, regaling the time we dined amongst the gods and he sweet-talked the Russian girl who was serving us.

The diversion was a conscious strategy on my part, because often less is more, ignorance is bliss, and every astute man wants his friends to believe that he has more prowess than he really has. All aspiring men, princes and paupers alike, from modern times to the dark ages before Machiavelli, have known to employ this power of illusion, so that ultimately women either love or lust for them, and their fellow men—fear or revere them.

“...Men in general judge more by their eyes than their hands; for everyone can see but few can feel. Everyone sees what you seem to be, few perceive what you are, and those few do not dare to contradict the opinion of the many...”
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince

Either way, last night reminded us how wonderful life can be when you simply slow down and enjoy it.

It’s no coincidence that Captain Harry’s boat is named—Life is Good.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Good Morning, Georgia

Good Morning, Georgia
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

1. Good Morning, Georgia, 2. Good Morning, Georgia (Again)

August 9, 2007, Atlanta, GA:

Good Morning, Georgia

Bleary-eyed and travel worn, I woke up at 6 AM to some twangy, clock-radio honky-tonk via 99 WDEN, Atlanta, GA.

Last night, since I don’t have a TV at home, I foolishly decided to see what I’ve been missing on YouTube. Apparently, I’m addicted to Family Guy, because I ended staying up a few too many hours past my bedtime, futilely trying to catch up.
Moreover, yesterday, I traveled all day to get here from NYC. For most of the trip I was preoccupied with "just getting there," because we had a small thunderstorm that essentially completely wiped out the city's subway system all morning long.

What should have taken me all but half an hour, took two and a half hours of multiple segments of walking, cross-town buses and taxis. With masses of people walking through the streets and hordes more huddled into buses, I thought and overheard others thinking aloud, "It's just like 9.11 again."

This of course delayed flights at all the airports, so that ultimately, I traveled for about 9 hours straight.

Thus, I will be broadcasting from Alpharetta (Atlanta) Georgia this week, until Sunday. If you’re from this area, give me a shout out. Would love to find an interesting place or party to shoot.

Oh, and by the way, “Good morning Y’all.” I’m glad to be in Georgia again.



(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

You'll Be Alright

You'll Be Alright
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

You’ll Be Alright

My very first “serious” girlfriend used to work at Merry Mart, one of the few boutiques in town that sold parochial school uniforms.

For whatever strange reason I can visualize the discreet windowless storefront on the corner of Washington and Newhall quite vividly.

I remember the back storeroom even better.

But then again, after the first time we had sex, in a show room at my father’s furniture store, I can picture a lot of things about where and when and her quite well. Sex has seemingly been the grappling hooks of my memory to everything ever since.

Everything from the shag rug in her parents basement, the back of my car while parked on the street at the beach, my bedroom the night I went away to college, and her dorm room the night I knew it was all over.

And even though I knew it was all over, it didn’t stop me from believing it wasn’t. Abjured, spurned and dismayed, for years to come I found myself secretly yearning, pining, if only alone, nonetheless. She was my first lost love, and after I got over it, I vowed that it would be my last.

She broke up with me two weeks before my 17th birthday, a little more than two months after I had left our hometown in Northern California to move down south to a much bigger town—Los Angeles.

I distinctly remember how my new friends tried to cheer me up.

On my birthday, a group of us went and saw the action film To Live and Die in LA. Although my heart was heavy at the time, the irony of the movie title allowed me to let go a little, to laugh a little at myself and my sorrowful situation. It was as if the muses were telling me “Lighten up, Francis.”

Still, even than, it wasn’t easy at first. I moped for a couple of weeks and seemingly people noticed.

Then, one morning I woke up at 5 AM to go down to the dormitory’s cafeteria for my work-study job serving dry scrambled eggs and even drier pancakes to my classmates. Knowing I would have to wear a hairnet made me even more depressed.

Right above the elevator button someone had anonymously posted an advertisement for the film Lost in America, starring Albert Brooks. The promo had a picture of the film’s protagonist with his head buried in the sand, much like an ostrich, and had written in red above it “You’ll be alright, Lorenzo,” with an arrow pointing downward.

Not long after seeing that, I not only found myself a new job, but also a new girlfriend.


22 years later, I still have the newspaper clipping in an old scrapbook, tucked away somewhere in the attic of my house in Jersey.

I often think about that picture whenever I find myself in a tough situation, because I know that after 40 years of living, the last 15 of them spent living and loving and working in the toughest city in the world, I know that “You’ll be alright, Lorenzo” is absolutely true.

“Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. Travel.”
—Mary Schmich, Columnist, Chicago Tribune—


(R&O thank you for the inspiration)

Rose, Olive & Me

Tuesday, August 7, 2007


Originally uploaded by lorenzodom


Pretty girls distract me.

There’s usually at least one, every morning, on the train.

This morning, she was wearing a black and white silk print dress, cut right above the knee.

While she stood right next to me, quietly reading directly beneath my outstretched arm, I made a valiant effort to avoid ogling her.

I had the best intentions to read myself, but the awkward entanglement we were in made it too difficult to do anything but pretend I wasn’t gawking—at the enchanting gleam of her young, golden complexion; at the dress that I imagined could slowly slip off and fall to the floor, gathering in a pool of furls about her ankles; at the breasts that tested and proved the futility of decades of moral indoctrination, civil obedience training and impulse taming.

Thus, I looked and I admired, and I desired to bridge the gap between taking the risk of saying something, saying anything!, and the drowning pool of a million other “What if?”s I have known.

She stepped out of the train ahead of me, we walked together up the stairs and across the promenade before the fork of fate and fortune split us apart.

And thus, I consoled my swollen heart by latching onto another distraction, who was skirting down the stairway ahead of me.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

That Freedom

The Freedom (to Be)
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

That Freedom

the freedom to be free again,
the freedom to be me again,
begins with
letting go.

let go of all them troubles,
all them woes.
let the wind
and willows
and my mind
blow away
all them worries,
all them woes.

let go
let go
let it all go.

i want

the freedom to be free again,
the freedom to be me again,
that freedom
that begins with
being me
and letting go.

Like Father, Like Son

Like Father, Like Son
Originally uploaded by lorenzodom

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

You don’t know it yet,
but you’re a lot like me.

I believe you’ll see
as I do—
with eyes open wide,
with a heart open wider,
with a mind not to take sides;

especially, when you’re vying
to wile your way inside her,
or him, or them—
captivating minds, hearts,
and souls, if only
with a smile.

And you’ll see
that when you’re in control
my son, reality is as malleable
and magic
as you imagine it to be.

And thus,
although I cannot see
into the future, I imagine

and confess
that I imagine,

that you’ll be
just like me son,
just like me.


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 )