In school as a boy the worst homework assignment was to memorize a poem. My mother would make me repeat and repeat and I remember how I cried in frustration.My inability to memorize poems meant that I did everything possible to not read poetry.
It was in the early 80s that I was dragged by my friend Ian Bateson to listen to poet Allen Ginsberg and hi
s partner Peter Orlovsky. I hated Ginsberg’s concertina playing and I could not connect with Orlovsky’s angry poems about Vietnam.
I was saved and became a poetry enthusiast when I heard at that same session, our local Gerry Gilbert. I loved how he read his poems and I understood his humour. I was sold and have been since.
One of the pleasures of these last few years and particularly now with being stuck at home is to find a photograph of mine that will illustrate some of my fave poets like Homero Aridjis, Eduardo Galeano, Mario Benedetti, William Carlos Williams, Julio Cortázar (a present obsession), Jorge Luis Borges, Alfonsina Storni and Emily Dickinson.
As a photographer my principal interest has been portraiture. It was my bread and butter for most of my years here in Vancouver. Because I am a raging heterosexual I have a special interest in the faces of women and especially faces of women who are handsome/lovely/striking.
One such woman is the Baltic Surprise (that’s my nickname for her) Virve Reid. She has a face that is memorable but unfortunately sometimes it was less memorable or as noticeable because of her curvaceous body.
This lucky man had the opportunity to photograph part of her and all of her for many years. I have one regret in that in my effort to show off all her charms I took fewer permissible photographs that can pass muster in our 21st century repressed times.
The pictures here I took on the black sands of Wreck Beach.
I have another regret to confess here. I am frustrated that I cannot write a poem describing how two eyes, two eyebrows, one nose, one mouth, and two ears produce this piece of visual poetry.