Now that Songs and Letters is finished, I have some ideas I’d like to pursue in the realm of photography. The problem is, I don’t have a camera. My son and I looked at some the other evening, and the one I would like to have costs about $250. While I could write it off as a business expense, at present I can’t really justify such an expenditure, because we’re in the process of replacing the old and now dangerous gas range in the kitchen, and removing a fir tree that volunteered too close to the retaining wall in front of the house near the street.

Meanwhile, in order to verify my ideas and take mental pictures, I’ve been using my fingers to form a frame, and my feet as a substitute for a 15x zoom lens. I usually dispense with the clicking sound. I can store hundreds of images in my brain — even more if I save them as black-and-white. In fact, about the only drawback is that to share these images online, I must upload them in text form.

Of course, some might find this a poor substitute for photography. But the truth is, much photography is already a poor substitute for photography, just as much writing is a poor substitute for writing, and much living can hardly be called living at all.

I also like the idea of not needing expensive tools or equipment to make art. I love using a computer, but a computer isn’t needed to write a poem, or to draw a picture, or to learn to play an instrument. Even an instrument isn’t needed. A couple of days ago, a man happened by in the grocery store as I was playing some striped seeded watermelons grown in Hermiston, Oregon. He was quite amused. “Everyone has their secret,” I said. “The trick is to play all of them.”

He didn’t realize, of course, that I had just taken his picture and filed it next to the image of a mossy irrigation ditch. His distinctly Japanese voice, which sounded just like the Japanese voices I grew up hearing in the San Joaquin Valley, is saved in a .brn (brain) audio file.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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