Posts Tagged ‘objects’

the key, C-41 print film, up on the mesa top, outside
Taos, New Mexico, January 2003, photo © 2003-2009
by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


frozen rusty lock
not knowing she has the key–
waits for the next turn


-posted on red Ravine, Thursday, September 17th, 2009

-related to post: haiku 2 (one-a-day)

Read Full Post »

American Rug Laundry, Lake Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


I’ve always wanted to photograph the American Rug Laundry building on Lake Street in Minneapolis. At the end of June, I had a chance to photograph the building before and after dining at a nearby Lake Street restaurant to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

I decided to do a photographic study from different angles, at dusk and by night. I’m a long-time fan of vintage neon signs and couldn’t decide which photographs to post, so I left most of them in my Flickr set. The graphic elements make the sign come alive: the rusted screen, angled chains, and black-tipped pins that looks like a larger version of pins a seamstress might use. I am also drawn to the vintage typography. Do you have a favorite shot?

The American Rug Laundry was established in 1895 and is the largest and oldest rug cleaning and carpet repair facility in the Upper Midwest. Large floor rugs used to be hand-delivered and there are some wonderful historic black and white photographs from the 1920’s all the way up to 1954 on their site.

There is also a FAQs page where you can learn some of the differences between handmade and machine made rugs. One of the most obvious differences is that in a hand knotted rug, the fringe is part of the rug and not sewn on as an extension. Another difference is that tufted rugs are almost always covered with a cotton/canvas backing, while the pattern is clearly visible on the backside of hand knotted rugs.

Since our current home has wall-to-wall carpet, we have a handmade rug from Liz’s childhood (last cleaned at the American Rug Laundry) stored in our attic. But I think our next house will have hardwood floors. Which do you prefer?


Lake Street At Night, American Rug Laundry Chains, American Rug Laundry Clearance, Dusk At American Rug Laundry, Cash & Carry, Sign Study – Rug Laundry, Lake Street, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2009, all photos © 2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.


-posted on red Ravine, Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Read Full Post »

Popsicle Shadow, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Popsicle Shadow, inside the vault at Diamonds Coffee Shoppe, Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 2008, photo © 2008-2009 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.

Popsicle shadow
lights up old Diamonds bank vault
not an inside job

-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, March 29th, 2009

-related to: haiku 2 (one-a-day), Diamonds & Light (Summer Solstice), and the Vintage Series

Read Full Post »

The smooth sensation of tempered sand. Thousands of decades of rock, ground down, caramel clear. Ribbed edges, sanguine top. Bloodshot, ridged and angular.

Feel, feel, what are you telling me?

Ancestors of obsidian from Egypt and China, brothers and sisters all stained and quartz. The shape holds upright, transparent to light. A man, a woman, a child, centennial glass. Robin’s egg blue. Broken down by eons, ages, years, months, minutes, seconds.

Cool to the touch, rolling over my arm, sitting in the crook of my knee. Slippery when wet – it is dry. Salamander scales, temperamental foe, unyielding.

Broken, it would slice the skin in seconds. Centuries whole, it is a shiny see-through vessel. Bury it in the sand, hold it up to the light, sit next to it, not on or under. Ouch.

North Dakota. Legend. After the 100 year celebration – and ten minutes in my wandering hands – you sit on a shelf in the bedroom. I want to remember what you feel like. All I can think of is the coolness beneath your transparent skin.

The window reflects off the exterior, a swallowed hole, internal bubbles that rock your core. The tawny liquid can not escape, feels like the color of the Quaking Bog with her decayed leaves and deep pitted filters. I can not twist off the lid, or break it with my teeth.

Red, the color red comes to mind in a flash of white O’s. One hundred years in the making. No more. No less. No smell. Only sight. Color.

The sound gurgles in high pitched pops. You said not to listen but I could not help it. I had to listen and feel and touch and hold and run my fingers along the vertebrae with no rough edges or lips. No tantalizing angst – it is objet du jour, pure and simple. And if enough time passes, organic.

Time figures in your undoing, breaking you down, back to the earth. Sacrilege. Sitting on a shelf, it is not mine. It does not belong to me. Yet it does. Every grain of sand belongs to me.

I could have chosen a toothbrush or a waterfall to hold between my dry, calloused fingers. But I chose you. There are two more just like you, perhaps second or distant cousins. I guess they might have the same texture, but I didn’t touch them or pick them up. The script is fancy free, an old text. Later, block style with little swivels underneath the curly capital C’s.

I hear the Northern wind blow through the time that formed you, along the Great Plains, in 1889 you were born. Statehood, manhood, womanhood, what will it take for the tide to turn? I grew up with your rusty nectar, somewhere in the depths of the South. The twisted bowels were tender and held me like spilled milk.

Not cream. Cream rises. Milk squirts out of tender teats, and sits and falls and swallows down into blue bottle glass. The feeling is mutual.

The coins plunk into the slot, red metal, orange Nehi, yellow Bear, aligned next to the girly calendar above the shop floor, tame in this age. I feel your motion, the peanuts that fell into your open mouth from the salt-filled Planter’s package out of the vending machine next to the grease monkeys. The coolness of cold green against the palm of sweaty summer.


You told me you were coated in phosphoric acid and your syrup was used to quell the coughs that spat out of kids in the 50’s and 60’s. When they changed your formula in the 80’s, all hell broke loose. And then you drifted back to Classic a few months later.

Choices. Too many choices.

France. Holland. Clink. The frozen tundra’s got nothing on you. Clug, clug, clug. I could pop open the middle of you, sliding down the gullet like a pipestone freeze. Underneath, the nonsense builds. You tell me you feel cooped up. I want to set you free. And then you disappear altogether. Was it worth the price of freedom?

In a river of cinnamon haze, I crack you open and watch as you drift down the Northern rivers and into the gulf stream ocean. Nothing left of your carbon soda molecules. Diluted and freeze-dried next to the rain.

You were created in North Dakota, born in Atlanta, and unfolded in the drama that is my writing practice. And there, all shiny and cool, you sit in the bedroom on the ancient dresser. While I write naked on the couch under the setting sun.

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

-related to post, WRITING TOPIC – OBJECT

Read Full Post »

Pick up your pens. It is time to lay down the assignment for the week, for the blog.

I did not think about this much, it came to me in meditation Saturday and I thought I had another week to think, and besides we are not supposed to be thinking when we meditate, just watching the thoughts, so I put aside the pen and paper and now on this victorious Wednesday morning I have forgotten all the grandness, recall only the most basic.

What I want to propose is that this week we all hold something. Hold something for ten minutes, or it could be fifteen and you could get by on five or seven, but for the sake of uniformity, let’s say ten. I do not mean something like an idea, a belief. I do not mean holding someone in our thoughts. I mean literally taking the five fingers of your right or left hand, picking up an object and holding it.

Let your fingers clutch, let your palm get sweaty, caress the front and the back of the object. You can move the object up and down your arm, if you want, rub it along your chest, squeeze it in your armpit. Do not taste it, do not smell it, and if you put it near your ear, for our ears are very sensuous, try not to listen. Only feel what it has to say.

The object can be something ordinary, like a toothbrush, or exotic, like a tube of toothpaste.  This morning it feels like everything is exotic, doesn’t it? Hold the piece. Then write about it.

As an exercise, I’d suggest that you put the piece behind you while you write, that you do not look at it. Write from the feeling, from the sensation that was picked up by your finger cells.

The object should not be living, breathing, but it can be of nature, does not have to be – pardon the expression – manmade. Your choosing is your own, you can pick up something off your desktop, or you take time to think about what you want to hold. It doesn’t matter.

If this seems lame and too lucy goosey it doesn’t matter. Just hold something, and hold on to it when you write.  Ten minutes holding, then go.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Read Full Post »