There is something that grasps me about photographing beautiful women, as it has grasped countless other photographers-victims before me. The intoxicating atmosphere that radiates from a gorgeous woman in perfect control of her feminine wiles is undeniably addictive. To me, it feels like a film noir photograph, you’re painfully aware that it is separate from your reality and thus you try to keep your senses fixated on it for as long as you can.
Photographing Chatnoir/Nguyệt Anh puts me in that described environment. Please enjoy the following photos.
Refusal to Notice Beautiful Women
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before.
It’s so simple: I just won’t notice.
Twenty years ago the hormones would have exploded this idea
but now I’m—now I have the wisdom of—anyway
I’ll just be like “What ? Oh, I didn’t notice. Where?
Over there? Nope, didn’t happen to see her.”
Life is going to be a lot easier. I’ll read more books;
I won’t keep looking up when someone comes into the café
because who cares? I mean,
to hell with them! They want to be so impossible?
They want to be so many versions of sublimity on two legs?
Let them go watch each other, whatever, let them go tantalize
lurching iron pumpers who wear backwards baseball caps.
Or let them go get engagement rings from suits that wear cologne,
vice presidents with tickets to Jamaica. I’m very vague on all that
because I’m so devoted to other values. Like,
art’s endless campaign to represent the mysteries of the spirit’s
passage through the realm of time and change. That’s
what I’m all about—but I get distracted I mean till now I did
get distracted by BWs but that’s over. Finito.
Let them shimmer and slink in Jamaica,
let their bikinis be murderous—
that’s only flesh! Flesh is nothing but—you know, it’s only meat.
It’s only physical substance. With whatever warmth and smoothness
ultimately it’s—well, the seventeenth-century guys called it dust
and they had a point. Were they happy? Well,
that’s not my problem. I’ve got very large bookstores I can go to
where a thousand books are shiny and smooth—
I abjure Jamaica. I extract Jamaica from my heart
with the tweezers of mature sobriety. Not that I had any actual access
okay okay anyway I have this life now: I embrace it.
My jeans are wearing through at the knees. I embrace this.
My hair, to the extent that it remains, points northeast in a peculiar way
since my last haircut by Dawnette who is much less sexy than her name
and who calls to mind a vat of mashed potato—but I don’t say that
because she’s human, plus I’m not thinking about how any woman looks.
Yesterday I spilled ginger ale all over the seat of my gray Mazda—
all right. It’s my life. I accept it. The thought that a BW is unlikely
to ride in an old gray Mazda coated with ginger ale does not come up.
I read books. Oh,
perhaps on occasion I recall that in 1967 Kathy Farley smiled at me
on Thayer Street but I know that has become fiction, she is fictive,
and I’m off now to a very large bookstore,
and once I’ve got a tall mocha and some slim volumes in the café
even the Michelle Pfeiffer of 1983 couldn’t make me look up.