Okay Constant Readers: I’m in Russia. I haven’t been doing much photography around St. Petersburg, but I’ve done an unhealthy amount of kitten sniping here at the place I’m staying. I’ve been here for like a week and have managed to complete many Russian Cultural Pass-times (if that’s not how you spell it then it should be) including but not limited to: finishing The Dark Tower, shooting photographs of kittens, sleeping, wandering around aimlessly, reading an article in English for an ESL sort of magazine called Cool English, and a little photoshop (for old times sake). For now you’re just going to have to enjoy photos of a small animal.

PS: Marty Stouffer is like my fucking idol. If this is as close to greatness as I get, I imagine I’ll die a happy man.


Okay this first one is still from Lithuania.

All-Right.


This is Mostar–the sort of we’renotinkansas/croatiaanymore part.


The Croatian and Bosnian Armies had a little falling out and the Croatians decided to shell Mostar. This Mosque, like a lot of the buildings, was totally caved in and destructed. But they’ve rebuilt a lot of the old part of town in the last ten years or so, and a lot of it is stunningly gorgeous again.


The hill and the bridge (Mostar’s Stari Most) are both pretty. But in aforementioned falling out, the hill ate the bridge. Nothing like good high ground to destroy something beautiful. 1993 I think is the year that that happened. Have you ever walked through a graveyard where most of the headstones say 1994? I was in the third grade and then I was in the fourth grade. Mrs. Woods and then Mrs. Bellows for me. No one in the Terra Linda hills shelling Vallecito Elementary.


We stayed in the white building and played chess on the skeleton of the one next door.


Bullet holes are nothing short of everywhere. When we first rolled through town on the bus, I had a little bit of an ohhfuck in my stomach. But it’s not the holes you have to worry about. It’s those big metal things that wannabe gangsters get tattooed on their forearms that you have to worry about. Those and nationalism–and the guns at least didn’t seem to be around. The war being ten years over and all–but still.


I took sort of an irrational appreciation of clouds while taking Bart home from the city one day. It turns out they’re everywhere. The best are before a storm, or maybe the best are during a storm but from somewhere else. Like if you’re on the train from SF to Berkeley and it’s hailing in Lafayette, there’d be five miles of white fluff only partially hidden by Grizzly Peak. And you know that all of that white you see is just light that is most definitely not getting to Lafayette–because in Lafayette it is most surely dark and grey and shitty (Cool Grey 80%), but to you it’s cottonballs. One could surely make a leap here between cotton and slavery but that would be hellatrite.


Between that last one and this one was Sarajevo and Budapest. I guess I forgot to take pictures. Fun fact: WWI started in Sarajevo when Franz Ferdinand was assassinated about two blocks from where I stayed. I saw Bosnia beat Malta 1-0 in a soccer game. I played soccer with some locals and an Israeli/Ukranian who spoke Hungarian and stayed at my hostel. My feet are still a little blistered from this because of my vans that look like sneakers but fuck I guess I should have gone for the Pumas. Anyway–this photo is from Warsaw, which is in Poland.


Folliage and fixing bike.


Folliage and riding now fixed bike. Not fixed but, you know, working. I did however see students on trackbikes and resisted the urge to accostandbackwardcircle–but mostly because of the possible language barrier and the blisters running from toe to arch.


This landed next to me.


Culprit.


Reflection of old library in new windows. Oh, the juxtaposition!


There’s a guy up there. A good photograph would have you see the people kissing on the billboard first and then the guy sillhouetted against a light background–but I didn’t want to walk the ten feet to the right to get a good sillhouette. Oh, the laziness!


Is the best light through bus and airplane windows?


My Jump Broken Branches offering. Better late than never, also way better because of the photo above it and this is in Vilnius, Lithuania.


Two white horses in ay line.


Not quite an airplane window, but good light comes through storm clouds, too.


And Paulius caught some good light in the Best Cafe In Vilnius–at the contemporary art center.


When I get my hands on photoshop I’ll bring out the blue in that umbrella–but it still works.


Letters tied to a balloon. Romantic?


This is Paulius (different Paulius) and what may or may not be an angel fallen straight from the storm clouds. We were locking bikes in an (empty) alley, and then I looked up and saw this man sprawling on the ground, trying to get up. He came close but gravity overtook and audibly thunked his head on the cobble. So we went to see how he was. He was drunk and we helped him get as far as a bus. I didn’t understand any of the conversation while we walked, but he seemed like a nice enough guy and worth propping up on the way to the bus stop. He offered us 100 Litas. He was wearing a white jean suit and white shoes, and he may or may not have been an angel fallen from the storm clouds.


Block-Living at the realest.

Tonight I’m on a train to St. Petersburg to try out this Russian visa. My camera ran out of batteries and I would have charged them but opted instead to charge my own–and woke up this morning feeling quite rested but with a dead d50.

I’m waist deep in book six of seven of The Dark Tower and I’m a little afraid of finishing the series.

Dirty man on bench reading newspaper thinks of women, urination

Need a stopping place. A stop. To breathe, everything human needs to breathe. A glance up at the girls, eager (patiently) for a look but not a return smile. Except the very young. Not schooled enough in pretentious straight-looking. Just a smile, sweetheart, leave your clothes on and keep your feet a-stride stride striding. A breath, sleep. Wake up and pee now or one more shut-eye stint. A hard decision, could take a half hour of rolling over. A hard decision until it’s made. Wake up drenched or make the foggy walk.

*

Young man sits in bar drinking Coca Cola and considers himelf a polluted stream

Lust is alcoholism. Love a meal. Lambshanks. Lust is. She fucked like a champion. She had eyes like yours. She is running water. Eyes I don’t know. She squints like you. She laughs. Meet me for a drink–I promise I’ll be awkward. Lust is nicotine. Smoke. I need yellow teeth. The smell won’t come out until the skin sloughs off of my fingers. I’ll give you 10,000 dollars to. Love is lung cancer. Beautiful. And if the doctors in labs cure it. Internet porn. White coated cure. My liver beats for you. You are my blood soaked. Wind swept. Tear stained, collar bone. You are eye contact. Look down. Look down. Fill with winter smoke. If god is a rock, you are a timepiece. Tick Tock goes the rock. I am the city bound maple. Stretching the fences and staining the sidewalk. Lust is a seedless grape. God, what a concept. A seedless grape and an athlete. Are we all so useless. With what do you sew seedless athletes? Patience is so far from a rock. God waits for no seedless grape sewers.

*

But then the allusion is lost

Clumsy are the words from my mouth. Blitz poetry. Hang my queens. Qs like 2s. 2ueens in cursive. Piss stained orator. Consciousness could be a euphemism–I am out of ink.

Quick Pick

Bus Soon: Promised Photos.


Ljubljana.

Castle in Ljubljana.


Waiting for the bus, Trieste.


Swimming hole AKA Adriatic Sea, outside of Trieste, looking at Duino.


Fish guts and cigarette butts–someone got lucky before we showed up.


View from under the tent.


ART.


I’ve been ripping out the pages of this book as I read it to reduce bag weight. Raddest way to read ever.

You can’t fucking miss it.

BOOM. Mumjan, Istria, Croatia.

Opaque winged dragonflies.


After the tropical storm–homestay2win.

Pre-cut

Mid-cut

Post-cut. Now I fit in in Croatia.


Streets were walked.


Shadows were cast.


Pag


Split.

No News Is Good News

Agoraphobia. I am now in Split–still Croatia. Tomorrow to Bosnia. My birthday came and went and today I am twenty three plus two days. FUCK YEAH. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to get to Russia from here. I’m going to have to figure that one out. If I was in the Americas I’d be trying to get from Cancun to Calgary. Train wants to go through Belarus, no Visa = no go. Or $100 to Vienna and try to get one from there. Yeah right. Plane from Milan to Vilnius = $150, but then I’d have to get to Milan. And also from Vilnius to SPB.

The bus from Pag to Split was extremely hot.

Pag was where I had my birthday. You should go to Pag some day. But if you go, don’t go to fucking Novalija. Novalija is shit. But there is a city called Pag on the island of Pag that is just perfection incarnate. Little nook of a bay and tight little pocket change for alleystreets. Split has its share of pocket change as well.

We camped outside of Novalija during what I think may have been a tropical storm. The lady in Pag said it had a name and was calling it a seecloan (phonetic). So we camped in a named storm. The first night was notsobad. The second night we went down to the water to watch the lightning. Lightning bursting in three points. Off the south point, a bolt, off the center, a bolt, off the north point, a bolt. And this churned and rolled and the d50 finally ran out of batteries while I was setting up for an epicly long exposure. And then the campground turned very quickly into a water slide. We ran for the cover of an abandoned bar, stayed there, not quite drunk enough, as the thunder ricecrispy treated over head and the lightning popped photos (did my flash go off did my flash go off?). And about a half hour later we realized that we’d be good and fucked if we tried to sleep under a tarp that night, so I ran to the campsite and grabbed our already drenched and muddy shit. We slept under the nice little abandoned bar and ditched the Novalija area the next day.

But all is gorgeous in Split, as it was in Pag. I think Kari de lovebryan fame might be here but you’ll have to wait until the next post to find out if I run into her in the market buying knockoff LaCoste gear or not.

Dovidjenija.

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