photography | carl johnson
the tant mieux project, ed. sadi ranson-polizzotti


Articles are what strike our fancy. They may be news stories, they may be personal anecdotes, they may be fiction, they may be a blend of fact and fiction, who knows. As a writer, i've long reserved the right to create of whole cloth.  If you feel the need to determine which are real and which are not, that is entirely your choice.

For me, I would accept them for what they are - notes passed from the other side of the desk, words in the ether as a signal flashing from one building to another as we send back and forth our mirrored signals - a language codified, rare, and understood by those who truly have a desire to understand the hieroglyphics of what is often a complicated life.

If you are looking for something in particular, use the Search box on the Welcome page and type in a key word - for there is no order to these articles - as it should be. comme il faut.

 

s.r.p.

april | may

 

Friday
Jan062017

Homeless in Harvard Square | Election, 2016

Election night saw me wandering around Harvard Square - seeking something and looking to renew a passport. That was the official reason I was there. There in Harvard. To go to the British Embassy and get a new passport so that I could perhaps find my way home. Like the man said, we’re all looking for some Direction Home.  

 

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Thursday
Nov172016

Shame: A Letter to My Sister

I want to tell the whole story – the all of it – but I shall begin with only a part of the story. And I’ll begin with the part that has troubled me. 

I have never liked pornography.  I remember the first time I saw pornography – and it was a video of a woman showing other women how to touch themselves – I was watching it with my husband when I burst into tears and made him shut it off and then take it outside to the garbage where it couldn’t hurt me anymore. There was something about the explicitness o

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Monday
Sep222014

The Recovery

Janet was tired.

 

She had been watching the sea from a shallow canvas deck chair that was now at the water’s edge. The sun glinted about her face and chest, which had grown a deep pinkish brown color.  The tide, which was coming in fast, was now licking and sucking about her ankles. Some children played near a sandcastle, scooping out a moat and a channel with their cupped hands. The sounds of their laughter filled the salty air about Janet and she drew in the air sharply and felt at peace for the first time in weeks.

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Monday
Sep152014

nightingale's code

The emergency room is sepia. Varying shades of brown, as if glanced from the bottom of a river looking up toward the light. That is how I recall it, but that could be incorrect for what I recall of the story I am about to tell you comes in bits and pieces. I recall it over the period of several months. Perhaps years from now I will write a different book - a more complete story with the blanks filled in. Or maybe not. Perhaps those blanks will always be there like little holes in paper. I don't know. I only know what I am about to tell you and this is perception - like any story told from a first hand narrative, is always about perception.

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Monday
Sep152014

Salon Persia | Thayer Street

I went in with hair that was the color of a drainpipe – sallow and slightly rusty looking. What’s worse, it had been cut by me (who is not a great hairdresser) which made it all the worse – funny scraggly bits sticking out here and there.  Nicholas took a look and chose a color from a spin-wheel of swatches – I could not choose the color but that didn’t need to be said. He choose carefully and well, leaving out any color too red or blue or orange for my complexion and settling on a roasted nut or espresso bean like color, the color of dark chocolate. 

 

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Tuesday
Sep022014

my fiddle box love 

The planes fly lazily longingly zipping a cruller path across the sky, the mind’s eye. Recall the pyramid waxed and pink and the ibis who stole off with bits of our love, letters to feather a nest. I was not going to say a word about it, about the blue, how it glowed like the night sky and there were foreign songs in the air, you wouldn’t believe. All like the sound of a sort of zither an electric saw, my fiddle box love.

 

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Wednesday
Aug122009

now, voyager - my sin, my soul

Why is it that I turn to Bette Davis in the film Now, Voyager time and again and certain books like Nabokov’s Ada or Ardour or anything by Yeats or the way I turn musically (at the end of the day) to Dylan. I suppose we all have our favorite reads and our favorite films, and though Nabokov is certainly my favorite author, Now, Voyager though , it may be a great, old

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Friday
Feb062009

a word | love's storm

It hadn’t occurred to me until, I admit, after a couple of drinks one recent afternoon and as late summer fell all about us, I listened to my friend and realized that perhaps there are two types of people in the world in this regard, anyway; there is the “I could have” strain,

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Friday
Feb062009

these shoes, these miles, these crooked highways

These shoes - these shoes have seen so many things, I suppose like anyone's shoes, if we stop to think about it, they would have a story to tell. They have been with me through the good and the bad. The happy the sad. The ecstatic, the heartbreaking. The momentous, the boring... and the vodka-tonic colorless inbetween days that add up to nothing in particular.

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Monday
Sep012008

a word | midsummer, august 8. 08

   It is officially Midsummer, which means that I am becoming officially depressed. Or perhaps I will. I can't say yet. It's something I am fighting as I learn that summer does not have to be the "end" of something but that rather, it can be a beginning. Any ending is also likewise a beginning.

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Sunday
Aug172008

this... and my absence...

There is, somewhere, a trail of emails that lead down down down to the rabbit hole and to a horrible place called Wonderland. It’s not anywhere you want to be. Go ask Alice, I think she’ll know… or so said Grace Slick. She was right. A

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Friday
Aug082008

It’s hot. Very hot. Too hot to be walking the thirty or so blocks to SONY BMG where I have a meeting, and then the twenty or so blocks back and on another avenue where I am to meet a friend. It is the ultimate New York City summer day and I feel like I am about to pass out either from a general headiness from the many good things at present (professional, personal), the fact that I am fully in love and landed on that square without even trying or wanting, that I am giddy already and with reason, or perhaps it is just the oh-so-humid day, the sun beating down (beating down), and that no matter how I may try I am unable to stay hydrated enough. There simply is not enough San Pellegrino in the world, and maybe tap water is fine, but frankly, I need some salt and Pellegrino is slightly salty and replaces all that I am losing.

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Friday
Jul252008

shine bright at Grand Central

Michael has a stand of high chairs with foot-rests all built upon a sturdy oak wooden frame with arm-rests. He is a shoe-shine guy. He is standing under the shelter of the overhang of Grand Central Station on 42nd and Lex. where in front of his shoe-shine booth. This makes sense for it provides shelter for anyone who wants to get their shoes shined even while it's raining out, so the weather has no affect on Michael's business.

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Monday
Jul142008

a word | quit having fun

photo 24.jpgI am told that a person feeling absolute joy - a person in an ecstatic state - is difficult to live with. That states of heightened euphoria can be alienating for the person who lives with you or who spends a great deal of time with you

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Friday
Jul112008

Memento Maurice | by Mark Polizzotti

Although I spent relatively little time in the company of the French novelist Maurice Roche (1925-1997) – an aggregate of months over a period of a dozen years or so – our friendship was among the most decisive in my life. This memoir was written in part for a festschrift in his honor shortly before his death, then added to sometime after it as further bits and pieces of our past intersections resurfaced. One cannot encapsulate an important relationship in a few scattered fragments, nor perhaps even convey it. In place of that, I remember.

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Tuesday
May202008

a word | all that is tacit (spring, 2008)

Function: verb Inflected Form(s): un·der·stood /-'stud/; -stand·ing Etymology: Middle English, from Old English understandan, from under + standan to stand transitive verb 1 a : to grasp the meaning of <understand Russian> b : to grasp the reasonableness of understand><I thought we understood each other: i was certain we understood...>

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Sunday
May182008

42 seconds underground | the photography of lewis carroll

Lewis Carroll, Photographer The Princeton University Library Albums by Roger Taylor and Edward Wakeling ( Princeton University Press
Dreaming in Pictures: the Photography of Lewis Carroll By Douglas R. Nickel Yale University Press,

When his mother's brother, Skeffington Lutwidge, first introduced Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (more popularly known as Lewis Carroll, author of Alice in Wonderland, originally Alice's Adventures Underground to photography in 1856, it was considered no more than "a fashionable pastime that allowed gentlemen to demonstrate their interest in technology, chemistry, and optics, as well as to reveal their artistic tendencies." (11, Princeton ).

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Wednesday
Apr302008

hay or hey | life in the city

It's still too cold for me to wear one of my wife-of-a-chicken-farmer dresses. That is lost on you, no doubt, for what does the wife of a chicken farmer wear? Probably nothing at all like I imagine myself to be should I run away and start a chicken farm with the man that I love yet I tell myself one day, one day, I will do this. We will simply take off and go to somewhere in Sicily and start a small no-kill chicken farm where the chickens can run around free-range and we will simply sell the eggs and live a poor but sated life.

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Wednesday
Apr302008

a word | i walk these broad avenues

Someone sent me the card below and it immediately struck me. "It's weird how you go from being strangers to being friends to being more than friends to practically being strangers again...and it all happens so fast." That's right, I thought. You are the best of friends, then perhaps lovers (or not lovers, but in love in some way, joyous, kindred, symbiotic - all of those important words that so apply when you are spinning in the moment, to suddenly having the proverbial carpet pulled out from under you.

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Wednesday
Apr232008

bitch

bw collodian no 1Stranger than fiction, yet how much like it one’s life can be. A mirror image of a novel you once read (for in almost all novels, as any novelist will tell you, there is a seed of truth that sets the thing in motion).

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