Chard Parmenter Edward Weston in Louisiana

This is someway
I have never travelled—this high a
highway—over water so full of trees—
it glitters like salts of the developer
we didn't bring with us—the road pours us toward New Orleans.

The cypress leaves shiver apart, so the knees
they shade glow—looking far older
than us, far more contorted than
our war on old forms—only to be
taken by an aperture of their own era—
only obscura. I don't know where
we are. I love driving—
with my mind's eye closed.

So why do I carry this feeling with me—
dark-filtered thrill framed by such a numb, sweetening as we're here
in the famous graveyard—
each mausoleum camera-square,
with so many images in them sealed
free of the reach of me—raptured.
They say, "photographer, can you see
need?" But is that what draws
me to the Quarter, too—the crosses
fleurs-de-lys burdened with beads—
the mazes of angel faces—the levee where
the water trembles like the tender lens
buried inside the eye—oh

Photography was poetry first—is it
still—and are they in mutual
independence, as James has it
when one finds, as I do near the sea,
language webbing everything into pictures waiting to be taken—
everything here flooded by that
style of light—that lets us praise
the fameless now—lets us turn
back into the crowd.

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