when we crush the purple

strings of marigolds
bright orange and yellow
dangling from farmers market
vendor stands
mara and i divvy up a
dozen eggs and she
calls me collaborator
with $2 in her hand

field found:
my best guess at a hip bone (small)
sun bleached
desert dried
rummage sale Tshirt
two dollars for a panda
in glitter heart-shaped sunglasses
(this one’s for you emory i think
as i hold it up to assess)
lyrics of a song so bad
(the chorus is some man
call shouting out: STRUT!)
i laugh out loud
to the picture window
framing what looks like a country lane
cottonwood, willow and elm lined
we pause at what we call desert lavender
(not sure but
there’s that menthol-ish scent
when we crush the purple buds
between our fingers)

two film shorts
you must see:
but don’t blame me if they break your heart
or make you cry
moon (not full, but getting there)
haze dropped across horizon
the glow of east mountains muted
i point as we sidewalk
through what could be a western movie


4 Replies to “when we crush the purple”

  1. elizabeth – wish you were there when i watched it so we could have talked about it afterwords. i’m curious about the discomfort you felt – please share if you are open to it.

  2. Gracias por su respuesta.
    To elaborate, at this later time, my feelings are pretty complex about the short. On the one hand, it was interesting to become more familiar with Ivan Diaz Robledo’s work as a cinematographer; I have participated in one project where he has played a directorial role (a music video, for a canción of Anibal Mendez, aka elrío), but had never had the chance to view his work. The imagery was very well-crafted.
    Regarding the narrative, while watching, I was terribly afraid that something unspeakably horrible would happen to the central character. The combination of viewing shots of a neighborhood that I have seen at a distance or passed through while on the bicycle with this concern, while watching, was uncanny.
    Reflecting on the narrative with some distance from the experience of viewing, there were a couple of instances that now seem fairly “convenient” to move the narrative along. I’m not sure if these were borrowing from certain filmic tropes that I’m not familiar with (admittedly, I am not closely familiar with the history of cinema); or if they were simply “convenient.”
    De acuerdo, It would have been/be interesting to talk about in real person/time.

    1. muchas gracias, liz, por compartir su pensamientos… you know tijuana/the border so much better (over time and with intimacy) than i do – it’s interesting/weird/strange when places we know so well are reflected back to us (often from a different angle/perspective) in film or other media, eh?
      as a film showed to many people who don’t have an intimate view of the border, i thought it was good at exposing some of the issues surrounding it. while border guards are real and complex people, though, i thought the one portrayed in the film was way too nice/sympathetic/simplified/not complex.
      i appreciate your thoughts/reflections (and wish we were talking over tea about it all)!

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