Archive for the ‘town & country’ Category


Dog Show, Codogno, Italy © Jim Korpi

My neighbor slides his finger across his throat as if to imitate the straight-blade razor in the barber shop scene of a mafia movie, and he follows this motion with the imitating sound of death.
“Keep your eyes on your cat,” he said pointing to the cat chasing flies in the shadows of the bushes in our yard. “They are putting poisoned food in the area to kill cats.”
“Ahh,” I reply and act not to be so surprised by his gesture or his warning. “But why?”
“There are too many cats.”

World Luxury Expo, Furniture, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia © Jim Korpi

For seven years his rifle has sat in the corner of the closet. A grey suit he last wore to a funeral hangs over the barrel so only the trigger and butt of the gun are visible. The inside of the barrel is dusty with a red coating of rust.
It was the feeder at the edge of the clearing. He fills it with apples he buys by the bagful from the grain store.
In the early morning hours, when he can no longer sleep and the timer on the coffee machine goes off filling the house with the smell of its brew, he sits by the sliding glass doors in his blue bathrobe and flannel pajamas with a set of binoculars to his eyes.
Cautiously the doe leads her fawns to the edge of the birch trees. The mother’s ear twitches in the direction of a branch breaking in the old pines and falling to the forest floor. It is an alarming but familiar sound. She moves closer to the feeder and the apples she knows by now to be inside.
He watches through the shaky distance of his lenses. He is drawn to her grace and her devotion to her fawns, who are now close to her legs and biting at pieces of fallen apples.
He will not admit it, but ever since he began feeding the deer and watching them through the glass door, he has not been able to pick up his rifle.


Construction Supervisor, New York, New York © Jim Korpi

“The driver sat in the iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, had no connection with the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not loved or hated, it had no prayers or curses.” ~ John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath


Street Nap, New York, New York

“The industrial age itself, as we have known it, can be described as a period of technological entrancement, an altered state of consciousness, a mental fixation that alone can explain how we came to ruin our air and water and soil and to severely damage our basic life systems under the illusion that this was ‘progress.'” – Thomas Berry, The Dream of the Earth


Tourists in Fountain, Milan, Italy © Jim Korpi

After seven months I still flick the middle switch in the hallway and realize it turns on nothing, and that the one on the left turns on the bathroom light.
After seven months I still stand in the shower for the first two minutes either tense from the cold water or from avoiding the scalding hot as I adjust the handle to 7 o’clock and pull it halfway out.
I should know this by now, but for some reason it has taken my brain this long to adjust to a new place.
Every new hotel I visit or friend’s house I intrude on, I stumble in the dark to find a light switch and panic from the half-asleep feeling of being blind and lost.