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Talisman: An Inkblot Biography Using Tarkovsky’s Polaroids

Updated: Aug 12

P13- I was concerned with the energy of the chipmunk. Not so much how to capture the chipmunk but specifically it’s movement. She, in thigh high dark green waders with a check shirt was concerned about capturing the row boat.

P15- They raised their guns. The dogs barked but one just sat and stared at the underbrush as the noise of canons began and birds fell from the sky.

P17- I wanted to show her how high I could climb. But just near the top in a rush to impress I chose to support my hand with a branch I knew to be dead. When I leaned on it i was unsurprised by the snap that followed and my head striking every branch on the way down.


P53- A boy not raised to this violence who embraced it nonetheless. Eager as is necessary to belong and to declare.

P51- To hear them speak of it they were the best of times. Decadent. Generous. Kind. But her very presence is indicative of something else.

P49- He was a pilot. The life of the party. Loved by the kids and women alike. Though more in the take off than the landing. Ironically he would die in a car accident unable to keep the car on the road.

P47- It had been awhile. The clutter indicative of cling. His empire reduced to the equivalent of a broom closet. A mausoleum of sorts. I felt bad because of the story I wrote. She was sweeter than the memory. We cried in front of old videos. The sound of his laughter the most poignant.

P45- For some reason they were Dutch. When they left me nothing made sense.

P43- They had a poetry to them but not of the kind I was prepared to appreciate enthralled as I was by the literature of sex and assassins.

P41- She was both central and insignificant to the running of the household. Her faeces a vehicle for my uncle to shout at my mother. An object of unreciprocated affection for my brother. An object of periodic sadism for me. She eventually ate her own shit and would lick us. Maybe for revenge?

P39- I wanted to help him but I was too small. The very offer of help a condescension that accentuated rather than alleviated his pain. He wanted to go home. He just hadn’t realised home no longer existed.

P38- Eventually she tolerated me, protected me even when I was the only one left. Though wary she remained. Unable to completely extinguish those memories when chaos reigned and cannabis and alcohol ruled the house.

P35- He was always a problem. No gesture too grand nor slight too small to not somehow recall his anxiety.

P33- I wanted her pain. He wanted her love. The others didn’t even notice. Women would eventually replace the dog.

P31- At some point she broke her leg in a skiing accident. It was the drama of the week. Despite all these women my mother loved them the most. More than my father ever would and more perhaps than she ever did us.





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