my life among the clouds



"i believe you" : Show Me Your Life, Sexwork

these are the people... we do not exist familiar in any room/ as long as we remain invisible, you never have to look at our little black books/ at who our tricks were (in some cases still are)/ their husbands and their fathers and their brothers and their girlfriend’s husband, too, and their ministers and their doctors and their stockbrokers and their cops and their politicians and their bosses and their co-workers and their colleagues and their priests and the people they tell their secrets to/ these are the people who pay to fuck us/


(Farid never had a chance to be a part of Show Me Your Life)

My life among the clouds 

there is perhaps no profession more the work of whores than photography/ and i am here to tell you that whoring is something to a whore/ but whoring is nothing to a photographer/ we are here to give them what they want/ that is what i want my boys — all of you are at-risk— to know/ that it is not an accident so many of you, you, and you, and you are photographers/ you are photographers, babe/ because every last one of you was selling sex/ before you became a photographer/ and photography is a kind of sexwork, too/ where with any luck you have captured some essence of the thing/ the thing that is the human being in the photograph you will take today/ you will be told the same dog and pony show the tricks used to tell you/ just give us what we want/ it will become a refrain/ your real job is to transcend it/ to capture fleeting moments in clouds/ where even the wind is charred and burning with the smell of dreaming corpses/ visible fuel itself begins to in the glowing warm/ all at once, then, to be cut fast/ subdividing veins and bone/ a whole horizon of her ships with black sails set wide in the dimming light upon the sea/ wrapped in spume/ and snarling like an army whose antiquity/ and viral god-green eyes are numb with death/ and just as sightless as the breath of whores find the moment hard with gone as you are now/ and will be time and time again/ as you find what stares back at you through corridors of slanted light/ mute minute by minute/ at-risk/ at-risk/ at risk for the rest of your hard-won lives/ your second self/ behind the lens/ of any camera/



Farid is dead

He died peacefully among the whores who kept — vigil.

I am the repository of all the bad fucking news, and do not call me with your grief. Let it GO.


"Me go with you America."

Not likely, kid.

You can’t come with me because you are already dead.

I see some shadow in this photograph I have never seen before. Or maybe I have seen it but didn’t fucking look. His shadow seems to touch him softly from behind.

“You want حشيش.  I get you حشيش."

Always  حشيش ḥashīsh loco.

These are the lost souls. The ones who never counted to the suits and do not count now.

Pandemic fuck. What do they know of a pandemic. They can ignore bodies in the street if they have to.

There is another black image behind him. It looks like an image on the wall. It is some horrible dragon of death. A claw.

I never see the images until they reach out to ME like here... For everyone to see only no one ever does.

And if you run around saying my god, there are images and ghosts inside the photographs they will see a raving madman and they will run back into their nice little homes with their nice little jobs and their nice little lives of extraordinary indifference.

He was a ghost among us fresh meat off the boat.


Do you know how to write your name in English.

"No. You show me."

Fucking Inn didn’t even have a pencil. I had paper. I had a pen. 

F. A. R. I. D.

I had to take his hand to hold the pen. I don’t think he had ever held one to write with. Write what. What the fuck is Farid going to write. THE NAKED BREAKFAST. GETCHER HOT COPY NOW.

Farid would have sold his mother’s pussy for one dirham. Only he didn’t have a mother. He had WHORES. He had US.

That was it.

He didn’t even have a fucking pimp. Farid WAS a pimp.

What of the death of pimps and birds of prey.

He would have sucked you off on the docks. Shit. He would have sucked you off before you left the boat...

"You want me suck you, Chief. I suck you good. Five diram. Okay, I suck you four diram. You want sister?"


He took me down to this really awful beach where someone had dragged a sofa out on the sand. He knew it would be a great photograph.

I must have it somewhere. Or Facebook lost it. Whatever.

The kid had an eye.


"i do not know why" by Farid

Americans are going to tisk tisk.You couldn’t save him. There are too many.

Get the fuck out of my face we could have saved him. He was doing sexwork. We could have gotten him everything from medication to... But we did not want to do it because he was just another bird of prey trying to survive.

And who the fuck among you was going to raise Farid. Farid was dead before he was born.


I am the photographer who taught Farid to write his name.

I hope the whores held and rocked him when he died. One small moment of something in an otherwise utterly useless and insignificant life.

I am going to burn the piece of paper and spread his little name to the fucking wind.

I held his hand to hold the pen. My hand on his dark, warm hand of grime and sweat.

F. A. R. I. D.

Show me your life.


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