I collect post cards. Here are some of my favorites:
- Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
- Suez Canal
- Grand Tetons Chapel
- World's Worst Confectionary
- Dylan's High School
- Welcome to Gozo
- Prairie Schooner
- San Clemente
- Cape Cod
- Salt Beds
- Mule Deer
- El Posito
- World Famous Hairpin Turn
- Indio Date Festival
- Ryoanji Temple Garden
- Sponge Fisherman
- Gibson's Bakery
Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
The actual post card on which Percy Bysshe Shelley based his immortal poem, Ozymandias.
Picked this one up in Cairo. The message on the other side is two lines long:"Had a good voyage. Am just beginning to realize I am in the way." It might as well be signed "yours, the British Empire."
Grand Tetons Chapel
This is the closest thing I have to a picture of god, at the moment. I once spent a night by myself in a log cabin in Grand Teton State Park and in the morning I found a mother moose and her calf grazing out front. That was certainly a holy moment, but this is a much more evocative image. (Thanks S. Lish)
World's Worst Confectionary
I made my family drive much too far into Southern Indiana because this place sounded so perfect in the guidebooks. In fact, they served only melted American cheese on white bread, prepared on a George Foreman by an exceedingly grumpy man. The dead flies on the cement wedding cake in the window should have tipped us off, or maybe the festoons of fully occupied No-pest Strips that led to the kitchen. Looks great in the picture, though, doesn't it?
From my Dad's collection: this thing used to be in Atlantic City. It's here on my web site as a placeholder for a card I lost or, rather, left behind. That one was a black and white shot of an elephant with a silk scarf draped over it. The previous occupant of a cubicle I once sat in had left it there, so I did the same when I moved on. I sometimes think that if I had kept it everything that followed would have come out differently. Oh, well.
Hibbing High School
Bob Dylan's High School.
Bathroom at Sagamore Hill
Teddy Roosevelt's Bathtub.
Apparently, someone with a handy Instamatic went back in time to snap this shot of a prairie schooner at anchor for the night. Well done!
Welcome to Gozo
Yeah, I've never heard of it, either, though I'm sure it shows up somewhere in the novel V. It's Malta's sister island, as it turns out. (M. Duffy sent this one.)
San Clemente is a cathedral built on top of a basilica built on top of a holy cave of some sort--in Rome. As you proceed down the levels you travel backward in time. The sound of a subterranean water source gets louder as you descend. In the cave, there are 11th Century frescoes that tell a story of murder and intrigue among saints but I forget the details. I had hoped the other post card I bought would elaborate, but it doesn't.
It's a movie theatre on Catalina Island. The building it's in looks like a wedding cake. When I was there, all that was playing was "Scrooge" with Bill Murray, which I'd already seen twice but how could I pass up the opportunity to watch a movie in this place?
Until I was nine, my family went to Wellfleet in the summer. Although I have nothing but happy memories, this image produces a chthonic jerk of recognition: that kid is hopping mad!
If I could write a poem, it would look like this. Note the attached bag of actual salt.
What's wrong with this picture? After intense scrutiny, all I can say is there's something weird about the light. For a while I thought maybe the deer was a model in a diorama (too much time spent at the Museum of Natural History), but it's not, it's real. I guess my favorite part is that he's walking away. Go deer go.
I love that there is a shrine in the basement of a church in Chimayo, New Mexico (not on a major road, not particularly near Santa Fe or Taos) that is, essentially, a dirt hole. What I love even more is that there is a post card of the thing.
World Famous Hairpin Turn
I have four different versions of this view -- different times of day, styles of coloration, eras, etc. I saw them in a flea market and was certain that I knew the spot. Sure enough, it's a stretch of road is not far from where I went to summer camp. Anyway, it's “world famous,” it says so on the back of the card.