KING OF THE ROAD

RYAN EARL JOHNSON:  COSMOS KING THROUGH A SINGLE LENS

A recent Environmental Biology graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Colorado-native and photographer Ryan Johnson calls himself a “tree-hugger.”  Yet, his heart could carry the entire forest as it stands as a reservoir of a quiet, gentle, subterranean fervor for life.  We recently explored the higher foothills of Boulder, and in our adventure, Ryan and I discussed what makes him tick: the organic wildlife around us and the inorganic wildlife of skateboarding. Can we not argue that skateboarding in itself though, rests within the organic?

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“YOUR ANKLES MAKE ME WANT TO PARTY”

What is it about Matthew Dickman.  Stole my heart again, putting words to the carnal. He makes me want to enter a fierce chess-board chase of to-the-death love.  Eye-on-the-prize love, where nothing else has a luster. That kind of love that English cannot describe, yet, Dickman does an eloquent job putting the six words for love in French into a sweet, sweet lexicon of the passionate. His language describe a Bukowski-esque lust for women– the kind most women hate to love– the yearning to be barked at. To have all the beautiful things of Sappho’s shrine, female things, MY things, the lovely things, the base of the spine, the nape of the neck, the way the hair curls when salt water crusts beneath the hot summer sun in a brand new bikini, to be worshiped in the words of the crude. Yet, his words never stray, there is nothing short of that kiss…the one on the ear…a soliloquy straight from the heart– straight from an unshaven early sunrise “good morning” with unkempt hair and coffee on a porch with the sprinklers rolling. Dickman, so graphically descriptive in the words of the modern, as you may remember from his ‘Slowdance’, “More than putting another man on the moon, more than a New Year’s resolution of yogurt and yoga, we need the opportunity to dance with really exquisite strangers…” draws you in with the first drop of the lure. Conveying merely the “small things” of a hard, hard lust, he’s got you, and the relationship unfolds as the poems, unexhaustingly verbose, tangentially floats into a sweet love that feels like years of the familiar. A lust that leads to an inexpressible and endless love, which we arrive at through commentary of the exclusively physical. Reading this made me remember the youthful constant that keeps us young through our gradual loss to gravity– the static — that we live for. The following poem can be found in the August 29, 2011 edition of The New Yorker, page 58.