Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gotham 1: "Hello lamp-post, What cha knowin'?"

DENNIS O'NEIL: "Batman's Gotham City is Manhattan below Fourteenth Street at eleven minutes past midnight on the coldest night in November."

PHOTOGRAPHER'S DIARY: Gotham is real. It's not like Superman's Metropolis off in Kansas. Gotham is much closer to home, and insinuates itself just when we least expect it. It is not mere evil, but grubs and maggots at work on the moribund remains and it laughs the joker's jeering laugh.

Sharing sparrows beneath the bridge, I wonder, how deep is the heart of dark Gotham? I think I've come to the right place despite a Samaritan who tried to send me to 14th Street. One should be able to see it here beneath this bridge or in the refuse near the water's edge. Here where the commotion of traffic never ceases, Gotham must be whispering. Or it is nearby, waiting for sunset, peering from the shadow where the alley meets the cornerstone. I look and try to snatch it in a photo. More sparrows. Must I look for it where the F train hurries beneath Blackwell's ghosts, or is it only a dark time thing, a couple of deals before dawn?

Beside me Con Edison still rumbles though they've made the emissions invisible,
and I think I hear Simon and Garfunkle dancing overhead,
and I'm still down here sharing sparrows.