In Those Days We by Everybody
‘InThose Days We’ harkens back to a simpler time. While it seems incredible now people used to collect photographs. Often the ritual of seeing deceased relatives could take picture offline exclusively. A few lucky souls remain offline ready to live life to the absolute fullest. What Jennifer Tomaloff does is bring the two separate worlds together: the poetry is on the internet and the photos are from life before the internet. Life continues to control the internet.
Len Kuntz discusses bad batter. Nobody should make a cake out of such bad batter. All it takes is a marble game gone wrong. The lesson drove itself deep into their minds. Eventually it couldn’t leave excluding a particularly memorable game of death. Ideas can be evil too. Next Len warns the person in the photograph to get back. Years later, many years later, it is obvious the creases and stains were a premonition of death. Death is bleak.
Robert Kloss talks about a good old game played around the barn. These gentle folks only want a game of cards. Yet they get much more. They get water. Happy children play in a lovely red wagon. The red wagon is covered in their father’s blood. Childhood is rough.
Norman Lock wonders about a single photograph. It is hard to find these people decades later. Landscapes change. People age hard. Yet despite the passage of time Norman remains just as interested in the picture. Protected, worried about, there is a connection that exists in spite of no outside knowledge whatsoever.
Molly Gaudry remembers when she first saw her husband many years ago. All it took was a trip across the great land of America in a sweet-looking motorcycle. The cat stares blankly at the camera. Molly and her husband smile at the future.
J.A. Tyler’s picture looks terrifying. A bleak blank and white photo of a child surrounded by hogs is scary. Thankfully the story lives up to the level of unease shown in the photo. Daft Grandpa makes sure to surpass the unease. It is a seriously creepy story. The woods offer sanctuary for the third daughter, one of many daughters never had.
Kathryn Rantala has a bottle in a message. Ice impedes the bottle from going any further. A ship tries to break the ice to let the bottle’s message float on to a random stranger. But it is unsuccessful. The cameraman takes too long to take a photo. Poor grandmother is having serious problems remaining still for so long.
Ben Tanzer thinks of his parents. Life selling expired Alpaca meat is tough. Rural Texas offers better opportunities anyway. From an optimistic beginning his parents are reduced to punching their kids in the face. Whoever handles the hits is the breadwinner. Ben is lucky. Ben is a winner. Ben gets repeatedly punched in the face.
Ryan W. Bradley shows off a wood pile, the last photo of a man before he went away never to return.
Andrew Borgstorm complements perfect posture. They underwent a lot of pain to be able to stand up tall against the world.
Meg Tuite explains Emmett’s stint in the navy. From a crazed lunatic family he bizarrely finds calm in Europe during World War II. This is madness. However Emmett does find happiness. By the end Emmett realizes he’ll be saying goodbye more than he anticipated over the course of his life. It is called becoming an adult. Thankfully Emmett does not leave the poetry behind.
Kyle Hemmings falls down. Unfortunately the pawn shops are going out of business otherwise he could get serious cash for his favorite things. Voyeurism is an inherited condition. Every part of the family suffers from it. The ability is with many drawbacks however. At least they are not plutonium but the man without plutonium has a promising future in one word: plastics.
Parker Tettleton gives a brief on the reader. This is impossible as the words appear to contradict each other. Behind the two happy friends are freshly-fucked trees.
Marcus Speh dances thinking of old friends. They died. Everyone dies eventually. While Marcus is in space he remembers their grandeur. Robots join in on the merry dance. Robots have no idea what nostalgia means. They are only robots. They have no memories besides what has been told to them. In the future humanity will power itself through its emotions. This is remarkable. Emotions are a renewable energy source. Numbness is not allowed.
Chad Redden coos to his huge baby. The baby is growing big. Babies are like alligators: cute when small, terrifying when large. Like alligators the babies are at first comply then rebel. Here Chad focuses on the growing size as a form of endearment. Cars are the new people. Some treat their cars better than people though cars depreciate in value. America is full of cars and the highway system supports them all.
Robert Vaughan recants the tale of two useless individuals: one sells tanning oil, the other sells real estate. Yep this is California home of the free. Jack ends up imagining things in his mind. Eddie appears oblivious to anything going on around him. Ignoring others is a part of life. This part of life is known as work. Neither person takes it seriously.
J. Bradley drinks a coffee. A special someone gives him a bendy straw because he’s all into that. Potato peelers are erotic devices.
David Tomaloff talks up the power of Elmer. Elmer could build a city just by laying track. Unfortunately Jack was not as lucky. Poor Jack lived to be many things but never learned what they meant. He died without saying a word.
This concludes this particularly epic collection. Photos give it a true sense of heart. Everything about it is beautiful. Looking at the photos is reminiscent of looking at an older quieter past.