Photography And Half-Thoughts By Mitchell Hegman

...because some of it is pretty and some of it is not.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Election Day

In a few days we will have an opportunity to cast our votes in another election. This has been an ugly election season; one that I fear may even dissuade some from voting. Frankly, I would rather have people vote against everyone and everything I believe in than not vote at all. Few of our privileges are more important than this. It is ugly right now--weedy as hell out there--but remember this: those who vote plant the seeds that become our collective garden. We will most certainly plant a few more weeds again this season. Clearly, some ill-qualified and stupid people are seeking our vote. Hell, I might oblige a couple of them. On occasion, I like to try and throw a lunatic in the mix. I once voted for Ross Perot!

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, October 24, 2010


This life is no dash to bait with seven eels.
I stand solemn as an actuary at an ashen lakeshore,
mercurial water sucking at my feet.
I have put my numbers to water
only to watch them sink.

Someone calls my name, an uncle, I think,
his voice a thread I fail to grasp.
I follow the thread only to find,
deep in the woods,
my rotund neighbor chasing his three boys
and cracking a lampcord whip.
He chides them while they circle,
kicking at his shins.

This life is dirty as any tango
bred in the Argentine ghetto,
the throbbing beat sexual.
I run down the rundown alleyways.
The air stinks of ammonia and booze.
I stand against the shadowy wall with lizards.

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Wife's Hair

Your hair is not moral. Your hair is not liquid, not impulsive. But your hair is wicked. Watch how it explores my skin where the ends fall against my shoulder, the muscled crooks. Watch how each strand becomes a great river unfurling over the rolling, sunwash hills. Your hair burns red against my pale, and tickles like the smell of lavender.

--Mitchell Hegman

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Staggering Along the Tracks

I recall from a few years ago the tragic death of a very young mother. We call such episodes untimely and try our best to fashion sense and reason around the sad event. We loathe considering that randomness or the lack of any grand design might account for most wrong and right circumstance. Chance? Dumb luck? That, friends and neighbors, we shall leave behind for dogs and cats. We are of superior stuff. We have invented hundreds of gods and religions and philosophical “isms” in efforts to bring purpose to bear more of the awkward load that seems upon us.
While discussing the passing of this young mother—victim of an annihilating cancer—and lamenting the difficult times ahead for her young husband and small children, the person with whom I was talking remarked: “Well, I guess God had more use for a good mother than we did.”
What logic brings this to our table? Instantly, I thought of three or four families in need of a good mother—including the one just vacated. I call statements such as these half-logics. They leave me a bit cold. Armed with this statement, might we conclude that God required a drunk, and that is why one perished after being struck by a train while staggering along the tracks late at night? Might we conclude that God needed the train filled with hapless souls that plunged down a ravine to their deaths below?

Not that I object entirely to seeking or accepting the possibility of some manner of grand design at work behind the stars shuffling overtop us at night, behind the mathematical cascades knitting things together below the surface of both stone and palm frond. And, perhaps, something bigger knows the value of a ten-year drought. But are we only fooling ourselves to think that a Herford calf born with seven legs and the blind child are anything beyond happenstance?

--Mitchell Hegman