Words and pictures can tell the same story, but they do so in different ways. In Pull Over, a new book of photographs by Barry Lobdell and poems by Michael Tucker creates a provocative marriage of the two.
Michael Tucker is an emerging poet with a distinct sense of what he wants to say, and a clear philosophic vision that is sometimes diluted by the conformity to a tight rhyming scheme. He drops beautiful, evocative phrases,
I went out to see the world
But all I saw was me
The thought process is one of a considered mind that has drawn the right conclusions about life—that it is by its nature elusive and unquantifiable—and Tucker’s poetry stands up best when appreciating the irony of writing about it. The title poem, 'Pull Over', shows his ease with free verse, something I would love to see more of throughout the book.
Still, some poems beg to be rhythmic and rhymey, like the slightly scorching 'Daytime TV in Florida', a clever apocalyptic poem married to a devastating photo by Lobdell of a rural tract home surrounded by barbed wire, with a neon sign blazing it’s purpose: “Jesus”.
About Barry Lobdell’s photography…I have seen a number of his shows in various trips to Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, where he most frequently shows, usually amidst local landscape painters. His work often in black and white and is far more introspective than you might recognize at first.
This new book, Pull Over, allows him to show both his range both technically and emotionally. It’s a lovely body of work with some truly stunning photos--a stark portrait of a little girl against a black backdrop, an aging wooden boat resting on an almost deserted beach, urban observances and vast open landscapes are--all captured with equal reverence and skill.
I do find this book makes me stop and stare at the pages--and no doubt you will want to do the same.
Starting August 1st in Saranac Lake, Lobdell will be the featured artist at the Adirondack Artists Guild, presenting a month-long exhibit of local photos in a show called 12983: Exploring Saranac Lake. Saranac Lake is always worth the visit for many reasons I have written about, not the least of which is the annual Adirondack Plein Air Festival coming up August 21-24.
The book is available at bookstores in Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Saratoga Springs, and at The Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, in Albany.