International Dylan Thomas Day 14 May 2019


An international day to celebrate the life and work of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, held each year on 14th May, the anniversary of the date when Under Milk Wood was first read on stage at 92Y The Poetry Center, New York in 1953.
“International Dylan Thomas Day gives us a chance each year to celebrate Dylan Thomas’s achievements. There is still the enthusiasm for a national day to mark my grandfather’s life and legacy and we want to keep May 14th as a prominent date on the literary calendar.
Dylan Thomas’s writing has travelled through time – it is as relevant today in our troubled times as when it was written sixty-five years ago. It continues to travel across the globe reaching new audiences everyday. His poetry lives on.
We invite you to tell us about how you are going to mark the day and encourage you, wholeheartedly, to get involved and to love the words.” — Hannah Ellis, Granddaughter of Dylan Thomas
https://www.discoverdylanthomas.com/news-events/international-dylan-thomas-day

The photographer Rollie McKenna was at this 92Y reading of Under Milk Wood, to photograph Dylan Thomas, and she writes this in her autobiography, Rollie McKenna: A Life in Photography (Knopf, 1991),
“Dylan Thomas’s career didn’t truly take off until he ‘hit’ the United States. Readings at the Poetry Center and tours throughout the country where–in his own words–he ‘boomed and fiddled while home was burning,’ all but devoured him. The money he made, so necessary to support his family, passed through his fingers like water. The praise, so addictive, was fleeting. Still, he wanted to read again to his vastly appreciative American audiences and, above all, to write the final ending to his play for voices, Under Milk Wood
Frenetic reading tours, sycophant-laden parties and late-night bar-hopping exhausted him, and just an hour before rehearsing the actors for the first New York performance of Under Milk Wood, Dylan was in particularly bad shape.  On arriving at the Poetry Center, he vomited, declared that he could not possibly go on and collapsed in the green room. After half an hour, he was shaken awake.  Pulling himself together, he directed for an astonishing three hours, urging the actors over and over:  ‘Love the words.  Love the words!’  I was so dumbfounded by his recovery that I almost forgot to shoot.
When the night of May 14, 1953, arrived, the theater was packed.  The audience, silent at first, then tittering, finally exploded into laughter on realizing that this was no highbrow affair but a loving, ribald tribute to a village.  Dylan took fifteen curtain calls as tears slipped down his face.”
https://www.nytimes.com/1991/11/17/books/pictures-from-a-life.html

In celebration:
featuring Model: Emma Rocherolle

WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of April 2019

new project!
WAX and WANE: Full Moon Photoshoots by Michelle Gemma
The project began on the Full Moon of March 2019, symbolizing the start of the astrological year in Aries, and will document each Full Moon until the end of the astrological year in Pisces. Fire to Water.
I will be photographing all of my female models from Personal Universe, plus will introduce three new models.

We continue with the Water Sign of Scorpio:
featuring Model: Emma Rocherolle
The Full Pink Moon of April:
19 April 2019
Noank, CT  USA

For Ezra Pound:

“April is the cruellest month, breeding


Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing


Memory and desire, stirring

Dull roots with spring rain.

Winter kept us warm, covering


Earth in forgetful snow, feeding


A little life with dried tubers.”

excerpt from:  The Waste Land by  T. S. ELIOT

 

 

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New Moon in April and a Heart Shaped Box

New Moon 5 April 2019
introducing my newest Model: Ella Turner
and featuring the poem Dreamland by Royal Young with Photographs by Michelle Gemma

I want to enjoy the sunrise
While we still have them
Your quiet little town
Won’t be safe much longer

A stolen heart is never truly
Yours
A boot to get what you want

Imperfection is beauty
Torrid
Tortured
Terrible glances like lances

Give me open terrain
If I could climb this fire escape
To the future I would

My soul is following
The train’s whistle
My body lays next to
A sleeping dog

The dog dreams
Shivers in sleep
We’re both running
Still

 

https://www.instagram.com/theroyalyoung/

 

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WAX and WANE: The Full Moon of March 2019

new project!
WAX and WANE: Full Moon Photoshoots by Michelle Gemma
The project begins on the Full Moon of March 2019, symbolizing the start of the astrological year in Aries, and will document each Full Moon until the end of the astrological year in Pisces. Fire to Water.
I will be photographing all of my female models from Personal Universe, plus will introduce three new models.

How fitting to start with the Fire Sign of Leo:
featuring Model: Alycia de los Santos
The Full Worm Moon of March:
20 March 2019
Seaside, Waterford, CT  USA

In 2019, the full Moon of March rises on the same day as the vernal equinox—marking the start of spring!


March also brings the final supermoon of 2019.


The March full Moon is particularly special because it reaches its peak on the same day as the spring equinox, on March 20, 2019. The last time the full Moon and the spring equinox coincided this closely (4 hours apart) was in March 2000, but the last time they occurred on the same date was on March 20, 1981!


Traditionally, the Moon we see in March is called the Full Worm Moon. At this time of the year, the ground begins to soften enough for earthworm casts to reappear, inviting robins and birds to feed—a true sign of spring. Roots start to push their way up through the soil, and the Earth experiences a re-birth as it awakens from its winter slumber.

This full Moon is also a supermoon, meaning the Moon will be nearly at its closest to Earth for the month of March. It’s the year’s third (and final) of three straight full supermoons. This means that the Moon may “appear” brighter and bigger than normal, provided the night sky is clear and dark.

 

 

https://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-spring-vernal-equinox

 

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Turquoise Days

Just when the thought occurs
The panic will pass
And the smell of the fields
Never lasts
Put your faith
In those crimson nights
Set sail
In those turquoise days

You’ve got a problem
Come on over
You’ve got a problem
Come on over

It’s not for glory
It’s not for honour
Just something someone said
It’s not for love
It’s not for war
Just hands clasped together

It’s not for living
It’s for hunger
Just lips locked tight
It’s not rebellion
It’s not suffering
It’s just the way it is

And my pistol’s packed
And my God goes with me
I feel easy
And I want it
And I need it
And I’ve got it

It’s not for this
It’s not for that
It’s not any of it

Did you say knowledge?
Did you say prayer?
Did you say anything?
If not for good
If not for better
If not the way it is

excerpt from Turquoise Days, Echo and the Bunnymen, Heaven Up Here, 1981.

“In 1981, music magazine the NME described the album as darker and more passionate than 1980’s Crocodiles. The Record Mirror also said that the band sang the blues and devoted themselves to existential sadness. They went on to note that the album offered ‘an anatomy of melancholy, resplendent with the glamour of doom’ ”

featuring Models: Jackie and JoEllen
Green Falls, Voluntown, CT  USA

 

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The Bell Jar

It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and
I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. I’m stupid about executions. The idea of
being electrocuted makes me sick, and that’s all there was to read about in the papers —
goggle-eyed headlines staring up at me on every street corner and at the fusty, peanutsmelling mouth of every subway. It had nothing to do with me, but I couldn’t help
wondering what it would be like, being burned alive all along your nerves.
I thought it must be the worst thing in the world.

—excerpt from the Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath, first published in January 1963 under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas and later released posthumously under her real name.

featuring Model: Jane Anderson
Photograph by Michelle Gemma

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“Don’t Take The Ring”

“Don’t Take The Ring” draws from an admonition spoken by Agent Cooper to Laura Palmer in a dream sequence in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.  The focus of this series is upon choices made, once the ring is taken.

We are drawn into the young blonde model’s world:

 

she has chosen to stand at the threshold-

 

she pauses,

 

she considers what lies beyond,

 

 

and then she enters the mansion.

 

 

She wants to explore,

 

and we ride along with her

 

 

And then it has been decided

 

 

that the consequences have already unfolded before her

 

 

as she meets her shadow self- the brunette model.

 

It is the casualty of her decision-

 

to cast one’s lot with the angels

 

in the hopes that it will be received well,

 

that resonates with the audience.

 

 

We are rooting for these models to succeed

 

 

because we see ourselves in them.

 

We understand the platform of complication,

 

but we want them to rise like the phoenix,

 

and speak to our own immortality.

 

It is all about the work.

“Laura Is The One”
All Photographs by Michelle Gemma
featuring Models: Piper Meyers and Julia Farrar
locations: The Haley Mansion, Perkins Farmhouse before it was demolished, woods off River Road, Mystic, CT USA

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Chronicles of Sonic Life

“The Stars Turn, and a Time Presents Itself”:::


I started thinking about all the band photographs I have taken since the early 1990’s, when I first tested the waters with a camera. Musicians were my first muse, before I established a model stable, a steady fuse that still burns today. I realized with a tiny shock,  that not a single band in my photographic collection is still together today.

Of course……not shocking at all:

being in a band is the very essence of a photograph: “it is a flash in a moment of time” (Portersville, 1998).

My very first band photo was a live shot of Delta of Venus, at the El-n-Gee in January 1993:

 

$3 Depth Charge Photo Shoot for Postage Magazine 1997 on promotion for the Trapezium CD.

 

Fatal Film photoshoot at the Waterford Drive-In Theater 6 March 2004

Estrogen and Tonic   (ONE HALF OF PAISLEY JUNGLE!!!!!!!) Hygienic Rock Fix 29 January 2005

 

Lotus at the Green Marble 1994

 

Low Beam at Hygienic Rock Fix in New London January 2005

Incessant Pop Group chez Centraal Studios, 2005

 

Slander band photo June 2012 in our backyard

 

My last band photo was Slander at the Stardust Motel in North Stonington for a video production of  “Ghosts” b/w “Magnets” in 2013.

 

Over these twenty years, I have photographed in pretty much chronologic order:  Delta of Venus, 17 Relics, Lotus,  Mindbender,  Magpie,  MAP,  Doug,  Cigarette, The Reducers, Vera From Alice, Grand Passion,  Semaphore,  Mona Gritch,  Adams Onis,  $3 Depth Charge,  Black Pig Liberation Front,  AmberTones,  Portersville,  Roger Human Being,  Seratonin,  Low Beam,  Estrogen and Tonic,  Fatal Film,  Quiet Life,  Ringers,  Sodium Lights,  Incessant Pop Group,  and Slander.

The music of many of these bands can be heard here in the music archive, carefully maintained by Mat Tarbox. The origin of PortFire was in MMA:  Mystic Music Archive, and after the Chez Depot Memorial Show in July 2011, it was decided that a larger Artist website would better serve the talent of the roster.

“I can’t find my way home..
That’s when I don’t need you.”

Incessant Pop Group, Anhedonia, from Batterie Electronique, 2006

 

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Last Quarter Moon

The LAST QUARTER MOON occurs on Thursday, November 29th, 2018, at 7:19 PM EST.
Thursday evening, the Last Quarter Moon is exact, when the Sun in Sagittarius forms a square with the Moon in Virgo.
The Last Quarter Moon phase points to some sort of crisis of consciousness.

Outtake from “The Balance of Power”

a new photo narrative featuring Model: Jane Alice
as my LIBRA
for the new series: Personal Universe, an astrological study starring the model stable of Michelle Gemma (2017-2018)
Photograph by Michelle  Gemma
27 July 2018
Stonington Boro, CT  USA
Full Moon Lunar Eclipse

http://michellegemmaphotography.com/
https://michellegemmaphotography.wordpress.com/

 

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