Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: camera

Photography of Souls

She was a photographer of the dead. Her studio was morose and draped all black and matte. Before the lifewarmth of their deceased relatives had run out, people would rush, in hearses with special coffins made to preserve warmth without starting to smell, to her abode. There, the dead person’s last life was photographed out of them and printed immediately, onto sepia paper, and given to the relatives to frame.

But when she died, her equipment on standby, all her soul seeped out onto the floor and no-one took her photograph and she rolled away as fog the next morning.


The best most accurate memories I have are of the unimportant bits, like the name of the waiter who recommended the wine that made you throw up, if that’s really what happened. I remember the name of a waiter, in any case. Every memory is like a faded photograph that gets more worn each time I bring it out to view it, and I try to fill in the details as best I can remember them. Your hair was now always the same length, even though we knew each other for years. I wish you showed up in actual photos.


This avenue is lined with buried spotlights aimed straight into the black sky like pillars of solid white. You want to take a picture of the way the beams of light seem to eat all the dancing snowflakes, but one of your hands is entangled in mine. You pause, in thought. You bring out your cameraphone and struggle with it, eventually holding it steady with your free hand and then softly kissing the circle on the touchscreen to take the photo. I squeeze your hand, you put your things away and your hand into my pocket, and we walk on.


The camera zooms in on the grey letters until the only thing that’s visible is the bun of an unwitting stagehand’s red hairdo and the unlit phrase, “ON AIR.” The camera grows weary, and pans slowly across the room, until it finds an anchor’s face and does a little jig, because the camera handler is bored and light-headed. Someone taps on their watch. Reluctantly, the camera handler places the frame in the correct position and then she has a heart attack and falls over, clutching at her chest, inadvertently pointing the camera at the dusty ceiling. The letters light up.

What Happened to Me

When I was small, I used to turn anything with eyes away from me, convinced that there were little spy cameras inside them. It looked like all my stuffed toys were ashamed of me. I kept a record of who had given me what items so that I could know who was watching. I would stare agog at them when they were in the room with me, wondering how they could pretend that they did not know that I knew.

I still haven’t figured out what actually happened to me, but I have figured out that it was something bad.

A Google Streetcar Drives into Night Vale

It has cameras all over itself, so it feels safe. A squirrel suddenly lands on its roof, in front of a camera, but that is okay, because it has more of them, and the squirrel will get bored. The logos on its sides waver like flags heralded with its lord’s crest on it. Places like these are suspicious, but everyone trusts us, right? It keeps going. It almost runs over a dog, but it stops in time. A swallow crashes into the driver-side window. And another. The window shatters; a raccoon climbs in. The raccoon drives them toward the canyon.

Enabling Nostalgia

You took a photograph of her when she was weak. You said that photographs enable nostalgia too much if we exclude moments like these. There was a kind of glee to your voice, a cheesy, plastic grin on your face as if you were the one in front of the camera. She, in turn, wore no expression, just a hospital blanket spattered with irregular polkadots, like someone had meticulously painted each one. The camera spat out the photograph like a bitter pill, but I looked in your albums today and there are only pictures of white teeth and deep dimples.

Mexico City

He looked himself in the mirror, intently. Behind him, on the other side of the street, was the entrance to the bank. The mirror was not really a mirror, just a storefront window, but someone had draped something dark on the inside, and the effect was almost the same. It was an art project; behind the dark satin lay a little camera capturing people’s expressions. His expression was a volatile one without any twitching muscles, like the stillness of a lake in a volcanic caldera. He got out his stockings, rolled it over his head, and ran across the street.

Ready, Aim, Fire

Lights, camera, action.

Lights. His pupils shrink and sweat beads start forming on his forehead, crawling their way out of all the make-up. Camera. He’s aware that this will be shown on every TV-screen for hundreds of miles, even if, especially if, he fucks up. They’ve only got one take. Lights, camera – people are making gestures, getting everything in order. There are millions in this for him. He’s holding his breath even though that’s a bad habit. Lights. His fingers drum on the AK47 held behind his back. Camera. He’s wearing someone else’s face. What is taking so long?