I have looked inside a lot of abandoned places, and have photographed all of them. And I do not – and likely never will – understand why some things get left behind.
Did they intend to come back and get the rest of their things? Or did they just say fuck it and walk away from failure, hoping that maybe on another day in another town, they’d get a new coffee cup? Or whatever.
Puerto de Luna, New Mexico
Back when I thought I was going to be a poet, I submitted some poems for a critique. One of the poems was titled “Deserts Always Win” – I’d written it after a drive through the deserts around Victorville, California, where I saw lots and lots of remnants of things that hadn’t worked out – homes, businesses, dreams. And – unlike places with heavy vegetation – plants didn’t grown up over the left-overs, so the defeat was always in clear view of anyone who bothered to look. Apparently, the person who critiqued my work had not ever been to a desert; they took very strong exception to my title and to the premise of the poem.
I’m not saying that unfavorable critique led directly to my becoming a photography. I am also not saying that it didn’t play a part…
Anyway, here’s a hulking ruin in eastern New Mexico; it appears to my photographic eye that once again, the desert was victorious. (Poetic me still stands by that, too.)
Chaves County, New Mexico