“I Traveled through a Land of Men…”
__ —for William Blake, the mental traveler
Everywhere on my stroll among these rolling hills this morning, I see nude young men. I’d say they are naked as well. Many are undressed. Quite a few have no clothes on.
The nude young men are having beautiful bodies. Two jog side by side. Their torsos might have glistened with sweat but apparently that is not the convention in the land of men, a land too of widespread meadows and vast open reservoirs.
Here shadows fall from the chestnut leaves across brown nipples. A pair jogs past a fallen Osage orange. Plump and useless to men, a mock fruit inedible and pimply. If you expect anything like an orange then the Osage will teach you the sadness of literature. The Osage reflects slow things, failed desires, what drops away. Yet it is full of seed. The naked pair jogs on.
I pass others solitary and silent. But one sings loudly alone in a private radio broadcast. He does not seem lonely, just intent on his song. I see him as a brother, a mirror. I pass him and many other men, naked and companionable, one with the other, all loving friends.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.