Occupy Frederick — A Confessional Photoessay in Vignettes

Mon 2012.01.30
by brian hefele

The occupy camp at Jarrel Gray Park

I spent a brief amount of time with the kind activists of Occupy Frederick, during their occupation of a section of Linear Park named Jarrel Gray Park. The experience was incredibly inspiring. This is my story, everything that my brief time with them evoked, told through photos and words.

Read feature article…

and the papers reported a tragedy at the high-rise.

Fri 2008.02.01
by brian hefele
drunk on the thin,
high air,
i touched you
but a minute before we died;
we were delirious,
so content and saying
‘i can’t go
and as we tossed small
last-minute words around
we heard a serviceman yell
a rapid-fire mangle of
requests for sanity and
he probably dialed nine-one-one,
but anyhow
we leapt.
a minute before we died,
drunk on the
thin, high air,
i kissed you
and we stared down
at the dizzy street,
at the cars, the kiosks
with striped canvas roofs
that we maybe bought
two hot dogs from
on our very first night out.
and i reminded you that
men and women
do… not… fly.
but softly you smiled
and you went first.
immediately i followed
and from then on
we spent our nights
cozy together
in shrouds.
i have made at least three people cry reading this. i know this is a hard poem, and i have tried to brush this fact off by introducing it with a very plathlike understatement of, ‘this one is just a little love poem,’ at readings. but in honesty, this is really difficult, it’s essentially romanticizing suicide. and that’s not an acceptable idea, though we see it in literature throughout history. pyramus and thisbe each kill themselves by the same sword out of love for one another. but i’m missing context here, and that is because i hate context. i like slices, slivers, moments in time. the reader will establish their own context, their own backstory, or else they won’t and they’ll just think i’m some insane asshole. anyway the whole idea fascinates me, a love so strong that the absolute most important thing is to die together, whatever the surrounding situation may be. this one is still a bit hard even for me to read, but it’s certainly my favorite of my older works.