I'm Traci Lynn Matlock.
I live and work in Houston, Texas.

Mostly, I shoot old-fashioned film.

I share more: here

And I always like email:
turningthequickcartwheel at gmail

Saturday, April 12, 2014

'stay as long as you want and maybe a little longer'


All I follow is my own desire, 
sometimes to feel, sometimes to be
at least a little more than intermittently
at ease with being loved. 

( an excerpt from Matthew Zapruder's poem: The Prelude )

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Easley, Anna, Quelita, Eric Fischl, Joshua, Kierkegaard & Jean Luc-Marion on Falling (the trip of Ascent):

 I have a fetish for falling.

How clowns do it, how lovers do it, how poets fall down words accidentally.
How characters in silent movies fall down wells, how birds fall down like leaves from trees (before they rise triumphantly).

I relish the moments I fall. I've fallen down stairs (many times as a child, occasionally as an adult).
Two days ago my friend Easley fell, skipped by accident actually, down two of my stairs just as she was complimenting my house.

I fell in a step aerobics class once and somehow finished the rest of the hour. 
My shame was greater than my hurt, until the next day.

Recently I've taken to falling up
I wrote this in a note to Anna recently when I realized I'd been photographing the act of falling up as well.

Falling up in the sense of seeing. Being able to turn a photograph any direction and see it dimensionally.
Confusion in the second of fast framing that it takes to, for instance, photograph the shape of a wave disappearing on the shore.

I spent the better part of Sunday with Quelita. We took a few photos down the street from my house, in front of what was once a colorful corner market but is now one step from petrified -- still colorful and full of beauty if you can prevent overlooking it. I gave her my camera (as am want to do) so she could shoot a few photos. I showed her how to make a double exposure, and she made numerous good ones. But one of them was different from anything I've ever made.... I felt visually compelled to fall into it, without knowing which way fall would be.

Somedays this is what I want to make. Falling up and into and down over. 

Less momentum, more awkwardness. 

Tumbling without curve appeal. 

Not only the fast fall of Eric Fischl (though yes to those as well) but the trip-over-my-own-visual-shoelace.

Here's what Joshua wrote to someone else (voyuering, as I was), and I can't decide if it's the opposite of what I mean or the exact:

The ascent for Kierkegaard (and this might be a misread) is the movement of infinite resignation, a trampoline leap into the infinite that makes a choice. The knight of faith, by contrast, is so resaturated by the world that one may have difficulty in distinguishing her from, in K's words, a bourgeois capitalist. Thus, faith is not simply deciding for the universal (resigning oneself), but is instead bearing the anguish in uncertainty. In Jean Luc-Marion's language, bearing the abandon with no assurances.

I want to uncertainly bear the anguish in uncertainty, a stumble instead of a leap.
A constant state of 'and this might be a misread.'

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Two (failed) self-portraits from two years ago at the South Texas State Fair,

to which I am happily, solitarily returning today.

Visiting the fair was the best time of year for me as a child. That is a cliche, yeah, I know. I feel like I should have Philip Roth describe it for me. We would go every day after school and spend most of the weekends there, from open to close. I learned about disgusting food and getting stuck on quickly-put-together roller coasters. My closest uncle was one of the production managers, so we spent a lot of time seeing concerts (albeit small-town stars), playing free games (which we could win but not take prizes) and hiding backstage to watch clowns in full make-up hit on teenage girls with sailors' mouths (the clowns and the girls).

Somewhere in a box I have (or had) a pin with a photo on it of me with three other kids, a pin taken in a booth at the fair. Our friend Shannon (she was 14; we were 15), had committed suicide a couple of days before, and we had spent the week in a NineInchNails-ish and cordless phone coma with each other. We got t-shirts with her name on it at the fair; it was pre-teen mourning. We had just been introduced to The Monkees and paraded down the thoroughfare locked arm-in-arm, yelling to anyone, the sky really, "We're too busy singing to put anybody down."

That came out of nowhere. Don't know that I've thought about that moment since.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Remember how yesterday I wrote something about a dance class? Proof (!) (is a collection of memories).


The woman with whom I'm dancing, I have no idea who she is, but her energy was phenomenal and brightened my step.
I am grateful for Each Person who brings such lovely feel-good-ness into my  life. Sometimes I can't believe the luck I have.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I just took homemade cookies out of the oven. I'm eating all of them in the air-conditioning of my living room.

Today I took a dance class with one of my personal heroes, shared the drive there with one my more talented friends.

I sat by the window because the wind was intense but only slightly cool. I wrote a thank you note. I polished an essay.

I attempted to nap. Right beside my front door, which was open. I heard a lot of birds. I saw a lot of cardinals.

And yet, finding these photos tonight brought back such intense longing, for a moment it lifted me right out of my satisfaction and pressed its knife-tip to a solid mass of yearning (hiding in me).

Friday, March 21, 2014

On accidents piled atop one another.


As I'm writing an essay (on sentiment in film montage) at my computer desk which overlooks a quiet street.... Specifically, as I typed a (backhanded) compliment to a filmmaker  (which I should probably delete now that I realize how passive-aggressive my sentence was), a black cat crossing the street caught my eye.

The flap of his left ear was folded back like moistened construction paper.
And his mouth opened a bit; I could see the pink of his tongue.

And then right before he stepped into my yard another black cat followed his steps like paws painted on concrete.
With the exact black construction paper fold in his left ear! It was beautiful, uncanny coincidence.

They walked a single, straight path until they were both under the ledge of my window, now near the outline of my house.
Maybe following and leading as a single unit today, tomorrow and the next day and the next.
More consistent than a shadow in the fog we have in Houston at the moment.

It's comforting; the uncanny always is. It's the sense of feeling alive because of the randomness, the realization of your own realization -- and a gratefulness to the world for waking you up a teensy bit.

And it reminds me of the dream I had (this morning?) about a giant mountain lion -- well, a pack of giant mountain lions that were only made of dark grass and black gravel. How odd a combination these two experiences, now that I type them here...

Forgive my rambling.
I've not been posting much, and returning spontaneously to think 'out loud' in type is one way of returning.


from this week, in any but chronological order:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I met my sister in the West Texas desert last week.

Born from the same biological parents but raised many years apart with contradictory authorial reasoning,
we've somehow met in this vastly narrow middle.

From the back we look the same. From the inside we look the same.

When sitting across from each other sharing coffee over a view of the Milky Way 
(brighter than next-door headlights!)
we are nothing alike.

Except in all the ways we are.


I shot only one roll of color film on this trip.

Most of them failed miserably, but that one picture of my sister 
peeking around the corner of her Easter Egg cabin on our last morning -- 
it's worth the drive fifty times over for the memories it packs in its punch and its purse.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

'Some Place,' by Robert Creeley:

'I resolved it, I 
found in my life a center and secured it.

It is the house, 
trees beyond, a term
of view encasing it.

The weather 
reaches only as some
wind, a little

deadened sighing. And
if the life weren't?
when was something to

happen, had I secured
that -- had I, had
I, insistent.

There is nothing I am,
nothing not. A place
between, I am. I am

more than thought, less
than thought. A house
with winds, but a distance

-- something loose in the wind,
feeling weather as that life,
walks toward the lights he left.'

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

("My vehicle is in. Your drive.")


Finding light where there should be none.

Seeing at the edges of nothing, at the edges of what should be dark corner, a sequin.

What is light if not exposure?

The pinpoint (aperture) betrays (by exposing) the frame.

Part of loving anyone is knowing how to live with their hand on the doorknob.

I don't believe in Erring.
 Either This or That.

Maybe I best love someone who never pretends to stay forever.
And instead just stays forever.