46 photo-sketches from Tokyo

What is a ‘photo-sketch?’

‘Photo-sketching’ is a practice (or technique) I’ve been experimenting with for several years. It is still developing. That is to say, its meaning and practice is fluid. It is far from set. Simply stated, it stems from a desire to transform a personal photograph into a piece of text. A poem, or a micro fiction. The image becomes text and directs the narrative. The photo becomes words. To clarify, the 46 fragments in this piece all originally existed as photos. You are about to read 46 photos rendered as text. A small selection of the original photographs are included.

What is a ‘Yamanote Loop?’


A flash fiction memory from Tokyo

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I ride the Yamanote line to Harajuku. I exit the train station and walk downhill, navigating the late morning crowds erupting over Takeshita Dori. I then cross the road and slide into backstreets. I find the Design Festa gallery, it’s a refurbished house with two wings and an exoskeleton made of scaffolding. In between the wings, there’s an okonomiyaki restaurant. I stop at the restaurant, drink a beer and burn some tobacco. It’s Saturday, which means the artists are here. I kill the cigarette butt in one of the ashtrays and walk inside.

She wears a straw hat, silver necklace…

A flash fiction memory from the 90’s

I saw Kurt’s eyes in Stephanie’s satchel. They watched Stephanie from the floor as she slashed lines of green acrylic into the canvas. It was Monday and we were in second period art practical. Stephanie’s dungarees looked like a palette.

‘Hey, I don’t think I’ve read that one.’ I said, pointing to the half-visible book. Stephanie reached down to her satchel and freed the rest of Kurt’s face. She opened the front cover and flicked through the pages haphazardly. The pages came to rest on a double spread photo of Kurt on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance…

A flash fiction memory from Tokyo

She was from Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture — holidaying in Tokyo visiting friends and he was from Berlin now working in Tokyo as a photojournalist for some small news outlet and I knew them for one whole evening and part of the next morning and eight months later she would be caught up in the Great Töhoku Earthquake and I would text message her after seeing the news but never get a reply. I didn’t get his contact details and am left now with only a handful of photographs to remember them by.

I had arranged to meet her outside…

Marc Brüseke

Guerrilla publisher and optimist.

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