Category Archives: Uncategorized

Portrait of Sam

Sam played the ukulele for about a year, primarily as a meditative tool; he decided to play the ukulele because he needed a hobby. He played guitar prior to that, so he knew he could learn ukulele easily. He started playing guitar in seventh grade, played for two years, stopped and recently taught himself how to play  ukulele.

Sam was born in Tucson, Arizona, USA. He graduated from Del Campo High School in Sacramento, California, USA area. He liked to play video games with friends, participated in track/cross country events.and once ran as far as 13 miles.

At the time that I met Sam, he was twenty-one years old, but he was eighteen years old when he attended American River College. He stayed there, in the Sacramento area, for two years, but after moving to Antelope Valley, when he was twenty, he started studies at Antelope Valley College.

Sam studied and aspired to be a firefighter and a paramedic. He was inspired by his uncle who told him fascinating stories of his exploits as a heroic firefighter.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Taylor

Taylor was a 21 year old resident of Antelope Valley, California, USA who had three jobs. Firstly, she had her own photography business doing portraits and events.

She also was a pet care associate at the PetSmart in East Palmdale, California, USA.

Finally, she worked with animal actors at Birds & Animals Unlimited in Acton, California, USA. She was a kennel assistant who cleaned up after penguins, kangaroos, wolves, cats, dogs, bunnies, hours, hawks, eagles, peacocks, emos, pigs and goats. These animals acted in movies, TV commercials, news, and various videos. Her favorite animal was one of the wolves,  Cruz, who had been in the TV show Zoo.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Paris

I met Paris at Big Sunday’s 5th Annual MLK Day Clothing Collection & Community Breakfast. He had come to lead a team of severs and cleaner-uppers, who volunteered at these types of events to “make sure that they were well-rounded.” He represented an organization that had a basketball and mentorship team.

In the mentorship program, Paris had a group of about 5-100 kids ranging from ages 4 to about 17. He worked with them weekly on basketball, life skills and character development. This had been the third time that his group participated in the Big Sunday event.

More than 1,000 people turned out and the volunteers collected more than 23,000 articles of clothing. Paris said, “It’s a great opportunity and a great day for me.”  At this event, various people assembled, volunteered, coordinated with the food serving and clothing collecting, all with love and cheer. The kids that Paris worked were called the Mambas and had great respect and adoration for him as a leader.

Paris, himself, had three children; a twelve year old, an eight year old and a nine month old. He lived in Redondo Beach, California, USA and was originally. from Stockton California, USA

Photo credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Aeowyn

This portrait is of Aeowyn, named after the Lord of the Rings character Éowyn . I was so excited that Aeowyn’s mom allowed me to shoot this and post it AND that Aeowyn was cooperative. So here you go, my first child in this series.

Aeowyn is an energetic, cute, affectionate three year old. She loves to draw, build with blocks and dance. Recently she discovered she liked singing. She primarily sings Disney songs, but since she’s seen Moana, she is obsessed with You’re Welcome. She saw Moana a few weeks ago with her mother, brother and aunties.

BTW, in case you question when this was shot, it was shot in January, for sure. The sky cleared, the rain stopped, it was still chilly, but not enough to make a little girl who can’t stop moving cold. So. Yes. This is a California girl in January, and it’s shot with my DSLR and not the point and shoot.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Arteasha

This portrait is of Arteasia, who I had known previously from my local Lancaster Costco  in Lancaster, CA, USA. She worked for CDS (Club Demonstration Services) Costco Food Demonstrator as one of the sample ladies, everyone’s favorite people at Costco. She had been working at this position for four years and loved the job. She believed Costco employees were fun and the customers were terrific. What she enjoyed the most about her job was meeting and speaking with people, “a lot, all day long.”

Arteasia’s favorite item to serve were sweets, “everyone tends to like sweets so I get all the customers when I have sweet things.” Arteasia found that the customers “stuck around” and talked to her more because they wanted more and more sweets. In other words, on sweets day, she was able to talk to even more people.

I took this portrait with the point and shoot. I used Costco overhead lighting, but because of the shadow on her face caused by her cap, I looked for a box with a white bottom. You know all those empty boxes in Costco? Well I didn’t use one of those. I emptied out a box full of chocolate covered some non-GMO fruit.I had Arteasia stand under a light, had her hold the box, at her waist, like a tray, pointing up, and it reflected the light into her face to give her even lighting. I darkened up the background with Photoshop.

This was a fun shoot not only because Arteasia was tickled from being chosen to be in my project, and because she is so “sweet” (pun intended) in the first place, but because I enjoyed being creative about improving the available light.

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Kurt

This portrait is of Kurt, who was delivering mail for Cedar’s Sinai  Medical Center, Beverly Hills, CA, USA. This picture is interesting because usually, in Beverly Hills, people are running around in shorts, and tank tops, you know The Fun In The California Sun Look. But there was Kurt, bundled in rain gear, and pushing a cart covered to the max with protective tarp. It was such an unusual sight for Beverly Hills.

Kurt did not have time to talk to me at all because he had to go to the mail room. Below was the “mail room.” Yes, the mailbox is the mail room. It confounded me that in an institution that literally has the best brain surgeons in the world would mislabel a mailbox as the mail room. I seriously don’t think Kurt, his hand-truck, the mail and all that rain gear  fit in the little mail room below. Luckily, there was a normal door next to the mislabeled box and Kurt disappeared through the door, never letting me find out anything about him.

Computer Hope

Image Credits: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Portrait of Armine

This portrait is of Armine, who I met at the Bloomingdale’s Los Angeles – Beverly Hills | Beverly Center, in Beverly Hills, CA, USA. She was a beauty stylist for Bobbi Brown make-up.

So, as you can see the last person in my early January Beverly Center Portrait series was a female make-up artist with beautiful make-up.

Armine was born in Yerevan, Armenia and came to the United States 6 years ago. She currently resides in Burbank.

Armine was  trained extensively by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics with tutorial, tools, classes and experience. She enjoyed her five month old position at Bobbi Brown/Bloomingdale’s

Image Credit: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2017 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

My Brain is a Cheap Gadget That Spins

Cheap Gadget that Spins

Cheap Gadget that Spins

My Brain is a Cheap Gadget That Spins

I am from the ten commandments
to be taken senselessly, with finger language:
energy overshadows bewilderment.
I am from feasts and head pats
where polished round people were obediently sober.
I am from a place where tea was clouded by milk;
where it was natural to protect yourself;
where the trivial was antiseptic.

I grow in my mind, and create my own misfortune.
I forget to be tired:
my brain is a cheap gadget that spins.
I journeyed to nuclear accidents
and pretended only snowmen melted.
I strive to hear the tales of the doltish
and forsake ideals that some consider pungent.
I do not blanch, even without notice,
clean ’round the mind, a melancholic manifestation.


Hear this on Sound Cloud


Written for:

Poetics – Where are You From?

Also posted on:

Poetry Pantry #250

Today, I wrote the poem for D’verse Poetry prompt by Mary with a theme of with a theme of “This is Where I am From.” .  It has a lot of strict rules to this. I hope I don’t get thrown off for not following all the rules: “begin with the words “I am from…”  and then go with the flow.  Try to use some interesting metaphors and some vivid imagery! Include words and sounds, smells and tastes, and sites.”

I think it will be fun to learn a bit more about each other in a unique sort of way.” I am very worried about this. I hope this is acceptable.

Image Credit: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2015 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Things Could Be More Reliable

Smiley On Mountain

Smiley On Mountain -> This has nothing to do with this poem, but it’s an Eight Lane Road, so I think it fits the overall theme. Besides, I think the living embodiment of an emoticon on a mountain is a very cool concept and needs to be published.

Things Could Be More Reliable

Things could be more reliable:
piss water tea, more stale than old;
valves that leak with familiar beat.
I will only come here at night,
boulevards emptier than roads,
dim lights glow from windows of homes.
So many memories, where I cry,
buried in your shoulder with grief.


Hear this on Sound Cloud


Written for:

Poetics Of The Road

Also posted on:

Poetry Pantry #249

Today, I wrote the poem for D’verse Poetry prompt by billgncs to write an Octet, which is an eight line poem. For more of a challenge, we could write 8 syllables per line and also try to make it be about the road. So this is my attempt.

Image Credit: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2015 all rights reserved. Credit if you use it, please.

Notes From A Metro Line

Search and Rescue inspect the subway after 9-11 attacks.

Search and Rescue inspect the subway after 9-11 attacks.

Trade Center - MBTA Silver_Line

Trade Center – MBTA Silver_Line


Dverse poets asked us to write about what we learnt or felt about times that have gone from Darkness to the Light. Since tomorrow is the anniversary of 9-11, I decided to write a poem about the destruction of the subway, a rather dark place, even when there aren’t terrorist attacks. However, since WTC came down, the MBTA station has been rebuilt and is quite a bright and beautiful place.

Notes From A Metro Line

fragile arcs caught by gleaming hues
weave magic, elude sight.
silver crowned unicorns
curl on incoming rainbow,
decamp south
to lodge from journeys end,
awake from oblivion,
like jewels on an inanimate face.

embittered minutemen
on the express, caress collision.
metropolitan heroes
crushed on rush hour train,
breathe the stench
of another’s warm lunch sandwich,
slick lettuce curled,
no time for consumption.

subway spray overlays
vacuous white non-visaged,
empty headed faces forward —
flutter in spiritual positions
most humans occupy these days.

on the intimate horizon,
though a dark pane,
a plethora of iridescent
glow-in-the-dark paint splatter
stupefies artistic vision.

green ocean spray choreography
river snakes unnoticed,
stealing along shiny park grass,
through faux city boulevards
dumped beyond urban walls.

as we ride the rattle can,
angels fly in masterpieces
strewn around fairy tale readings
found in museums above.


Hear this on Sound Cloud


Written for:

Poetics–Bringing Light to Darkness

Image credits: wikepedia entry World Trade Center (MBTA station) and North Shore Journal Article September 11 – photos to remember that day