"Darkness gives preternatural birth, untold light
burning holy through the windswept swamp of a heartbroken night" M.D.A
"Darkness bellows, beads of searing light, mirrors of water, Riverlights."
Shortly after moving from The States to Paris in 2010, Michael D. Amitin began a new poetic passage allowing the subconscious to reveal with glistening eyes a red sorrow burning from the stain of death, adapting to immigrant life in France, and subsequently, the thunderbolt shocks of the Charlie Hebdo and Bataclan bombings.
Bathed in the dark-yellow glow of new surrealism, staring straight into light shining through cavernous, dark places, Amitin's new poems explore the fiery friction of opposites, Keats notion of 'negative capability'. The juxtaposition of living with a sense of urgency while attempting to cultivate an enduring spiritual patience, the revelation of living with joy and peace in the face of disaster, and the sacred and profane as cozy bedfellows.
T'was Raining Monmartre, Christmas Eve. "Michael!" a woman's voice bellowed from across the neon rainswept street. In a golden round-midnight deco cafe, friends, coffee, epiphany. "Ah, you're a writer, it's your birthday? Wait right here" and she soon returns with a beautiful translated Anthology of Ginsberg, her father a magazine editor in Paris (who'd befriended the 'Beats') had left her. "Happy Birthday." All night candleflame, pouring rain, rare-air moment, dam of spontaneity breaks in holy gaiety, muse to frantic fingertips- non-stop flight.
Days later, Amitin was seredipitiously struck by vivid images posted by the Parisian Photographer Julie Peiffer. Astonished to feel a breadth of deep resonance between Peiffer's hauntingly subtle photographic work and his words, Amitin felt as if his poems were written while the photographs were being shuttered.
With a stunning vision and a track record to match, Julie Peiffer's photo's capture the magic, the mystical solitude and light in the dark corners of nightime Paris, its ever-changing landscapes, and the daily life of its 21st century inhabitants. Unrestrained, natural and authentic, Peiffer revels the night with a sharp, lucid, cat-like awareness, her eye irresistibly attracted by life.
Mr. Amitin and Ms. Peiffer- two ninja-hippies, wayward bohemians from disparate backgrounds became friends, the connection and synergy flowed from the start. Soon an ethereal language was shaped between the artists, giving birth to the collaborative effort “Riverlights.”
michael d. amitin.
Exploding out of the 60’s cultural and psychedelic time-bomb, poet, storyteller and musician Michael D. Amitin, took his cue, pen and guitar and ran with a truckload of ideas from his home in California, through the smoky burgs and train depot diners of Western Colorado, crisscrossing the highways of America- listening for its heartbeat, and playing music in its clubs and concert halls.
With music and songwriting as seminal conduits for inspiration, Amitin recorded an album for RCA records, self-produced two of his own albums, and had his songs recorded by legendary American recording artists such as David Ruffin (The Temptations- My Girl) Natalie Cole, and Country artist Johnny Rodriguez.
After moving to Paris and getting acclimated to the steely Montmartre rain, Amitin began an inspired journey carving a style of poetry combining the Beat’s jazz rhythms, a new surrealism, mystifying paradox, 60’s optimism and Keats brilliant negative capability. Burning the midnight fire to the sounds of Mingus, Parker, Art Tatum et al, the poems sizzled and subsequently found a home in journals such as Black Magnolias, Poetry Pacific, RedRiverReview, IndigoRising Magazine, and Bewildering Stories.
Discovering the distinctive, illuminating voice of photographer Julie Peiffer, Amitin felt an undeniable simpatico between his poems and Ms. Peiffer’s stark, impressionistic night photographic images. Light shining in unsuspecting dark places. The two began collaborating and in 2017, “Riverlights” was born..an evocative amalgam of their two art forms- a night crawl between two nomadic spirits.
Julie Peiffer has always been a photographer. Even when she had only her eyes for a camera. It is no coincidence that the first pictures she broadcast on her Facebook page were initially grouped under the title "In my eye (#DansMonOeil) » .
From her mother, Julie holds the rule, the limit, the structuring, and the framework. From her father, the movement, the journey out-of-fields, and the overflow. It is on the side of this aesthetic- the sensorial educational confrontation and their alchemy, as much as their contrast, that we seek what animates, in the Latin sense of the term, the gaze of Julie.
That of the child she was, and who was eagerly posing. On this world from which a part was hidden, in order to protect it, she was already questioning the adult doors, arousing all curiosities.
From withdrawal, from abstraction, was born questioning, the play between shadow and light, this primal vocabulary of photography, which she later nourished by "frequenting" the work of Man Ray, by Eugène Atget or André Kertész, among many others.
The look of the one that today reads our urbanity, our hic and nunc, raises the question mark, exposes the rhythm, the punctuation, "between the lines".
The gaze of those who manage to reveal the obviousness, finally exposed, invisible as it was to the passers-by too busy in our own lives, in the heart of our insomniac cities, at the heart of our lives, our bodies, those washed by too many rains and storms.