Kovi Konowiecki

Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack

The lake of his childhood, now twilit,
mauve and lusterless in the August evening,
is the only thing worth sizing up
to the increases of his future.

Reflections of clouds and trees rescind,
become formless voices wrangling
deep in the water, taking on big words
like dependence and love,
ones that the open, stretched out world of unknowns
makes us incapable of.

Once, when decisions were shut tight,
no onlookers, he would have stripped down
to the small particulars of his body,
dipped into the dark, indefinite sheets,
swam swiftly to the middle.

He knows, now, what he would find:
Only the cold on his skin.
The internal daze of water and night.
Thoughts yearning for the shore.

Delivering Flowers to Grandpa Jack is a project about home. Shot in Kovi’s hometown of Long Beach, California, the photographs pay tribute to the elements of his home that many would find commonplace and un- extraordinary, highlighting the beauty of familiarity that can transform the mundane of one’s hometown into something very personal. Long Beach is by no measure a small town, but for Kovi, it has always felt like one. Childhood friends always seem to gather on the same street corner; the same golden hue hits the rooftops every evening right before the sun goes down.

The photographs’ devotion to the elements of the everyday signifies how the special feeling one associates with their hometown does not come from the place itself—it comes from being from the place. The photographs also endeavor to illustrate how the familiar sentiments attributed to one’s hometown are oftentimes undefined by the contours of time. In this sense, the photographs maintain an aura of timelessness through their ethereal and golden light. Undefined by a specific era, the people depicted in the series exist in a setting created by Kovi’s perception of home — a place that remains intimate and ageless — an embodiment of the feeling that no matter how many years pass, and no matter how many things change, there are certain things that never change.