Dogtown by Tom Law and Jim Mott

Dogtown by Tom Law and Jim Mott, photo essay by Tom Law

The haze hangs low over Dogtown. Four weeks of burnt air and streaming eyes. They say the satellite spotted over 200 heat spots in Indonesia, all forests in flames. One country burns and turns its neighbour into a chimney. Step outside and you can taste the smoke, 15 years now since it first began.

Sore hands. Raw parts. Hard work in Dogtown, served in sinew and time to mend and to make. Heaped by the doorway, hunched in the shadow, where the metal coils ends, the men can begin. Machine shops and spares, welding and crafting, carving a lifetime from showers of sparks.

Turbo valve dynamic cylinder spark plug engine injection. Rev for the noise, proud matt paint, orange like the sun and mixed up fresh, all the parts are here down in Dogtown. Left over sicked up car guts spill out the hood, pick them apart, make something new.

Time hurts, pink and inviting, a rump spot of gristle to bend over and gnaw. Skitter in circles, nip, tuck and play, white teeth and licker chops, grizzle up close.

Heads down in Dogtown, eyes avert stares with the flex of a smile, look all you like but see at your own caution, the space with no stares draws tight in real quick. Nothing to say but the mood hoists itself darker, a listless chewed flag in close humid air. (Tom Law and Jim Mott)

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