Saturday, October 22, 2016

everyday is halloween

it is just a few days before the great holiday and it seems that the scary season is passing too quickly.  i am doing what i can to observe the great holiday and every year i think i'm going to slow way the fuck down and enjoy it but, man!, i can't seem to slow the calendar down and the days fly by like a murder of scaredy crows.

what are you gonna do but keep the high holiday in your heart and celebrate it all year long.  right now suspiria [1977] is playing on television and tho dario argento's film about witches at a ballet school in germany is a little thin the lighting, editing and score by prog rock group goblin makes this flick scary as fuck.

but another thing that is scary is fuck is going shopping for some supplies at home depot this afternoon.  no, it ain't the shopping, nor the chores that made the shopping necessary, i'm talking about something else.  you see, because at home depot they set up their christmas displays.  yes!  before halloween!  christmas shit before halloween!  i'm still trembling.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

a future nobel laureate talks books

i mentioned tom verlaine being on my shortlist of nobel prize in literature winners.  verlaine was born thomas miller and took his name from the decadent 19th century french poet, and former lover of arthur rimbuad, paul verlaine.  tom is a great guitarist first as a leader of the NYC punk band television.  but he is also a reader, and as i suspected, a writer.  here in this interview discusses books, only books, and, yes, tom verlaine reads a lot of poetry.  and confesses he does a lot of writing too.  i think it is high time tom collected his writings and published them.  i'm waiting, almost patiently.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

the night before the nobel prize for literature was announced i read an article giving odds by the british betting firm ladbrokes to potential winners the author didn't even consider bob dylan in contention so when i woke on thursday morning and anna told me bob dylan was awarded the nobel prize for literature i was both delighted and puzzled because partly i think awards are a cod's game most of the artists filmmakers  poets etc etc i love do not get much recognition from the public at large much less awards by committees who cares about awards anyway i mean i double-dog dare you to go thru the list of say pulitzer and/or nobel winners and see if you recognize half the names but bob dylan is a different breed of writer a popular troubadour whose lyrics have been studied and memorized by millions of people so i say of course yes dylan is a poet and the nobel committee pitched itself to relevance of popular culture because the person i wanted to see win the nobel is jaan kaplinksi and who in popular culture knows his name but for a dedicated few so we have bob dylan awarded the highest literary prize on the planet and perhaps his celebrants who declaim the brilliance of his poetry will pick up a book or two of poetry and read them and maybe now that the nobel committee has broadened and deepened their criteria of literature maybe we'll see fellow troubadours patti smith tom verlaine richard hell elvis costello on the shortlist of potential winners but you see my bias there for punk and post-punk okay let's broaden our horizons and include filmmakers because i've long advocated movies are literature and say francis ford coppola david lynch werner herzog among a many worthy others as potentials on the nobel shortlist i'm not shitting you as for pop lyrics as poetry i've long thought poetry is a wide universe and now with bob dylan's win we have the proof

Thursday, October 13, 2016

everyday is halloween

for those who have halloween in their hearts there are those among us who are surrounded by the things of halloween all the time.  one of those people is halloween collector/author mark b. ledenbach who has published three editions of his indispensable collector's guide.  but even more ledenbach publishes a blog where he posts the latest halloweenia items for sale.  check it by clicking here at halloween collectorthese pieces make my heart go patter.  lovely things of halloween.  and not for the faint of heart for some of these items require a mortgage to afford them.  i understand ledenbach has an excellent collection.  he lives in nearby orangevale.  i would love to be given a tour of his things of halloween, and visit a place where halloween is always every single day.


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

the poet in black

i recall reading in pablo neruda's autobiography the great chilean poet claimed the appropriate color for the poet to wear is black.  my memory ain't what it used to be so perhaps he said something else about the color black but every now and then i go to google images and look up a few favorite poets, poets i am currently obsessed with, and i found two of them wear black almost always in their photos.

and i think, yes, that looks right.  black is neutral.  it hides a beer gut.  it gives the poet gravitas, even if the poet happens to be a goofball.  so is black the best color for the poet's attire?  i don't know.  i tend to wear the same thing.  recently b. and i were checking out facebook pages of old friends.  i found a photo of me at the age of 16 or 17 taken at high school in a group setting.  i noticed my clothes: jeans, chuck t shoes, t shirt with an oxford shirt outside.  the same thing i wear today.  that is not a conscious thing.  i was surprised to find the teenage me dressing the same as the middle age me. 

but i was not wearing black.  i don't know if that color is the appropriate garb for the poet, as neruda prescribed.  any style of dress is appropriate, i say, for the poet.  my friend, the late poet, pearl stein selinsky, said fashion is as appropriate as anything else in our human culture.  i think pearl is right.  maybe that is why i like looking at photos of favorite poets.  i love looking at their faces.  i like seeing what clothes they choose to wear.  i am attracted to those writers who look fine even if their clothes are a bit ragged, or if they are missing a few teeth, or if their hair is a little, or a lot, messy.  as one lit. critic said of the dress of the poet, 'he or she could be wearing clothes appropriate to the vice president of an insurance company, assuming them to be proper to absolute poverty; or full evening dress thought proper to a great celebration' [frank kermode 'the man in the back row has a question'; the paris review #154]. that is the best description of a poet's attire, the ragged color of the executive, the high and low, the tattoos under the tie.  that is poetry to me. 

the color is a different matter.  the poets who wear black look great.  however, i'm not sure black would look great on me.  it might hide my middle age belly a bit better.  but then again, i'm almost 50 so who cares if the poet has a belly!  hey, man, poets are deeply human and love ice cream too!  my collars are a little frayed.  i have tattoos beneath my work clothes.  i love the high and low and hope my poetry expresses these binaries.  i might even, per neruda, and the poets i was looking at via google images, try a bit of black too.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

everyday is halloween

i was 15 when i took a girl to see george a romero's/stephen king's feature creepshow [1982]i had a crush on the girl but alas like most teenage infatuations this was an extremely short lived relationship.  we soon went our separate ways.  c'est la vie.  but my love affair for this movie was just beginning.  this flick solidified my passion for my beloved genre of horror.  for 30 plus years now this pic continues to delight.  so in honor of the scary season i give you the intro to this movie.  it features a brilliant score by john harrison whose music burnished within my grey matter the memories of long saturday afternoon matinees.  notice too the jack o'lantern in the window of the house of the little boy who gets in trouble for reading horror comics.  yeah, man, it is halloween!


halloween poem by jonathan hayes

 Thank you god

Thank you god

For letting my friends die
Their wives telling me they won’t be here long

Thank you god
For letting me miss the bus today

And for making me remember my horrible childhood

Thank you god
For reminding me I can’t get out of this alive

Thank you god
For my addictions and sins

Thank you god
For treating me as a particle

For which you and I are too

Thursday, October 06, 2016

i am an inveterate people watcher i love walking these crowded city streets and marveling at the abundance and variety of our human being very little catches me off guard but when i saw a jogger sweep past me this evening wearing no shoes i did a double-take these city streets are filthy and the paths are fraught with all sorts of nasty things like bodily fluids and hypodermic syringes so i was wondering why a person would forgo shoes and choose to meet the road with bare skin if i can speculate maybe running with no shoes is a back-to-the-land gesture sort of like the agrarian movements of the previous century where adherents eschew forms of technology to get back to nature but in this case get back to the foot and grip the asphalt and concrete of a contemporary city so the bare foot is more than a gesture of sincerity but a technique to put ones feet on solid ground but really i don't know why he was running sans zapatos perhaps he thought it just looked cool