Tuesday, August 30, 2011

good read

after a long day yesterday i came home and found a package waiting for me. i didn't order anything and i couldn't make out the return address on the package. i don't know why because when i opened the package and saw the contents i knew immediately the address and who sent these two books.

i read them both almost immediately. these books are Percy & Bess [hank's original loose gravel press, 2011] and the arrow that is hollywood pierces the soul that is me [otoliths, 2011] by alex gildzen. if you stop by here now and then you know that alex is a good friend and a favorite poet of mine. what is cool about alex is that both he and i share an obsession with movies. our obsessions were achieved at an early age. we also both write poems, reviews and miscellany about the movies and those individuals who make, create, and star in the cinema.

that these two publications are about the movies and those grand personalities that make up hollywood then comes as no surprise. alex crafted texts that are short, melodic and rich in imagery that are also high in hollywood lore. for example, this poem from the book the arrow that is hollywood pierces the soul that is me:

ray bradbury rollerskates
to paramount studios

where he pesters
W.C. Fields
for an autograph

the king of gin blossoms
finally accedes

"there you are
you little son of a bitch"

this poem is perfect in design and execution. you get the whole of hollywood noir and the love of hollywood in all its excesses and humility. fields is a king not only of comedic films but also 'gin blossoms', a great alcoholic who hates children. and we have too bradbury, that great imaginative writer, as a child who cannot take no for an answer even if it is uttered by a world-famous grouch. plus the concluding couplet is a punch line. you can't but laugh when you get to it.

percy & bess is a book containing two series of poems, one for actor percy helton and the second is for actress bess flowers. don't know who they are? such is the beauty of alex's writing. for not only are these lovely poems outright but they are also lessons in hollywood history. you don't have to do the research to enjoy these poems but with the internet you can add to your delight with a few quick searches.

these books are wonderful gifts. i urge you to seek them out. if your interested in percy & bess you can hit me or steve tills up with an email. for alex's hollywood book the link above will take you to otoliths storefront.


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