Sunday, February 17, 2019

didactic poem

you can do anything you want to


but don't be an asshole

about it or because of it

the creation of art

how long should it take the poet
to make a poem

i don't know
but i heard the artist julian schnabel

say that for the completion of the creative act
one should take the number of years

of your life
& add 5 minutes

book covers

the paperback book cover i remember is the one
that scared the shit out of me
it was my maternal grandmother's book
in a stack of paperbacks
a history of the salem witch trials
the cover art: a pair of soldiers
each grasped the arms
of an older woman
as she stood before a judge
in court
the way the scene was drawn
the isolation of the woman
in court
& the isolation of the book
among the other paperbacks
illustrated the great crimes
of humanity
how i wish i remembered the name
of the author
or the artist who brought
that scene alive to me
it's frightening here-now-this

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

kiwi poet bob orr

i love this poet.  orr is a wonderfully unfashionable writer.  he is a lyric poet par excellence.  eschewing contemporary technology like computers, orr composes his poems on a typewriter.  he did not go to university, nor does he teach, except for a recent stint as a visiting poet at a local university accepted after he retired from his dayjob as harbor master in aukland.  by all accouunts the poet is a gracious, cool, generous man who refused writing grants & fellowships by reasoning that he already had a job so someone else deserves them more than he.

so please, if you don't know bob orr already, please click here for a smattering of poems & an interview, and click here for an excellent profile of the poet published in 2000.  & set your preferred search engine to stun to find more work by the terrific new zealand poet bob orr.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

let us now praise a famous woman: julie adams

i learned yesterday that actor julie [aka julia & betty] adams passed away at the age of 92.  adams had a long & varied career in movies & television roles.  she was a recurring character, realtor eve simpson, in Murder She Wrote, starring angela lansbury as the erstwhile mystery writer & PI.  but for me adams will always be the beauty to the beast in The Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Creature is one of my very favorite of favorites monster movies.  in the early 2000s Universal released a series of DVD box sets of its classic movie monsters like Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, the Mummy, &, of course, the Creature.  each box set had not only the original flick but the sequels too.  all fine, but for me the Universal monster that i had to have was the Creature from the Black Lagoon.  it is not only a frightening film, but a perfect flick for a summer matinee, or evening at the drive-ins.  & there is the very lovely julie [julia as she billed herself in this movie] adams.  did/do i have/had a crush on ms. adams?  how large is the human heart.  how could you not fall in love with her swimming in the lagoon with the creature below adams stroke for stroke in a ballet of desire, horror, beauty & grief.  it is gorgeous cinema & revolutionary too for the filmmakers', director jack arnold & company, technical flair of filming underwater.  adams embraced her famous role in her most known movie & was a regular on the sci fi/horror convention circuit.  she even co-wrote a book with her son about her life titled, The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections From The Black Lagoon.  adams lived a pretty long life & lived it well.  we should all be so lucky.  so gaze upon the beauty & the beast doing their water dance below.


Sunday, February 03, 2019

dance in your nightmare

as a comment about this video said, sometimes the algorithms get it right.  i've been on a youtube jag these past several nights, watching/listening to music, theoretical physicists, poetry readings etc etc. & last night this song/video was the next up in my feed.  i've watched this video several times in a row, each time i've gone to youtube.  i love the haunting depression of the music, these deeply alienating synths, the slow thump of the beat.  there is a dreamlike quality, nay, a nightmare of horror of the images.  would it were like death perhaps we could accept our oblivion with more grace?  fuck me.  these dancers, their movements, their choreography, are deeply in synch with the sadness of the tune.  i know i'm late to the game.  this song/video is about 5 years old, but damn!  this is art for our present age.  i'm enthralled, in love, and in horror of this work.  for once the algorithms did get it right, i fucking love this piece. 

Saturday, January 26, 2019

the video dead [1987]

finally watched this lo-budget straight-to-video zombie horror comedy.  i remember seeing the box art on the shelves of the local blockbuster, tower video, & mom&pop, video stores back in the day.  looked interesting.  but even being possessed with a high tolerance for pain, & a superb liking of trash cinema, this flick looked too silly even for me for a night's video rental.

there are other grade z schlock that i regret not renting too, however, this particular film has stayed in the back of my mind.  so when i saw the title during the high holiday of halloween when a very many movie channel were doing their horror marathon i recorded the pic.  & yet, goofball me, i let it sit in the DVR for all these months.  taunting me.  saying, dude, come watch me!  you'll love us zombies.

i did, & i do.  i think the production was shot in marin county, across the bay from SF, of which was corroborated by a taxi with 'muir woods tours' stenciled on its side.  & the late jennifer miro of the SF punk band the nuns has a role as one of the mysterious, yet sexy, ghouls dead set on a bloody rampage.

ah, yes, let's get to the plot.  a cursed TV is delivered to a writer who would rather bang out words on his typewriter, order pizza, drink cheap whisky, & sleep to noon rather than watch the tube.  still, after the dude sets up the set in his leaving room he gets back to his wordsmithing, pizza eating, cheap whisky drinking, & noon wake ups, until the TV turns itself on.  & it can't be turned off.  what's that on the TV?  zombies, of fucking course.  the movie on continual loop is called 'zombie bloody nightmare'.  that is fucking right.  buckle up, pilgrims, for the set is about to get live.

because the zombies come out of the TV & into the writer's living room.  the coming-out-of-the-TV thing predates the great japanese horror movie ringu [1998] by over a decade.  writer/director robert scott was sure on to something about making a television set the source of zombie horror.  kudos to scott for being far beyond the cutting edge.  & the writer?  well, this is a zombie flick, what the hell do you think happened to him?

three months later two teens, jeff & zoe, move in to the murder house.  yes, the zombies are on the loose.  why they are not noticed in the neighborhood, i don't know.  jeff & zoe's parents are living in saudia arabia but are expected back in california.  the siblings are tasked to set up house to prepare for the eventual family reunion.  jeff finds the horror TV in the basement, turns it on, sparks up a doobie [& recall that this flick was made during the reagan admin when first lady nancy reagan was urging american kids to 'just say no' to drugs; i don't think jeff was listening], & sees a sexy ghoul [jennifer miro] on the screen.  she starts to talk to jeff.  he thinks it's the weed that is causing his hallucinations.  she steps out of the screen, disrobes, starts to get all kissy face with jeff, then leaps back into the TV.  jeff gets all pissed about her leaving him.  as for the rest of this scene you'll just have to watch the flick to find out.  but let me say this one more thing.  it is plain ass goofy & yet it drives forward the plot.

the next day jeff is doing a bit of leaf raking.  a local girl, april, played by very cute victoria bastel, is walking her dog.  jeff is smitten with april & invites her in the house.  meanwhile her charge, chocolate, a miniature poodle, tears ass thru the woods.  april & jeff search for the pooch.  chocolate had his own close encounter with one of the video dead.  the couple discover his corpse.

that is when the shit hits the fan.  jeff has another TV roundabout but with a different zombie.  zoe comes around to the fact that their new house is an undead magnet.  & zombie hunter, joshua daniels, shows up to give the kids the lowdown & to save the day.

successfully?  well, you know me.  i've been waiting for the zombie apocalypse for like ever.  i always root for the undead.  filmmaker robert scott lensed one helluva suspenseful movie on just a buck & some change budget.  i loved its location.  the score aped the great john carpenter 'halloween theme'.  & i loved it.  this was a flick that was the best of the straight-to-video market.  when going to a video store was a gamble.  often in the horror aisle one would choose a film by the strength of its video box art.  that was part of the pleasure & thrill of renting movies.  it was a gamble that sometimes paid off.

gone are the days of renting flicks in the video store.  don't get me wrong.  there are still hold-out video stores among us.  but those shops are the exception.  most of the movie watching public rent DVDs via redbox kiosks, or via online streaming platforms like netflix.  every once in a great while we might go see a movie the old-fashioned way, at the movie theater.  but call me 'old man' for i miss the weekly pilgrimage to the local video store, stand among the hundreds, or thousands, of titles with the rich scent of popcorn popping & a TV monitor[s] tuned to either a film or trailers or ads for the shop coupled with trailers playing in the background.  i miss that pilgrimage.  & yet, the art of watching trash cinema, cheapjack horror movies, & exploitation flicks ain't quite dead.  you just need to know what to look for & where to find them.  like a cable movie channel that broadcasts flicks with weird titles like, you know, the video dead.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

poetics: 10:30 pm [west coast time]

there are too many purposes of poetry to count
but if i had to put my finger on one
i'd say the purpose of poetry is the recordation
of life thru the senses & the intellect of a sentient being*

*'duh,' sez the poet dr. obvious

the venus & jupiter conjunction

from my window
SW sky view
at 6:22 am

this pic taken with my iPhone
doesn't capture the luminous
beauty of venus & jupiter

these planets were huge
2 gobs of light

received as a gift this morning

of looking up
of the beauty & sadness of being alive

Saturday, January 19, 2019



fucking genius

this opening montage is brilliant.  look carefully at this scene & you have the whole of the hero's journey up river.  you have too the chaos, horror, & thrill of war.  this film may be flawed but this opening scene is nobel-prize-in-literature-winning stuff.  i shit you not.   

this song is dedicated to alex g
[& all those who live at the movies]