2009/11/30

There Will Be Love

Anonymous Love Letters to Athena

Day by day, you are that thought which has been spanning throughout my mind. Yes, darling to me you are like an imperialist, who's power and ambition recognizes not any limits or boundaries. The thought of you in my mind, steals land, kills or cheats landlords, marries memories and all their fortunes; yes dear, the thought of you in my mind is doing quite well for itself.


Today -

I pass you by and pretend to not notice you, betraying my every instinct to stand directly before you and into your eyes, stare until sight or its focus, expires from me. In your department with your girls, your voice heard here then there, how it travels and so faithfully is it, how I follow. Its perfume to the ears, and then when coursed with a visual accompaniment, it becomes flavor to the eyes--an aromatic, gourmet cuisine. As fine as you are yet you starve me, or more so to the point, I starve myself from you. I chase myself away, the perfume I treat as a stench and the flavor, like an acrid taste, which I then dry heave with perfect disgust.


Am I like the beggar who pretends the banquet is nothing more than a culinary compilation of vile slop, simply because he isn't invited to any access of it?


O love of mine-not-yet-mine, if only that you could see through the facade; perhaps I reveal as much, when distanced from my countenance. Know that my disgust is the darkness from which I invite light to evolve. I want to hate you, despise and detest you so that I may savor every subtle dissolution that transforms, slowly, that enmity into love. Experiencing every atom of love that gradually collects until a planet results, and hatred becomes an atmosphere that shields that love and all of Life within it.


To you, all this love and further, all its future.


Universally yours,

Une Ammiratore

2009/11/29

A Handbag!

The Importance of Being Earnest - (1952) Directed by Anthony Asquith

Starring Michael Redgrave, Michael Denison, Edith Evans

Me, sir! What has it to do with me? You can hardly imagine that I and Lord Bracknell would dream of allowing our only daughter - a girl brought up with the utmost care - to marry into a cloak-room, and form an alliance with a parcel? Good morning, Mr. Worthing!


This movie is so good. Hilarious! Edith Evans can say any line as Lady Bracknell and I'm guaranteed to be in stitches.

USSR: Thats Short for Russia

One, Two, Three - (1961) Directed by Billy Wilder

Starring James Cagney, Horst Buchholz, Pamela Tiffin


Billy Wilder delivers once again, this time in a comedy starring James Cagney as Coca-Cola's main man in West Berlin. Constantly tugging at Cold War sensitivities yet mindful enough to not make it the center focus of the film, One, Two, Three is a good comedy brought to the screen by a master director.

The pace of the film is fast and matched admirably by James Cagney in the role of C.R. MacNamara, the fast talking, multi-tasking, schemer who represents not only Coca-Cola but Capitalist US of A. MacNamara manipulates, cheats, and lies throughout most of the film but is still as charismatic as ever.


Horst Buchholz was animated and indignantly exasperated every chance he could get, he's so good at that and I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the performance. As Otto Piffl, the idealist youth who's caught between communist and capitalist and is coming to terms with what both competing social ideologies' practical definitions are, Horst is primal, energetic, and distrusting; much representing of the world that either of the mentioned ideologies seek to conquer. The gags do not unfold as they would in a slap stick comedy but the script is full of jabs and quick punches to both capitalism and communism.

Lilo Pulver as Cagney's secretary-sometimes-mistress seals the deal for me. Her table striptease to Aram Khachaturian's Sabre Dance has just made it to my list of best uses for that musical piece in a film.

When Three Beans are Worth Three Cows

Villain man never ran with crills in his hand

and won't stop rocking 'til he clocked in a gazzillion grand


Such goes the best hip-hop song of the year; such goes what happens when two of my favorite artists from seemingly different genres collaborate. When I first heard Gazzillion Ear by Doom as remixed by Thom Yorke of Radiohead, it was the first time in a long stretch that I was genuinely jealous of another artist. What Yorke produced for Villain was new and dark, it seduced and left room for seduction. That is, it held its own but only when you hear Doom's baritone drunk flow over it do you realize that the beat was indeed missing something. That something was the mind of "a real weirdo with a bugged rare flow and the way his hair grow--ugly as a scarecrow," as Doom himself offers as a self-portrait.


The Man in the Iron Mask

The way Doom rhymes should not be possible. There is some law being defied in this performance. His words just dribble out and yet it isn't drivel, if he has a speech impediment it doesn't impair his articulation, which it should by definition. Even when on a song like Gazzillion Ear remix, where Doom is delivering a moderately fast paced flow, its through such an ironic voice that he, pardon the cliche, makes it sound so easy. Its as if he's possessed, or as if its the most natural and possibly most inconvenient thing in the world to rhyme. He sounds sinister, yes but he also, does he not, sound bored and unimpressed. Doom's flow practically looks you right in your astonished eyes and asks, "is this suppose to be difficult?"


Don't look now, keep walking

traded three beans for this cow, cheap talking


The Kid with Treefingers


Thom Yorke creates for Doom, a dark, eerie ghost of a beat. The high hats are angry, like the teeth on a typewriter biting letters onto aluminum foil; they were the first thing I noticed in the song right before Doom starts spitting. A good portion into Doom's marathon of self-assured verbiage, Thom adds hummed harmonies that float and billow out, fog-like, covering the track in an ambivalent mist.


Alone, that is, sans Doom's vocals, Gazzillion Ear remix could have easily been mistaken for a b-side to Yorke's Eraser compositions. Snuggled warmly up against A Rat's Nest and Jetstream; button drums that minimally pop, wailing phantasms, and dark tones, each collectively inspiring an apprehension or paranoia.


One man's waste is another man's soap

Son's fan based on a brother man's dope

Essentially just a song about success and not having to compromise as a condition to notoriety. But Doom makes use of of a wide variety of references from wrestler, Jake the Snake to the recent, Hadron Particle Collider, in a four verse remix that has no hook or chorus and yet maintains within it, a sense of urgency throughout Doom's approximate 96 bars; and Yorke marvelously keeps the beat simple with subtle changes and shifts that conjure some sort of LSD journey while the Villain layers his lines like tetris blocks. Mind you, he's not impressed.

2009/11/27

To Not Know so We May Know

On the Occasion Where We May Exchange True Words


For the way you smile and the way your voice sounds in my mind, I'll hope for the day when we no longer see one another so that by chance, one day we'll have a casual reintroduction. On a day when we have no occasion to think about one another; on a setting foreign to the association of either you to me or I to you. Taking a second to even recognize our faces, and then scurrying into the archives of our memories for each other's names that do not arrive immediately to the grasp of our tongues.


You'll smile and your dark, wide eyes will hold me in place for a second. We'll talk when we remember who we are; we'll talk as if we were more than just a brevity of familiarity, as if we were friends. You'll tell me what's new in your life, even though its all new to me, since I never knew anything personal about you. Likewise, you'll listen and update my profile as I anchor the news. We'll see one another out of context and as a result, for the first time. Its as if it was only through costumes at a ball that we experienced one another, until finally an opportunity has randomly placed us side by side without our masks; and the surprise of what lies beneath somewhat interests us both.

2009/11/25

Fear, Shame, Embarrassment, and How They Cut

I once knew this girl who stole a blade from me. It wasn't exactly stolen, more like it was taken away without a presented incentive for me to attempt a rescue. She was older than I, taller and stronger, probably not smarter but that didn't help me much.


It was a summer in the late 80s or early 90s and I was in the Dominican Republic. Los Alcarrizos, thats where my aunt-godmother lives; thats where I ran across a field behind the houses with the other kids and embarrassingly stepped into a pool of mud, just as the kids imagined a New Yorker would. It was right where my brother and I competed for smiles from Josie; where my cousin Yuri constantly tried to kiss me, but failed. So many of my visits to the Dominican Republic are forever committed to Los Alcarrizos, low concrete layers of houses, dirt roads and steep hills, random fields, avocado trees, and the smell of wet tangerines after a fresh rain. It was also here, in Los Alcarrizos, that after one of those fresh summer rains, a shaving blade that I had been entertaining since the morning was removed and taken hostage.


I don't remember her name but she was the neighbor's daughter. She was the older sister of this annoying kid, who was around my age, who I had just pushed off my aunt's property, off a platform, down to his front dirt (there was no lawn). I pushed her brother a few days prior to her stealing my blade. I only pushed her brother because he kept asking for it, literally.


"If you're such a bad ass from New York then prove it...Push me off this ledge. Go 'head, push me."


Translated from spanish of course. After a long, monotone looping of his request, I became bored or irritated and I complied with his order, he thanked me by crying and maybe hurting his arm. When he called his mother I made a break for it. Not that anyone would believe his story, even if it were true; I was considered an angel.


His older sister, however, she saw right through me. She was about thirteen or fourteen and politely asked to see my blade as I stood outside my aunt-godmother's house. She let me have it in the open, very straightforward did she smile and tell me what she thought of me, that she knew I pushed her little brother. I was barely paying attention, I just wanted my blade back and made a face to reply to the smell that followed her like a disciple. After she wrapped up her veritable accusations, I asked for the return of my blade. She must have misunderstood, because instead of placing the blade back on my palm which I held extended, she did something quite contrary. One would wonder if my spanish was indeed that awful, that cock-eyed as to have someone confuse, "give me back my blade," for "shove my blade down your pants."


I stood before this older, taller, stronger girl and pouted my entire face with annoyance. "Is she serious?" I must've said with my eyes. All the while that disciple of hers warmed like an aura around her, like an atmosphere. I almost had to hold my breath but my anger usually demands air through flared nostrils. I asked her once again to return my blade, release the hostage, let's walk away from this peacefully. She replied with an invitation, said that if I wanted the blade so bad I'd have to reach in and pull it back out.


Now, don't get me wrong, she was dirty. She looked like a dark, wet alley cat. Nothing like Josie or her older sister, who wore long skirts and smiled like a piece of something sweet. There was nothing sweet about this kidnapper, this terrorist pervert and that sour smell which perfumed her like a bad frame. Nothing sweet about her smile or her husky voice, yet when it came down to whether or not I would reach into her crotch for my blade, none of this made an impression on my decision. I blushed at the idea and in the end, I didn't get my blade back but not due to disgust, rather because of fear.


Soon after, I left with my family to another town to visit some other relatives, my cousin, Yuri probably came with us. I never saw that girl again, neither on that trip or any future return. She ran off with something I was scared to do, something sharp and intimately fresh. As a result, there is a possession of mine wandering along the past, snuggled soundly in the crotch of a teenage alley cat; and when I see an older dominican woman, who is questionable in character, I think only of my blade and its rightful, manual owner.

2009/11/24

My, How We Are Thirsty


Days of Lemons and Daffodils


Any night I find lemonade in the fridge, I can't figure out how not to revert into a crackhead. After one sip, all I can think of is another. Its too good to stop. Sleep is a passive aggressor and never convincing enough to deter me from the self-appointed mission, in such cases:


drink all the lemonade in the fridge.


Sure, tomorrow will proceed this night and my love for lemonade will not wane; and sure I could do, tomorrow, with some of the euphoria that sizzles in my brain when I drink the naturally squeezed sour-made-sweet drink; but why concern myself with tomorrow when the night and the lemonade are both here, presently.


Drink all the lemonade in the fridge.


It becomes a command, one which I take seriously. It becomes a law and I, its most faithful of officers. A nebulously, grayish-yellow liquid, as if a cloud of sun became a beverage that pours onto a cup like a god into a miracle; a holy communion becomes the quenching of a thirst. Only its not the thirst of a dry tongue or throat, not the deprivation or dehydration that can drain a body, like a fish out of water, and kill it. This thirst is not much like that, if at all. This is the thirst of addiction, of chemicals in the brain recognizing a familiar chemistry and associating with it, the most welcomed of lemonade memories. The sour-made-sweet yesterdays. Its sweetness and all its delights, excessively craved, sought, and possessed only for a few seconds before it fades as you sigh out a momentary satisfaction. But before you know it, the satisfaction is gone, for you can't have your lemonade and drink it too.


Still this doesn't stop me from trying, sometimes all night. Each time hoping some physical anomaly will take pity on me and allow me both, my possession and my drink.

2009/11/23

Postman and the Poster Girl

The Postman Always Rings Twice - (1946) Directed by Tay Garnett

Starring Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway, Hume Cronyn

Vicki - (1953) Directed by Harry Horner

Starring Jeanne Crain, Jean Peters, Elliot Reid,

Richard Boone


I'll confess, I wasn't satisfied with either film. Of the two, I'd prefer The Postman Always Rings Twice for a second viewing; a second ring, if you will. Maybe the second time around will bring to light something to cling to, something to found a liking for, besides Lana Turner who was one of the only reasons keeping me from stopping the film and moving on with life. Similarly, Richard Boone as Detective Lt. Ed Cornell was the only reason I remained for Vicki.


Visually, neither film made any particular statements that weren't previously, already voiced by Double Indemnity nor did either script share the passionate intensity of Gilda. Murder-Love-Hate, this seems to be the trinity of both The Postman Always Rings Twice and Vicki, yet the substance that should fill each facet of that triangle pours out rather shallow, insatiably. I felt there wasn't enough brought to the table and each film fell short of the meal it could have been. With the already established exception of Richard Boone and Lana Turner, most of the acting was just good but no better. Although it was cool to see a young Aaron Spelling in Vicki.

2009/11/20

Yesterday's Playlist

How to Marry a Millionaire - (1953) Directed by Jean Negulesco

Starring Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable


Sunday in New York - (1963) Directed by Peter Tewksbury

Starring Rod Taylor, Jane Fonda, Cliff Robertson


Prince of Players - (1955) Directed by Philip Dunne

Starring Richard Burton, Maggie McNamara, John Derek


2009/11/19

Indulgence and Nameless Cats

Breakfast at Tiffany's - (1961) Directed by Blake Edwards

Starring Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard


I'm sure as I write, there are a dozen people in New York discovering Breakfast at Tiffany's, purchasing the film, renting a netflix, purchasing the novel, hearing about the story from others; then there are those who've done all of this already and are just watching their own copy of the film, or rereading Truman Capote's novel. I knew about the film before I knew who the name Audrey Hepburn belonged to. Such being the popularity adorned by Holly Golightly, I will spare any talk about Breakfast at Tiffany's only mentioning that the film did not surprise me in being good but did however, surprise me in that, I was expecting a high end fashion film about some spoiled upper class socialite who learns a lesson somewhere between thousand-dollar-wardrobe changes and pretty jewelry montages. I couldn't be any more wrong. The contents of the film are full of substance, this wasn't simply, How to Marry a Millionaire. And Holly Golightly, I've seen before...in many bars and the opening receptions of many art galleries. Her apartment is familiar and I understand everything about her. I sympathize but its also self-sympathy, so its more along the lines of empathic reflection; placing yourself in someone else's shoes because you recognize them as your shoes as well. I hope that doesn't inspire a cross-dressed conclusion. I've read In Cold Blood by Capote and have been curious to read some of his fiction, specifically anything before In Cold Blood.


After Breakfast at Tiffany's TCM played Days of Wine and Roses. I couldn't stop watching. I'm not a fan of horror films but thats exactly what films about alcoholism tend to be for me.


Days of Wine and Roses - (1962) Directed by Blake Edwards

Starring Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick


I myself do not drink and I don't hold it against anyone who does nor do I morally judge them for it. However, as a teen I used to be straight-edge and gave friends a hard time whenever I saw one of them leaning a Friday night drink against their lips. I gave this righteous inquisition up a long time ago; besides noticing it made me an asshole, I soon also realized I didn't care whether they drank or not, so long as I remained sober.


Therein lies my true addiction, remaining sober. I want to be conscious and aware at all times, to feel, taste, experience through the dryness of sobriety; untampered or altered by any outside influence. Being drunk reminds me of a kind of sleep, and I hate sleep, I participate in very little hours of slumber, just enough in fact, to not be deprived of it. Sobriety is also my sort of rebellion, my anti-soma with which I remain awkwardly awake and self-conscious, over analyzing and tensely uncomfortable. A stubborn refusal to obscure the world from its intensity, for better or worse, to see it as it is at all times. Comfort, for me, has come to mean: safe; unworried and unaware of any danger or unexpected circumstance. I cling to my sobriety ironically, for the comfort of control. To be drunk is to let go, hands off the steering wheel, to free oneself of control. I find this an impossibility for myself. I view my life within a universe that is random and my life just as random and beyond my control except for daydreams. But my body...that, I can hold. My body, this I can control, I can watch and be master of its every step like a director through a camera lens. This control is the only control I have in my possession and to forfeit such a power seems grotesque to me.


Again, I don't spend my time worrying about if anyone else drinks, lightly or heavily. Your life is your life and live it you shall, as you see fit to. There is nothing too awful about alcohol consumption other than it being an obsession and as of all obsessions, it can take over your life...warping your judgement, reasoning, and performance. This however, is true of all obsessions; whether they are considered vice or not. I myself, have my obsessions which I won't give up. Who am I to say this obsession is right but this one wrong? This one casual and this one severe?


All the same, I am embarrassed by drunk people, maybe even a bit ashamed. I try not to be the latter of the two but it happens. Even if they are strangers, even if its from a distance, an inebriated person makes me blush a little inside. That lack of reserve, denial of inhibition is truthful and should be applauded but its not delivered from such a purpose as a confession. These revelations of the individual who's had too much to drink aren't offered by a conscious decision to do so. I agree to any theory that considers it a subconscious working, where the drink is desired as a vehicle to drive the truth upwards and out, like an exorcised ghost. But this only further reminds me of the inability of a sober confession, from both the inebriated and the sober. It haunts for me, an image of a person with 20/20 vision who does not like what he sees so he wears glasses that not only blunts his vision but also damages his eyesight in the long run. This self-damage is hard on me to witness, it also feels like voyeurism; as if I'm peering into an intimacy offered, one which the individual who is offering is not fully aware of this proposed invitation.

This is why as I watched Blake Edwards' Days of Wine and Roses, I might as well have been watching one of the Saw films.


You sit there and all this self-abuse unravels before you through these characters who can't help themselves. The film is well paced and handled very respectfully. Without coming across as preachy or morally overbearing, Edwards builds up a fluent antagonist of alcoholism without forgetting the humanity of both Jack Lemmon's Joe Clay and Lee Remick's Kirsten Arnesen Clay; married, parents, and both alcoholics. With glasses in their hands, you feel as if they're walking down some dark corridor, where its obvious a killer is going to jump out and slit their throats. You want to help them not condemn them. Both Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick give amazing performances, the fall of Lee Remick's character was grippingly sad and a perfect match for the ingression of Jack Lemmon's character from alcoholic to admitted alcoholic. Watching both, and through powerful performances and direction, you invest in a woman who doesn't know how deep she's drowned and a man who does know the fathom of his situation but any pause can swallow him back down as he swims upwards to dry out.

2009/11/16

Here's the Black, Wicked Witch. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Just finally finished The Tin Drum. That is to say I just finished a good novel. That is to say I just finished a good novel I've been reading most of 2009.

Its not even a difficult novel to read, its just the first 500+ page book I've undertaken in a while...In fact, I haven't been reading much, the last two years have been slow, literarily speaking. Now, don't go thinking that there was a time, a golden age when I galloped about reading 500+ page books regularly. No, friends it is only to a very small list of 500+ page books (all three, novels) that I add the conquest of The Tin Drum.


The story is by Oskar Matzerath and the alternate title, If Jesus Had Had a Hump, They Would Never Have Nailed Him to a Cross.



If anyone is curious as to what the novel is about I will leave them with the following. Here, I should note that even if you are not curious, you are still left with the following. The "following" is a summary by the author himself, or an excerpt from the novel, where the novel sums itself up. So its The Tin Drum by The Tin Drum. If you are concerned and further made cautious of reading "The Following" because The Tin Drum was a novel you were planning on reading anyway; or you trust my literary tastes and the above is enough to sell you on the recommendation I'll never make on this post, to read The Tin Drum; if in anyway you are worried I am about to divulge spoilers, rest most assured champ, I am not. The Tin Drum is not a murder/crime mystery or a suspense thriller. It is true that the plot is strong but its only an effective plot when every detail is disclosed. A summary will not do this novel any harm, or justice.


Oskar Matzerath

(about Oskar Matzerath and The Tin Drum)

"...born under light bulbs, deliberately stopped growing at age three, given drum, sang glass to pieces, smelled vanilla, coughed in churches, observed ants, decided to grow, buried drum, emigrated to the west, lost the East, learned stonecutter's trade, worked as model, started drumming again, visited concrete, made money, kept finger, gave finger away, fled laughing, rode up escalator, arrested, convicted, sent to mental hospital, soon to be acquitted, celebrating this my thirtieth birthday and still afraid of the Black Witch."

2009/11/13

Frozen Cast Away

What it Feels Like to be in Overdraft


So I'm on an island. I'm stranded there. I like the peace but it isn't a nice tropical island, abundant in food and resources; its more of a suspended iceberg, an island with a heavy layering of frosting. Everything that could truly be of use to me is buried under heavy, deep sheets of ice. I try to leave, I try to get out of there; even successfully built a raft after months of gathering parts from what I can. Its an awful looking raft but its all thats available.


Now, I've been trying to escape...but the waves. The waves push me back and I'm freezing. Its too cold and the waves crash and the further out I get, the larger and stronger they react. I, under their mercy, as they slam down on me like a hand to a mosquito. And its so cold. I've been trying week after week but to no avail, the waves are always there, proudly roaring. Yet, they pull back into the sea, as if calling me out to that calm escape I see miles away. Perhaps, they're taunting me.

I can't find a way out unless I travel under the waves. But how does one hold such a breath, or ignore such a cold? Surely, there are not enough resources available to transform my raft into a submarine. But it might be my only hope to try.

2009/11/11

Confessions of a Crap Artist: New Directions

New Country for Young Men


"At this hour of night, his life seemed so remote to him, he was so solitary and indifferent to everything and to himself as well...he had at last attained what he was seeking, that the peace which filled him now was born of that patient self-abandonment he had pursued and achieved with the help of this warm world so willing to deny him without anger."


In the wake of a new job with very little hours and lesser pay than my previous; at the news that my parents are moving off to DR next year and my sister and myself left to fend for ourselves; in view that most of my childhood friends are married or parents, if not simply career holding individuals, I should think myself worried about the current state of my life. But I'm not. I mean, I'm somewhat concerned but overall, it doesn't really intimidate me.


The news is all good and I'm flying higher, I'm back on my own. Don't worry about me I got no more baggage...threw all my old things away. I got your letter and thanks for the offer, I really don't need a thing...open the door in front of me.


I'd rather die than get more hours at my current job (I hate that place), and so long as I withhold from spend drifting, I'll be alright. My parents, well they deserve DR as much as I want to move the hell out! I'm glad they're leaving, I'm tired of home cook meals, domestic household interaction, and ultimately, I'm tired of seeing my family everyday. As far as friends that are married, parents, or just successful, thats all good but all I want to do is make music, art, and write...if wifing a dime, sprouting a jr., or becoming a professional will allow me unlimited time and space to work on the bright little activities that keep the darkness from swallowing me into the shape of an average american adult, then by all means count me in!


I spoke with my homegirl recently, we texted back and forth about how strange the sensation was that, even though ones life is out of certainty, even though the mind may be stressed and uncomfortable, the body can remain steady. I feel energetic and fit, my body feels responsive and alive. Movement has always been associated with life for me; animation even contains within it, the word "anima" which means "life" and "soul." The Body is not less than the Mind nor visa versa, the Mind any lesser than the Body. The collaboration of the two is life. These events that have recently introduced themselves to me as Crisis have brought forth the internal realization that the needs of my body are just as important as those of my mind. And since, of the two, my body feels more primitive and therefore all the more urgent, then those needs of the mind such as psychological security and social standardization are deemed subordinate at the moment, outweighed by the almighty id. To my advantage, this keeps me from feeling stressed out and depressed.


The sun is now shining on me; meet me as soon as you can, bring me the money you're holding for me...taking my head out of sand.

2009/11/09

November Heart Beats for Lhasa De Sela




I Didn't Call and You Didn't See

Me for a While

by AE Paulino


Lhasa Lhasa O dear,

Dearest Lhasa, from where, where

If not only from the lobby of your heart

Does that voice carry four chambers

On its back and up through the slight

Aperture of throat, does it compress

All that blood into song, into vibrations of air?


Lhasa Lhasa O dear,

Dearest Lhasa, from where there,

If only there does that pain swell and clenched

Like eyes, does a tear damp those fists?


Lhasa, for it is November

Dearly November and your airs make love,

Sheets of fallen temperatures that wrap the streets--

O dear, you make again, the heart with which I move


Its not enough, no longer to know--

Its not honest, no longer never less, to hold most still,

And from a tongue like a stage, truth will act

When the play, O dear, bloats with necessity


Lhasa Lhasa O dear,

Dearly Dearest, when should I,

If ever I should with this There There Heart,

That trickles and drafts, that needs a pin,

A button and perhaps an Icy Late Fall's Palm;

When should I sing from that palm,

The necessity that could make a Lhasa song

out of the absence thereafter?


Because,


Its not enough, no longer to think--

Its misfortune, no longer the more, to press most still,

and from a tongue like a hot tin roof, truth will jump

When the building, story by story, bloats with desperation

2009/11/08

We're Gonna Be Fine


A Serious Man - (2009) Directed by the Coens Brothers

Starring Michael Stuhbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed

Sari Lennick, Aaron Wolff


Here is the IMDb plot summary for A Serious Man:


"A black comedy set in 1967 and centered on Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern professor who watches his life unravel when his wife prepares to leave him because his inept brother won't move out of the house."


I find it very strange to read the plot description to any Coen Brothers film. At the same time that they are correct and further, an accurate and fair factual summary of the plot, these details also make you aware how special the film actually was. What I mean is, by reminding you of the bare facts, you realize in tenfold how much more was provided for you in a film whose plot is accurately described as much less.


Here is the IMDb plot for No Country for Old Men:


"Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon some dead bodies, a stash of heroin and more than $2 million in cash near the Rio Grande."


Again, this is so on the money! That is exactly what happens in the film but at the same time, to see it written or hear it said makes you notice that that same plot could easily have been executed differently, thus killing the reasons why that film is so good.


A Serious Man did splendors for my inner Riddler, constantly obsessed with analysis and megamorphing mysteries from just about any source, particularly unfortunate events. Larry Gopnik, played by Michael Stuhberg, is a man who is faced with a marathon of stressful incidents, he is a mathematical man; reason must skeleton every action and event. His world soon becomes a Schrodinger's Cat that is both dead and alive and moreover, he isn't allowed to peek inside the box to set his uncertainty to rest.


The film presents me with a story that is tightly wound and yet loosened, the more weight I give the plot the more it pulls me down. However, its all a matter of perspective, (hahaha) its a parking lot! A foreign parking lot that looks overwhelming at first but then becomes as simple as the locals perceive it to be, as it becomes part of your daily life.


Larry Gopnik's counterpart in the film his in fact, his teenage son, Danny. The pot smoking, Jefferson Airplane-head who is approaching his Bar Mitzvah, who owes twenty dollars to school tough, Mike Fagle, and who has parents that may be divorcing. Danny is far more easy going than his dad. His teenage reactions to Crisis are marked by tactics that include outrunning Fagle after every school day to avoid an ass beating, getting stoned right before his Bar Mitzvah to cool his nerves; overall, its a response to Crisis rather than an analysis of, the latter seeming to be Danny's father's forte.


I feel this was the Coens flexing their writing muscle, the film was visually good but it was all about the idea of the film, the questions and the answers that never came.

I Feel so Tongue-Tied

My Monthly Aresian Horoscope

March 21 - April 19

My thoughts are misguided and a little naive. I twitch and I salivate like with myxomatosis...


At the end of the summer, a friend of mine was off to the west coast; a farm in northern California. Before he left we hung out a bit and he introduced me to the idea of Saturn Return. In astrology, this is a period in an individual's life that occurs approximately every 30 years coinciding with the full revolution of Saturn around the Sun.


I got edited, fucked up...strangled, beaten up...


Saturn takes about 10,759 Earth days (29.5 years) to orbit the Sun. So every 29.5 years Saturn is, hypothetically speaking, in the exact same degree of orbit that it was when you were born. In Astrology this is meant to signify a crossroad for the individual, a time when things break apart for the personality and are soon rebuilt, leaving behind that which hinders one from their blah blah blah (astrological end for which the astrological means are justified).


I saw A Serious Man yesterday and I met a woman named Tuesday on Friday. I am a person who finds conspiracies in all things but not rationally, that is, the information doesn't add to anything but an irrational future based on an irrational past. Yet, it is interesting to collect the information, each like random decorations. They are pretty to watch but these decorations never end, so there is no celebration only a perpetual preparation.


I sat in the cupboard--I wrote it down in neat, they were cheering and waving, cheering and waving, twitching and salivating like with myxomatosis...


Cheering and waving...


It all starts to fall in place, you find your pace and you're better able to sort out that which you've spend the full occupation of the past to wind yourself up in.


But everything is here, right now and I just can't hold on to anything...it all just passes through me. What's worse is that I am aware--my consciousness, like a lighthouse that watches the sea, spotlights every ship that passes by my shore. And the ships, never stopping regardless of how bright I light them. "You can't stop what's coming. It ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity."


You should put me in a home or you should put me down. I got myxomatosis--I got myxomatosis...


It could be a Saturn Return but I'm not into the Stars as Psychiatrists, Jung was a man with some ideas and opinions and Saturn is a dense planet with a diameter about 9 times that of the Earth. Oskar is a drummer and I, a mongrol cat in a cupboard waiting for a nurse. I practice how magnificent I'm going to be when she pulls open the doors and beholds the pale ghost.


I would like to be A Serious Man, light a ship for the sole purpose of swimming out and catching it, or perhaps light the way for my own ship, out into the night's sea. Will it matter where Saturn watches me from?


Cheering and waving...twitching and salivating...


I don't know how, this is after all, my first time living. Still that isn't new, who's to say its ever gotten right. That it is gotten, is all we can be sure of, and its the best any of us can do.


Still, I'm just pulling at a thousand leads, bound by all the land I've wrapped around my lighthouse to keep it standing straight...the decades flying by but my--how the days are long!


Myxomatosis, I got myxomatosis.

2009/11/05

Dolled-up Temptations

I am easily taken by presentation, its one of my many weaknesses. I cannot cease but judge a book by its cover--This, likewise, now applies to cds, dvds, and websites. Its shallow, I suppose and simultaneously admit, but it makes more of a personal difference than I care to be proud of.


The above Criterion Eclipse Series Collection is so sexy, it looks like candy! The brain dead consumer in me just dutifully jumps and barks like a dog for it. Its so neat and clean, simple and sophisticated, I fight thoroughly, the impulse to toss out 40+ dollars on possessing it. I promise myself I won't. The Criterion Collection is the high maintenance wife of my dreams that I love and hate. The Criterion website is just as alluring, like the perfect recreational loft for such a silk stockinged mistress.

Over-accessorized, over-produced, and sadly, more often than not, exclusive (as most of the films are out of print leaving them only available on The Criterion Collection). I'd be perfectly happy if they'd just restore the film and sell me just that! Sure, I'd want it sold in a fancy package as well, after all I'm still civilized, aren't I?

To Catch a Leopard/Leper

Today and yesterday's playlist


Francis of Assisi - (1961) Directed by Michael Curtiz

Starring Bradford Dillman, Dolores Hart, Stuart Whitman


The Curse of the Cat People - (1944) Directed by Gunther Von Fritsch

and Robert Wise; Starring Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph,

and Ann Carter


Se, Jie - (2007) Directed by Ang Lee

Starring Tony Leung Chia Wai, Wei Tang,

Joen Chen, Lee-Hom Wang


A Ticklish Affair - (1963) Directed by George Sidney

Starring Shirley Jones, Gig Young, Red Buttons, Carolyn Jones


Cat People - (1942) Directed by Jacques Tourneur

Starring Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph


2009/11/04

He Wanted to Make a Big Bang!

I Hope There's a Bar Where They'll Show V for Vendetta and Play British Rock All Night Long to Commemorate What I'm About to Try.

Remember, remember the 5th of November

the gunpowder treason and plot

I know of no reason why the gunpowder treason

should ever be forgot--


Apparently New York City in all its cultural diversity feels the need to appreciate British people on November 5 in the guise of Guy Fawkes Night. So what better way to celebrate an act of rebelling against one's government from the 17th century than by drinking british beer and listening to the Beatles. What's funny is that most of the people who go out and party in NYC for Guy Fawkes would be the same to call him a terrorist if Guy pulled that stunt tomorrow. In fact when was the last time we celebrated Ted Kacynski Night in NYC. Don't mistake me...I'm not against the Gun Powder Treason and Plot, but let us celebrate by attempting to take an example from Mr. Fawkes, if you are upset with the rules then you must take action against them.


I'd even settle for fireworks or good old fashion fire, I heard in the UK they burn a figure of Fawkes. You'd get arrested for that in NYC, you can't do anything anymore too many rules, laws, prohibitions. The only fireworks are mainly for July 4th, ironically, Independence Day.

Blood Simple


There's a vampire craze, when isn't there? It happens. I think every generation has a vampire craze. The media loves it, they go on as if its never happened before. So lets pretend that the above picture is in fact Gary Oldman in the role of a Television Set.


We Suck Young Blood (Your Time is up.)

by Radiohead

from the album Hail to the Thief

released June 9, 2003


Are you hungry?

Are you sick?

Are you begging for a break?

Are you sweet?

Are you fresh?

Are you strung up by the wrists?


We want the young blood.


Are you fracturing?

Are you torn at the seams?

Would you do anything?

Flea-bitten? Motheaten?


We suck young blood.


Won't let the creeping ivy

Won't let the nervous bury me

Our veins are thinned

Our rivers poisoned


We want the sweet meats.

We want the young blood.

We suck young blood.

We want the young blood.

O Brothers, Thou Art There!

Anytime people complain about how there aren't any great filmmakers alive and active, I go somewhere inside myself and nod a disappointed "no" at such a thought that ignores some of today's talent. The Coen Brothers aren't even underrated or unrecognized, they've won and have been nominated for many awards including Oscars. Known for their strict style of directing actors but remaining open to new ideas and suggestions, they've become a name that is sought out, that is immediately associated with quality by both viewers and film personnel. Governing over a diverse body of work if one were to judge by subject matter; however, the feel is always indigenous to a sort of Coen Universe, a sardonic, intense, vivid, and shapely universe. As a result we laugh at the funny parts that aren't necessarily funny, we're nervous when we needn't be as a result of how unpredictable the film can be, we're subject to beautiful cinematography and actors of all shapes, sizes, accents, mannerisms, etc.


I'm made to remember Billy Wilder (or rather, to think of him since he never directed a film in my lifetime) who also had a very broad film career, with work in a variety of genres. I feel like a director who jumps around like that produces as a side effect, a world that isn't limited, a world that takes many things into account, regardless if its customary to that genre or not; so that the genre yields to the director and not vise versa.


Burn After Reading - (2008) Directed by the Coen Brothers

Starring George Clooney, Frances McDormand,

John Malkovich, Tilda Swinton, and Brad Pitt



Fargo - (1996) - Directed by the Coen Brothers

Starring William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi,

Peter Stormare