Wednesday, February 28, 2007

8-word poem

Had it
A shotgun


Tuesday, February 27, 2007

8-word poem

When you dance,
Does Death hear
Your footfalls?


Monday, February 26, 2007

Top 10 Movies

Richard Lopez, over at Really Bad Movies, is asking for a Top 10 Film list.

It's impossible to share this sort of thing without feeling a bit too exposed. Where are the romantic comedies? The life-affirming thrill rides?

My answer? Right where they belong - on someone else's list.

My list is pretty constant, with maybe one or two variables. That part was easy. It took, however, several days to write cogent explanations for my choices. And then to realize my explanations aren't really that cogent.

In no particular order:

Apocalypse Now - If you think Platoon is a good movie, stop reading this list now. This is not only the quintessential Vietnam movie, not only the quintessential war movie, but the quintessential movie movie.

The American Friend - Directed by Wim Wenders, based on Patricia Highsmith's "Ripley's Game." Sorry, folks, but this blows the Matt Damon version out of the water. Features cameos by directors Nicholas Ray and Sam Fuller, and one of the finest performances of Dennis Hopper's career.

Mulholland Drive - Lynch's masterpiece, in my opinion. I never tire of the way potential cinematic gibberish transforms into art, or the way the narrative defies logic and/or explanation, yet continually invites both. Quoth the Cowboy: "A man's attitude goes some ways toward how a man's life will be. Is that somethin' you agree with?" Totally!

The Fourth Man - Paul Verhoeven's "art" film has been called a black comedy, but to me it is the perfect psychological/spiritual thriller. I love movies where it's unclear if what you're seeing is actually happening or not. Tons of overt, but beautifully rendered, symbolism. In Dutch!

Sorcerer - An amazing example of 1970s filmmaking, when violence was ample and without apology, and the blood was that ever so slightly off-red color. Gritty, disturbing and utterly existential. Roy Scheider's finest hour as a small-time mobster on the run. "Ask for Nat Glick."

Goldfinger - Sean Connery + Gert Frobe + Oddjob + Aston Martin DB5 + naked girl painted gold = Iconic Bond.

Oldboy - Quite possibly the most emotionally draining film I have ever seen. Incredibly violent, relentlessly depressing, hopelessly shocking, and entirely engaging. Revenge is a dish best served cold? Not if it's dumplings!

Rushmore - Hey this is sort of a comedy! Men seem to like this movie much more than women, which I find interesting. I identify with Bill Murray's world weary character, not Max Fischer (whose absurd optimism frustrates me - surprise!). A very touching film, to my mind. More touching than funny, actually.

After Dark, My Sweet - The old "down on his luck ex-boxer/nuthouse escapee (Jason Patric) is seduced by a lonely beauty of iffy morals (Rachel Ward) and lured into a kidnapping scheme bound to go wrong by a shady ex-cop (Bruce Dern)" routine. How do you spell double-cross? N-o-i-r.

Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead - The best hard boiled dialogue I've ever heard. Characters named Jimmy the Saint, Critical Bill, Easy Wind, Franchise, Pieces, Mr. Shhh, Baby Sinister, and The Man With the Plan populate this flick. Jack Warden's performance as a retired wiseguy/Greek chorus steals the show.

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Saturday, February 24, 2007


Lemon tree, very pretty
And the lemon flower is sweet
But the fruit of the poor lemon
Is impossible to eat

recorded by Trini Lopez, 1965

(See this post for background regarding "Lemon Tree" as the basis for my life's trajectory, and download the song here!)

It took 42 years, but I finally have conclusive evidence that the lemon flower is indeed sweet.

Today we took the short drive to Wave Hill, and wandered around the historic grounds for a couple of hours.

It was a sparkling winter's day, with everything in crisp focus. Ice on the trails made for somewhat treacherous footing, but nothing we couldn't handle.

The day's highlight: seeing - and smelling - for the first time ever in my life, an actual lemon tree in one of the greenhouses! This particular tree was called the Ponderosa* lemon tree, and had lemons the size of grapefruits hanging from its branches.

It was one of those slow motion moments of destiny. I saw the lemon flowers sprinkled on the tree's branches, approached slowly with "...and the lemon flower is sweet" ricocheting around my noggin in Trini Lopez's mellifluous voice. Finally, I would find out for myself!

Could it be? Is it possible?!

Yes. YES! They are sweet. Very sweet.

And despite my more crotchety suspicions, so is life!


* Thanks to MsAPhillips for the link.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Would you eat a can of cat food for money?

And, perhaps more importantly, would you work in a place where such a thing occurs?

These are the questions that I continually grapple with at my place of employment.

And also, this question: Exactly when did I become the stable presence in a group of people?

An apparently bored individual walked around the office yesterday with a pad and pen asking who would be willing to pay $5 to watch someone eat a can of cat food, which he had at the ready. Or, would I be willing to eat a can of cat food, and for how much?

I declined to pay to witness the ingestion, but offered to eat the cat food if the price rose to $400. The person who did wind up eating it - and enjoying it, from what I've heard - was paid $105.


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Wednesday, February 21, 2007

8-word poem

Fast, cagey
And defensive:
There's a
Life formula.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

8-word poem

It's not
Too late
To start
Living life.


Monday, February 19, 2007

8-word poem

Wondrous beauty
Except when
She's really


Sunday, February 18, 2007

8-word poem

You keep me
And I hate


Saturday, February 17, 2007

iTuneage - recent baker's dozen

1. "Back Of My Hand" - The Jags
2. "Nothing Of The Kind" - Jimmie Dale Gilmore
3. "Goodbye Mary Ann" - Charlie Rich
4. "Mississippi Goddam" - Nina Simone
5. "Terminal 1" - Ram Trilogy
6. "The Feelies" - Let's Go
7. "Warm Leatherette" - The Normal
8. "Hush" - Deep Purple
9. "Fergalicious" - Fergie
10. "Four Engines Burning (Over The USA)" - Screaming Blue Messiahs
11. "Sweet Pea" - Tommy Roe
12. "World Disorder" - Deadline
13. "Right Off" - Miles Davis

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Friday, February 16, 2007

8-word poem

My Thursday
Went all wrong;
I hate Thursdays.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

1-image poem


8-word poem

Cease your worry;
It'll be over
Soon enough.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


—for Richard Lopez

Blue smoke, a tear
In the wind.

Bumping bodies, torn
Celluloid, burning joints.

"Shut that mother-
Fucker up!"

Bigger fights!
Better stories!

Kung fu humping in
The balcony, 2 a.m.

Finding it there,
Always waiting....

Anyway, that's all
Finished now;

It isn't like that

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Monday, February 12, 2007

8-word poem

Definitely not
Probably not

Sunday, February 11, 2007

8-word poem

This is
Your poem
Take it

Saturday, February 10, 2007

8-word poem

Her lament:
"The wolf is
At the door."

Friday, February 09, 2007

8-word poem

Who killed
Anna Nicole Smith?

We're all

8-word poem

Such is life:
Not everyone
Can be loved.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Having the opportunity to lunch with Pearl last week has gotten me thinking about how many people I've been fortunate enough to meet via the Internet.

I was remiss in not mentioning here that at the end of December we were lucky enough to meet up with Eek! and JC, who stopped in New York on their way back from Paris. Along with nice conversation about that fine city and some Chinese cuisine, we also got their fresh perspective (literally) on James Brown, as they came straight from the Apollo Theater in Harlem, having just viewed him in all his gold-coffined splendor!

Richard Lopez, an astute poet whose street-smart verse reminds me a lot of the vintage observations of Lou Reed, has been a collaborator. We've traded emails, building strange and beautiful poetry one word at a time, though we have never seen each other in the flesh.

Kicking off many such cyberassociations was my online class with MsHellion; we were both pursuing Master's degrees at The New School. Meeting up with her both in New York (we also got to know Dottcomments at dinner that evening) and in Louisville (where we also first met Eek, JC and Dr. Chingasa) rank right up there on the hit parade of all-time social moments of my life. Meeting Yournamehere would make our Louisville blog connection complete.

We would love to break bread (or 60 chicken wings) with Steakbellie (decked out in his trademark kilt), hoping perhaps one of his competitive eating events will bring him back to New York soon.

And if we ever found ourselves fortunate enough to be in Ottawa lunching again with Pearl on her turf, we'd have to take in The Lewd Angel's comedy act, at the very least.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

8-word poem

Buy new
Or burn
Old ones?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Perhaps all is not lost!

You know the Bible 79%!

Wow! You are truly a student of the Bible! Some of the questions were difficult, but they didn't slow you down! You know the books, the characters, the events . . . Very impressive!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
Create MySpace Quizzes

I actually read the entire New Testament about 15 years ago, though only dabbled in the Old.

I recall watching Jeopardy! on TV, category: The Bible. Alex presented the clue, and the contestant shot out: "Who is Ruth?"

And I was like: "Yeah, who is Ruth?"

I still don't know.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Pearl of Humanyms in New York!

I had the opportunity last week to enjoy lunch with Pearl of Humanyms and her husband who were visiting New York from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Pearl has posted many cool photos of her trip, hightlights of which included a slightly snowy Central Park, the Guggenheim and Frick museums, a cooking demonstration at Macy's, and Times Square.

We dined at Supermac, a small but cozy establishment dedicated to "creative mac & cheese." An awesome meal with wonderful company.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

8-word poem

Quoth Shecky:
"Hey, no man—
What the fuck?"

Saturday, February 03, 2007

8-word poem

I don't think
I've ever known
A Heather.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Varnishing Print

Ken Dryden, former goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens, had his #29 jersey retired last week. Well I recall his exploits back in the day, before hockey goalies wore oversized equipment that made them resemble the Michelin Man.

Dryden would flail and flop in the crease, his lanky 6'4" frame looking like his limbs were attached to his body by springs. His long legs would shoot out instinctively, while his red, white and blue face mask approximated a look of curiosity at the action.

There were better technical practitioners of the position, more athletic players, goalies with sharper reflexes. But Dryden, backstopping the 1970s Canadiens - arguably the greatest team ever assembled - stopped the puck in impressive fashion in a brief but spectacular career.

Playing just 8 seasons, he led the Canadiens to the Stanley Cup a staggering 6 times (including 4 straight years, 1976-1979). His career began with a tear through the playoffs after which he was named the tournament's most valuable player (garnering the Conn Smythe trophy), with just 6 NHL games' experience under his belt.

The following season he was named Rookie of the Year, and added to his impressive resume: First Team All-Star selections, the Vezina Trophy (awarded to the goaltender with fewest goals allowed during the course of the season), and more Stanley Cups.

His career record: 258 wins, 57 losses and 74 ties - a mind-boggling 201 games over .500.

8-word poem

I meant
To blog
I may