Saturday, November 05, 2005
Friday, November 04, 2005
Saturday will be the centenary of the birth of actor Joel McCrea (Ride the High Country, Sullivan's Travels) & TCM have been showing many of the movies mentioned in this just-over series from the LA County Museum, including the Sturges & Peckinpah films, but the big revelation for me has been Jacques (Cat People) Tourneur's incredible 1950 "Stars in my Crown", with Dean Stockwell, about a small town parson (the situation depicted in the poster omits the Bible he lays on the bar between his pistols!), never before seen, like one of Ford's "domestic" films, but less sentimental & tinged with eeriness...
Posted by Peter at 12:56 PM
Thursday, November 03, 2005
or by crook...
big career move ca. mid-80's:
a majestic parade-float of
punk, but recorded live
a metallic board mix
chunky metal cassette mix
the "loudness" button
it was for this
not the cushion
of even that heimlich distortion
re: chris thomas' pistols
if your ear accepts it
as other than assault
at any volume
irritation is just
dont tell me
you can fit
the stray gators
into your helmet
and keep on riding!--
so in the midst of this
12 minutes of mock-epic opening
side 3 of the imax thunderdome w/
subbing for the edmonton symphony
and cale has come in character
dick burton in iguana
with a miner's lamp
and a fistful of arthur janov
overmatched it proved
against the punks in their red brigade pyjamas
for who remembers bobby sands
and frederick forsyth paperbacks
in the snow:
the mercenary chic
is what stuck.
Posted by Peter at 2:10 PM
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Barbellionblog from October, 1912--
"Under the oak where I sat the ground was covered with dead leaves. I kicked them, and I beat them with my stick, because I was angry that they were dead. In the coppice, leaves were quietly and majestically floating earthwards in the pomp of death. It was very thrilling to observe them.
It was a curious sensation to realise that since the last time I sat under the old oak I had been right up to the N. of England, then right down to the S.W., and back once more to London town. I bragged about my kinetic activity to the stationary oak and I scoffed at the old hill for having to remain always in the same place.
It gave me a pleasing sense of infinite superiority to come back and see everything the same as before, to sit on the same old seat under the same old oak. Even that same old hurdle was lying in the same position among the bracken. How sorry I was for it! Poor wretch--unable to move--to go to Whitby, to go to C------, to be totally ignorant of the great country of London. "
Posted by Peter at 11:08 AM
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Spring Forward, Fall Back--
I can treat you to visit
to coastal pillboxes
I like to delve in destruction,
lust and debauches
And I am the one who stamps on all ages
From 16 to 40,
over and under
and the black ice on the corner
As all is as one,
as all damp on all stone
I hold all time and
can induce at once
Jet trains, lead paint,
stamps on border forms
Misread Easter Island,
put butter on plague style
Spin complete revolutions
and not bat an eyelid
And alter tree-rings
so that what you are after
You will not ever find
with a surfeit of lumber
And make you imagine from hunger
Bread trees spinning,
dripping with butter
Just 6 inches higher
than your upstretched middle finger
History of the...
I place minute dust
in your microchip vessels
For daring to think
all science is immortal
I am the one
who'll strike you down at once
For stretching time-bracket,
and assuming that what is
Can be maladjusted.
A rigid adoption
Of codes you had concocted
I can treat you to visit
to coastal pillboxes
And show you all hideous
And Hovis set-up
in London's psoriasis
Stockings, jokings, 1780's
History of the wo...
I like to delve in destruction,
lust and debauches
And I am the one
who stamps on all ages
From 16 to 40, over and under
History of the world..."
Posted by Peter at 12:22 PM
let me concur with Rue Hazard's call for more oafishness--
"And breezing that against so many poesies pures, in the issue of "No" at hand, frankly, what I long for (in the "scene" generally) is more oafishness. Not the recombinant superior gleaming machine-oafishness of flarf-generators, but the droopy drawers, stumbled-down, anything goes inheritors of the Biotherm-esque O'Hara, Berryman's big mess, and Ammons's barrages of garbage. Or Bernadette Mayer's dishevel'd junkyard dog opus, or Alice Notley's sass in the filigree. Ain't there a chill despotic cleanliness, a shard-preciosity, all around now? More splendid piss-burn and rags and jags! More guffaw and betises! More spilt Willies!"
Posted by Peter at 9:40 AM
Monday, October 31, 2005
a good night for Tam O' Shanter: A Tale by Robert Burns. The actual kirk where Tam witnessed the Witch's Sabbath and the bridge he escapes over were both quite near the house I lived in 69-72--
"...Warlocks and witches in a dance:
Nae cotillon, brent new frae France,
But hornpipes, jigs, strathspeys, and reels,
Put life and mettle in their heels.
A winnock-bunker in the east,
There sat auld Nick, in shape o' beast;
A towzie tyke, black, grim, and large,
To gie them music was his charge:
He screw'd the pipes and gart them skirl,
Till roof and rafters a' did dirl. -
Coffins stood round, like open presses,
That shaw'd the Dead in their last dresses;
And (by some devilish cantraip sleight)
Each in its cauld hand held a light.
By which heroic Tam was able
To note upon the haly table,
A murderer's banes, in gibbet-airns;
Twa span-lang, wee, unchristened bairns;
A thief, new-cutted frae a rape,
Wi' his last gasp his gabudid gape;
Five tomahawks, wi' blude red-rusted:
Five scimitars, wi' murder crusted;
A garter which a babe had strangled:
A knife, a father's throat had mangled.
Whom his ain son of life bereft,
The grey-hairs yet stack to the heft;
Wi' mair of horrible and awfu',
Which even to name wad be unlawfu'.
Three lawyers tongues, turned inside oot,
Wi' lies, seamed like a beggars clout,
Three priests hearts, rotten, black as muck,
Lay stinkin, vile in every neuk."
Posted by Peter at 9:17 PM
Scottish Halloween was very exotic for me. The weather was invariably driving rain. You went to very few houses, which had no special decorations. You had to go into the houses and do your "party piece"--in my case "My Heart's in the Highlands(piping soprano mix)"--after which you were given something, candy sometimes, but not always--sometimes small change, a cup of tea, I think I remember being given a slice of Battenberg cake once. All of which could take half an hour plus, particularly if some kid after you had a watchable act, which many did, Scotland in those days full of accomplished child performers. Consequently a dozen houses was considered a good night, with not much to show for it however good a time had, and the weather never made it seem like going far afield would be worth it, unlike those endless warm October Ontario ones where I would roam for miles through the sugary elm backroads of Huron County, gathering pillowcase load after pillowcase load, mugging and being mugged, vomiting mojos into a ditch...
Posted by Peter at 2:55 PM
Robert Burns' Halloween poem, with his aen annotations--
"The first ceremony of Halloween is pulling each a "stock," or plant of kail. They must go out, hand in hand, with eyes shut, and pull the first they meet with: its being big or little, straight or crooked, is prophetic of the size and shape of the grand object of all their spells--the husband or wife. If any "yird," or earth, stick to the root, that is "tocher," or fortune; and the taste of the "custock," that is, the heart of the stem, is indicative of the natural temper and disposition. Lastly, the stems, or, to give them their ordinary appellation, the "runts," are placed somewhere above the head of the door; and the Christian names of the people whom chance brings into the house are, according to the priority of placing the "runts," the names in question."
Posted by Peter at 2:41 PM
"Goose barnacles gave rise to one of the strangest of animal beliefs. The heart-shaped shell, or "capitulum", is a chalky-white in colour and has black lines, which were thought to resemble the head of the barnacle goose Branta leucopsis. Because barnacle geese rarely nest in Britain no-one had ever seen their eggs or nests. It was supposed, therefore, that the geese "grew up on the planks of ships" and the birds finally emerged clothed in feathers and flew away. This curious theory also provided a convenient way round the church's ban on eating meat or flesh on Fridays. As the barnacle goose was obviously "not born of the flesh" but from a barnacle, they could be eaten not just on Fridays but throughout Lent!"
Posted by Peter at 2:24 PM
thanks K. for the riddle of the Barnacle Goose
"I'm found under water held fast by my mouth,
Swirl of the sea-tides goes sweeping beneath me
Fathom-deep sunk under surges I grew.
Bending roof of billows above me:
My body adrift on a floating beam.
You'll find me alive if you lift me and free me.
Dull is my coat as I come from the deep,
But straight I am decked with streamers of white,
Bright when the freshening breeze brings me from underseas
Heaves me up and urges me far
O'er the sea-bath salty.
Say what I'm called."
"There are founde in the north parts of
Scotland, and the Ilands adjacent,
called Orchades, certain trees,
whereon doe growe certaine shell fishes,
of a white colour tending to russet;
wherein are conteined little living
creatures: which shells in time of maturitie
doe open, and out of them grow those little living things
which falling into the water
doe become foules, whom we call Barnakles . . .
but the other that do fall upon the land,
perish and come to nothing:
this much by the writings of others, and also from the mouths
of the people of those parts...."
"A species of wild goose
nearly allied to the Brent Goose,
found in the arctic seas
(where alone it breeds),
and visiting the British coasts in winter.
This bird, of which the breeding-place was long unknown,
was formerly believed to be produced
out of the fruit of a tree growing
by the sea-shore, or itself to grow
upon the tree attached by its bill
(whence also called Tree Goose),
or to be produced out of a shell
which grew upon this tree,
or was engendered as a kind of mushroom
or spume from the corruption
or rotting of timber in the water."
Posted by Peter at 1:51 PM