Saturday, October 21, 2006

More trees.

The Lamb Ran Away With the Crown

"you cannot reap unless you sow"

Given her Pythagorean triad
says Babs in a houndstooth huntress
anima number its Judee
for John Dee the real hippie
in out of the rain with
the rest of the ensemble
in the eggskull cave
of a stormy Gaslight cash-in
set inside a giant cake
where the fake wrench-shaped scar
of the corrupt chemist
is paired with the real scar
on Bogie's upper lip--
in every scene
its the only thing really "lit"--
leaving his hands (he thinks)
free to wander at will
back and forth &
back and forth between
the poison milk on the table
his thin silver belt,
a series of not quite lit
smokes & a half-inch
double thumbed
pantwaist insertion,
O he's guilty guilty
guilty alright--
of mailing it in bookrate,
writhing in his wingchair
jabbing the air with prepschool tics
until shoulderpadded Alexis Smith
hipfirsts toweringly in
swinging her gold David Hume turban
chain & giant buckle around until
his cowering leaves nothing
but the baked light of North Hollywood
through the grey of the background
of the background of the grey hills
& appearing from behind
an oak screen a skinny arm,
catching the last of it
with a pivoting obsidian mirror.

at 2300 PST on TCM tomorrow the 1964 film version
of Lafcadio Hearn's book of ghostly tales Kwaidan is essential Halloween pre-viewing...

in sody-pop news, from Germany comes Bionade: the triumph of a guiltless pleasure

"What is it about this drink which originally only appealed to the fringes of society? There's no colouring, not too many bubbles and little sugar – only half the amount found in similar drinks. The palate gets a refreshing but restrained kick from the acids, mixed with the utmost care. With the second mouthful the drink unfolds its secret and breaks all the soft drink rules.

There are 4 different flavours – elderflower, herb, lychee and ginger-orange. The thirsty customer has a choice and not just between these four, but between good and bad; between the sticky soft-drink empire of Coke, Pepsi, etc. which has taken on such mammoth dimensions that it virtually squashes all other alternatives, or the little, innocent lemonade from the franconian Rhön district. It stands for guiltless pleasure. Lemonade is coming home: this is what home tastes like!"

more on Pinter’s Beckett--

"Famously, the most frequently repeated stage direction is that Krapp should brood, and, Mr. Nightingale wrote, Mr. Pinter does so “with an intensity that signals the loss of hope, self-contempt and an inner bleakness that lets up only when he hears his 39-year-old self remembering a dreamy moment with a loved one in a boat that rocks ‘gently, up and down and from side to side.’ ”"

Colm Toibin on Pinter takes on Beckett & the talk turns to the great Patrick Magee...

"The previous year, Beckett had met Magee for the first time when the actor recorded some of Beckett's prose work for the BBC. He later said that Magee's voice had excited him so much that he wrote the play for it. As Beckett's biographer, Anthony Cronin, has written of Magee: "There was a sense in which, as an actor, he had been waiting for Beckett just as Beckett had been waiting for him.""

Friday, October 20, 2006

More Nanaimo Trees

Odie Ode

Farewell dog not native to the valley
but like me too
an all-weather patriot
& devotee of its unbillable hours,
sans cats & purebred jogging helmets
with at least the possibility of chicken
in a broth from a ditch
made with something else living,
fur weatherproofed with
coal tar & sulphur until only
a rain of little punches
sunk into haunches
can wake the sleeping beast
from his dream of bacon.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Jenny Uglow, whose biography of Hogarth is a great favorite, has written one on another engraver, Thomas Bewick

"In his memoir, Bewick also displayed a rhapsodic response to a unifying force "beyond the reach of thought and human knowledge". As a naturalist, the more facts he learned, the more he was intrigued by the promise beyond the horizon. Yet his engravings of "humble life" were stubbornly down-to-earth. He showed his country folk as cruel, foolish and crude, as well as hard-working and long-suffering. The country might be beautiful, but it also stank: men relieve themselves in hedges and ruins, a woman holds her nose as she walks between the cowpats, and a farmyard privy shows that men are as filthy as the pigs they despise. In the respectable atmosphere that settled like a cloud during the Napoleonic wars, such scenes disconcerted his readers: an article appeared suggesting "that the fair sex, pass overleef on seeing them"."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Canadian Tire Food Court

One thing Lang taught Hitch
was that those UFA model cities--
etched in nitrate, moonshine
& black letter gothic--
blow up even nicer
than the real thing;
chemical factory
monochromes layer
& unfold real slow & pretty-like
over receding heaths
til naptha flames flare
& spark to reveal
the Napoleon of Crime
in real time scratchin' & tumblin'
working the curtains doubletime--
out of politeness really--
while turntables on strings
answer the phones &
forged fistfuls of Canadian Tire money
pour out of Dr. Mabuse's call centre
into the pockets of a fifth column
nourished on circus-grade granola
& keno at the henhouse.

vanished New York Bookstores--

‘Mrs. Auchincloss is leaving for Paris and wants something to read. Pick out two books, and bring them to her apartment.’

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Judee Sill's two rare Asylum albums are now reissued in a double CD with bonuses as "Abracadra" cheap and easy to find, so...

20th anniversary of th'immortal Withnail & I

"It's a lesson to all filmmakers everywhere that you don't need a good plot," says Ralph Brown (who plays the inimitable drug dealer Danny) in the 1999 documentary "Withnail & Us," included on both the Criterion Collection DVD and the new British edition. Spot on. Who needs plot with lines like (to take a few at random, out of context) "They're throwing ... themselves into the road to escape all this hideousness. Throw yourself into the road, darling, you haven't got a chance!" and "You've got eels down your leg"?..."

Monday, October 16, 2006

lately re-enjoying a favorite of my youth, the Shoes, a sublime power-pop band from Zion, Illinois. Someone gave me a copy of their 1979 major label debut "Present Tense" back then (finding it insufficiently "new wave", a exileable offense at the time) & I've loved it ever since...(harmonies and gently layered distorted guitars/sweet but with crunch, like Nutella on a Rye-Krisp)---another point of view:

"Shoes brief flirtation with major label recording and major-league success was the period during which I encountered them, and during which I wrote them my first, barely literate, fan letter, the first (and one of very few) I ever wrote. I received a hand-written response from a friend of the band on shoe-themed stationery, pretty heady business for a quiet kid in a small town. (A recent scan of boxes of old crap failed to turn up said letter, but I found an alarming amount of other Shoes-themed material, including a valentine from 1983; not one, but two, fan club membership cards; and my own writing, ennobled today by the euphemistic term fan-fic, but which I would never have dreamed of showing to another soul.)"

video for Too Late (pretty cute for sure!) & everything's in print at their website...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

farewell Freddy Fender, whose immortal "Wasted Days & Wasted Nights", wherever heard, turns that space into a dark wooden bar at 11am, bright daylight illuminating dust motes through a crack in paisley oil-cloth curtains; smells of cologne, smoke, hops and disinfectant; the metallic smack of the shuffleboard...