Thursday, February 15, 2007

Storminess brought out the sun today...

farewell Barbara McNair (1934-2007)

Il Maestro in America

"If Morricone has a signature theme, of all the great music he has created over the past 45 years, it is surely this amazing orchestral invention, combining haunting melodic beauty, savage lust and animal desperation. No one can listen to this and not picture Eli Wallach as Tuco, running among the crosses marking the graves of thousands of war dead, breathlessly seeking the one that marks the hiding place of a treasure beyond imagining.

That show-stopping sequence in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly astonishes everyone who sees that movie for the first time - or for the 31st. A "privileged moment" if ever there was one, it dares to stop the film's narrative for more than three minutes of blood-churning, temperature-raising pure style - a moment that, in case anyone hadn't noticed yet, announced the absolute arrival of both Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone. It is the defining moment of that film, and the first of several defining moments of Morricone's career. And as I watched and listened, I couldn't help thinking how far we have come from 1967, when so many critics considered The Good, the Bad and the Ugly grindhouse grunge from an upstart Italian who knew nothing about that uniquely American genre, the Western; and even those few who were sensitive enough to be struck by the music and the stylistic bravura still wondered why it was wasted on genre trash. Today, here we are, dressed up in our Saturday night finest, to hear the composer perform that music in a hallowed American concert venue. And rightly so. Morricone and his music always deserved this. It just took close to half a century for most people to recognize it..."

wonderful album covers from Jim Flora (via Metafilter)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Site formerly occupied by the old Nanaimo graveyard. At one point some of the gravestones were inset into a wall & what was left of the graveyard was turned into a small park, where Audrey Alexander Brown had the vision that resulted in "A Dryad in Nanaimo" in the 1930's, still by far the most popular poem to come out of Nanaimo. More recently the grove of trees was "accidentally" cut down by the city.

Can I Borrow a Feeling?

Happy Valentine's Day, beloved readers!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

pleased to find a very nice fake-buckram three-volume 1981 version of Webster's Third at the Literacy Nanaimo bookstore yesterday for $12...

Site formerly occupied by Schwab's Meats, Cedar. That's the new Duke Point road crossing the Cedar River behind. Schwab's moved but then eventually closed. Very good, lightly smoked hams. I remember walking back from there with a wrapped hock in my jacket pocket to the barking accompaniment of a thousand confused but ravenous dogs...

Site formerly occupied by the entrance to the No. 1 Mine South Wellington. This is a couple of hundred yards from the house.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

another website for a poet who died very young of TB, Edinburgh's Robert Fergusson (1750-74)--from "Auld Reekie" (nickname for his then-stinky home town)

"Auld Reikie, wale o' ilka Town
That Scotland kens beneath the Moon;
Where couthy Chiels at E'ening meet
Their bizzing Craigs and Mous to weet;
And blythly gar auld Care gae bye
Wi' blinkit and wi' bleering Eye:
O'er lang frae thee the Muse has been
Sae frisky on the Simmer's Green,
Whan Flowers and Gowans wont to glent
In bonny Blinks upo' the Bent;
But now the Leaves a Yellow die
Peel'd frae the Branches, quickly fly;
And now frae nouther Bush nor Brier
The spreckl'd Mavis greets your ear;
Nor bonny Blackbird Skims and Roves
To seek his Love in yonder Groves.
Then, Reikie, welcome! Thou canst charm
Unfleggit by the year's Alarm;
Not Boreas that sae snelly blows,
Dare here pap in his angry Nose:
Thanks to our Dads, whase biggin stands
A Shelter to surrounding Lands..."

Site formerly occupied by a 7-11, Nichol St.(Highway 1) & Milton, Nanaimo

The second 7-11 in Nanaimo, opened mid-70's, memorable site of well-lit teenage
hallucinations, later I lived on nearby Hecate. Torn down about five years ago when the alley became a shooting gallery. No sign of development.

finally got around to checking out the fine website for Samuel Greenberg: American Poet

"Samuel Greenberg died of tuberculosis in 1917, at age 23. His childhood was spent in poverty on the Lower East Side of New York City. After leaving school at 14 to begin working, he became ill and spent his final years as a patient in several charity hospitals, where he did most of his writing..."

Early Ghosts

When first I beheld
The sight of self alone,
Here standing upon a floor--
A new sensitive throne--
By dark corners round
I shaded myself, in hope
That some light or people
Would be seen through a grate.
But by the might of pictures
Each sighted object looked
As if my soul was but a fortune--
To its memory, meaning booked.

PDF of Italian & English versions of Jeff Derksen's Transnational Muscle Cars & more...