Wednesday, December 16, 2009

let's ditch oingo boingo and make a movie

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

(EXCEPT: Is it so much to ask, Tim Burton, for you to perhaps offer us a soundtrack other than the same one Danny Elfman has written you since ding dang Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, which was filmed in 1985? Really, you're being had. He burns the same music with a different film's name scrawled on the CD and somehow Jedi-mindtricks you into imagining it is a new arrangement. I don't understand. Lose him. Let's be changemakers, Tim. You and I together. Actually scratch that. You and I. And Helena. And Johnny. In fact, we don't really need you at all, come to think of it. Just send me those other two lovelies and the three of us will figure this all out on your behalf. We will make beautiful music together. Trust.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

consider me the shadkhen
between you and your dictionary

From the mailbag: "You write really well, except for the occasional use of big words that I have to look up."

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

and that's the poetry of it

I Dreamed I Met William Burroughs

by Franz Wright

I met William Burroughs in a dream.
It was some sort of bohemian farmhouse,
And he was enthroned, small and skeletal,
in a truly gigantic red armchair.

When I asked him how he was, he replied
Well you know what they say—for best results,
always mock and frighten the lobster before boiling.
Franz—I like that name, Franz. Childe Franz

To the dark tower something or other … Hey,
got a smoke? And quit worrying so much:
they can’t help themselves; they’re like abused dogs
and they’re going to react to affection and kindness

with uncontrollable savagery. Just tell them,
You’re out of my mind, pal. You’re out
of my mind. Either that or, I’m out of yours.
That’ll keep them brain-chained to the trees.


Yeah, but sometimes it's the abused dogs that
act just like beloved, barely blinking kittens.
This I know.

Monday, December 07, 2009

erick zonca's julia

Coming up on three years sober, I have often wished I could find more drunks on film that hold up as believable failures, all the more spectacularly disappointing because they have the substance to have made more, to have chosen better, to have interrupted the downward spiral somewhere along the way.

Appreciating that (a) we're culturally prone to overtalking diagnosed illnesses and (b) that's the point of these morality tales, a collective there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I, it's surprising we have so little by way of compelling boozer archetypes. Well at last, we have a drinking disaster to watch who is not just a clowning caricature (think Arthur or Bluto) or a rotten miscreant (Bukowski, anyone?).

Allora. Leave it to Tilda—brilliant, radiant Tilda—the versatile woman who has played Jadis here and Orlando there, to get a smart, defiant, pathetic, regressing alcoholic just right.

I cannot recommend this one enough. (Props to the miniature John C. Reilly who played opposite her and the poor lil pit bull who got typecast as a slum drone.)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

do you think we're ready for that kind of commitment?

If you are concerned about the definition of marriage, and by concerned I mean a thinking person earnestly trying to resolve yourself to an issue (not a simpleton whose mind is hermetically sealed infinitas infinitio), you owe it to yourself to watch this. Hear her out. All the way through.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

go forth, a fonder way to say move on

Beach Walk

by Henri Cole

I found a baby shark on the beach.
Seagulls had eaten his eyes. His throat was bleeding.
Lying on shell and sand, he looked smaller than he was.
The ocean had scraped his insides clean.
When I poked his stomach, darkness rose up in him,
like black water. Later, I saw a boy,
aroused and elated, beckoning from a dune.
Like me, he was alone. Something tumbled between us—
not quite emotion. I could see the pink
interior flesh of his eyes. "I got lost. Where am I?"
he asked, like a debt owed to death.
I was pressing my face to its spear-hafts.
We fall, we fell, we are falling. Nothing mitigates it.
The dark embryo bares its teeth and we move on.