Sunday, September 29, 2013

few minutes before bed

stuffed from eating leftovers lemon rice and mutter paneer

yesterday walked downtown to the convention center with nick

for the reptile show all sorts of non-cuddly [value judgment i know]

critters both scaly and not for sale as pets and food

[no value judgment there]

later went to the off-road bmx bike park

borrowed b.'s bike and  rode hard for several laps

been 30 years since i was on a bmx bike

old man out my legs were so watery when i jumped

off a berm to signal the end of my ride

i collapsed under my own weight

talked to john b-r for two hours tonight

set my thinking straight or as straight as can be

for john is the real deal and one of my teachers

in the arts of living in life and poetry

watching right now a tour of halloween haunted houses

on the travel channel

should be in bed but wide awake

writing down these humble lines in this my

domesticated bohemian life

Friday, September 27, 2013

everyday is halloween

resident evil: retribution [2012] 

i have an addiction to confess.  yes, i am addicted to the resident evil franchise.  it's hard to admit to for these are maybe not the best films every produced and distributed.  they must make money because every year or other year there is new installment about the adventures of zombie infected super-badass alice, played by a very capable milla jovovich, and her war against the red queen, a computer program manufactured by the evil umbrella corporation and a world populated by the undead.

these films are based on video games and they play like video games.  there is little to no plot, only more danger as alice and her cohorts find themselves in deeper shit every time they turn a corner.  alice not only perseveres but triumphs only to face tougher battles in the next movie.  the director, paul w.s. anderson, is pretty good at keeping the action taut.  the problem in this film, and all the movies in the franchise, is a lack of a coherent narrative.  it seems the video games have developed their own mythologies but those don't translate to the screen very well.

still jovovich is a pleasure to watch even in tripe like this movie even if she works over her role as savior alice with a lack of affect.  she sleepwalks thru her lines but comes alive when it is time to fight.  just as well.  i mean the writers didn't give anyone any lines to speak.  guttural gestures work just as well to get to the next action set piece.

but is this a halloween type movie?  sure.  because the fact that we can count on a new installment in this franchise is hella scary. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

everyday is halloween

turistas [2006] 

how the hell could i have missed this one in 2006?!  a group of vacationers in brazil find a load of trouble while camping out on a very cool beach.  what happens next is just too goofy to describe.  less scary and more silly.  not that the filmmakers do not do their best to make the horrors authentic.  after all, this is a pic firmly in the mode of what was called in the last decade 'torture porn.'  there is a bit of a twist in the plot that makes this flick less gratuitous than most in that bloody genre of ill repute and there is an underwater cave cat and mouse game that is fairly well photographed, edited and acted but is --i repeat -- a rather silly function in the plot.

the actors are all game and are extraordinarily beautiful, josh duhamel, melissa george and olivia wilde, who do a credible job of three hapless souls caught in some very weird machinations.  i couldn't not watch this flick because these three are in it.  call me lame. 


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

everyday is halloween

O the season is changing leaves are drying dying stripping off their greenery turning reds and golds and dropping to sidewalks and streets.  commercials for halloween candy and costumes are broadcast on TV.  and below is the opening ceremony to universal studios halloween horror nights located in LA.  the videographer, sharp productions, specialize in amusement park videos and do a fantastic job touring the various haunts of the theme park here.  i posted their video of last year's opening ceremony.  consider it the start of a tradition, or what have you.



Sunday, September 22, 2013


we had a record amount of rainfall yesterday.  lovely weather that cleared and cleaned the air and  the streets.  for the first day of fall the weather turned sunny and cool.  the light has changed from fluorescent yellow to a golden umber.  despite some shit that cause the usual stresses re work and house [i've been on a stevens reading jag the past couple days trying to work out how he managed to be an executive and a bohemian and figured i can use a few lessons in those arts].

today i read a fantastic piece by kamau brathwaite published in HAMBONE #17 titled the namsetoura papers.  this particular issue was published in 2004.  at the time i subscribed to the journal.  i am quite shocked that i've had this journal for nearly 10 years now.  10 years have gone by that fast?!  brathwaite's INGLISH is published in a kind of font that does to text the way certain lighting and filters do to film.  this is a very cinematic writing that, in light of all of the stressors i've hinted at and are too mundane to discuss, held me in great delight.  brathwaite writes about the economic development of his home on barbados and his fight to keep his own land out of the hands of developers.  here the poet declares that the almond tree in his yard all 'but challenges me to po-ms & prose scriptions that i nvr finish.'

amen.  for i too feel that in my own life and writing that i go on but despite the lack go on to never finish.  it is the work of life/the life of work that is the next step never to be completed until the fragments are clipped together by that giant paperclip called death.  the ordinary struggles and extraordinary tumults of living carried forth by needs great and small.  let us continue in our endevours even if no one is listening for is not life itself the mark of terrible struggle?

furthermore life is the result of the desires of two people, your mother and father.  for if they never desired each other you would not be here.  it is luck that brings us together and brought us life.  let us raise a glass to that luck.

and if you think i've forgotten about my favorite holiday guess again.  halloween is a little over a month away.  i'll be doing my typical EVERYDAY IS HALLOWEEN posts beginning this week.  not everyday but when the mood strikes.  the countdown's begun.  soon we'll hear the pitter of trickortreaters's feets.  in the meantime, dig this first day of autumn wherever you live.     

Saturday, September 21, 2013


when i got to work i stopped in the john

washing my hands i see a little drunken

bee hitched to the strap of my backpack

wobbly held to nothing but hope and a dream

no, that was me held to nothing

i lifted the bee to the sink wished it well

knowing the next person to wash his

hands will probably freak at the sight of a bee

on the sink and squash it

in stupid ignorance

Friday, September 20, 2013

the man in the back row has two questions

1.  which poet of any era could you shoot the shit with?

2.  which poet of any era would you most likely punch in the nose?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

i never understood the need to categorize writers into major and minor

or create canons

i believe the poet doesn't have to be the sharpest tool in the shed

talent is a mean commodity

the poet to paraphrase raymond carver must look at an old shoe

or a sunset and say holy shit that is amazing

with wonder grace and luck

i like the idea of the poet as stevens' ragged old tramp

the poet as a streetsweeper with a PhD

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


one more thing

crowd scenes painted elephants

beer in hand

boring kitchen decor

love being held

black&white KING KONG on top of the empire state building

antiseptic office large bay window no view

tequila black leather miniskirt no chaseer

[images taken from tv commercials on IFC 10:01 pm]

Monday, September 16, 2013

just before bed

i am up.  i am a night owl.  i can't help it.  that's just my own make-up.  i'll probably die this way.  i prefer the world at 3:00 a.m. then i do at 3:00 p.m.  i love cities.  i love cities at night when the sun dims and the lights turn on.  one of the greater joys of my life is walking home after work in winter when it is cold -- california cold, not arctic, snow-blown cold -- and the sun has bid us adieu.  the city puts on its winter coat decorated by lighting.  all kinds of lighting from street lamps to the twinkling squares of building windows.  i feel compact and safe walking these streets.  there is a pleasure in anonymity when your visage is in shadow.  you are an other.  you become -- to quote french poet rene char -- simply two legs walking.  or sitting in your house when everyone is in bed.  time slows, darkness stretches possibility toward the doable.  at night you can think.  the world is still, or has slow down enough, to breathe, to stretch, to utter into the ineffable night air, that's right, bitches, i am alive.   

Friday, September 13, 2013

it's not that i'm superstitious but i stopped reading my horoscope many moons ago after getting one of those don't go out of the house kind of readings.  i did go out a and had a wonderful day and evening.  as i was driving home later that night i was telling my friend about that horrid forecast when BOOM! i was sideswiped and my car -- a sweet 1963 VW bug -- was totaled and i got a smallish scar on my left knee.

since then i don't read my horoscope.  i don't believe in fate.  i think luck rules.  but hey it is friday the 13th.  it was a good day.  when i got home from work i took nick to the halloween store where we explored all the killer klowns and black cats to our hearts' delight. 

my favorite time of the year.  hell yes.  i'm not superstitious but i won't read my horoscope just the same. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013


movies poetry and the surreal life

naw, give me a chris burden commercial

of the artist on late night TV

crawling along a road of broken glass

the cuts were real, right

and if i move toward nonsense vs. meaning

done at 24 frames per second

let the practice of a mysticism grounded

by glass on a road and the scars

of a fully committed life

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


very lovely evening with a cool delta breeze

the slow then fast turn toward autumn

golden brown light a few leaves falling

watching the tao of steve [2000]

starring donal logue as an overweight philosopher

kindergarten teacher slob who can listen to women

and reading the collected books of late nz poet

leicester kyle edited by jack ross and published

on this blog

Saturday, September 07, 2013

quote unquote

Being a poet is not writing a poem but finding a new way to live.

--paul le cour via eileen r. tabios [I Take Thee English, for My Beloved; marsh hawk press, 2005]

Thursday, September 05, 2013

china 9, liberty 37 [1978]

i believe this might be my first spaghetti western review.  it's not like a dislike the genre.  i grew up watching clint eastwood in sergio leone's classics and know a few of them by heart.  as a genre i have not gotten into the habit of collecting western films.  i am a poor student.  forgive me.

as for this feature filmed by the great monte hellman, starring fabio testi, warren oates, jenny agutter, and sam peckinpah, well, tonight is the first time i've seen the pic.  again, forgive me.  it's a rather slow burn of a feature.  testi is a condemned gunfighter given a reprieve, and a pardon, if he hunts down an older gunfighter played by oates.  agutter is oates' wife and the women caught in the middle of these two cocks of the walk who speak little and shoot a lot.  peckinpah is a dime novelist along for the ride.

and the shit goes down.  the two gunfighters meet and shoot.  that's about it.  i won't tell you the rest.  see the movie for yourself.  agutter does not have much of a role.  the script affords her very little but to cry on cue.  agutter does that with gusto.  and yet she is so lovely and is such a magnetic presence onscreen that i will give the scriptwriters a break for not creating a stronger character for such a nimble actor.

as for testi, a veteran of italian exploitation cinema, hell, that dude is astonishing to watch anything he is in.  same goes for oates, an utterly outstanding character actor.  director hellman knew how to stage his set pieces for maximum boom.  in this film he does not disappoint.  the languid pace of the movie, and the anachronistic1970s soundtrack, takes one outside the violence committed by its principals and steeps the viewer into a somnambulant lull of hi desert wastelands.  instead of turning the landscape into cliches of other westerns hellman, and his cinematographer, paints a lush palette worthy of the action of the film.  hellman's camera glides over the plains and hills of dusty brown and grounds his actors into the dirt of the sets.  when violence erupts, as it often does, that grounding of people and place underscores the banality of violent action as it relates to the work of two western gunfighters, men of action and death.

when i get depressed, as i am wont to do lately, i think of all the movies, books and music i have yet to discover.  things of the past that are still absolutely new to me.  i've not seen it all, heard it all, or read it all.  i never will.  a movie like this one fills me with hope.  i can't go on.  i'll go on. 

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


end of summer

start of fall

wicked humid day

rain hot

t-shirt and shorts


hold a mere

50 -- 60 good years


starting tonight

compose short


on the history

of my failures

Monday, September 02, 2013

up all night

it is 10 minutes after one a.m. and i am wide awake.  have no idea why.  perhaps its my body and brain adjusting to post-vacation time.  instead of lazily taking the sun on the sand in cayucos which is what i did all last week we did chores today.  normal stuff like house cleaning and laundry.  no big whoop there even if the ordinariness of daily life still manages to maintain a wee bit of magic gathering in the dustbins and corners of our minds.  thom gunn wondered why we can't seem to take what we learn on holidays into the working life of the towns.  unless humans 'contain in their emotions some homeostatic device by which they must defeat themselves just as they are learning their freedom.'

to extend that freedom even for a few hours tonight i watched muscle beach party [1964], a favorite beach movie entry of mine.  i missed harvey lembeck's character eric von zipper, a hapless biker in thrall with the beach even as he and his gang of 'rats and mice' tip forward the plots of most beach films.  this is the only entry in the series without lembeck and his gang of goofballs.  even so, beach movies are ripe with girls in bikinis, dick dale and the del-tones, surfboards and hi-jinks.  i couldn't help think that the actors in this movie, all young and good looking, are now 50 years older.  the thought correlates to another i entertained in cayucos, we get, if we are lucky, 50 or 60 good years in our lives.  that's it.  what we do with those years is up to us to a degree. but if we can have a some choices on how we live our lives why bitch and complain.  do or do not.  be a good person, and but be, too.

life is too short to be in a hurry.  one may become depressed by the shortness of life.  one might be supercharged by life's brevity.  death is our constant.  with that knowledge ask how will you live.