Tuesday, July 22, 2008

"Pink Rose, Green Bug"

Getting a little dusty around the old blog. I have been enjoying the Canadian television series "Slings and Arrows". I suppose its a drama but with more fun bits than serious and it does feature one of the former cast members from "The Kids in the Hall". It appears most of the episodes are on YouTube; here is the first clip. I was was fortunate that our local public library has all three seasons.

Off to the dentist this afternoon and am not looking forward to it as it has been slightly longer than the recommended six months between visits. Closer to a 108.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Living in America (not the James Brown version)

This is a pottery sculpture from a local artist I picked up a few years back from a silent charity auction. I added the feather duster headdress yesterday.

'Living in America,'
the intelligent people at Harvard say,
'is the price you pay for living in New England.'

Californians think
living in America is a reward
for managing not to live anywhere else.

The rest of the country?
Could it be sagging between two poles,
tastelessly decorated, dangerously overweight?

No. Look closely.
Under cover of light and noise
both shores are hurrying towards each other.

San Francisco
is already half way to Omaha.
Boston is nervously losing its way in Detroit.

Desperately the inhabitants
hope to be saved in the middle.
Pray to the mountains and deserts to keep them apart.

Anne Stevenson
Selected Poems
winner of the Neglected Masters Award

I meant to put this up a while back and it will have to stand as a belated 4th of July poem. The book is from the American Poets Project which I have mentioned previously here. I highly recommend the series.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

High Tide in Tucson

Calexico on iLike - Get Sidebar

On a slightly more positive note, Calexico has released a trailer for the upcoming album. Did I mention they were playing for free in Chicago in September at a World Music Festival? I am sure I did.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Thomas Disch 1940-2008

How to Behave when Dead

A notorious tease, he may pretend
not to be aware of you.
Just wait.
He must speak first. Then
you may begin to praise him.

sincerity and naturalness
count for more than wit.
His jokes may strike you as
Only laugh if he does.

They say he's mad for art,
but whether in the melting
elegiac mode of, say, this
Vase of Poppies
or, turning the mirror
to his own face, a bronze skull
gorging on a snake --
that is a matter of taste.
In any case, the expense
is what he notices.

What to wear.
Some authorities
still insist on black.
But really, in this modern age,
your best is all that is required.

-- Tom Disch

Thomas Disch, novelist, poet, critic, playwright, and children's book author, is dead. He took his own life after a series of tragedies. NY Times obit here.

For me, discovering Disch was world altering. He expanded my horizons and expectations. From the not just for kids book, The Brave Little Toaster to his book on poetry The Castle of Indolence, one of the few books of criticism I have read and enjoyed for pleasure, I have enjoyed his writing for years. He taught me more about how to read with a critical ear than anyone else. His book on science fiction, The Dreams Our Stuff is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered the World is a must read for all, even those who disdain the genre.

He will be missed. His blog is here.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive. . . .” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: “Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?”
Then it was quiet again. My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process.

-- Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

More Summer Reading

Paul, our local expert from Prairie Lights bookstore, has turned me on to many books over the last several years and now he has gone global via the 'Tube. Enjoy and have a safe and pleasant holiday celebrating the birth of our country. Where is my Lee Greenwood record?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Cafe Tacuba

I went home for lunch and caught the end of these guys playing on Austin City Limits. Mexican Pop/Ska/Rock...I like it and they remind of Skatalites, Bosstones, etc...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

"History ... is a nightmare from which I am trying to wake."

Thanks to Paper Cuts blog for pointing out the cover of the latest Poets & Writers magazine and the classic Marilyn photo. One of my goals for this summer's reading is to get through Richard Ellman's biography of James Joyce. I recently found a hard cover copy in excellent condition at Goodwill. I love the dark blue cover embossed Joyce's name and the Brancusi's symbol for Joyce on the fronts piece. I just need to find a good beach or a 'disappointed bridge' to sit and read on. And to somehow get paid for it.