Wednesday, November 4, 2009

postcard movie review

Dear Spike,

Next time, less soundtrack more movie. Say "hey" to Charlie for me, if you guys still hang out.


ps: the kids are alright...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Q: what is an astronaut's favorite sport? A: Lcross

A few months ago, the public library had "lunar samples" on display. It was a palm-sized clear disk with different variations of gray powder and corresponding labels. Totally disappointing.
I thought this picture would be appropriate for our undead blog because of the LCROSS mission aka "the bombing of the moon."
Many are skeptical and more are outraged regarding this whole ordeal--- but at least this will provide astronauts with the opportunity to collect better samples of moonrocks to display in public libraries across the nation.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

burrito dinner

starring "goof ball" branden goff, dave "throw up those dukes" kutz, "aunti" christ-ina spinelli and bob "lye" barry. in the biggest action dinner since arnold ate those babies.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009

another crisis averted thanks to cartoons

anyone who knows me, knows that i like to reference cartoons in conversation.

let me put it this way, some people have the bible, other people have wise and aged family members, i have cartoons. cartoons have taught me many of the many things that have made me who i am. they have taught me morals, ethics, interpersonal skills, economics, what to do with pesky road runners, and so on.

well this post is to honor cartoons which have saved me from unknown horrors.

as this picture above demonstrates i was almost lured into a trap. i know this. i learned this from cartoons. they taught me that carrots on the ground are never just free carrots. i couldn't see the box, but i'm sure it was there, right above those carrots, waiting to drop on me so that some stuttering hunter in flannel could have his way with me.

thank you animated allegories!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Favorite Sport

While briefly researching 'Bangladesh', whose national sport is Kabaddi, I came across Kabaddi. It's like tag, except with one essentially different, borderline-ridiculous rule. Not to mention, the game seems entirely based around trust--trust that the raider is not breathing while she/he is attacking you. What? I know. Amazing.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Un Petit Poem

Trust me darling
the only progress you halted
in letting your hair grow long
was the once understood process
that of my moving on

Monday, April 20, 2009


the boston marathon is pretty cool.

they close down so many miles of roads.

then dudes come whizzing by in these amazing devices.

and then your mom demonstrates how nuts she is by doing an 'army' dance.

people don't obey traffic lights... it's shocking

and you get to high five tons of well as yell their names in encouragement

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Extreme Sheep Herding

I'm not sure if this is real, but if it is, it's amazing.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

where'd you hear about this book? a review of sorts

Lush Life, by Richard Price

I went into Barnes & Noble after work a few weeks ago to kill time before a movie. Sat on the floor and looked through the photo books for awhile. Diane Arbus. Nick Veasey

Wandered by the noteworthy fiction table and scanned some titles. Picked up Lush Life, the author's name looked vaguely familiar but I couldn't place it. 

I put the book back and asked the girl at the customer service desk if they had a guidebook for my camera. She had left her car lights on and was in a rush to run out to the parking lot and turn them off. 

"Ummm," she said, "he can help you." 

Pointed to a paunchy, balding guy in his late twenties. 

I asked about the guidebook. Turns out they didn't have it in stock. He said they could have it in in a day or two. Had to backpedal and say I wasn't really sure if I wanted it. Felt awkward and cheap. All I wanted was to read the section on shutter speeds. 

Went back to the photo section and looked at Nick Veasey again.

I walked back by noteworthy fiction. Picked up Lush Life, still couldn't place Richard Price. Started to read the back. 

"Hey, did you find your camera book?" 

Customer service girl was back. 

I told her I decided not to get it, felt cheap again. Held up Lush Life and asked if I could pay for it there at the customer service desk. She shook her head and pointed to the front counter. I thanked her for all her help and hustled out of there. 

Reading the back as I walked, thinking maybe I would ditch it on the new releases table on the way out. 

On the back, Michael Chabon calls Price "our best, one of the best writers of dialogue in the history of American literature." This is like Ray Allen saying someone has a sweet jumpshot. I decide to actually buy the book. 

Pay in cash, no bag, thank you, have a nice day. 

Reading the book at home and the first chapter is called "Fishing Hole on Delancey." I remember who Richard Price is. First time I heard his name was on The Moth where he tells the real Fishing Hole on Delancey story of doing ride-alongs with the NYPD while researching a book. Apparently, Lush Life

I remember what an incredible story that episode was and high-five myself for making such a good choice. 

Rest of the book is a slam dunk. It's like reading a season of The Wire. Storylines for victims, perps, and law enforcement all bleed in and out and onto each other effortlessly. Really nails 'the Dickensian aspect.' I'm almost-smiling and almost-crying on every other page it seems like. 

Fuck, The Wire was such an awesome show and this book is almost as good!

Turns out Richard Price was a writer on The Wire. 

Sunday, March 29, 2009

RE: Tedium

Bliss - a-second-by-second joy and gratitude at the gift of being alive, conscious - lies on the other side of crushing, crushing boredom. Pay attention to the most tedious thing you can find (Tax Returns, Televised Golf) and, in waves, a boredom like you've never known will wash over you and just about kill you. Ride these out, and it's like stepping from black and white into color. Like water after days in the desert. Instant bliss in every atom.

-David Foster Wallace, from his notes for The Pale King, a novel on transcendence, boredom, and the IRS.

Excerpts from The Pale King give us a glimpse into the uber-boring world of an IRS office and offer some interesting strategies for coping. Whilst checking forms for accuracy, IRS clerks pause to envision soothing tropical paradises and frequently clench and unclench their butt cheeks. 

Whether this an actual practice by IRS agents discovered during Wallace's extensive research and preparation or an entirely fictional creation could not be verified by my own cursory Google search.

*Wallace hung himself in his garage before completing The Pale King, casting serious doubts on the validity of his insights into how to cope with the tedium of human life. 

** Wallace was also an accomplished tennis player and scholar of the game. Read an article he wrote on Roger Federer (one of his last completed works).

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Merrill Howard Kalin Show (wowwee kazoowee)

Merrill Howard Kalin Show

Go ahead. Hate me. You know you're laughing. And for your information he was not faking any of this. Plus he's dead. Not from salmonella but from "Natural causes". If you have seen this in past I am sorry for posting this. Unfortunately I hadn't seen this up until a few nights ago. Priceless.....

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

majestic creatures welcome spring

Walking home yesterday from work, I noticed an unsettling number of birds. Specifically, robins. Everywhere. Literally scores of robins. I estimated about fifty, and that was only on the ground-- some were hiding in trees, others waiting patiently on telephone wires. It was kind of like dying and going to bird-heaven, where all the robins had died and became little angelic beacons of spring and bird-heaven looked just like Albion Avenue.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Life's Great Disappointments vol. VII

I walked all the way across PetQuarters to get a closer look at a guy in the fish department who I thought looked like a young Daniel Stern. 

Up close he was just a poor man's Dustin Diamond.

PetQuarters didn't even have the brand of cat food I was looking for.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

a single burst of glorious criminality

"... her career ended in a single burst of glorious criminality. You can't keep a lady waiting forever, and there came an afternoon when she decided that she'd waited long enough."
  - Orson Welles

Not the first but certainly the most notorious of matadoras, renowned bullfighter Conchita Cintron passed away a few weeks ago.

Women were forbidden to fight on foot in Spain (lest they be gored and exposed in some unseemly and immodest fashion) and in Europe Cintron fought primarily as a rejoneadora from horseback. 

In one of her final fights on Spanish soil, Cintron ignored the order to leave the arena and let a male fighter dispatch the bull. She dismounted, drew her sword and muleta cape, and faced the bull.

The bull charged. Cintron swept her cape aside, let her sword fall to the ground, and reached out with her bare fingers to caress the shoulder of the charging bull. 

She left the arena amidst a shower of thunderous applause and red carnations and was promptly arrested. 

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Monday, February 23, 2009

City Slicker

A mournful Amazing Grace in
Harvard Square Station,
And high heel clicks on cobble stone
Is what it means
To call this city home.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

that gift from your sister

A few years back, I got a book from my sister Kristen for Christmas. The book is called "The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today" and it is by Martin Seymour-Smith (MSS from now on); copyright 1998. While pretending to love the gift for the sake of decorum, I silently dismissed the book, at the time, as a banal supermarket volume that would have valueless and cute summaries of things I'd already been force-fed in high school. I didn't touch it for several years. Now, about 3 years after the initial gift-giving, I am realizing that I could not have been further from the mark (sorry Kristen). MSS provides 2 - 4 page descriptions of varying important texts, focusing on the contexts of the works as well as the lives and thoughts of the writers themselves. It reads like a kind of print Wikipedia. MSS ingulges in frequent tangents wherein he lambastes modern-day beurocracy, lazy academics and basically all orthodox religions as they are now practiced - as his points here seem sound, this is more amusing than distracting. He never shies away from passing strong judgment on the authors he describes or on certain of their contemporaries. Despite this extra, perhaps unnecessary flair, the meat and potatoes of the book is well in place and I am very grateful for the wide-ranging scope of information that MSS has put together for this volume. Here are some snippets of the text for those of you interested:

*on the I Ching (c. 1500 B.C.E.)
it's pronounced "Yee Jing" and it's usually translated as "Book of Changes". The book contains number combinations which are read and said to "contain the answers for everything". It's a kind of divination tool which has held influence in China from the time of its writing to the present day.
- "The importance - and influence - of the I Ching, whose true origins remain shrouded in mystery, stems from its being one of the earlist efforts of the human mind to find its place in the universe ... it was preceded - and generated - in China by the very early theory of "yang" and "yin". Yang originally meant sunshine, whereas yin implied the absence of heat and light. The two antithetical principles came to be regarded as cosmic forces: masculinity/femininity, heat/cold, brightness/darkness, dryness/wetness, hardness/softness, and so forth. The Chinese saw the tension set up by two phenomena as having brought forth the universe itself. The legendary Fu Hsi, emperor of China, is supposed to have invented the eight basic trigrams - sets of three lines, broken and unbroken-which form the basis of the I Ching. Any two of these trigrams will combine into sixty-four hexagrams. The original text of the I Ching consisted of accounts of the symbolic meanings of each of these hexagrams. Even as we know them they are still cryptic and laconic."

*on The Old Testament (c. 1500 B.C.E.)
"Jesus Christ was ... in all probability a gnostic ..." [The early Christian Church set itself up against gnosticism and] "drew, ruthlessly, upon the monotheism of the Jewish religion as expressed in The Old Testament, and ....on astralist tendencies in the very Greek world which it sought to convert"
(i.e. the Christian Church quickly became very scary, and very unlike Christ, from about 200 C.E. onwards!)

here's an example of an enjoyable tangent appearing in an entry on Homer and his Illiad / Odyssey: "Politics (wonderfully ingenuous and, like most human enterprises at their inception, such as money, a good idea - but now at their last gasp, and practiced only by polite psychopaths and their too willing victims) ..."

* on The Avesta (c. 500 B.C.E.)
The Avesta is the volume which lays out the thinking of the religion Zarathustrianism which would turn into Zoroastrianism, "the oldest of the monotheistic religions". Zoroaster, "legendarily the only infant ever to have laughted at birth," was a "priest, poet, seer and prophet of the steppes of eastern Iran [and a] reformer of the polytheistic religion into which he was brought up." His thought is the basis of The Avesta.
- "Zoroaster's theology is ... thus: The god Ahura Mazda ("Lord Wisdom") is an eternal uncreated (i.e. has always been in existence) ... being of the utmost good, who created the universe, which is also good. Opposing him, and also uncreated and original - in other words, until then and indeed now in human time, co-eternal - is the unequivocally evil Angra Mainyu ...The duty of humanity, but a duty which each person must choose in heart - not by rote - is to aid Ahura Mazda against Angra Mainyu."
- "Zoroaster ... claimed to have received his teaching directly from Ahura Mazda, his personal friend ... and optimistically preached that time would end with the victory of good. He thus first contributed the notion of eschatology - last things, the end of the world - to religious thought."
- Free will is stressed in Zarathustrianism and the thinking in this religion - ideas of Heaven and Hell, death and resurrection and doctrines on the nature of evil especially - heavily influenced the Jews, Christians and Muslims

* on Desiderius Erasmus and his In Praise of Folly (1509)
Erasmus was a contemporary of Martin Luther and is said to have paved the way for the Reformation. He was a priest, though he had little interest in organized religion. He turned to writing satires on ignorance and against war and, though he never left the church, was highly critical of it. "He was essentially an imaginative writer...a writer who wanted, by his works, to make the world into a kinder and gentler place."
- "Erasmus was popular in his own time. He wrote, essentially, for enlightened men like himself who felt themselves powerless to prevent the folly perpetrated by those with more direct influence upon events ...[he has been called] "overintellectual when a form of intellectuality, superior learning, was his only weapon in a world which not only banned (all Erasmus's works were several times banned by the Church he refused to leave) but burned his work. The spirit of the age was that of Luther and Calvin rather than of humane letters, and he wrote to bring into focus what resistance there was to their violent dogmatism. There was much of this resistance, but it had little effect at the time."
- Erasmus's In Praise of Folly focuses on "human diversity and vitality". "It is a tribute to vitality, to honest and natural feeling, to instinct, to energy, to simplicity, to - above all - Christ as Fool. It is even a tribute to irresponsibility ... As Erasmus writes in it, 'This much is certain: without a little folly, no party is any fun.'"

* on Miguel Cervantes and his Don Quixote (part I, 1605; part II, 1615)
Cervantes "joined the Spanish legion in Italy; in 1571 he found himself at the Battle of Lepanto ... [where he] was twice wounded in the chest - and permanently lost the use of his left hand." In 1575 he was returning back to Spain from Naples, having completed his service, when he was captured by pirates. He was imprisoned until 1580, though he tried to escape several times in the interim. "He started to write during those dreary five years of imprisonment, mainly plays to entertain his fellow captives. A couple of these, out of many he wrote, have survived and were published long after his death. They are quite unremarkable - as unremarkable as the poetry he tried but always failed to write throughout his life. Perhaps it was his lack of capacity to write great poetry, his frustrated yearning to discover the magical language in which to do so ... that contributed to the astonishing universality - indeed, to the undeniable poetry - of Don Quixote. Most of those who feel rejected by poetry but do not try to manufacture it, become the most invaluable readers of it; Cervantes took a different course."

* on Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and his Works (1663-1716)
- "He was the first writer to introduce the notion of the unconscious"
- "The ordinary educated man or woman is perhaps less likely to be able to say anything much about him ... than about any other figure of a similar degree of eminence"
- "Leibniz was perhaps the last "universal man" of the Renaissance type. A supreme polymath, he was a mathematician, scientist, lawyer, diplomat, engineer, historian, courtier, librarian, and inventor (of the first calculation machine that could extract roots, a great improvement on that of Pascal) He was also a poet, but a bad and exceptionally conventional one ... He was a very public figure, described by George I of England as a 'walking encyclopedia'. He was a prodigy who attended college at fourteen. In 1669 he entered into the service of the elector of Mainz, then, in 1672, always devoted ... to the notion of international peace, he traveled to Paris to try to persuade Lous XIV to expel the Turks from Egypt in order to distract his attention from marching on Holland (this ploy did not work) ..."
- "Leibniz's definition of reality - that it consists of a number of nonmaterial monads (this meant to him: the smallest possible entity that is a unity, the simplest possible unit of energy), absolutely independent of one another - is one of the three important accounts of reality of the seventeenth century; that it is by far the oddest should not deter us from acknowledging this ..."
- "When Leibniz died, feeling miserable and unfulfilled, plagued with gout, and under secret surveillance, not a single person from the court of Hanover was present at his funeral. He had been avaricious, multifariously active, accessible, power-loving and the greatest intellect of his time with the exception of Newton. He never married ... and it is said that after he proposed at the age of fifty he withdrew his proposal 'before it was too late'. He was not 'smooth,' charming, or 'nice,' but relied on his eminence and indeed on his 'greatness' to get by socially. Had it not been for his irresistible influence he would hardly have atttrracted the attention of posterity ... He died lonely, and he is neglected as a person even today. Biographies of him are grim affairs."

Monday, February 16, 2009

a life philosophy

"The world is so full of a number of things,
I am sure we should all be as happy as kings"
- quote embroidered on a wall hanging in my grandmother’s bed room

Hegel, shmeghel. Heidegger, blah-de-bore. I choose Hallmark!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sunday Night at the Supermarket

Dear Lady, 

I very much admire your courageous choice to eschew traditional groceries in favor of a box of wine, a birthday cake, and a carton of menthol cigarettes. 

Missing you already,


Let's Talk Indian Cuisine!

Here is what I have learned of Indian cuisine. First off, India is a mecca for vegetarians. Most restaurants have primarily vegetarian offerings. You can easily find places with both veg and non-veg fare but I have yet to find a place with the scales tipped wildly in the favor of chicken, beef or seafood. The staple in the south is rice. The staple in the north is roti, chapati or any other word you want to pick which translates roughly to "bread". These staples are dipped in curries and "pickles" (which are wildly hot and spicy). The base in a curry can be chickpeas, assorted dry fruits, mixed vegetables, large balls of fermented cheese, etc. In Kerela (way south), the rice is puffy and oversized. In Andhra Pradesh (south central, where I am), the choice is basmati rice or daal (any one of a variety of bean offerings which can take the place of rice). A traditional meal is served on a big round plate with dividers (like you get in a cafeteria). In the dividers, you will find a large place for the rice or bread. In the side areas are the pickles, curries and vegetables. Water, a fruit juice, or one of many soft drink knockoffs act as the beverage. Pictured below is what my host offered me for lunch one day in Varanasi.The sweets are raw and blunt - no messing around. Most taste like they are in some part of the batter stage. This is in no way saying they are bad. Just require some intrepid tastebuds. The first picture below is of some sweets I purchased in Darjeeling. I staged them nicely on my bed before consumption. The picture below that is of the sweets on offer at a Varanasi sweet shop (Varanasi is hailed as the sweets capital of India - based on a minimal amount of research, I will for now concur) A word on the spice. Obviously, a lot of the food is spicy. This has not bothered me much. I prefer a runny nose and a fiery tongue to the other option - curd or yogurt, which is served in it's own little bowl and offered as a "neutralizer" to the spicy parts of the meal. Some people see-saw back and forth between the curry and the curd. Others throw the curd right on the curry. To me, this is wrong. Go big or go home. The famous dish for where I have been living in central / south India is "biryani," a rice dish with mint and many other competing flavors which work together to delight the palate. McDonalds, KFC, Subway, Baskin Robbins and Pizza Hut are all here though they have revised menus to appeal to the Indian crowd - for example, the Pizza Hut offers "paneer," or fermented cheese in the stead of the melted cheeses we are used to. There are also many more chilis present on the pizza pies here. And a pepper is called a "capsicum," a rare case where the Indian languages fails to provide more melodius sounds than the English.

Street food / beverages are delightful and always within reach (at least where I have mostly been, in the city). There are a plethora of carts selling "chaat" or "tiffins," essentially a word meaning "snacks". Pani poori are these little wafer thin bread bowls that you break open and pour in this flavored liquid. There is "bhel poori" which is a very tasty kind of wholesome chex mix, without the chex cereal. There are ice cream vedors near the more heavily visited hang-out areas. You get the same things here that you'd get from your ice cream man in the states, though there are some extra flavors - dates make an appearance, fruits are in general more apparent, and almonds show up in a big way. Fruit juice vendors line the streets. You can get fresh orange juice (the oranges here are usually green and yellow on the outside), sugar cane juice, pineapple juice, apple juice and grape juice. A lot of the vendors will throw in some pepper unless you tell them otherwise. I tried this once, to get the experience, you know? God, what a mistake. Get that pepper out of my fruit juice! A cup of one of these juices costs about 20 - 25 cents. You can also drink out of cocunuts which is quite fun if not very refreshing - the liquid is pretty lukewarm. And after you drink the juices inside, the vendor will hack away with his hatchet at the cocunt until you have a chunk of the shell with which to scrape away the insides for your eating pleasure - this is an enjoyable and truly involved culinary experience. Pictured below is a branch of coconuts sitting on the banks of the Alleppey backwaters in Kerela. I consumed one of those guys' siblings - DeliciousEating with hands is fun, though not pleasant to look at some of the time. And cooking vegetables you bought from a guy on the street is also enjoyable as it hacks away several degrees of seperation you have to deal with when you pick out produce from your local super market. I honestly never thought of the food here as unhealthy until about two months in, when I encountered an Australian couple tossing invective left and right at the copious grease content of many of the dishes here. Fair enough. You want some curry, you're gonna get a lot of grease. But this is fine for most people and usually not overbearing.

Pictured below is what I had for dinner tonight. I have been attempting to cook Indian meals since arriving here. I started with rice as the staple and would cook various vegetables and throw it together with some spices. Then I moved on to daal as the staple. This here is green daal cooked with vegetables. Here, I used Coriander, Turmeric (which is why the potatoes are yellow), Dhania Powder and Garam Masala. I half understand how to use these spices so many of my dishes are, I'm sure, an abomination of Indian cooking. Hey, whatever it is, it fills you up just the same.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I know there are a lot of Muppet fans who contribute to this blog, so I thought I'd share. Here are the back stories of some of your favorite Muppets!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

What do you get...

...when one washed-up singer invites another washed-up singer to add some vocals to a track?


I'm gonna say it flat out: I like this song, against all better judgment. In fact, the entire "Sweet Insanity" sessions are pretty fucking fabulous!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Netflix User Reviews Rock

Thank you 'Tycerium' for your insightful commentary on Women's Prison Massacre: Uncut.

"Womens Prison Massacre: Uncut" is not a good women in prison film. "Fugitive Girls" and "Reform School Girls" are much better, for example. "Womens Prison Massacre" has some nudity and a little soft core sex, but not very much, and it's not very erotic. The story, acting, and dialogue are bad, and not in an amusing way. The soundtrack is extremely annoying, playing loudly, repetitively, and needlessly. There's more violence than sex, and it's grosser and bloodier than it needs to be. For an amusingly campy women in prison B-movie, I recommend "Fugitive Girls". For a more sexy one, I recommend "Reform School Girls".

My only complaint is that Tycerium fails to comment on whether the bonus second feature, Caged Women, is a worthwhile addition to the women in prison canon.

In Threes

good things:
the color yellow
faye dunaway
old cars

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Life of Mammals

I love David Attenborough. He was the creator of "Planet Earth," which was absolutely beautiful, and I've started exploring his earlier work. Right now, I'm obsessed with the series "The Life of Mammals." Attenborough leads the viewer from the most primative of mammals all the way up to human beings. Even if you were the type of kid who was obsessed with all things animals, you'll still learn something new. Much of Attenborough's work is available for instant view on Netflix.


I feel better already.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Does anyone remember this shit?!

For some reason I was talking about Scott Wolf this morning and I found out that he married a blonde girl from The Real World New Orleans. Then I remembered this douchebag.....

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Awesome internet video checklist:
  • racy subject matter - X
  • comically frequent blinking - X
  • skateboarders hurting themselves - no
  • opportunity to judge others - X
  • Tyra Banks trying not to say "slut" and "blowjob" on daytime television - X
  • kittens - no
No kittens or skateboarders here, but I think this clip amply compensates with its other charms.

Watch carefully to appreciate the subtle awesomeness.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ramsays Kitchen Nightmares

Ramsays Kitchen Nightmares is one of the best shows on television. There is a British verision on BBC America which is pretty awesome becasue he fucking swears and shit. Then there is an American adaptaion on Fox Reality just called Kitchen Nightmares. Gordon Ramsay is basically an asshole and that is what makes the show so entertaining. The basic premise of the program is that he is called into some failing restaraunt and basically tries to fix everything that is wrong with it, from the food, to the dining service and even the decor. Gordon Ramsay is an extremely well known chef and entreapenaur. He has written countless books and is most famous for being the hot heated star of Fox's failed reality show Hells Kitchen. If you have yet to see either one of these programs (the ones with Nightmare in the title) I suggest you either get BBC America or find it on the internet. Here is a clip from Ramsays Kitchen Nightmares: Can't cook a Mussel

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Maybe Your Baby

Some Songs with Baby in the Title
screenshot, color.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On this day in history...

Pour one out for the old boy! James Joyce died sixty-eight years ago today.

Friday, January 9, 2009


In the grave days of small wonders,
quarried bones and headstone halves gleaned through ceiling holes,
secrets coupling with house ghosts, retrieving mementos
from closets, from bedrooms
at odd hours throughout the night

and straight into winter
and straight into morning

Remember: Exposure

TV buzz, bellyaching
sans love
all the great drones of a great haunted house

our very own. Remember:
(shaken memories from the shelves
shattering on the grubby floors below),
cow hips in the foundation,
cats under crosses,
dead dogs gathering in sewage pools

without a God’s Eye. Remember

the downstairs piano talking
in the dread hush of something
ghastly taking shape with eyes open

I, in an upstairs twin
beside the curved wall window
gazing into stairs
in the face of time without time,
time without hands
time as endless indifference

in that unearthly moan,
an eternity of just knowing

you, sleeping around in the corners,
in the corner of a room, you were sleeping
around with her, you, with and without my sister
drawing up lies and quick answers.

Then I was afraid just knowing

of my own forgotten sleepwalks,
the secrets I, too thickly harbored
like you, Brother, under woolen covers

the great dusty heirloom
banging about the crooked floorboards.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Counterlife

I recently received the fifth volume of the Library of America's newly published Philip Roth's Novels and Other Narratives. Here is an excerpt from the book's first novel - The Counterlife - in which Henry (alternating protagonist/antagonist) finds his famous brother Nathan's unpublished novel, which to his surprise serializes all of Nathan's missteps under Henry's name.

Exaggeration. Exaggeration, falsification, rampant caricature -- everything, thought Henry, about my vocation, to which precision. accuracy, and mechanical exactness are absolutely essential, overstated, overdrawn, and vulgarly enlarged. Witness the galling misrepresentation of my relations with Wendy. Sure when the patient is in the hair, and he's got the hygienist or assistant working on him, and she's playing with his mouth with her delicate hands and everything is hanging all over him, sure there is a part of it that stimulates, in the patient, sexual fantasy. But when I am doing an implant, and the whole mouth is torn open, and the tissue detached from the bone, and the teeth, the roots, all exposed, and the assistant's hands are in there with mine, when I've got four, even six, hands working on the patient, the last thing I'm thinking is about sex. You stop concentrating, you let that enter, and you fuck up -- and I'm not a dentist who fucks up. I am a success, Nathan. I don't life all day vicariously in my head -- I live with saliva, blood, bone, teeth, my hands in mouths as raw and real as the meat in the butcher's window.

World Record Skateboard Slalom

Monday, January 5, 2009


One more car ride
with the radio playing
music, like Boston
so wholly inappropriate
for tight quarters
and weekday nights
then I just might take the wheel

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mozart of Madras

Who is A.R. Rahman?

According to his very modestly designed and unpretentious official website, he "is the pride of the Indian nation and a role model for millions around the world." Further perusal of the biography section (which is accessed through a flash-animated marble-arched doorway and flanked by Pegasi and seagulls) also reveals that he is a prolific film composer with scores of Bollywood and western studio films to his credit.

Most recently, he did the music for Danny Boyle's thrilling and awesomely sentimental Slumdog Millionaire.

Here's one of his older and more popular songs, "Chaiyya Chaiyya," (I believe Spike Lee appropriated it for Inside Man) from the film Dil Se:

"One shoe, two feet"

for Emily Dickinson

One shoe, two feet -
indiscreet -
but incomplete.

Sour kisses -
understood -
climbing higher -
burning wood.

"I wrote some lines
to catch a tune
I'd sing to you
when you were blue."

Rhyming is
- not -
hard to do,

Loving is
- quite! -
fun for you;

are you ever afraid
of your fluttering feet
touching the sound
of unhallowed ground?

Once you touched roughly
the amateur stubble
of the not-yet-grey
I was-am-now-not:

i.e., Eternity winked but you missed it.

Thus and therefore:

you wished me away
and so I went
- quickly! -
and now I am
- glad. -
to be present
in everyone's absence.

I shall pet you now

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Postcard II

i've been peeing
in the shower
and I seldom make
my bed


god is good
and i have a
clean shirt
and a new

Thursday, January 1, 2009

In the Room Where You Sleep

In The Room Where You Sleep (live video version)

Not really sure what this is all about, but I think it's delightful. I believe that's Ryan Gosling at the piano.