Meet Val, one of Scott Seckel’s characters in his short story “Despoblado” from Deep Wild 2020, as he meets some fellow backcountry animals:
Friday, August 14, 2020
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Recently re-discovered the copy of CURBSIDE REVIEW (I guess now defunct) in which this appeared, way back in 2003.
Tu es pure, tu es encore plus
pure que moi-même
If I say I have given up nothing
it is not true
and the smoke doesn’t care
if I go
I may be the only one to speak of them
the only one to have been surrounded
and choked by the heat
and fire has a face
a hated face
a hating face
you who I will not name who other men have known
the dirt says: on me
the ashes say: on me
embers sense your presence
and our best moments
the sadness of knowing you
the sadness of having you
the impatience of waiting
you who forgets
who brings absence and takes me from the world
I hate you for crying
which destroys me and creates itself
Sunday, August 9, 2020
Movies I've seen at least three times and have somehow formed my life
1. Star Wars
I saw the first movie thirteen times in theaters when it came out. It's a space opera, perhaps cheeseball, yet at the time, visually, it was amazing. I felt like Luke in real life, living lonely on a desolate planet. I still feel that way. And I wanted to be Han Solo. I still feel that way.
The first, Alien, is also a classic, maybe even visually and artistically more so than Aliens, but there is something about this one, the non-stop action, but I love Vasquez. Ripley too, she was even smarter, but both offered me the strong women of comic books, strong women I've always looked for since. But more than one other young man I knew in the 90s loved Vasquez too, and her call to action has been mine for my life: "Let's rock!!"
3. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
I'd even argue The Life of Brian is better, but The Holy Grail was the first of theirs I saw, and changed how I saw humor: mockery and satire, above all to oneself. As a D&D nerd, this one hit home.
4. Blood of Heroes
With Rutger Hauer and Joan Chen. My group of high school friends, boys and girls, all loved this one, though I'm not sure how popular it ever was. That scene at the end—Joan Chen: I don't want to lose. Hauer: Then win.
All three times in my teens, I think. The original, with James Caan, spoke to something in the angry soccer player of my
younger self: "This isn't a game! It was never meant to be!" There's something about all sports in that statement. Recently re-watched and it holds up.
6. The Seven Samurai
I would be one of the group of misfits, wanting to do the right thing and defend the defenseless.
7. Blade Runner
Any version, though the Director's Cut (without the voiceover) is best. Combining sci-fi with noir is genius. But the question of what makes us human (memories? emotions?) is still relevant. Loved the sequel too.
8. The Piano
The only woman-directed film on the list, I know. All three of the actors are intense powerhouses. Holly Hunter (without speaking!) gave me the first real look into women's desires and fears and the balancing acts they have to perform. I would be (am) Harvey Keitel putting his tongue in the hole in her stocking.
Probably on everybody's list. The choice: he could get the woman, but gives her up for the greater cause. I want to love people because they serve a greater cause.
It's gritty. It's about the lowlife class which rarely gets representation. Which is what Charles Bukowski was always writing about. The beauty and the despair of being poor. Creating out of that.
11. Apocalypse Now
The original, not the Redux version. The extra footage doesn't add anything. I don't even like Martin Sheen or his performance—he was added late, was supposed to be Harvey Keitel I think (and imagine that)—it's everyone else in the movie, and it's the madness, not just of war, but of life. In a sense, and I just thought of this, Sheen works because he's so blank: he just wanders through the quest, already damaged from life, already shut down emotionally.
12. Spinal Tap
I saw the bass player Billy Sheehan give a talk, and he said, "I didn't think Spinal Tap was funny. All that stuff has happened to me." Which makes it funnier. The deadpan humor, everything played straight. I think it's somehow a mockumentary about men, in general, somehow. And not just musicians, but anyone who loves rock/metal music loves this movie. Because it's true.
13. Sex, Lies and Videotape
I relate to James Spader's character, his distance and desire, and I love the contrast between the people who are having sex but who are not connected/intimate, and his desire for, but fear of, intimacy.
Man On Wire