Friday, February 27, 2009

More Frenzy

I wrote a friend with yesterday's poem (which sounds like a poem opener itself), since he loves the movies, and he responded that he and his partner had a Frank O'Hara poem read at their wedding. It's frenzied and wonderful, too. Many synapses, connecting madly. I'm in love with this one as well. I guess there's more O'Hara in my future. Wierdly, I've read some articles about his life, but never articles from the real article. Glad I am now.

Having a Coke with You
by Frank O'Hara

is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, IrĂșn, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them
I look at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully as the horse
it seems they were all cheated of some marvellous experience
which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I’m telling you about it

Frank O’Hara, “Having a Coke with You” from The Collected Poems of Frank O’Hara. Copyright © 1971 by Mauren Granville-Smith, Administratrix of the Estate of Frank O'Hara. Used by the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Poetic Frenzy

Here's some poetic frenzy for the day....

To the Film Industry in Crisis
by Frank O'Hara

Not you, lean quarterlies and swarthy periodicals
with your studious incursions toward the pomposity of ants,
nor you, experimental theatre in which Emotive Fruition
is wedding Poetic Insight perpetually, nor you,
promenading Grand Opera, obvious as an ear (though you
are close to my heart), but you, Motion Picture Industry,
it's you I love!

In times of crisis, we must all decide again and again whom we love.
And give credit where it's due: not to my starched nurse, who taught me
how to be bad and not bad rather than good (and has lately availed
herself of this information), not to the Catholic Church
which is at best an oversolemn introduction to cosmic entertainment,
not to the American Legion, which hates everybody, but to you,
glorious Silver Screen, tragic Technicolor, amorous Cinemascope,
stretching Vistavision and startling Stereophonic Sound, with all
your heavenly dimensions and reverberations and iconoclasms! To
Richard Barthelmess as the "tol'able" boy barefoot and in pants,
Jeanette MacDonald of the flaming hair and lips and long, long neck,
Sue Carroll as she sits for eternity on the damaged fender of a car
and smiles, Ginger Rogers with her pageboy bob like a sausage
on her shuffling shoulders, peach-melba-voiced Fred Astaire of the feet,Eric von Stroheim, the seducer of mountain-climbers' gasping spouses,the Tarzans, each and every one of you (I cannot bring myself to preferJohnny Weissmuller to Lex Barker, I cannot!), Mae West in a furry sled,her bordello radiance and bland remarks, Rudolph Valentino of the moon,its crushing passions, and moonlike, too, the gentle Norma Shearer, Miriam Hopkins dropping her champagne glass off Joel McCrea's yacht,and crying into the dappled sea, Clark Gable rescuing Gene Tierney from Russia and Allan Jones rescuing Kitty Carlisle from Harpo Marx, Cornel Wilde coughing blood on the piano keys while Merle Oberon berates,
Marilyn Monroe in her little spike heels reeling through Niagara Falls, Joseph Cotten puzzling and Orson Welles puzzled and Dolores del Rio eating orchids for lunch and breaking mirrors, Gloria Swanson reclining,and Jean Harlow reclining and wiggling, and Alice Faye reclining and wiggling and singing, Myrna Loy being calm and wise, William Powell in his stunning urbanity, Elizabeth Taylor blossoming, yes, to you and to all you others, the great, the near-great, the featured, the extraswho pass quickly and return in dreams saying your one or two lines, my love!

Long may you illumine space with your marvellous appearances, delays
and enunciations, and may the money of the world glitteringly cover you as you rest after a long day under the kleig lights with your faces in packs for our edification, the way the clouds come often at night but the heavens operate on the star system. It is a divine precedent you perpetuate! Roll on, reels of celluloid, as the great earth rolls on!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Catch the Smackdown before the big show tonight. M¥ thoughts are included. Yay for marketing tools! Love 'em!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Poem for the day

by W.S. Merwin

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water thanking it
smiling by the windows looking out
in our directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks we are saying thank you
in the faces of the officials and the rich
and of all who will never change
we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Poetry 2 for a stormy day

Double posting from my other blog, but I figured since I double posted the poetry before, I'd do it again....

Buck pointed out Whitman in my last post about poetry, and really, how could I leave out Whitman, the great and mostly likely gay king of American ecstasy? Fred Hersch has a great piece/song cycle based on Leaves of Grass, and this particular section I now can't hear except to music (at least the bloded parts that he set to music)--

I am he that walks with the tender and growing night,
I call to the earth and sea half-held by the night.

Press close bare-bosom'd night--press close magnetic nourishing night!
Night of south winds--night of the large few stars!
Still nodding night--mad naked summer night.
Smile O voluptuous cool-breath'd earth!
Earth of the slumbering and liquid trees!
Earth of departed sunset--earth of the mountains misty-topt!
Earth of the vitreous pour of the full moon just tinged with blue!
Earth of shine and dark mottling the tide of the river!
Earth of the limpid gray of clouds brighter and clearer for my sake!
Far-swooping elbow'd earth--rich apple-blossom'd earth!
Smile, for your lover comes.
Prodigal, you have given me love--therefore I to you give love!
O unspeakable passionate love.

Honestly. Far-swooping elbow's earth--rich apple-blossom'd earth? How frigging astounding is that turn of phrase? So, so rich. Wow.

Monday, February 09, 2009

VD Poetry

I'm double posting from my other blog, but I just love these poems, so it's worth sharing....

I'm not a fan of Valentine's Day, but it put me in mind of this poem by ee cummings, which is probably my favorite poem ever, notwithstanding my strange HS Freshman obsession with The Hollow Men and later love of Auden (who knew he had his own society?), being the gay. This poem, though, just gets me (and I have to admit, yes, I was introduced to it by a Woody Allen movie)

I've not really thought about it ever, but because you don't really need to know, if I were to list my favorite poems, the one below being at the top, they would probably be:

Desert Places - Robert Frost
Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock - T.S. Eliot
anyone lived in a pretty how town - ee cummings
Osso Buco - Billy Collins READ THIS POEM IF YOU DON'T KNOW HIS STUFF! Gorgeous!--excerpt:

But tonight, the lion of contentment
has placed a warm heavy paw on my chest,
and I can only close my eyes and listen
to the drums of woe throbbing in the distance
and the sound of my wife's laughter
on the telephone in the next room,
the woman who cooked the savory osso buco,
who pointed to show the butcher the ones she wanted.

Pretty greatest hits list, actually, but they're still wonderful. No revelations, but revelations. And this one, so succinct and bare and rich.

Feeling poetic today--maybe it's the rain.

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

5 questions

Here's the interview spurred on by the Interview/5 questions meme that Stinkylulu asked for takers.

Question 1
If your "day job" was a blog, what would it be called and what would we see on it? There probably is one. And you’d see a lot of movie ad materials. That’s as deep as I want to get with that one. I have a much more flip answer, but I’ll keep that to myself.

Question 2
Cribbing from mrpeenee: What do you consider Oscar's biggest all-time f*ck up in choosing a winner? Please be certain to justify your answer with scathing detail. Alternately/Additionally: What about this year's nominations? What do you consider Oscar's biggest mistake there?

That’s hard to pick. I am reminded of Judy Garland being passed over for A Star is Born; Marisa Tomei, who I think is great, but still surprises me in that particular win; Jennifer Connolly who I think acts with her hair. But probably for me the biggest oops, besides Guilietta Masina not even being nominated for Nights of Cabiria (!) is Gloria Swanson losing the Oscar for Sunset Boulevard. I mean, I like Judy Holiday, but really? Srsly? In Born Yesterday? Compared to the amazing work Swanson did, not only in front of but behind the camera. It’s one of the most thrilling, terrifying, fascinating performance ever committed to film. Indelible. Intelligent. Brilliant. Disturbing. Probably the best dramatization of the off-the-rails fantasizing and self-deception in the history of cinema, and her triumph is that even though she’s a complete loon you see how Joe was pulled in and it all makes complete sense. Not easy. I recently saw it on a big screen again, and it still works. It’s breathtaking, like watching a tightrope walker at times, and it’s all in her eyes. It’s a master class in film acting—how to be enormous but still not too big. And that she used her own films in it? Amazing. And she was all of 50 or something at the time. Can you imagine Meg Ryan trying to pull that off? It’s one of the most egregious errors in the history of the Oscars, and it was probably all politics.

This year’s nominees? I’m out of it this year—maybe it’s fatigue. I’m still annoyed about 4 months, three weeks, and two days being passed over last year. And Brokeback the year before that. Ugh. I’m not feeling Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt, really. I think Emile Hirsch should’ve been nominated, since I didn’t even recognize him. Or James Franco. PSH kinda yelled a lot, and I missed what his possible guilt was—threw off the piece for me. I like him a lot, unlike some people, but I just didn’t love him in Doubt. I didn’t see In Bruges, or Elegy, both of which I heard had amazing perfs. Sam Rockwell scared the bejesus out of me in Snow Angels, but that was released in March, and the Academy seems to be stretched to remember past October. Penelope was lucky they remembered her from the summer. I do think Mickey Rourke was good in the Wrestler, but I get the feeling that it’s a big ego who’s living in past glory playing a big ego living in past glory. Gory as well. I don’t know the guy, so I could be wrong, but I don’t feel like I’d give him the award. Not up to me, though.

Question 3
In case you haven't noticed, I'm somewhat fixated on supporting actresses. Who's your favorite supporting actress of all time? And if you could, which performance would you compel StinkyLulu to profile?

I have a big soft spot for Dianne Weist in Hannah and Her Sisters. In fact, I would LOVE it if Stinkylulu would profile that performance, knowing what a special place that holds for both of us, I believe. And I do love her as a supporting actress, once again affirmed in Synechdoche, NY.

Question 4
As noted in Question 3, StinkyLulu has become somewhat obsessive about one category of the Academy Awards. If you were to do the same -- take one category and train the focus of your blog on it -- what category might you choose? (NOTE: Your category might be an actual category, or one of your invention.)

Unsung character actors/actresses. Along the lines of Margo Martindale, Celia Weston, Anne Wedgeworth and the like.

Question 5
What's your favorite thing about your blog? What's your favorite thing about mine?

About mine? I guess I’m just glad it’s an outlet when I choose to use it.

Yours? How articulate and precise the writing is. And the screencaps.