Monday, June 25, 2007

John From Cincinnati, HBO, 2007. Season 1, Episode 3: His Visit: Day Three (1st aired 6/24/2007)

Aww, it's no secret that I love this show. I'm gonna leave you a snippet of the script to ponder:

Our intrepid threesome goes over to close the door to the haunted unit #24 in the motel . . .

(Barry Cunningham) "Do you hear the dead man singing within, gentlemen?"
(Ramon Gaviota) "I'm half deaf from the leaf blower."
(B.C.) "No, Attorney Dickstein?"
(Meyer Dickstein) "Surfer's ear. Exostosis of the ear canal."
(B.C.) "I alone, then, am favored by that jovially croaking, post-coital falsetto winsomely caricaturing Debby Boone?"
(B.C. nervously humming) "la la la la you give me hope, to carry on"

Closes the door.

ps - the angsty, processed-through-metal version of Feelin' Good at the end of this episode is by Muse from their Origin of Symmetry (2001) album.

To be continued . . .

susie sang off in a key of pink, she
woulda been sugary, some where that
susies have been cherished, but
all women, used to be little, used to be

read hegel under neath its blue
no, gray no, ashy no, washed away sun
read j.collins under neath mrs. jones'
favorite lamp, sipping in her delicate way
gordons gin

gathered billy's hisses, no hurrahs
waited for his kisses, no danger there
cause susie knows a special place
where red is only warm, never mixed
with any thing

and walks out over the general's sandy
road, thinking of the glory days, peaches
boysenberries, dribbles of cold cinammon
and skips a few on the old man's pond
remembering picnics and mothers,
remembering rosaries too worn by

she walked a woman's walk, full up
green and spring and soft blowsy days
just shadowed, tinkling little bells
roused by wind, by sammy's breath
warm and hot and rawsome, when she
was pretty

silver or gold, or copper, brassy coins
were her eyes, may be she had fevers
may be she had morning sweat that ran
in circles neath her arms, upon her legs
so white, too pale, locked away from

daisies are a simple yellow, shaky on
the neighbor's fields, laughing savage
flowers, ringed and wholly centered
while she's reading sherlock and dreaming
in her way

oh susie, making eyes on my amber
whiskey, showing me a frown while i
harmonize, snap my doo-wop fingers
scat my pitter patter, shake my foot
and she knows i've got to one two three

i have a scent that slow shimmers, slow
bruises, purple or mauve or blackly blue
but she knows i've got to run my certain way
some times all the night, some times
in her bed, so she is this minor rhapsody
and i am all the colors

Saturday, June 23, 2007


that old sun done gone back, little baby
orange, all frilled up in red, hot
it makes me hop
cause this concrete street's no good
but for cooking
and my feet's bare
making little shuffles, bops
straffin' with the briars, with the
sandspurs, with the shells
thrown out from the sea
broken, sharp and angry

i'm crissed and crossed with cuts
bloodied like them war boys
running, howling and given over
some eat the lust full time
some drink the dark out from the day
so here i am

at least i got a place to lean
a place where money sings, little baby
just watch for eyes gone out from home
shaking down the neighbor boys
no don't think your quarters buy you time
your pockets heavy with some nickels
don't buy you sweets and smooches
so watch those eyes

i'm the favorite here, you think i'm
all forgot, you think i may be sillied
drink up your summery sun but if you
stare, if you get the glimmers
you can be lost
come, little baby, we might get the
blues, oh sugar my back's done raw
this is some poor life and
i'm jumping in the fire

Friday, June 22, 2007

what do we need ? no. 3
making angels

i have some small place
to sit, and cross my legs
brewing little coffees
i have my collection of subtle beans
found far, stolen may be
watch my singular smile
i cast around old heady glamours
here, in my small place

do you notice that i tilt my head
all alistened to the musics
i prefer these wrapping moments
when i toss my shoes
free my toes for tapping
stretch them wide for humor
picassos in the dust

this window gorges on the sun
i'll be done brown
gold and silky, some tasty morsel
framed, i am beguiling
worshiped and adored, perhaps
i can be channeled, in your parlor
don't you play at pretty revels
favor mystery and games

i have some small place
old worn, old wooden floors
smudged of color, stripped in years
cool and welcome for a walk
for some tapping, a shuffle and
a slide
where i can sit, and cross my legs
wraggle with the old men
tilt, may be find my poesies

you will remember, dreamed up
you stoled my magicks
for your sleeping
but don't think i mind it
i have charms aplenty
sorcels, bewitches
oddly in a window, for all who pass
i capture each, i capture every one

come sit with me, if i let you
but not for kisses
no romances, but you may wonder
how i hide my passions
how i keep my secrets safe
i've dallied with a thief
like you
but now i manufacture

Monday, June 18, 2007

John From Cincinnati, HBO, 2007. Season 1, Episode 2: His Visit: Day Two (1st aired 6/17/2007)

Ingredients: Sapporo (extra large, super grande, mega big), surfers and their worshipers, and John. What more can I ask? I'm sunburned from a day hiking across the hills of San Francisco, roly from takeout and wholly content.

Any show that has me laughing out loud is a rare and curious show indeed. But the humor in John is an oblique and insidious thing. Be glad, televisionnaires, that this show has been allowed to find its way to our airwaves. Relish its mystery, its absurdity, its devotion to all things I group in that most awesome of categories: bonkers.

More on this series a bit later cause I'm regrouping for Regenesis. I will leave you with 3-1/2 stars out of 4 in the meantime.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


he sat behind a mirror, drinking bourbon sweet and sassy
waiting for the sun to rise, waiting for the dawn to warm his
toes, laying riffs up on the window sill, in that same ol' same ol'

and he dreamed, and he tasted old and salty wounds, and he
sang, chasing katydids, waking up the sugar apple trees, and he
laughed, cause days are short and sleeping's lost its way

so he rocked, with his daddy's slow and easy, wrapped in
d.ellington's aharmony in g, waiting for his lies to lose their
joyful ways, and the sun to rise, and the bourbon turn to scotch

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


susie sells her socks, but only after church, down by
charlie's gate, and only to the catholic boys, cause they
have dimes and pennies, pockets full, and blushes on

their cheeks, and when the moon has slipped away, the
doors have darked and shut to strangers, she skips across
the pastor's lawn, makes her prayers, sly with promise

sly with woman twists, sings her happy patter, and hides
her favorite monies, down in the deacon's garden, scented
with old granny's lilacs, scented with some magicks that

her daddy tossed aside, and susie weaves some charms
that would leave her momma danced in pride, wickeds
up the night time airs with fabulous concoctions. oh, yes

our susie, our heart's delight

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

i have a window

i have a window, made of old stuff, grayed out in the sun, where
i can make my spying, safe and full-up with the warm of day,
and it never shadows my careful eye, never leaves me open

to the hardness lying by, it is a window special to my taste,
obedient to my ways, i am become here precious

i have a savory flavor, and i may cause with you, bring you
arias from the world away, pander you with scotches, rums
and scents, leave you pleasured, should i gift you with

lollipops and whispers

come sit with me, i am rare as those hothouse secrets,
i was an old man yester day, drunk up with churchy
hymning, drunk up with frittery oratory, but i have a window,

where i can tango in the dark, wear some fancy glimmers,
bring my little frivols to the play, i have watched you making
kisses, and i'll favor you my bruises, imagine you with blushes

we'll forget the sun betakes us both unkindly, if only you will
sit with me

Monday, June 11, 2007

John from Cincinnati, HBO, 2007. Season 1, Episode 1: His Visit: Day One

How on earth did this series get a green light? I'd like to thank anyone and everyone involved for letting this daft concept series go forward. Bravo to HBO.

And bravo to a casting genius. Rebecca De Mornay has never been, or looked, so good. Luke Perry has often been relegated to a B-movie level in Purgatory, so here's hoping for the best. Supporting cast of Luis Guzmán, Ed O'Neill and Willie Garson are first rate. But one of the most interesting characters is not a character at all - the blank slate.

A blank slate makes demands that we simply can't overlook or ignore. Nature, and by extension humans, abhors a vacuum. We also abhor, it seems, emptiness. We tend to project, fill in, paint over or contribute when faced with nothing. John is the embodiment of the blank slate: fluid, amorphous, reactive, malleable. Ask him a question and you'll be forced to answer it yourself. Tell him what to do and you'll do it for him. Wrap him with a good ole Southern California aura, mystical or chemical, and you have John. The elegant and perfect foil for a surfing family that's come undone. A family that seems bent on consuming itself.

Austin Nichols as John is a match made with the assist of cannabis, er, one can imagine. Where are the spiritual properties of civilization more pronounced than with the subtle aid of
Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol? Mr. Nichols hadn't caught my attention before John, but it is now undivided. Well, perhaps shared with Michael C. Hall's Dexter over on rival Showtime.

I don't demand instant gratification. If a book's good, I don't look forward to the end and may actually read more slowly to prolong the pleasure. I enjoy questions that are worthy of answers but don't necessarily have their answers at hand. And I don't mind extra-real intrusions in a show, whether TV or theatrical. I may wonder what it all means but rather hope no explanations are forthcoming and I may, like those with John, fill in the blanks myself.

A rating will come with episode 3 but it's off to a terrific start.

Friday, June 08, 2007

what do we need ? no. 1

he's standing where i was standing, stealing the place
my toes were warming, making shadows where my sun
got brown boys sulky

he makes dangerous sounds, unwordy songs with
bad beats, slippery syncopations, stealing the place
my feet did their shuffles

simone is growly in my ears, piano glissades, shape
shifting and driving words i can't write down, can't
remember for these minutes in this day

and that lover is a thief, scat monger, loose with
every thing, saving for me what's left unsold, but no
one can always be an angel

but some times i'm so careless, dancing on that corner
place, laughing at the tourists, banging soft on my legs
all these simple things i've done

don't let me be understood, so easy, so ready
i have no money, no soft dream, got my upside down
smile, crooked at the sides, plentiful

no use, no use, blues wailing, smokey games in darked up
rooms, where they knew me well, and you're to blame
all struts and bad stories, fake and false

no use, lovers, weaving rules i never follow, running
all the night, chasing down alleys, always wrong and
always the chase that get's me sleep

he's standing where i was standing, putting on the
face, bouncy loose, hopping and hoping, may be like me
now tell me what i need to know

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

what do we need ? no. 3
the devil that i know

that devil man's come sniffing, flairing
floating on some spicy smokes, and you know
he was full of caterwauling, in the old days
but he's found you, sorceled you
and he's gone quiet, he's gone smooth
you are a morsel, a tender supper
making dreams, living in your passions

i'll sit here, laughing at these little
comforts, singing country rock n roll
cause you like good whiskey, and i
like dark, twisty shadows, drummy rhythms
and i like faded days, with a watery sun
so i'll diddle here, toss my shoes and listen

that devil man's come grinning, and he's
got a red old tongue, salty may be hungry
yes, you are a picnic, eager when the
mid night's old, swimming sweat
asking for the rawsome stuff that
binds you to that bed

and lordy, all these mirrors, all these
faces, do i know them? have i left some kisses
they can't be strangers, not every one, but
day it brings no ease, it brings no shelter
listen while i beat the blues, sipping tears
my backyard rum, it makes me strong

this chair is full up in memories, it
held my daddy when he passed, it creaked
while granny nursed her bastard boy,
it binds me with a past that will not rest
that locks my doors keeps these feet bare
and now that devil man's come home

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

John from Cincinnati, HBO, 6/10/2007 Debut

Strange days, they are a-comin'. And from that fun factory of strange days HBO, of course. John, whom the Cincinnati Post doubts is really from Cincinnati, is set to enter the lives of a California surfing family. California's my adopted state, and I can say unequivocally that he couldn't have found a better place to relocate. Magical, ethereal, mystical? Just one more among the many.

The talk flying around is that HBO has very high hopes for this series. Think Sopranos - gone. Six Feet Under - dim memory. Deadwood - oops. The LA Times, whose resources far exceed my own, cites the following interaction with John's driving force David Milch:

"During a break on the set, Milch was asked to boil down the premise of the series. His 20-minute response touched on German philosophy, 9/11 and physics. At some level, he said, the show is about his own sense that all matter "organic and inorganic" is part of a single energy source. "The idea of the separate identity of each individual is an illusion," he said. Nunn agreed. "The wonderful thing we hope people would see is the connectedness of these people. In fact, we're all part of the same organism at some level."

Fans, you needn't feel compelled to comment on this blah-blah-blah. We can let its density delight as is. John is played by Austin Nichols, that little workaholic from Deadwood, Surface, Pasadena and much more. The noir-lite surfer family is composed of Bruce Greenwood, Rebecca De Mornay and Brian Van Holt. Busy actors all, with extensive resumes.

Head over to HBO for the trailers - they're tantalizing, as trailers should be. Then assemble your pizza and beer for the Sunday, 6/10/2007 event. It'll follow The Sopranos at 10:00 pm. Be there or be square, devoted readers.

Monday, June 04, 2007

for newly made lovers

all the fine young lovers, gone sly
and tasty

hiding when i failed to look
i give a spare kiss, cause you won't
catch me hungry

or watch me pandering, gone
fuddled, bemused nearly,
stringing some old gitar

you said my eyes are deeply puddled
may be you're touched, sillied
found out too long in your misunderstood

i make fetching tunes, just watch
these diddlers shift their feet, toss me
quarters, silver dimes

and i make you fluttery, loose
caught inside a thing full up in

your eyes are bound to my fingers
strumming, idle interlopers, tight upon

aren't they?

your eyes are bound to my lips
and you quiver, dark then light
restless with some lies you've readied

oh i make a strangesome tune
with locks with clamors with little
magicky things

and your eyes are bound to my neck
bent low while i whisper, do a song
your street angelus bare footed

while i inhale all the stuff you're
sure are gifts to me, favors

i give a hard kiss, it's not a new
thing, a special thing, but it's a mystery
to you

you are a
newly made lover

Friday, June 01, 2007

little confusion

confusion, come sleep here
but quietly, and leave me some cover
cause i've done this poorly
tight and curled

and there's some corner
of my pillow, smooth, untaken
it doesn't sing to me
it lies full up for dreaming

all this nightsome quiet
heaving darkly on my window
if i make my mutters
they're not for you

how can i lose so much
just hiding in a bed
holding the airs fisted
ready for this fight

let's settle with our whiskeys
warm and sweetly gold
dolloped in old laughing
famous long ago

let's chase it with hot water
sprung without any asking
loosed in miserly drops
watching 4 o'clock

maybe goes another dawn
maybe it's gone hoarded
and i won't have it
my little confusion
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