Monday, July 30, 2007

the shotgun house

rain, sitting in my old shotgun house
making time with my roof of tin
tapping, pushing some little steps in
that silly dance i love
and dreaming

baby boy, you can stand outside my door
all through the night
yawling and hollering, fierce in your
goodwill jacket, worn down to the
cotton fluff, ragged like your tongue
whiskeyed and slick

but don't scare away my mailman
cause the world comes calling
brings me whispers and gossips
and don't break the old man's tree
it knows secrets, it hides my
dandy charm

so tell me, little fella, pass something rare
something clever cross my door
make a bargain for a tale you've come
to hear, if you can leave me treasure
taken long ago

rain, you are a chatty tattler, hopping
here, fooling there, done with caution
making words out of the windy night
long and sleepy discourse, wrapped
for bed

here in my daddy's shotgun house, left
in a poker game, brown, like rum and
coca-cola, sweet with syrup, and he
couldn't hawk this place, or float it on
the mississippi

or i might write a book, razzing and
jazzing, full of sassy folk, all out of shame
forking twisty lines all up and down the page
write a book from no. 2 pencils, they know
the way

or i might waggle down to see new orleans
find a corner that says a thing or two,
peddle favors, get my quarters shiny
fill these pockets til they get too heavy
topped with dimes

life, you are a betting man, so take
that wandering fool somewhere he'll
win a bet, somewhere my door won't
knock him back, i aim to while away
my hours, here in this shotgun house

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


i'm harbored by an ailing, a dwindling
gone shrunken, and i am so much

i've made my fight, day break punches
crippled hands, smirks like slaps
up on me

wake up, wracked in restless turn
hard twist, jiving in the dark

how did this get inside of me, strike
me, push me down on that dusty floor

ticks and tocks, crafty old alarms
boozy yawling between the hours

give me some explanation, some
discourse, flowery words out of your

aren't i god's own creature, his crafty
creation, ain't i got his image down
pat ?

but confessions don't bring careless
breathing, moonlight on my bed, silky

let me sit up in my window, whistling
love songs, tossing lullabies down to the

don't ease my head when summer's passing
or gray the clouds with teary blathers, or am

full up with days gone short, nights stretched
up and down the stairs, knocking whispers

remember that i was once a young man
raw and gentle with my ways, now i am so much

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

days of summer

i've taken, in these days of summer
to some small and idle thoughts
writing notes upon the water
fraught with curlicues, and flourishes
deep into the mystery of the 4th street pond

but i cannot keep at bay
the jiggling minutes, of the hours
slipping, sliding
and when i turn to read your name
it's gone, and so i wonder
if by walking backward, step
by step, collapsing into seconds
that might still be caught

and so i wonder, if i reach
behind me, will the after noon
perhaps fall back, and i can
read my hobby of regret, so
recently acquired, that should be
cherished, even relished
but i'm all bound by habits
mysticked, twined inside
like spiders

i've taken, in these days of summer
to skipping like a schoolboy
between the evening shadows
bouncing down the alley ways
chased by city smells, fanciful
angry scents, singing city tunes
in my schoolish tenor

and whenever i find waters
puddled, or discarded
shared with dogs and wandered
seekers, i stop to write
so i will know
that i am here

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Blues Just Ain't Goin' Away

Traveler, ABC, 2007. Season 1 Finale: The Exchange.

Talk about going out with a bang. The series dipped and curved, went up and down, but found its groove. It also gave us a doozy of a cliffhanger ending. Should we take this optimistically and expect a 2nd season? I've gotta leave a yes vote for the lads and lasses who make these decisions. I'm still a bit disconcerted that a conspiracy series would reveal so much, so soon. I'm not complaining, just disconcerted. It finished with a solid 3 stars out of 4.

Dexter, Showtime, 2007. Season 2

I'm preparing myself for a Dexter marathon, season 2 style. I need the perfect combination of pizza and wine, so I'm reviewing menus and questioning sommeliers. A treat deserves a treat, does it not? I'm breathing in the ether from nirvana - Dexter and John from Cincinnati in the same week. Bliss in a timely package.

Durham County, The Movie Network, 2007

Oof. I'm creeping and crawling through this series. Actually, this creepiest of all series. It is so dark, so unrein, unsauber that I watch it with one eye closed. My hand hovers over fast forward, like a child watching a horror film. I've only made it through the 3rd episode but will, eventually, finish. Dexter's a good wine while Durham's a double-shot vodka. What we gotta do.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

More Blues, Cause It's Still Summertime

Random, but hardly idle, thoughts on the entertainment choices we still have. So let's start with . . .

, Webisode 5. It's the little things that are our undoing. And cumulatively, little things keep me from enjoying Sanctuary as I should. We've covered this ground before, but at least there's now a developing storyline and not just discontinuous episodes. I'm crossing my fingers for Amanda's project but still can't go farther than 2 stars out of 4. Soon?

The Closer, TNT, 2005 - Present. Trudging along, wearily, is our Brenda. Stressed and stressing. Not quite silly enough for USA and its breakfast of characters; not good enough for the big fellas over at HBO or Showtime. But it does have its fans as it coasts along into a 3rd season. Where do you rate this contrivance, fans? Better than my 2 stars?

John from Cincinnati, HBO, 2007. What a roller coaster of a series. I'll write a bit more about this episode 6 when I've recovered. Actually, I'm going to watch it again - there was just too much to grasp in one viewing. Imagine kabuki and ancient Greek theater combining in a chimera and you'll have the riff of John at the motel doing whatever John does. And that's the crux of the show, isn't it? 3-1/2 stars.

Wire in the Blood, ITV, Season 5. The enduring Robson Green is iconic on British telly. The opener for the fifth season (2002 - 2006) is not particularly memorable, but does come with a rather nice twist. Mr. G segued into Northern Lights and then City Lights following Wire. You just can't keep him down.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Summertime Blues

Just a few notes on this off-off season of television. Kyle XY, ABC Family, has been on a downward spiral in his sophomore season. It's now a teen melodrama and a 1-1/2 star effort.

On the other hand, Traveler (ABC) is picking up steam. An extended conspiracy riff that is actually doling out clues and aiming for coherency. Well, coherency may be a tad effusive, but it's at least internally faithful. I'm likin' it and giving it 3 stars out of 4. Our 3 lads are together again in episode 7, by the way. I can hardly wait.

Burn Notice (USA) continues to disappoint. I evidently expected too much despite my own admonition that this particular team had never aimed very high. Mr. Donovan does have a certain charm and could go far with better scripts. But better scripts are the key element that he doesn't have. 1-1/2 stars. And don't get me started on the waste of Ms. Gless' talent.

Finally, Zodiac (Warner Brothers, 2007) - terrific cast, well recreated period ambience, yet curiously uncompelling. Which brings us to director David Fincher and writer James Vanderbilt. Mr. Fincher's Se7en is very watchable. There's nothing in Mr. V's resume that gives hint as to why he was chosen. In sum, a 2 star rating. And a waste here as well - this time of Mr. Gyllenhaal. I'm already accustomed to Mr. Downey's throwaway efforts.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


let it all begin, little sweetness
you've led no kind of life that would
make a mother proud

those broken lilies have a pungent
scent, a heady flavor, near too ripe
for some

like you, aren't they

too ripe, too raw
flagrant with their gifts
they push aside those
lesser flowers, toss
promise into the wind

a bawdy floozy that smirks
out in my garden
befuddles any one gone lost
gone roaming in the
darksome hours

and they are a jealous lot
just laughing at the dewy fresh

sit up in my window while
i prune
i snip, i cut

i think to gather for your
bedside all this garden
has to give

you and your lilies can make
some dreaming
while i go on my way

Monday, July 02, 2007

John from Cincinnati, HBO, 2007. Season 1, Episode 4: His Visit: Day 3 (1st aired 7/1/2007)

Puccini has been channeled at long last. Verismo has been reincarnated through John. We have gloriously long passages of recitativo and fully orchestrated arias. But unlike La Boheme, I laugh to a state of ignominy. These episodes are viewed privately, unobserved and with the finest wine my modest budget can afford.

Have no doubt, favored readers, this is opera. It's also the best series on television; the only 4 star going. An alternative theory is that it induces an hallucination. Of course, if we are seeing the same events it's an occurrence of collective veridical hallucination, that famous and often discounted bugaboo.

I can hear the chairs scrape as you push back from your screen and reach for another cold one. Nah, it's not going to be one of those nights. I'm still high (legally, I hope) from a fresh viewing of Mr. Monad's 3rd day in LaLa Land.

The concept of monad is maddeningly simple and complex, as you probably know. How can the ultimate, indivisible unit of the Greeks be also the essence of Monism or the most primal aspect of God as seen by the Gnostics? Surely you've been asking yourself the same question?

What's your conclusion? Those who applied for admission to the alien school of thought should seriously ponder rewriting history and making the famous black marks across passages now deemed confidential and vital to their positions in society. Or, sit back and re-watch Mr. O'Neill's monologs to his tweety bird. There's gotta be an Emmy waiting for his name.

"Where's the dwarf with the dangling arm?"
"He's in our shared bathroom."
"I'm here on orders from my bird."
"If you're waitin on me to ask ya what you're talkin about, plan on fallin over dead before I do."
"My bird Zippy conveyed to me, despite the obvious dissimilarities between us, we become friends."
"He used the word dissimilarities?"
"He conveyed. He conveyed. I never said he spoke."

The above is part of the script from the final scene, at the motel, between Mr. O'Neill and the Hawaiian, Deadwood's Dayton Callie. So I have a silly grin on my face. I'm watchin you.

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