Tuesday, October 28, 2003

I've never actually seen a red crescent moon before, but that's what's hanging in the LA sky tonight. Due to the fires no doubt.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

This evening I watched the fires here in Los Angeles burn on the local news. Outside, the sky was orange and black, but I couldn't smell the smoke.
Lars Iyer on André Breton’s Nadja, and one of my favorite films, The Mirror by Andrei Tarkovsky.

Monday, October 20, 2003

Have you ever noticed how at poetry readings the audience holds its applause until the very end? And how after each individual poem there are usually three or four people in the audience who make assenting, pleased sounds like “Hmmm”, “Mmmm” or “Mmm-hmmm”? There was a lot of hmmming, mmmming, and mmm-hmmming at Beyond Baroque last Friday night when Eleni Sikelianos and Brenda Coultas gave readings of their latest work. Eleni read from The Monster Lives of Boys and Girls (out now on Green Integer – by the way, has Sun & Moon Press pretty much morphed into Green Integer permanently?) I remember “little bones housed in the seahorse’s skull” from a long poem Eleni read called “Sleep, Sleepwalker”. This poem, she said, was inspired by the science and nature films of Jean Painlevé ("raised bread”), as well as flying over Niagara Falls and seeing the rushing water far below shaped like a human collarbone (Eleni said the word “niagara” comes from a Native American word for “collarbone” – though a Google search returned a page that says “niagara” is derived from the Iroquois Indian word “onguiaahra”, meaning “the strait” – I don’t know which is true). Brenda read historiological prose poems about the Bowery in Manhattan from A Handmade Museum. In one poem she wondered about a dead rat lying outside her window among the broken shards of a flower pot: had the rat fallen from the window ledge along with the flower pot? Had a squirrel accidentally knocked over the flower pot just as the rat had scurried by? This poem reminded my girlfriend of an incident that had happened earlier that day. She had been reading in our room when she was startled by a heavy thud. The neighbor’s cat had jumped into our apartment from an open window.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Today I voted in the California Recall Election. My polling place was at a cowboy clothing store called Kings Western Wear (an ominous-sounding name for a site of democratic selection). As I was standing in line a middle-aged man behind me suddenly started speaking to himself. "That's a Texas state flag," he said. "Do you see that? That's a Texas flag." Before too long he was shouting: "This is California! Why is there a Texas state flag on the store wall! I demand that the flag be taken down! This is a California polling place!" At first I thought he was joking, but he walked right up to the little old lady who was handing out ballots and yelled "There's a Texas flag on the wall! That shouldn't be there! Why is it there?" She very gently replied that this was a western wear store and it was to be expected, after all. He said that California was western too and demanded the flag be taken down right away. "Are you the manager? Bring me the manager!" The manager came out and the guy continued to yell, "This is California, not Texas! Why is there a Texas flag on the wall?" The manager repeated, "Well, we're a western wear store. And that's actually a bandana, not a flag." In the end, the madman got his way, and the Texas bandana was taken off the wall. As I walked out I saw a guy from Edison Polling (the company that conducts exit polls). He was reading the newspaper and didn't really seem to be asking anyone anything.

Friday, October 03, 2003

Recent Screenings:

Sans Soleil
A Grin Without a Cat
La Jetee
Statues Also Die
One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevich
Remembrance of Things to Come

all by Chris Marker

Les Enfants Terribles

by Jean Cocteau

Demonlover by Olivier Assayas

Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola