Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lying Low, Flying High

To be roused by a handful of beads

and on the carpets were strewn petals

ears filled with the fiddler and the bongo

touches, blue songs arrested from the night

at the marrakesh of a friend's apartment

gold spangles and red pills and pillows

all this evanescent scene foretold by Roz

from her beatnik couch, hand on her clavicle

a relic, this memory, an ancient find, so very old

clacking of beads, night resting upon itself.


Monday, April 25, 2011

That Time Of The Deity

Being it's the month of 45 and rainy

one gazes at the deck and wonders

if I saw a god's face, I might turn it to stone,

or draw mustache or scribble some jokes

or become like rain myself or forget my name

Being it's a week of the 45, rainy,

too cool for the deck, one stalls in the thought

about just what makes things a god and

whether I could make one an ornament from stone

or paste it to pictures of cities far off as a cute joke.

Being the remainder is 45, rainy, 

such final days are to brood

over whether to bury or burn, dig down a god

alongside me -- or mount us both on the mantle,

twin boys, and obsessed for fame, for esteem, to be loved.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Parts And What They Make Up

After almost 30 years, the magic of this still holds. 

Peter Weir is one of the few directors who has managed to allow-in, for his audiences, a sense that the world isn't flat, that our apprehension of it as a scientific object or manipulable set of economic relationships -- that understanding -- isn't the prime or only way of taking-in the world.

His The Mosquito Coast, his Picnic At Hanging Rock, his The Last Wave, surround eccentricity, weirdness, or mythic spirituality.  The Year Of Living Dangerously, which might be a love story alone, or an earnest socio-political pitch set in Sukarno's Indonesia, gains immensely from the character Billie Kwan, Linda Hunt's smashing 'trouser' role.

Billie is the puppeteer, the clever arranger of his part of Jakarta, maneuvering foreign journalists and embassy people, as he may try, to effectuate success for a -- depicted here -- sympathetic Sukarno walking a thin line between Communist insurrection and military repression.

The film is not just a liberal plea, worthy though that is.  Sacrifice shows itself, several people risking real personal jeopardy and giving themselves over to doing the right thing while surrounded by corruption and cynicism.  

The clip above, while (still!) hotly romantic, represents a moment not simply of sexual assignation, but of moral choice -- Jill (Sigourney Weaver) is betraying and committing at the same time.  In accepting what she gives, Guy (Mel Gibson) is now placed at a moment of choice himself. 

They're not conscious of it, but they have been taught Billie's idealism and they do not fail him.


Friday, April 22, 2011

A Little Big Song Of The Earth

What comes, comes.  An upstart park alongside a sidewalk witnesses up-shoots of the spring, an urbanscape where a cluster, itself, of daffodils in yellow constitutes awe.

In the shuffle to find a purpose, as the sun spills onto a clear pond, slapping us awake to confront or present or simply be,

that bright yoke flashes in the moment, the madly artificial gone.

No business of ours anyway how business goes when the body is going in its turn in tune with its life's own hum.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Art Means Work. Yes, Work.

This should open your eyes and interest you.  

What to those of us who are 'just plain folks', who believe in 'democratic arts', who may recognize that being called a 'philistine' is a slur, but simply show our social equality in return (Back at ya!) -- what to us appears as an elitist enterprise, ballet, really produces more sweat in a day than a lifetime of backyard barbecues and lawn-mowings.

This clip doesn't show it all:  the blisters and infected corns, the slipped discs, the exhaustion, the struggle just to be able to get a chance to suffer that way!  The schooling, the disciplined adolescence, the foregone 'outside' life, the forced 'early retirement' at 30 or -- if you're truly strong -- 40.  

The sheer physicality of it.

The mental grit needed for it.

Nils Tavernier's film of a decade ago, Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet, honors the institution it views.

It should also raise the question:  How much guts do I have -- how much have I given?


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Person, That Whole Person

And it's vernal, she's washed winter from her sallow skin, the skin of the near dead, and gotten done with the African violets

and uttering such words certainly meant to be meant as come from the mouth though cadged from a bard . . . thee best, O most best, believe it . . .

noted that I've liked love, the punctuations of it, the wink and wave at you, shadows bristling with a holy ghost

that such religiosity has its habits, its myth of desolation and rise, of utter promise based so truly on the rhythm of that waltz on the hooves.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Ms. Wasikowska. Ms. Bronte. Ms. Eyre

Hard work week at the end of which I found this reward.


Yes, Romantic sentiment between socially vulnerable young woman and a Byronic older man.

Yes, 'Gothic' secrets, 1830s English country conservatism, heath, rain, snow.

Yes, a mute servant class, a knowing but powerless housekeeper.

Yes, many sins, some revealed, some merely suggested.

Candle fire.  Hearth fire.  Room fire.  Estate fire.

But we're not merely interested in the discharge of formulas, are we?

The film is a real one.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Sleep Of The Just

Speaking of that, how expansive we've become, how complexities drive our technology and our very imaginative edges get put on notice and we solve intricate problems elegantly,

an edge of understanding comes from the Neolithic when one reads about the village not that long ago smelling of goats, when they faced a problem -- say, adultery in their midst --

not wanting to let things slide but do justice instead the right thing and the perp's I'm sorry not enough and his offer to work half the season on the common plot of barley

failed as a remedy so a deputation of strong men took him by his arms and legs, the most shoulderly of village men, and heaved him into air as high as their collective strength.

Again and again.  They lifted from the dust and heaved him up and flung him into air as high as their collective strength.

Many more times than once, each flop on a new spot, colliding with fresh pebbles and rock edges impacted earth catching a finger or elbow

or cheek flailing doesn't help these situations are governed by gravity of law.

Until, exhausted, even the hardiest sat.  Body bones.  206 of them. We used to think in these small terms.