Sunday, October 31, 2010

book hungry

She read by the incandescence of the open refrigerator light, the pages smelling even better than leftovers, the cat's huge phosphorescent eyes rubbernecking from above.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

the old caretaker

Just let it be.
Do not touch it.
The old man told me. No, he was smart, not buried here.

I took over. Forty-four years ago when my hands were soft and my spine straight.

That one there you are looking at? It is said the husband just let it all go. The way it split in two. The baby died the same day. His heart broke in two just as you see. The old man's old man told him. He told me. Now I am old.

You'll find others here, the same. Spires tipped over like dominoes, some leaning for decades, broken, ice cold, I never touched them, each with a story. Or you can make up tales when visitors annoy you. Tell them Grant is buried back in the rear, hidden beneath the overgrowth. Sure, sure, they'll believe anything. Ichabod here, Ichabod there.

This is a place of deterioration, abandoned and flowerless, accept it. Just keep humming and move along, leave before dark, be sure to padlock the shed. The combination is the birth date etched on that first grave near the crooked gate. No, no, the one with the bronze magpie. Oh, if you see a woman dressed in black floating by, yes floating, do not try to communicate with her, just let her laugh. And wear good gloves. Forty-four years. Where are you going?

Monday, October 25, 2010

movie trailer monday

An alternative Halloween movie for you this year, try...

The Invisible Man(1933)

Claude Rains, Gloria Stuart
Great special effects for 1933!
Another Gem from director James Whale.

An interesting backstory: Rains signed a contract to go to Hollywood not knowing what film he'd be in, yet with just a few seconds of screen time became famous. After all, he was invisible during the entire film.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

madwoman of willow manor

'Can you believe it?'
'Quite bizarre. Storming into the art gallery like that. Like Ethel Merman in a library.'
'No Bidness Like Art Bidness. But you have to know Tess.'
'I don't want to know her. You're not going to sing are you?'
'No. I do. And I love her madly.'
'She had no right. Madwoman.'
'She had every right.'
'"I put that bullet through the frame," she yells.'
'Well, when someone tries to claim credit for...'
'And to whip out that white spray paint, hurdle the silk rope, and scribble...'
'What else could she do? Imagine your fury if someone took credit for something that belonged to you?'
'But she ruined her painting. Beautiful mirror impression - The Gathering Dust - loved that title.'
'Yes. 2.6 million little dollars making a beeline for the drain. I was next to her. Saw the lines of sorrow in her face.'
The lights go down row by row at the gallery, single white bulbs dangling from silver stems. They stare at an empty hole in the yellow-chafed wall. Closing time.
'That woulda bought a whole mess of new framed mirrors.'
'Or bullets. Madwoman.'

Monday, October 18, 2010

movie trailer monday

Midnight Cowboy(1969)
Waldo Salt(screenplay)
James Leo Herlihy(novel)

This movie is the whole reason I ever fell in love with the movies - script, cast, music, and The End.

Friday, October 15, 2010

hard wares

The man behind the splintered counter peered over his glasses and smiled a patient smile, holding a laugh aching to bust out.
'You want what again, ma'am?'
'A knocker nub.'
'I don't quite know what you mean.'
'I have a knocker.'
'A door knocker. The little nub is gone.'
'The thingy the knocker bangs against.'
'The stopper.'
'We pros in the hardware industry call it the stopper.'
'Ok, a knocker stopper.'
'Yes, ma'am.'
'Mine fell off and rolled away.' She sighs. 'Vanished.'
'Was it screwed in or glued?'
'Screwed in the rear.'
He bites his lip. 'Oh.'

'It's the half-door - the door to my art studio. An old old stable. Perfect, so just the right quantity of light projects indoors when I'm painting, and the lower door keeps pesky magpies from moseying in. Perfect, until that annoying ghost slams it shut, throws the bolt, and all I get is crooked light through the windows clouding my canvased blue skies. Maybe all that slamming loosened the stopper.'
'I see.' Fakes looking in a catalog with pointed finger.
'A ghost you say?'
'An art critic or cranky Van Gogh. I guess I should buy a quality brush,' she mused, tapping a finger upon her red lips.
'Aisle 3, brushes, next to the popcorn machine. And some carpenter's glue. Those nubs tend to break easily, out in extreme weather and all.' And in an amused monotone: 'I never thought Vincent was all that peevish about knocker nubs.'
'I thought you called it a stopper?'
'Yes, of course. Stopper. Ah, we're in luck!' Looking close at small numbers, holding his glasses with his other hand, the woman admiring the shining light reflected off his bald head, keeping his professional hardware industry stained finger in a catalog sitting on top of another dusty catalog. 'Ships from Italy, Signora!'

Monday, October 11, 2010

movie trailer monday

Crimes And Misdemeanors(1989)

Martin Landau is absolutely perfect in this film.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Solomon Burke(1940-2010)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Indian's summer

Such a beautiful fire.

Skenandoa raked the singular pile of leaves into the shape of a bulging fresh grave of her third husband, tending and prodding stubborn red leaves with a stick as if trying to awaken a dead dog, the brilliant crackling leaves never bellowing smoke to irritate the eyes, but her black magpie eyes burning with the somber tears of another Autumn's passing.

It was a beautiful fire, smelling of burnt maple syrup on vagabond shoe leather. I did not talk to her but pointed to the yellow leaves afire, ripe for the pickin', towering above the white covered bridge still making for a lovely shade. Skenandoa pointed over my right shoulder, and following her gaze, I turned. A little deer standing upon orange leaves at the edge of the bridge watched us.
'Awanita,' Skenandoa whispered affectionately. I held my breath. She clapped her hands, startling me in its musket-fire echo, and standing side by side now, we watched the deer silently sprinting back across the wooden planks, retreating light-footed onto close cropped bluegrass.

Skenandoa playfully jabbed me in the ribs with the ash stick to see if the white man was dead.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Buster on his birthday

Buster Keaton(1895-1966)
I shoulda celebrated by somersaulting at a work site without a hard hat, then waiting for scaffolding to tip over within inches of my head, but he'da done it only after a thorough sizing-up.

movie trailer monday

The French Connection(1971)

One of the best screen chase scenes. Twice.
On foot and in a car.

Friday, October 1, 2010

autumn lantern haiku

match to a shy wick
sparks cold shuttered desires
a bewitching match
11,041 vagabonds plus:
Free Hit Counters
Web Counters

All original designs and text created by the author of this blog, Phil L., are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike3.0 License. All other materials remain the property of their respective owners and/or creators, unless of course they are part of the public domain.