Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Image borrowed from Bing


Ohio understands the genius my youth
once felt, the soft smell of corn in my hair. We ran
along gravel roads, looking for tomorrow’s sweet
smile. There were no mountains, but there were girls,
sometimes in pairs, in rivers, in backseats, in basements.
Death was a horizon we hadn’t reached, so we tested
poisons on our bodies to understand the smell. All our pets
were run over by our uncles, and we learned not to cry
in front of Mamaw. Now, we use the steady flow of rivers
to guide our days, the rusted heaps of our fathers’ wrecked
first cars to stand for the wisdom of age. We aren’t looking
for tomorrow, only an eternal today. We eat too much
because we know what it is to starve. Fear
tastes like everything.

C.L. Bledsoe

Posted over on Right Hand Pointing

Black Marks On Streets Of Gold

Image borrowed from Bing


Jesus owes me a sportscar.
Blood red, wood-grain dash,
transmission hard as nails.
Call the CDC: we got a contagious heart, here.
The real money is in speeding tickets,
but I’ve always envied mechanics,
the coating of oil which allows the world to slide off,
the defiant stance of tunnel vision.
I never learned violin, but
my parallel parking can make Jesus weep.
He likes to ride shotgun.
He’s gonna pay for kicking the bucket seats.

C.L. Bledsoe

Posted over on Right Hand Pointing

St. Andrew's Celebration

Image borrowed from Bing

St. Andrew's Day is the feast day of Saint Andrew. It is celebrated on 30 November.

Saint Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland, and St. Andrew's Day (Scottish Gaelic: Latha Naomh Anndra) is Scotland's official national day. In 2006, the Scottish Parliament designated St. Andrew's Day as an official bank holiday.

Although most commonly associated with Scotland, Saint Andrew is also the patron saint of Greece, Romania, Russia and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.[1]

In Germany, the feast day is celebrated as Andreasnacht ("St. Andrew's Night"), in Austria with the custom of Andreasgebet ("St. Andrew's Prayer"), and in Poland as Andrzejki ("Andrews").

In parts of Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Romania, superstitious belief exists that the night before St. Andrew's Day is specially suitable for magic that reveals a young woman's future husband or that binds a future husband to her. Many related customs exist: for example, the pouring of hot lead into water (in Poland, one usually pours hot wax from a candle through a key hole into cold water), divining the future husband's profession from the shape of the resulting piece (related divinations using molten metals are still popular in Germany on Hogmanay). In some areas in Austria, young women would drink wine and then perform a spell, called Andreasgebet (Saint Andrew's prayer), while nude and kicking a straw bed. This was supposed to magically attract the future husband. Yet another custom is to throw a clog over one's shoulder: if it lands pointing to the door, the woman will get married in the same year.

In some parts of the Czech Republic and Slovakia, young women would write down the names of potential husbands on little pieces of paper and stick these into little pieces of dough, called Halusky. When cooked, the first one to float to the surface of the water would reveal the name of their future husband.

In Poland, some women put pieces of paper (on which they have written potential husbands) under the pillow and first thing in the morning they take one out, which allegedly reveals their future husband.

In Romania, it is customary for young women to put 41 grains of wheat beneath their pillow before they go to sleep, and if they dream that someone is coming to steal their grains that means that they are going to get married next year. Also in some other parts of the country the young women light a candle from the Easter and bring it, at midnight, to a fountain. They ask St. Andrew to let them glimpse their future husband. St. Andrew is also the national saint of Romanians and Romanian Orthodox Church.

St. Andrews Day

Image borrowed from Bing

Today is St. Andrew's Day, three weeks and three days before Christmas.
St. Andrew was the first-called of the Apostles, a Galilean fisherman and brother of St Peter.

In Scotland, the traditional dishes on this day are boiled or baked sheep's head, haggis and whisky.

In parts of Kent and Sussex, the right to hunt squirrels at St Andrewstide was claimed: "when the lower kind of people assembling together form a lawless rabble, and being accoutred with guns, poles, clubs and other such weapons, spend the greatest part of the day in parading through the woods . . . . . .
and under pretence of demolishing the squirrels, they destroy numbers of hares, pheasants and partridges and, in short, whatever comes in their way.

Hasted History of Kent 1782

Posted as the beginning of Advent over on Friko's Musings

Even Two Blades Of

Image by Norman Parkinson

even two blades of

even two blades of
grass can
find each other
in the middle of
a concrete
training ground

Yi Ching Lin

Posted over on her site Yi's Bits

Bogie Out West

Humphrey Bogart was quite the actor;
that no one can deny, but as I was upgrading my
Bogart hard drive collection, I ran
into two of his roles that tickled me. He was uncomfortable
as Whip McCord, the bandit leader, being manhandled by
his old pal, James Cagney, in THE OKLAHOMA KID (1939)
; but the real treat is Bogart playing the Mexican bandit,
John Murrell, befriending Errol Flynn in VIRGINIA CITY (1940).


Year: 1939
Cast: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Rosemary Lane, Ward Bond, Donald Crisp, Charles Middleton, Harvey Stephens
Directed By: Lloyd Bacon

Offbeat, hilarious western with Bogie as the villain and gunfighter Cagney seeking revenge for his father's wrongful death. Highlight is Cagney's rendition of "I Don't Want To Play In Your Yard," complete with six-shooter accompaniment.


Year: 1940
Cast: Errol Flynn, Miriam Hopkins, Randolph Scott, Humphrey Bogart, Frank McHugh
Directed By: Michael Curtiz

That Fucking Trophy

Image borrowed from Yahoo

That Fucking Trophy

take your trashcan trophy
and leave me be
remove me from
the pedestal
on which I never belonged

it was your fantasy
of who I was not
rather than any
Tony winning
performance of mine
what you see
is what you got
with your eyes closed

dust off the gilding
turn to turpentine
peel skins away
reveal the charred interior

and revel in the discrepancy
of what you wanted
against the reality
of me

Micael Chadwick

Posted over on his site When Rabbit Howls
Listed as #98 over on Magpie Tales 42

Monday, November 29, 2010


Image borrowed from Bing

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963), commonly referred to as C. S. Lewis and known to his friends and family as "Jack", was an Irish-born British novelist, academic, medievalist, literary critic, essayist, lay theologian and Christian apologist. He is also known for his fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Space Trilogy.

Lewis was a close friend of J. R. R. Tolkien, and both authors were leading figures in the English faculty at Oxford University and in the informal Oxford literary group known as the "Inklings". According to his memoir Surprised by Joy, Lewis had been baptised in the Church of Ireland at birth, but fell away from his faith during his adolescence. Owing to the influence of Tolkien and other friends, at the age of 32 Lewis returned to Christianity, becoming "a very ordinary layman of the Church of England". His conversion had a profound effect on his work, and his wartime radio broadcasts on the subject of Christianity brought him wide acclaim.

In 1956, he married the American writer Joy Gresham, 17 years his junior, who died four years later of cancer at the age of 45.

Lewis died three years after his wife, as the result of renal failure. His death came one week before his 65th birthday. Media coverage of his death was minimal, as he died on 22 November 1963 – the same day that U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and the same day another famous author, Aldous Huxley, died.

Lewis's works have been translated into more than 30 languages and have sold millions of copies. The books that make up The Chronicles of Narnia have sold the most and have been popularised on stage, TV, radio and cinema.

Image borrowed from Bing

Yakima in November

Image borrowed from Bing

Yakima Canutt (November 29, 1895 – May 24, 1986), also known as Yak Canutt, was an American rodeo rider, actor, stuntman and action director.


Canutt had been perfecting tricks such as the Crupper Mount, a leap-frog over the horse's rump into the saddle. Douglas Fairbanks used some in his film the Gaucho. Fairbanks and Canutt became friends and competed regularly at Fairbanks' gym. Canutt took small parts in pictures of others to get experience. It was in Branded a Bandit (1924) that his nose was broken in a 12-foot fall from a cliff. The picture was delayed several weeks, and when it resumed Canutt's close shots were from the side. A plastic surgeon reset the nose, which healed, inspiring Canutt to remark that he thought it looked better.


When his contract with Wilson expired in 1927, Canutt was making appearances at rodeos across the country. By 1928 the talkies were coming out and though he had been in 48 silent pictures, Canutt knew his career was in trouble. His voice had been damaged from flu in the Navy. He started taking on bit parts and stunts, and realized more could be done with action in pictures.

In 1930 between pictures and rodeoing, Canutt met Minnie Audrea Yeager Rice at a party at her parents' home. She was 12 years his junior. They kept company during the next year while he picked up work on the serials for Mascot Pictures Corporation. They married on November 12, 1931.

When rodeo riders invaded Hollywood, they brought a battery of rodeo techniques that Canutt would expand and improve, including horse falls and wagon wrecks, along with the harnesses and cable rigs to make the stunts foolproof and safe. Among the new safety devices was the 'L' stirrup, which allowed a man to fall off a horse without getting hung in the stirrup. Canutt also developed cabling and equipment to cause spectacular wagon crashes, while releasing the team, all on the same spot every time. Safety methods such as these saved film-makers time and money and prevented accidents and injury to performers. One of Yakima's inventions was the 'Running W' stunt, bringing down a horse at the gallop by attaching a wire, anchored to the ground, to its fetlocks and launching the rider forwards spectacularly. This rendered the horse badly shaken and unusable for the rest of the day. The 'Running W' is now banned and has been replaced with the falling-horse technique. It is believed that the last time it was used was on the 1983 Iraqi film al-Mas' Ala Al-Kubra when the British actor and friend of Yak Marc Sinden and stuntman Ken Buckle (who had been trained by Yak) performed the stunt three times during a cavalry charge sequence.

It was while working on Mascot serials that Canutt practiced and perfected his most famous stunts, including the drop from a stagecoach that he would employ in John Ford's 1939 Stagecoach. He first did it in Riders of the Dawn in 1937 while doubling for Jack Randall

John Wayne

While at Mascot, Canutt met John Wayne while doubling for him in a motorcycle stunt for The Shadow of the Eagle in 1932. Wayne admired Canutt’s agility and fearlessness, and Canutt respected Wayne’s willingness to learn and attempt his own stunts. Canutt taught Wayne how to fall off a horse.

"The two worked together to create a technique that made on-screen fight scenes more realistic. Wayne and Canutt found if they stood at a certain angle in front of the camera, they could throw a punch at an actor’s face and make it look as if actual contact had been made."

Canutt and Wayne pioneered stunt and screen fighting techniques still in use. Much of Wayne's on-screen persona was from Canutt. The characterizations associated with Wayne - the drawling, hesitant speech and the hip-rolling walk - were pure Canutt. Said Wayne, "I spent weeks studying the way Yakima Canutt walked and talked. He was a real cowhand."

Dance Master

Image borrowed from Bing

Busby Berkeley (November 29, 1895 – March 14, 1976) was a highly influential Hollywood movie director and musical choreographer. Berkeley was famous for his elaborate musical production numbers that often involved complex geometric patterns. Berkeley's works used large numbers of showgirls and props as fantasy elements in kaleidoscopic on-screen performances.

His earliest movie jobs were on Samuel Goldwyn's Eddie Cantor musicals, where he began developing such techniques as a “parade of faces” (individualizing each chorus girl with a loving close-up), and moving his dancers all over the stage (and often beyond) in as many kaleidoscopic patterns as possible.[citation needed] Berkeley's top shot technique (the kaleidoscope again, this time shot from overhead) appeared seminally in the Cantor films, and also the 1932 Universal programmer Night World (where he choreographed the number "Who's Your Little Who-Zis?"). His numbers were known for starting out in the realm of the stage, but quickly exceeding this space by moving into a time and place that could only be cinematic, only to return to shots of an applauding audience and the fall of a curtain. As choreographer, Berkeley was allowed a certain degree of independence in his direction of musical numbers, and they were often markedly distinct from (and sometimes in contrast to) the narrative sections of the films. The numbers he choreographed were mostly upbeat and focused on decoration as opposed to substance; one exception to this is the number “Remember My Forgotten Man” from Gold Diggers of 1933, which dealt with the treatment of soldiers in a post-World War I Depression.

Berkeley's popularity with an entertainment-hungry Great Depression audience was secured when he choreographed four musicals back-to-back for Warner Bros.: 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, the aforementioned Gold Diggers of 1933 and Fashions of 1934, as well as In Caliente and Wonder Bar with Dolores del Río. Berkeley's innovative and often sexually-charged dance numbers have been analyzed at length by cinema scholars. In particular, the numbers have been critiqued for their display (and some say exploitation) of the female form as seen through the “male gaze”, and for their depiction of collectivism (as opposed to traditionally American rugged individualism) in the spirit of Roosevelt's New Deal. Berkeley always denied any deep significance to his work, arguing that his main professional goals were to constantly top himself and to never repeat his past accomplishments.

As the outsized musicals in which Berkeley specialized became passé, he turned to straight directing. The result was 1939's They Made Me a Criminal, one of John Garfield's best films. Berkeley had several well-publicized run-ins with MGM stars such as Judy Garland. In 1943, he was removed as director of Girl Crazy because of disagreements with Garland, although the lavish musical number "I Got Rhythm", which he directed, remained in the picture.

His next stop was at 20th Century-Fox for 1943's The Gang's All Here, in which Berkeley choreographed Carmen Miranda's “Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat” number. The film made money, but Berkeley and the Fox brass disagreed over budget matters. Berkeley returned to MGM in the late 1940s, where among many other accomplishments he conceived the Technicolor finales for the studio's Esther Williams films. Berkeley's final film as choreographer was MGM's Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962).

A Ladd Birthday

Image borrowed from IMDb

Diane Ladd (born November 29, 1935) is an American actress, film director, producer and published author. She has appeared in over 120 roles, on television, and in miniseries and feature films, including Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), Wild at Heart, Rambling Rose (1991), Ghosts of Mississippi, Primary Colors, 28 Days (2000), and American Cowslip (2008). Twice divorced and currently married, Ladd is the mother of actress Laura Dern by ex-husband actor Bruce Dern. In November 2010, Diane Ladd, Laura Dern and Bruce Dern received adjoining stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; this is the first time family members have been given such consideration on the Walk.

In 1971, Ladd joined the cast of the CBS soap opera, The Secret Storm. She was the second actress to play the role of Kitty Styles on the long-running daytime serial. She later had a supporting role in Roman Polanski's 1974 film Chinatown, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role as Flo in the film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. That film inspired the TV series Alice, in which Flo was portrayed by Polly Holliday. When Holliday left the TV series, Ladd succeeded her as waitress Isabelle "Belle" Dupree. In 1993, Ladd appeared in the episode "Guess Who's Coming to Chow?" of the CBS comedy/western series Harts of the West in the role of the mother of co-star Harley Jane Kozak. The 15-episode program, set on a dude ranch in Nevada starred Beau Bridges and Lloyd Bridges.

In 2004, Ladd played psychic Mrs. Druse in the television miniseries of Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital. In April 2006, Ladd released her first book entitled: Spiraling Through The School Of Life: A Mental, Physical, and Spiritual Discovery. In 2007, she co-starred in the Lifetime Television film Montana Sky.

In addition to her Academy Award nomination for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, she was also nominated (again in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category) for both Wild at Heart and Rambling Rose, both of which she starred alongside her daughter Laura Dern. Dern received a nomination for Best Actress for Rambling Rose. The dual mother and daughter nominations for Ladd and Dern in Rambling Rose marked the first time in Academy Award history that such an event had occurred. They were also nominated for dual Golden Globe Awards in the same year.

Ladd has worked in the theatre as well. She made her Broadway debut in the play Carry Me Back to Morningside Heights in 1968. In 1976 she starred in the play, A Texas Trilogy: Lu Ann Hampton Laverty Oberlander, for which she received a Drama Desk Award nomination.

His Stillness

Image by Radu Popa

His Stillness

The doctor said to my father, "You asked me
to tell you when nothing more could be done.
That's what I'm telling you now." My father
sat quite still, as he always did,
especially not moving his eyes. I had thought
he would rave if he understood he would die,
wave his arms and cry out. He sat up,
thin, and clean, in his clean gown,
like a holy man. The doctor said,
"There are things we can do which might give you time,
but we cannot cure you." My father said,
"Thank you." And he sat, motionless, alone,
with the dignity of a foreign leader.
I sat beside him. This was my father.
He had known he was mortal.
I had feared they would have to
tie him down. I had not remembered
he had always held still and kept quiet to bear things,
the liquor a way to keep still. I had not
known him. My father had dignity. At the
end of his life his life began
to wake in me.

Sharon Olds

Posted over on the Writer's Almanac
"His Stillness" by Sharon Olds, from Strike Sparks

The Death of a Slipper

Image by Tess Kincaid

The Death of a Slipper

Take me fast, quiet,
two guards at every door.
Wrap me tight in your extravagant
straitjacket where the strangling
is clean and silent, since when I kiss,
it will not be as a sister.
You have seen my complete dossier;
I would have made a great man,
but I am a woman, subtle,
but effective. Do not toss
me, deranged, in your landfill.
It is more palatable to give me
something rich and strange,
tribal, like a Viking funeral.

Tess Kincaid
November, 2010

Posted over on her site Willow Manor

The Treasures of Dunhuang

painting by mara

The Treasures of Dunhuang:
Performance Version


a faceless buddha

a black buddha

buddhas with silver mustaches
& chin hairs

three transvestite buddhas

buddha with heads
around his head –
dozens of whirling heads

2000 buddhas

crouching buddhas –
slits for eyes –
looks sleepy

a buddha with a dozen faces
& a thousand hands with eyes

Buddha holds a fern –
he wears a scabbard
& the scabbard grows a hand

rays stream from buddha’s eyes
– or tears

eyes wide in terror
open anguished mouth with fangs
he holds a dish with flaming ryes
but haloed

can this be buddha too?

thin buddha
starving buddha

sitting hand to chin
& smiling


a meditating buddha
a practicing buddha
a preaching buddha
an enlightened buddha
a thinking buddha

a musing buddha
a performing buddha
a didactic buddha
an irradiated buddha
a pragmatic buddha

an absentminded buddha
a fabricating buddha
an authoritative buddha
a radioactive buddha
an obstinate buddha

an oblivious buddha
a counterfeit buddha
an imperative buddha
a degenerate buddha
a disobedient buddha

a paralyzed buddha
a vicarious buddha
a tyrannical buddha
an apostate buddha
an anarchical buddha

an anarchical buddha
a disobedient buddha
an obstinate buddha
a pragmatic buddha
a thinking buddha

an apostate buddha
a degenerate buddha
a radioactive buddha
an irradiated buddha
an enlightened buddha

a tyrannical buddha
an imperative buddha
an authoritative buddha
a didactic buddha
a preaching buddha

a vicarious buddha
a counterfeit buddha
a fabricating buddha
a performing buddha
a practicing buddha

a paralyzed buddha
an oblivious buddha
an absentminded buddha
a musing buddha
a meditating buddha


a buddha behind bars

black buddha face
with marble eyes

five bodhisattvas
in a row
each with a flower

how big this buddha’s hands are

buddha’s palms
lie open
waiting for stigmata

two buddhas sit together
one without a forearm
one without a hand

with knotted muscles
on their chests

a lion face
& baying

like a warrior
in armor

a giant painted

his hands that look
like feet

his feet

push past the garment’s

beneath the image of
a dragon

& a snake

the buddha on the right
is dark with age

an old man’s face
& bald

what does he know of man’s fate
or of woman’s?

beyond the door
buddha lies dying
a choir of mourning monks
behind him

a paradise of buddhas

everlasting bliss

Jerome Rothenberg

Posted over on his site Poems & Poetics

Leslie Adieu

Image borrowed from Yahoo

Leslie William Nielsen, OC (February 11, 1926 – November 28, 2010) was a Canadian–American actor and comedian. Nielsen appeared in over one hundred films and 1,500 television programs over the span of his career, portraying over 220 characters.

Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, Nielsen enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force and worked as a disc jockey before receiving a scholarship to Neighborhood Playhouse. Beginning with a television role in 1948, he quickly expanded to over 50 television appearances two years later. Nielsen appeared in his first films in 1956 and began collecting roles in dramas, westerns, and romance films. Nielsen's lead roles in the films Forbidden Planet (1956) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972) received positive reviews as a serious actor.

Although Nielsen's acting career crossed a variety of genres in both television and films, his deadpan delivery as a doctor in Airplane! (1980) marked a turning point in his career, one that would make him, in the words of film critic Roger Ebert, "the Olivier of spoofs. Nielsen enjoyed further success with The Naked Gun film series, based on a short-lived television series Police Squad! he starred in. His portrayal of serious characters seemingly oblivious to (and complicit in) their absurd surroundings gave him a reputation as a comedian. In the final two decades of his career, Nielsen appeared in multiple spoof and parody films, many of which were met poorly by critics but performed well in box office and home media releases. He was recognized with a variety of awards throughout his career and was inducted into both the Canada and Hollywood Walk of Fame. Nielsen married four times and had two daughters from his second marriage. On November 28, 2010, Nielsen died in his sleep in a Fort Lauderdale, Florida hospital of complications from pneumonia.

"I'm afraid if I don't keep moving, they're going to catch me ... I am 81 years old and I want to see what's around the corner, and I don't see any reason in the world not to keep working. But I am starting to value my down time a great deal because I am realizing there might be other things to do that I am overlooking."
—Nielsen reflecting on his career in 2007.

Sometimes Interrupting

Image by ikram-zidane

sometimes interrupting

sometimes interrupting
a supercollider
something like
a dream deferred

Yi Ching Lin

Posted over on her site Yi's Bits

Winter Has Not Been

Image borrowed from creativenerds

winter has not been

winter has not been
charted, but
with cryogenic
gloves and nails as
sharp as ice, he is
laying down the
tracks beneath the
symmetry of
autumn turning

Yi Ching Lin

Posted over on her site Yi's Bits

Not Just His Shirt

Image borrowed from Yahoo

not just his shirt

i see a man in the second story window, red brick building, across the street from the bench, i sit, waiting for the 7:45 bus. it's not that i can't mind my own business, but he is there every day & i know him only as wife beater.

& it's not just the stain white shirt stretched across his girth, but the words, his words that bullhorn across the distance. he treats her like a dog, not that i have anything against dogs, or think they should get hurt. & the banging...banging...banging...crashes across the asphalt.

(are you getting pissed yet?)

his day old beard, shimmers greasy, as he leaves, chest puffed like he's king of the world, locking the door behind him, from the outside. smiling...smiling...and it may be bad but i am wishing i was driving as he crosses the crosswalk. he says good morning as he waits next to me.

& she appears in the now slid up window, eyes hollow black holes, sucking all the color from the day, except the cigarette she sucks to a butt, then flicks. tumbling end over end, it leaves smoke written confessions, hanging in the air, dreams deferred, dissipating.

she was pretty once, you can tell, a trophy beneath the tarnish & she had hope once, but hitched a ride on the wrong star streaking across the night sky, only to find it was a busted piece of space junk plummeting. back then she was someone, before he took that too.

& then the window is empty, the bus here, & i am just glad to catch a glimpse of her because one day i won't. she will either wake up or not get up, again. maybe tomorrow. maybe the next day. he boards in front of me & our bus pulls away.

Brian Miller

Posted over on his site Way Station One
Listed as #88 over on Magpie Tales 42

One Hundred Yard Dash

image borrowed from yahoo

one hundred yard dash

One hundred yard dash
Ohio State Champ 1952
Now the trophy sits
On a dusty shelf
As tarnished
And brittle
As the legs
That carried him
On that day

Patrick Tillett

Posted over on his site Extremely Overdue
Listed as #80 over on Magpie Tales 42

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ed For a Day

Image borrowed from Yahoo

Edward Allen "Ed" Harris (born November 28, 1950) is an American actor, writer and director, known for his performances in Appaloosa, Creepshow, The Rock, The Right Stuff, Enemy at the Gates, The Abyss, Glengarry Glen Ross, Apollo 13, Pollock, A Beautiful Mind, A History of Violence, National Treasure: Book of Secrets, The Hours, Milk Money and The Truman Show. Harris has also narrated commercials for The Home Depot and other companies.

Academy Awards
1995: Best Supporting Actor (for playing Gene Kranz in Apollo 13, nominated)
1998: Best Supporting Actor (for playing "Christof" in The Truman Show, nominated)
2000: Best Actor (for playing Jackson Pollock in Pollock, nominated)
2002: Best Supporting Actor (for playing "Richard Brown" in The Hours, nominated)

He won an Obie for "Fool For Love."

Educated at Columbia University, New York.

Graduated from Tenafly High School in Tenafly, New Jersey. Other graduates have included Carol Potter and Michael Sorvino.

Daughter Lily Dolores Harris born on 3 May 1993.

He and Amy Madigan were married by a justice of the peace in Waxahachie, Texas, during the filming of Places in the Heart (1984).

His father was a singer with the Fred Waring chorus.

Often called "the thinking woman's sex symbol".

To learn how to paint in Jackson Pollock's style and portray his art in the film, he had a studio built on his property and spent some time painting and working on Pollock pieces.

Credits acting for helping him get over his shyness as a young man.

Was named one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People (2001)

Due to injuries he sustained while filming The Abyss (1989), he was almost unable to accept the role of Frankie Flannery in _State of Grace (1990)_.

Originated the role of "Eddie" in the stage production of "Fool for Love" by Sam Shepard. He later worked with Shepard himself in The Right Stuff (1983) and then Shepard went on to succeed him in the film adaptation of the play.

Was set to star in the Danny Boyle's firefighter drama "Worcester Cold Storage" with Woody Harrelson, but the project never came to fruition.

In 1973, he moved to California and entered the California Institute of the Arts, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.

Was nominated for Broadway's 1986 Tony Award as Best Actor (Play) for "Precious Sons."

He has a brother living in Norman, Oklahoma - where Ed attended the University of Oklahoma.

Son-in-law of John Madigan.

Has appeared in 3 films based on Stephen King stories: Creepshow (1982), Needful Things (1993) and "The Stand" (1994).

Has three films on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time. They are: A Beautiful Mind (2001) at #93, The Right Stuff (1983) at #19, and Apollo 13 (1995) at #12.

Good friends with Fred Ward.

Received an honorary diploma from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2003.

One of his favorite books is John Steinbeck's The Grapes Of Wrath.

He says his most embarrassing moment was modeling tuxedos at the Oklahoma State Fair in 1971.

A veteran stage actor, he made his European debut in Ireland in 2006 with Neil LaBute's Wrecks.

Lives in Malibu, California.

Personal Quotes

[On painter Jackson Pollock]: "One thing I learned about Mr. Pollock's art, which any art student knows I'm sure, but was indeed a revelation to me, is that Jackson fully believed and lived by 'don't use the accident, because I deny the accident'. One cannot even approximate Pollock's work unless every stroke, every pour, every slap, every fling, every shake, every splash, every splatter and every flick has a specific intention".

As soon as I went on stage, I wanted to do nothing else with my life but act. I always liked the attention that playing sports had brought, but acting fulfilled that need even better.

I was very happy playing sports until I was 18, and then there were a couple of years where I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I saw some theatre in Oklahoma and made a decision to learn about acting. It wasn't really with an eye on making films or even making a living; it was really about trying to focus on something that had the potential of taking the place of sport in terms of something to penetrate.

I don't intentionally choose movies that aren't going to be successful commercially. It just happens that the most interesting scripts I read are outside the mainstream. I like characters who have an edge to them, who are going to do something unexpected.

Acting is not a competition to me. One of the first things I learned about acting was, the only person you compete against is yourself.

from "Einstein's Dreams"

Image by Bruce Bi

One vignette from EINSTEIN'S DREAMS

"In the little cafe with the six outdoor tables and the row of petunias, a young man sits with his coffee and pastry. He has been idly observing the street. He has seen the two laughing women in sweaters, the middle-aged woman at the fountain, the two friends who keep repeating goodbyes. As he sits, a dark rain cloud makes its way over the city. But the young man remains at his table. He can imagine only the present, and at this moment the present is a blackening sky but no rain. As he sips the coffee and eats the pastry, he marvels at how the end of the world is so dark. Still there is no rain, and he squints at his paper in the dwindling light, trying to read the last sentence that he will read in his life. Then, rain. The young man goes inside, takes off his wet jacket, marvels at how the world ends in rain. He discusses food with the chef, but he is not waiting for the rain to stop because he is not waiting for anything. In a world without future, each moment is the end of the world. After twenty minutes, the storm cloud passes, the rain stops, and the sky brightens. The young man returns to his table, marvels that the world ends in sunshine."

In the little cafe
with the six outdoor tables
and the row of petunias,
a young man sits with his coffee and pastry.
He has been idly observing the street.
He has seen the two laughing women in sweaters,
the middle-aged woman at the fountain,
the two friends who keep repeating goodbyes.
As he sits, a dark rain cloud makes its way over the city.
But the young man remains at his table.
He can imagine only the present,
and at this moment
the present is a blackening sky but no rain.
As he sips the coffee and eats the pastry,
he marvels at how the end of the world is so dark.
Still there is no rain,
and he squints at his paper in the dwindling light,
trying to read the last sentence
that he will read in his life.
Then, rain.

The young man goes inside,
takes off his wet jacket,
marvels at how the world ends in rain.
He discusses food with the chef,
but he is not waiting for the rain to stop
because he is not waiting for anything.
In a world without future,
each moment is the end of the world.

After twenty minutes,
the storm cloud passes,
the rain stops,
and the sky brightens.
The young man returns to his table,
marvels that the world ends in sunshine.

Alan Lightman

Poet and physicist; posted over on the Writer's Almanac
1. Lightman's prose.
2. Line breaks by Glenn Buttkus


Painting by Morgan Levy


Every day there's something old
to feel sorry about—
what I should have done and didn't,
or what I did, and kept on doing.

I want to believe
everyone's forgotten by now.
Then I picture them thinking back.

And those who've died
and earned the wisdom death allows
just shake their heads and sigh.
"Very funny," my father would say

after my sister and I played
some cruel little joke on him.
"Ha, ha," he'd add,
to let us know he got the point.

We want to forget
until we start to forget.
We want the past to change,
and we want it back.

"Enough is enough,"
my father used to say
to tell us it was over.

Lawrence Raab

Posted over on the Writer's Almanac
"Regret" by Lawrence Raab, from The History of Forgetting.


Image by Friko


Crabapples can be festive too.
Who needs holly when wild fruit
can catch our eye on a stroll
in snow, and reinforce the season
just by hanging there?
Tempting us to pluck
the globose pomes, remembering
their red spring petals as we
gratefully crush out the pectin
to add spice to our holiday cheer
and a steaming gift of love
for Father Christmas.

Glenn Buttkus

November 2010

Would you like the Author to read this poem to you?


Image by Frances McMullen


I walk alone through a rusted part of town. The last jobs and men left long ago. I turn up my collar against a raspy wind; make a weary dance to a working man's song. Thankful for a final drink--a few days away from this empty part of town.

I walk alone through a rusted part of town.
The last jobs and men left long ago.
I turn up my collar against a raspy wind;
make a weary dance to a working man's song.
Thankful for a final drink--
a few days away from this empty part of town.

The Square Corner

Posted over on The Square Corner
Listed as #47 over on Magpie Tales 42
1. the prose poem as written
2. Line breaks by Glenn Buttkus

The Cup

Image borrowed from Yahoo

The Cup

Tell me again its history
the metal muscle – the fortitude
the way it survived
crossing the Atlantic
stayed within the family
through those early years
when famine forced much sacrifice
and trading value for sustenance.

Tell me how it was passed on
father to son to grandchildren
and when the male linage legged
it became the daughter
bringing it forward
and how it survived into marriage
and nurtured still at great cost.

How it paused briefly
in Independence, Missouri
and then journeyed
on west— surviving
Indian territory, hard times
again on the trail when other things
were set aside – at immense emotional price.

Show me the moth eaten velvet beg
that clung to it when you found it
packed among grandfather’s furnishings
where you plucked it free
before the estate sale.

And remind me when it is my turn
to treasure it—

in the time honored tradition

2010© Michael A. Wells

Posted over on his site Stick Poet Super Hero
Listed as #36 over on Magpie Tales 42

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Howdy's Bob

Image borrowed from Wikipedia

Buffalo Bob Smith (born Robert Emil Schmidt; November 27, 1917 – July 30, 1998) was the host of the children's show Howdy Doody. Howdy Doody was an American children's television program (with circus and frontier/western themes) that was created and produced by E. Roger Muir and broadcasted on NBC in the United States from 1947 until 1960. It was a pioneer in children's programming and set the pattern for many similar shows. It was also a pioneer in early color production as NBC (at the time owned by TV maker RCA) used the show in part to sell color television sets in the 1950s.

Born in Buffalo, New York, he attended Masten Park High School. Buffalo Bob got his start in radio as a singer and musician, appearing on many top shows of the time before becoming nationally known for the Howdy Doody Show. The final NBC episode aired in 1960. Later, 1976, Smith reunited with longtime show producer Roger Muir and several of the original cast to produce a new daily syndicated Howdy Doody show.

He made a infomercial appearance Live to promote Howdy Doody Entertainment Memorabilia on July 3, 1998 on QVC. That was his last appearance before he died on July 30 at age 80.

In 1970 and 1971, he embarked on a live tour of college campuses. The shows, organized by producer Burt DuBrow, mixed nostalgia with more contemporary humor, such as Buffalo Bob finding a package of Zig Zags (rolling paper) allegedly belonging to Clarabelle. One show, on April 4, 1971, was recorded and released as an LP, on the label "Project 3 Total Sound Stereo". It was titled, "Buffalo Bob Smith Live at Bill Graham's Fillmore East".

He had a summer residence in Princeton, Maine, as well as owning radio station WQDY in Calais, Maine. He was well-liked by locals, and occasionally hosted local events. He also owned WMKR (now WSYY) radio in Millinocket, ME.

After his retirement, Smith retired to North Carolina, becoming a member of Pinecrest Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church (ARP) in Flat Rock.

He died in Hendersonville, North Carolina in 1998, three days before Shari Lewis, the creator of Lamb Chop.

November Fist

Image borrowed from Bing

Bruce Lee (born Lee Jun-fan; 27 November 1940 – 20 July 1973) was a Chinese American and Hong Kong actor, martial arts instructor,philosopher, film director, film producer, screenwriter, and founder of the Jeet Kune Do martial arts movement. He is considered one of the most influential martial artists of the 20th century, and a cultural icon.

Lee was born in San Francisco, California in the United States, to parents of Hong Kong heritage but raised in Hong Kong until his late teens. Upon reaching the age of 18, Lee emigrated to the United States to claim his U.S. Citizenship and receive his higher education. It was during this time he began teaching martial arts, which soon led to film and television roles.

His Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced films elevated the traditional Hong Kong martial arts film to a new level of popularity and acclaim, and sparked a major surge of interest in Chinese martial arts in the West in the 1970s. The direction and tone of his films changed and influenced martial arts and martial arts films in Hong Kong and the rest of the world as well. He is noted for his roles in five feature-length films, Lo Wei's The Big Boss (1971) and Fist of Fury (1972); Way of the Dragon (1972), directed and written by Lee; Warner Brothers' Enter the Dragon (1973), directed by Robert Clouse; and The Game of Death (1978), directed by Lee.

Lee became an iconic figure known throughout the world and remains very popular among Asian audience and in particular among the Chinese, as he portrayed Chinese nationalism through his films. While Lee initially trained in Wing Chun, he later rejected well-defined martial art styles, favouring instead to utilise useful techniques from various sources in the spirit of his personal martial arts philosophy he dubbed Jeet Kune Do (The Way of the Intercepting Fist).

On 10 May 1973, Lee collapsed in Golden Harvest studios while doing dubbing work for the movie Enter the Dragon. Suffering from seizures and headaches, he was immediately rushed to Hong Kong Baptist Hospital where doctors diagnosed cerebral edema. They were able to reduce the swelling through the administration of mannitol. These same symptoms that occurred in his first collapse were later repeated on the day of his death

A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.
Bruce Lee

A quick temper will make a fool of you soon enough.
Bruce Lee

A wise man can learn more from a foolish question than a fool can learn from a wise answer.
Bruce Lee

All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.
Bruce Lee

Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successfull personality and duplicate it.
Bruce Lee

As you think, so shall you become.
Bruce Lee

Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential.
Bruce Lee

I'm not in this world to live up to your expectations and you're not in this world to live up to mine.
Bruce Lee

If you always put limit on everything you do, physical or anything else. It will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.
Bruce Lee

If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of.
Bruce Lee

If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you'll never get it done.
Bruce Lee

It's not the daily increase but daily decrease. Hack away at the unessential.
Bruce Lee

Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.
Bruce Lee

Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love becomes as coals, deep-burning and unquenchable.
Bruce Lee

Man, the living creature, the creating individual, is always more important than any established style or system.
Bruce Lee

Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.
Bruce Lee

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.
Bruce Lee

Real living is living for others.
Bruce Lee

Showing off is the fool's idea of glory.
Bruce Lee

Take no thought of who is right or wrong or who is better than. Be not for or against.
Bruce Lee

Purple Haze Days

Image borrowed from Bing

James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter. Born Johnny Allen Hendrix on November 27, 1942, in Seattle, Washington, the first of five children to James Allen "Al" Hendrix and Lucille Jeter. His father was a soldier in the United States Army stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma at the time of his birth, before he was shipped to France in World War II. When he was two years old, his mother placed him in the temporary care of friends in the San Francisco Bay Area. His father received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army on September 1, 1945, and retrieved his eldest son and legally changed his name to James Marshall Hendrix in memory of his late brother, Leon Marshall Hendrix. He was known as "Buster" to friends and family, from birth. After his return, Al reunited with Lucille. He found it difficult to gain steady employment after the Second World War, and the family was impoverished.

Jimi is widely considered the greatest electric guitarist in the history of rock music, and one of the most influential musicians of his era across a range of genres. After initial success in Europe, he achieved fame in the United States following his 1967 performance at the Monterey Pop Festival. Later, Hendrix headlined the iconic 1969 Woodstock Festival and the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. He often favored raw overdriven amplifiers with high gain and treble and helped develop the previously undesirable technique of guitar amplifier feedback. Hendrix popularized use of the wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock which he often used to deliver an exaggerated pitch in his solos, particularly with high bends and use of legato. He was influenced by blues artists such as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Albert King and Elmore James, rhythm and blues and soul guitarists Curtis Mayfield, Steve Cropper, as well as by funk and some modern jazz. As a record producer, Hendrix also broke new ground in using the recording studio as an extension of his musical ideas. He was one of the first to experiment with stereophonic phasing effects for rock recording.

Hendrix won many of the most prestigious rock music awards in his lifetime, and has been posthumously awarded many more, including being inducted into the US Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. An English Heritage blue plaque was erected in his name on his former residence at Brook Street, London, in September 1997. A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (at 6627 Hollywood Blvd.) was dedicated in 1994. In 2006, his debut US album, Are You Experienced, was inducted into the United States National Recording Registry, and Rolling Stone named Hendrix the top guitarist on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all-time in 2003. He was the first person inducted into the Native American Music Hall of Fame.

Hendrix sometimes had a camp sense of humor, specifically with the song "Purple Haze". A mondegreen had appeared, in which the line "'Scuse me while I kiss the sky" was misheard as "'Scuse me while I kiss this guy." In a few performances, Hendrix humorously used this, deliberately singing "kiss this guy" while pointing to Mitch or Noel, as he did at Monterey. In the Woodstock DVD he deliberately points to the sky at this point, to make it clear. A volume of misheard lyrics has been published, using this mondegreen itself as the title, with Hendrix on the cover.

Jimi Hendrix died September 18, 1970 in London. He was 28 years old. He had spent the latter part of the previous evening at a party and was picked up by girlfriend Monika Dannemann and driven to her flat at the Samarkand Hotel, 22 Lansdowne Crescent, Notting Hill. According to the estimated time of death, from autopsy data and statements by friends about the evening of September 17, he died within a few hours after midnight, though no precise estimate was made at the original inquest.

All I'm gonna do is just go on and do what I feel.
Jimi Hendrix

All I'm writing is just what I feel, that's all. I just keep it almost naked. And probably the words are so bland.
Jimi Hendrix

Blues is easy to play, but hard to feel.
Jimi Hendrix

Even Castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually.
Jimi Hendrix

Every city in the world always has a gang, a street gang, or the so-called outcasts.
Jimi Hendrix

Excuse me while I kiss the sky.
Jimi Hendrix

I don't have nothing to regret at all in the past, except that I might've unintentionally hurt somebody else or something.
Jimi Hendrix

I got a pet monkey called Charlie Chan.
Jimi Hendrix

I have this one little saying, when things get too heavy just call me helium, the lightest known gas to man.
Jimi Hendrix

I just hate to be in one corner. I hate to be put as only a guitar player, or either only as a songwriter, or only as a tap dancer. I like to move around.
Jimi Hendrix

I try to use my music to move these people to act.
Jimi Hendrix

I used to live in a room full of mirrors; all I could see was me. I take my spirit and I crash my mirrors, now the whole world is here for me to see.
Jimi Hendrix

I was trying to do too many things at the same time, which is my nature. But I was enjoying it, and I still do enjoy it.
Jimi Hendrix

I wish they'd had electric guitars in cotton fields back in the good old days. A whole lot of things would've been straightened out.
Jimi Hendrix

I'm gonna put a curse on you and all your kids will be born completely naked.
Jimi Hendrix

I'm the one that has to die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life, the way I want to.
Jimi Hendrix

I've been imitated so well I've heard people copy my mistakes.
Jimi Hendrix

If I'm free, it's because I'm always running.
Jimi Hendrix

If it was up to me, there wouldn't be no such thing as the establishment.
Jimi Hendrix

Imagination is the key to my lyrics. The rest is painted with a little science fiction.
Jimi Hendrix

Cruising With the Beach Boys

Image borrowed from Bing

Cruising with the Beach Boys

So strange to hear that song again tonight
Travelling on business in a rented car
Miles from anywhere I've been before.
And now a tune I haven't heard for years
Probably not since it last left the charts
Back in L.A. in 1969.
I can't believe I know the words by heart
And can't think of a girl to blame them on.

Every lovesick summer has its song,
And this one I pretended to despise,
But if I was alone when it came on,
I turned it up full-blast to sing along –
A primal scream in croaky baritone,
The notes all flat, the lyrics mostly slurred.
No wonder I spent so much time alone
Making the rounds in Dad's old Thunderbird.

Some nights I drove down to the beach to park
And walk along the railings of the pier.
The water down below was cold and dark,
The waves monotonous against the shore.
The darkness and the mist, the midnight sea,
The flickering lights reflected from the city –
A perfect setting for a boy like me,
The Cecil B. DeMille of my self-pity.

I thought by now I'd left those nights behind,
Lost like the girls that I could never get,
Gone with the years, junked with the old T-Bird.
But one old song, a stretch of empty road,
Can open up a door and let them fall
Tumbling like boxes from a dusty shelf,
Tightening my throat for no reason at all
Bringing on tears shed only for myself.

Dana Gioia

Posted over on the Writer's Almanac
"Cruising with the Beach Boys" by Dana Gioia, from Daily Horoscope.

Welcomed Companions

Image borrowed from Bing

welcomed companions

welcomed companions
diving into comfort food
no assembly required

Yi Ching Lin

Posted over on her site Yi's Bits


Image by Maurizio Cattelan


Clumps of designer mascara
Trickle down surgically-crafted cheekbones
her biggest decision involved
choosing what marble to use in the kitchen
and what cut
her diamond earrings should be
her biggest decision involves
choosing the fanciest urn for his ashes
and where
on the mantle he should go

Red wine and valium
serve as the cocktail of the elite.
Tiny Pomeranians
serve as living accessories to her Gucci boots.

Running to the bathroom,
she vomits
(For once, not by choice)
He left her without instructions
or a designer clutch to carry them in
And now
she must navigate the dreamhouse alone

The 2,000 thread count
Egyptian sheets on
the king-sized bed grow cold.
Oh lonely trophy wife,
who will polish you now?

Tempeton's Fury

Posted over on her site Circling the Cuckoo's Nest
Posted as #76 over on Magpie Tales 42

image borrowed from Bing