Friday, October 20, 2017

JOHN GODFREY'S THE CITY KEEPS

John Godfrey has been a dear friend since the 1970s when he first became known on the downtown New York poetry scene as "a poet's poet," highly admired and loved by all who encountered him or his work. His book THE CITY KEEPS, Selected and New Poems 1966-2014, should be required reading for anyone who appreciates uniquely evocative poetry.

He will be reading, with Barbara Henning and Cliff Hyman, at the Zinc Bar on West Third Street in Manhattan this Sunday at 4:30PM. As they used to say back in the day, Be there or be square.

DOWNY SKIN

Compared to
my life
my life
is long

Accomplish
a tenuous
fixation
Memory

Anything
anyone
can, will, or fails
to intimate

It is older
I knew it
long ago
Her downy skin

ASTRAL ROULETTE

Two quick strides! There!
Bus smokes past my heels, a
slingshot to the Battery, which
is down. I catch my breath
and Sing Wu a song, past those
lights, and their miniature bar
in the window. Ahead of me
in the sky stars are scrambling
from constellation to constellation
shaped as numbers 31 and 9:15
I always believe what's in
the sky at night, O Spanish moon!
And my heart always follows
that brave and unrefined intelligence

Thursday, October 19, 2017

LAST OF THE "FACE IN THE CROWD" SHOTS (BACK ON THE EAST COAST)

me doing my notorious finger pointing dance move at a niece's wedding, with another niece, Jennifer, dancing with her husband, David, behind me, New Jersey c. 2007
from viewer's left to right Paul Schneeman, my oldest son Miles Lally, me holding Emil's baby, George Schneeman (r.i.p.), and Emil Schneeman, with my youngest son Flynn Lally and my grandson Donovan Lally, at George's apartment/studio on Saint Mark's Place, NYC c. 2008
me clapping, my oldest son Miles in fedora and flannel almost out of frame to my left, and my youngest son Flynn in front of me, at the Maplewood NJ o.g. skate park, long since replaced, c. 2008
the Lally clan reunion in Belmar NJ 2011
my 70th birthday party in Great Barrington MA 2012 (I can spy Bill Lannigan in window, that's Jim Keefe with his back to camera far right, and me face lit behind him, and Karen Allen dancing to my right, with my son Miles behind me playing base in the late Bell Engine band et. al.
my back to camera in the gray suit I'd just bought for Alec Baldwin's wedding and didn't know I was supposed to cut the threads in back at the bottom connecting the vents or whatever they're called, and Robert Kennedy Jr. looking at me but actually ignoring my attempt to make small talk which I suck at, NYC 2012
at the ceremony for poet/songwriter/musician Terence Winch's honorary doctorate in Madison Square Garden (if I'm remembering correctly), me in long hair at the viewer's right, and in red sweater Terry's wife the artist Susan Campbell, next to Terence, and their talented musician son Michael, etc. NYC c. 2014?
a Poetry In Motion night with poets and comics and musicians etc. including on the viewer's far left me, with a hand on poet Elinor Nauen's shoulder, and co-founder and now sole organizer of Poetry In Motion Eve Brandstein with long black hair bending down behind the late great comic/actor/writer Taylor Negron, in light blue shirt, and in front of him, and foremost in the photo, the great composer/performer/musician Sylvana Joyce, et. al. at The Cutting Room NYC c. 2015 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

THIS POST FROM AN OLD FRIEND SAYS IT BEST

Pedophiles are protected because a priest is more valuable to the Church than a 10-year-old boy. Predators like #HarveyWeinstein are protected because a successful producer is more valuable to the Hollywood establishment than a wannabe actress. Homicidal cops are protected because a trained officer is more valuable to the Force than a black teenager. Trump is protected because a warm body in the Oval Office is more valuable to the Party than ALL Of US PUT TOGETHER.
We don’t just have a misogyny crisis. We have a crisis of greed and self-interest.
Ethlie Ann Vare

Sunday, October 15, 2017

PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN

What a pleasant surprise. I didn't know what to expect when I entered the theater to see PROFESSOR MARSTON AND THE WONDER WOMEN, but I did know that it was written and directed by a woman, Angela Robinson, and among the stars was one of my all-time favorite movie actors: Rebecca Hall. Neither disappointed. Hall gives an Oscar-worthy performance, and Robinson counterbalances all the films I've seen recently that were about women but were written and directed by men.

From the first scene, there's a realistic, blunt honesty about the many dimensions of the three main characters (the other two played by Bella Heathcote and Luke Evans). The real people their characters are based on, as shown in the usual old photos during the end credits, were much more ordinary looking then these movie actors, but instead of that diminishing the truth of the movie, it enhanced it, for me, because it allowed me to surrender more easily to depictions and declarations that I might otherwise have too easily dismissed.

Those three historic characters—a one-time professor who ends up creating the comic book hero Wonder Woman, and the two women she is based on, i.e. his wife and their lover—not only personally explored some of the infinite possibilities of human behavior and relationships, but withstood the censure, and worse, of a time as repressed as most. But their beliefs and discoveries, as depicted in this film, should be more understandable and relatable to audiences these days than at any other time in our history.

For my taste, this was a  nicely directed, acted, and written, film, about life choices that can seem challenging, or even distasteful, to some, including me at times, but in the end are deeply and fully human. Worth seeing.

Friday, October 13, 2017

I NEEDED THIS

Tell me this isn't the sweetest, and purest, little demonstration of humble vocal skill you've heard in a while: