Saturday, March 17, 2018


[here's a poem I wrote in the 1960s
first published in my book ROCKY DIES YELLOW
in 1974, and will be in my new lifelong collection:
ANOTHER WAY TO PLAY coming out April 24th:]


your grandfather being
alone lived in it loved
it & gave birth to another
felt his arms noticed the potato skin
he was hard & white & something to chew


He had a dream called him-in-America
where potatoes were roses

He carried one gnarled & petrified
to keep away arthritis

Where he lived if you dug too deep
the earth was white wet & hard

“With people there has been trouble
With the potato we have been happy”

(C) Michael Lally 1974, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018


BLACK PANTHER is a total delight. Watching it on the big screen, I felt like I did the first time I saw STAR WARS when it first came out, or the first half of WONDER WOMAN. Unlike too many super hero films, BLACK PANTHER is never crudely juvenile a la immature boy humor etc.

It's well written (adapted I guess would be more correct, since the comic book hero already existed) by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole. And perfectly directed by Coogler (who is now three for three with FRUITVALE STATION and CREED).

And anything with Lupita Nyong'o or Danai Gurira is worth seeing, in my experience. And they're at their most charming and appealing in their roles as heroic women. And the woman I saw it with, like most women I know, was very pleased at Michael B. Jordan's and Chadwick Boseman's presence in the film. (And Letitia Wright was a discovery for me, and yet another highlight of the movie.)

For my taste, there's nothing not to like about this movie, and much to enjoy. Can't wait for the sequel.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


My favorite thing about this photo is the old cars...this is my sister Joan, brother Robert, mom and dad and brother Buddy, with me and my sister Irene in front (our oldest brother is missing) outside Buddy's new in-laws' house, in Washington DC, where the reception was held (home-made food from his Italian mother-in-law and others)...I was the ring bearer...can't believe the rented tuxedos, typical ethnic working-class extravagance for special occasions...I think it was 1949...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Proud of my grandchild Eli, seen here reading a petition (they got from at her school's student walkout to protest gun violence and lax gun laws today. One of many hundreds of such events around the country. Keep it up kids!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


I finally got to watch The Oscars, in three parts, spread out over two days, and it was a good enough show, I thought, with choices that were good enough. But it's not what my awards would have looked like.

For Best Picture The Lally would go to THE FLORIDA PROJECT, with GET OUT and A FANTASTIC WOMAN so close it would almost be a three-way tie. All three movies are to my mind the most original and unexpected films of 2017. And because they would be my best picture picks, their directors would be my best director picks as well: Sean Baker, Jordan Peele, and Sebastian Lelio.

And Best Original Screenplay would go to the same three flicks: so Baker and Chris Bergoch for THE FLORIDA PROJECT, Jordan Peele for GET OUT (the only category The Oscars agreed with me on), and Lelio and Gonzales Maza for A FANTSTIC WOMAN.

For Best Adapted Screenplay, The Lally goes to Destin Daniel Getton and Andrew Lanham for their adaptation of the novel by Jeannette Walls for THE GLASS CASTLE (in which Woody Harrelson gave the performance he should have been nominated for, as did Ella Anderson...).

And my choice for Best Actor In A Leading Role (I no longer think we should have separate categories for two genders, since I have felt since I was a boy, and written about since I was a young man, gender is a spectrum that includes a lot more than two of anything) is Brooklyn Prince, the child actor in THE FLORIDA PROJECT who gives a performance so stunning and original and nuanced and superior she should have had her own category.

Right behind her though is Bria Vinaite, who played her mother in THE FLORIDA PROJECT, and Daniela Vega in A FANTASTIC WOMAN, best actors of 2017. As for Best Supporting Actor, The Lally goes to Betty Gabriel, who gave the most challenging moments for her conflicted character such humanity she almost single-handedly created the horror/comedy/political commentary film GET OUT's most poignant scenes.

As for Best Editing and Best Cinematography, they both go to THE FLORIDA PROJECT. So there you have it kids. That's my professional and educated and obviously also subjective personal answer to the Oscar choices.

Monday, March 12, 2018


from The Scripture of The Golden Eternity:

"While looking for the light, you may suddenly be devoured by the darkness and find the true light."

"'s impossible to miss your reward."

from a letter to Don Allen, Fall 1957:

"I have been writing my heart out all my life..."

"I would like everybody in the world to tell his full life confession and tell it HIS OWN WAY and then we'd have something to read in our old age, instead of the hesitations and cavilings of 'men of letters' with blear faces who only alter words that the Angel brought them...."

from Vanity of Dolouz:

"...all life is but a skull bone and a rack of ribs through which we keep passing food and fuel just so's we can burn so furious (tho not so beautiful)..."

"If you don't say what you want, what's the sense of writing?"

"—who's going to come out and say that the mind of nature is intrinsically insane and vicious forever?

from Visions of Cody:

"(but I've known the world, it's all happened before, why do I kid myself with these artificial newnesses)"

"—I must write down books too, story-novels, and communicate to people instead of just appeasing my lone soul with a record of it—but this record is my joy."

"All you do is head straight for the grave, a face just covers a skull awhile. Stretch that skull-cover and smile."

"Time is the purest and cheapest form of doom."

from Visions of Gerard:

"My heart is where it belongs."

Sunday, March 11, 2018


The good thing about power outages is that friends who lose power come spend time at your place if your power is still on. The bad thing is that the CEOs make millions and millions while their corporate workers are overworked and underpaid.
If they took some of that CEO money, and/or part of the profits of the power companies, and hired more—and better paid and better trained—workers, and bought more and better equipment, the power would be back on much sooner...
...better yet, put the lines underground so that every snowfall doesn't cause the loss of power for entire neighborhoods for days, and in some case weeks in my part of the world...