Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Wrestler

I was skeptical about a movie that involves Darren Aronofsky, Mickey Rourke, and Evan Rachel Wood. Plus, as much as I like Marisa Tomei, she is playing the stripper with a heart of gold (right down to "giving key advice and serving as a go-between"). But I love the trailer, and I can't wait to see this.

My favorite part: when you see Mickey Rourke's and Marisa Tomei's characters talking about how "Cobain ruined everything." That's the way a lot of older people feel, that there was this tremendous optimism in the 80s -- in the music, in the politics -- and then the 90s kind of washed that all away (along with gallons of Aqua Net).

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

by Billy Collins

You are so beautiful and I am a fool
to be in love with you
is a theme that keeps coming up
in songs and poems.
There seems to be no room for variation.
I have never heard anyone sing
I am so beautiful
and you are a fool to be in love with me,
even though this notion has surely
crossed the minds of women and men alike.
You are so beautiful, too bad you are a fool
is another one you don't hear.
Or, you are a fool to consider me beautiful.
That one you will never hear, guaranteed.

For no particular reason this afternoon
I am listening to Johnny Hartman
whose dark voice can curl around
the concepts on love, beauty, and foolishness
like no one else's can.
It feels like smoke curling up from a cigarette
someone left burning on a baby grand piano
around three o'clock in the morning;
smoke that billows up into the bright lights
while out there in the darkness
some of the beautiful fools have gathered
around little tables to listen,
some with their eyes closed,
others leaning forward into the music
as if it were holding them up,
or twirling the loose ice in a glass,
slipping by degrees into a rhythmic dream.

Yes, there is all this foolish beauty,
borne beyond midnight,
that has no desire to go home,
especially now when everyone in the room
is watching the large man with the tenor sax
that hangs from his neck like a golden fish.
He moves forward to the edge of the stage
and hands the instrument down to me
and nods that I should play.
So I put the mouthpiece to my lips
and blow into it with all my living breath.
We are all so foolish,
my long bebop solo begins by saying,
so damn foolish
we have become beautiful without even knowing it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Honey bee

This is the cover of the new Lucinda Williams album.

More great photography: the William Eggleston show at the Whitney Museum in New York. Here's the trailer to a documentary about him. I love his drawl, and the way he puffs smoke out as soon as his cigarette is lighted (at the 1:10 mark) - it's like he's a dragon. (wow, I should not put the words "puff" and "dragon" in the same sentence)