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Archive for the ‘movies films’ Category

shadow finger, the uncrashed car, 92 yr-old madness

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

from A Page of Madness, 1926, Teinosuke Kinugasa director

Watched the 1926 Japanese silent movie “A Page of Madness” – the strangest most amazing depiction of mental illness I’ve seen on film. 30 minutes in, in the middle of an insane melee in the madhouse, the film disappears, turns to grey static with the message: “Oops, Sorry something went wrong. Please close and reopen your browser. Error Code 3000,” so I start over, and 30 minutes after that, Twilightzonesville again with same message. 4 more errors in last 10 minutes. Perfect for a madness movie. And adding to the ambiance, there are no title cards – back then the Japanese hired a narrator to give verbal exposition in each theater – so except for the IMDB plot summary of “A husband picks up a job as a janitor at an insane asylum scheming all the time to be close to and free his wife from the institution where she recently attempted suicide,” its interpretation is up to you.

At one point it looked like the old grieving husband trying to rescue his wife was hitting on a young woman, which did not make any sense, so researched and found it was their daughter.

The film’s first 10 minutes are a masterwork multi-exposure fast-cut montage of insanity. Brilliant. And unpleasant.

The closest I can come in weirdness, style, and intensity is Ingmar Bergman – Personae and Hour of the Wolf.

Powerful flick. Going to seriously miss Filmstruck when it shuts down end of this month.

Madness, madness I say!

~ ~ ~

The Starbucks barista asked which scone I wanted. Since the display had a glass top and a ceiling light above it. I held my finger on top and caressed the scone with its shadow. “The one with the shadow finger,” I replied. “Shadow finger?”, she glanced down, saw the shadow stroking the strawberry scone, looked up and broke out laughing.

~ ~ ~

Car starts making weird mechno-electroid sounds on Lady’s way to work. At a red light, she turns it off to see if the sound disappears – whereupon the stop light turns green and the car to her left starts through the intersection… and is hit by a turning car. So noise and stop prevented her crashing too – which is good – but noise comes from dying A/C compressor which is $1300 to replace – which is bad. Already had 2-3 expensive repairs past 18 months. Car is an 11 yr-old Prius and we love it, but looks like time to move up the line.

~ ~ ~

from A Page of Madness, 1926, Teinosuke Kinugasa director


scraps and crap

Thursday, August 9th, 2018

Someone asked for my black bean soup recipe. This is a first for me.

Smith’s random black bean soup

3 segments of garlic
1 very large onion or 3 smaller ones
3 carrots
4 stalks celery

chop the above, add to large pan with 1/3 cup olive oil
and saute

add tablespoon ground cumin, black pepper, some smoked salt

add large can diced tomatoes. 3 cans of black beans with juice
3 caps sherry, 1/3 cup miso, 1/2 cup black beluga lentils,
1 container vegetable broth, msg if desired
bring to low boil

lower flame and simmer for 1 hour

take 1/4 of it and put thru a blender
add back in
add chopped green onions, chopped cilantro, chopped parsley,
and some frozen corn
bring to low boil, lower flame to simmer
and slow cook for an hour


I have a foto on new Crisis Chronicles Press book cover.


And here’s my July feature on Medusa’s Kitchen thanks to publisher/editor Kathy Kieth… this is my 33rd consecutive month:


We all blind ourselves.

“Where you come from is gone.
Where you thought you were going to weren’t never there.
And where you are ain’t no good unless you can get away from it.”

You want strange? Comedy? Absurd? The Church of Christ Without Christ?

Then you need “Wise Blood,” from 1979, the movie John Huston made from Flannery O’Connor’s first novel (1952). With Brad Dourif and Harry Dean Stanton.

I saw the movie at the Cedar Lee when it came out 39 years ago and was wondering if it could possibly be as good as I remembered. Finally found it again (on Filmstruck). It is. 5 stars out of 4.


Another Filmstruck film – His Kind of Woman, 1951, Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Vincent Price, directed by Richard Fleischer (although uncredited, he redid the film after John Farrow’s failure) – a film noir of piranhas in a pool fighting over whom to eat – I used to see these as entertainment, but today realized they’re education, prophesy, life as it’s actually lived — we’re all meat, just looking for a mouth.


Wine More Than Women

Dead poets sing tall towers
of empty icing,
of love without helping,
love without caring,
love without sacrifice,
love without being there,
of loving land more than people,
people more than person,
strangers more than family,
of women who wait without complaint
while men fight wars,
drink wine,

This is not poetry,
this is not love.

This is masturbation,
this is licking one’s self in the mirror.

Love is changing diapers,
love is getting up before dawn and going to work,
love is not eating the last piece of pie,
love is looking, watching, sharing,

Love is not thumping chest,
love is not beating brow,
love is not patriarchy,
love is not lies.

Their poet love is empty love,
self love,
love of sound and whistle
minus meaning.

Love is dirty,
love is work.

Love is worth it
when you’re worthy.

As is poetry.


Smith & Lady Poems March 2015 – Lady’s #12

Thursday, March 12th, 2015


Where did we come from? The page’s gutter
for an aesthetic, faille’s golden joinery,
moulden moiré, a book opening softly with
beginner’s mind ribbing interior corduroy,
congruous fingerprints, event set atop
event in wefts of text, vibrating atoms,
topographical map swimmingly coupled
and walking from the dividend,
this singing bowl

~ Lady




Friday, October 11th, 2013


In this big dream reality
in the little dreams that are
like little wakenings

I find my true abilities, long-lost,
finally remembered

I fly

Some of them start off with my flying
and they’re easy
but then I look
and I wonder,
wow, what is this I am doing?
A human? flying?

And then I lose the ability to
steer, I careen towards the land,
I can’t get it up
more than a couple inches

And some of the dreams start off with
my flying rather clumsily
and then having to be
contained by ceilings

The humans around me don’t fly

They seem unsurprised

Jaded in the face of the miraculous

Miracles they’ve never seen
except in movies

I hover over their heads,
daring them to notice

I’m usually beautiful
in these dreams

But still, they don’t notice

Maybe it’s because I’m
hovering with bird

Maybe I’m just flying
with the bird
and the humans see the bird
and it’s not remarkable to them

And to think!


They come from dinosaurs!
How different
can you get!

How amazing
the transformation!

Such miracles!

And so unremarked by so many

Veins of untapped realization

I’m glad
people have
to discover

~ Lady


Daniel doc

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

Daniel Thompson marionette by Michael Bradley – fotosmith

Going out with a troupe today to film scenes for a Daniel Thompson documentary (1935-2004, Poet Laureate Cuyahoga County) built around a marionette of Daniel made by Michael Bradley, Jim Wolpaw directing. I and the others are props, extras, whatnot.

Michael commented on Facebook, “great…..looks like we have an undertaker joining us….and ventrwiloquist and his dummy…(not me)…bree…a flamboyant poet who lives down the street from barabara….my wife, my daughter…couple of camera guys….should be interesting…didn’t sleep a wink……i’ve been anticipating this weekend for so long it’s sort of a sensory overload….i’ll also have the daniel, lincoln and elvis marionettes….and they hate ventrwiloquists, so it could get ugly. oh, and the fucking cake.”

me: Well now. This is looking interesting. And if things go wrong, we can always count on the undertaker.

him: “exactly…it’s perfect….”

Daniel Thompson marionette by Michael Bradley – fotosmith


Watercolor Picnic

Monday, November 21st, 2011


The Lady from Shanghai, 1947

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

still from The Lady from Shanghai – foto by Smith

Saw for the second time one of my favorite film noirs – The Lady from Shanghai starring Orson Welles and his estranged wife Rita Hayworth. The 1947 film was written, produced and directed by Welles as well.

I shot these stills from my laptop monitor of the film’s finale which is a shootout in a fun house and hall of mirrors. This is the most surreal American film I’ve seen, and my favorite Orson Welles film as well, although I do dearly love A Touch of Evil, 1958 — what a change from the thin slim handsome Welles of 1947 to the at least 100 pounds heavier Welles in the 1958 film.

I’d love to see Welles’ original version because the film’s release was delayed due to heavy editing by Columbia Pictures president Harry Cohn, who insisted on cutting about an hour from Welles’s final cut.

stills from The Lady from Shanghai – fotos by Smith


Cognitive Therapy and Shamanism

Friday, September 17th, 2010

Coping with loss of signal, regaining signal



Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Ponytails were killing us. My most excellent friend & I are solving the problems of the universe. The most excellent show maybe ever–“Red Dwarf…”

On Friday, the Red Dwarf ran into the Squid of Despair, a giant squid. The cast and crew discovered that everything is a giant, mass hallucination, that we’ve all been playing parts for four years in a GIANT VIRTUAL VIDEO GAME.

SO, now they find out who they REALLY are–and THAT’s the DESPAIR–the despair was that they found out who they really were…

AND, right when they were about to KILL themselves, all cast members lined up, four in a row with one bullet–the ship’s computer finally got to a high enough FREQUENCY where they could HEAR and save them.



Friends, we suggest that we buy each other’s organically grown sustainable smoothie very expensive cakes and artisanal food, get frequent behive hairdos, sans hair dye, at the beauty salons where the hairdressers are paid magnificently and enjoy their work. Exercise classes and spas. Sustainable capitalism–it’s a plan.

– –

I suggest free education for everyone, or paid education, whatever works. And a career of anyone’s choice. Some people have to go to school longer for their careers. Those people should be paid a wee bit more. OK, incentive. But not ridiculous incentive. I’m thinking: sliding scale speeding tickets, like the ones they have in Sweden. Getting rid of tax loopholes and offshore accounts. Staying local. Stopping all this weird international shipping except for cruise ships to one anothers continents. In the basements of the cruise ships, we could carry very expensive, fine cheese and the spices and coffee of the world. Gigantic, energy efficient cruise ships. Free energy? What was that thing Tesla was talking about? Hope it works. I would like to beam myself to the North and South pole if possible, and Japan. Coffee crops as well. I really like coffee from fair wage growers whose wages must grow more excellent.

Keeping the inheritance ‘stuff’ within reason, but making sure these rich people work doing art/music/artisanal food or whatever tickles their fancy and stimulates the economy in a sustainable way.

– –

Primed the pump last night and bought some local, organic food. Sharpened our old knives for only $12. Hope he charges more next time. Hope the family business has more business coming in–we are an overtly ethical business. Hope our book projects take off. I know all this will happen. I just, know… it.



Do the right thing

Sunday, September 5th, 2010


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