A Roman boy at The British museum.

A Roman boy at The British museum.

A thousand stone heads are stuck in glass cases,

Their blank almond eyes and broken stone faces,

Stare me down as I stand here,

On my plastic plinth,

No bigger than the human hand that made me.

 

A Halo of rusted curls, frame my tiny face,

A beatific smile is etched upon my lips,

Lips that never breathed the air, nor kissed another.

Snake hips that never slunk, 

Iron brown skin that never felt a touch,

A lean and languid body, that never grew old, 

Head thrown back in thoughts that never came.

 

An altar boy to a crumbled god.

A votive offering, 

A pocket trinket,

A smugglers ransom,

An art dealers pride,

A museum piece,

I have passed from hand to hand,

In the blink of the universes’ eye,

For two thousand years

Stood Iron and strong

Through every passing moment

And felt none.

What it feels like to be me

What it feels like to be me

Every morning eyes open and I appear, slowly awakening from the blackness and somehow there is continuity. The story of me, being told and lived, simultaneously.

Every cell is different from seven years ago so how can I be the same, or even know I am? How can past worries be consigned to memory when the ones here now seem so real?

 How do l I own some actions: the prizes and the pratfalls, but not others: the walking or the sitting? Am I only the ‘decided’ or also the ‘involuntary’? Is there a distinction?

 Do I own my thoughts or are they pounding on my head like raindrops? Do I own my feelings or are they wafting through my consciousness like smells?

 Am I the stillness or the movement, or am I both? Am I the face in the mirror or the openness inside? Where’s the dividing line, the edge of my body, or the edge of my view? 

 Am I everything or nothing? What if me is just the story? The story used to function. What if there’s only this: happening, and then: that, and then: something else.

 Sometimes I see motes of light, floating in the corner of my view.  They remind me that strange things happen that anything is possible.

Inside Job

Inside Job

We saw Inside Job at the cinema the other day. It’s a look at how the American Banks and traders caused the massive global recession through the grossly irresponsible creation, overvaluation and sale of essentially valueless financial products. The film makers call it the world’s biggest ponzi scheme.

The bankers were helped by the politicians who over decades systematically removed all monitoring of financial markets, banks and insurers and broke all the human links in the chain between customers, mortgage providers and the banks. Creating a total disconnect between the puffed up financial products and the real people who’s debts they were composed of.

The film suggest politicians, economists and the rating agencies are all too intertwined with the big financial institutions. Mainly because they all serve on the boards of these companies. Who also fund their political campaigns or institutions to the tune of millions of dollars. The film shows how this reliance on big money donors by American politicians has also stifled the subsequent clean up of the industry.

The filmmaker is obviously an expert on finance and explains clearly all the nuances of how the crisis developed and how it is now effecting working people round the world.

He has done meticulous research on his interviewees – bankers and government advisors, and it is a pleasure to see him trip them up bringing up their conflicts of interests and bad financial advice as they try to justly their inflated pay checks and perks. Many of them are visibly shocked when what they take to be an idiot interviewer goes in for the kill. Overall a well made, comprehensive and informative documentary.

George Melies 1929

George Melies 1929
George Melies at his toy stall in Montparnasse Station
George Melies at his toy stall in Montparnasse Station

Everyday at seven,

I open up my wooden shack.

To sell my wooden toys and games

to the loud lousy children of Montparnasse.

Why all of life seems wooden to me now,

A broken old man, on a broken old stool,

with barely two brass pennys to rub together.

And yet it wasnʼt always so.

Once, I was the master of this universe,

The greatest magician in all of Paris,

with a hundred men at my command

And robots too, clockwork automotons,

that danced like oiled marionettes,

in the foyer of my gold leafed theater.

Then there was the magic box,

the clicking-clacking lantern,

Eating silver strips of celuloid

And beaming out smokey moonlight.

Chopping up time into frames, train windows.

My ghost on a light and silver screen.

I danced in black and white.

And did amazing things,

turned marble statues into women

and women into skeletons,

and I juggled with my severed head,

and crashed into the moon’s right eye.

I tunnelled throught the earth hot core

and fought and beat the devil.

Or so it seemed,

for all of that is long gone now,

Just faded and forgotten,

like the brittle nitrate film,

on which it sits,

and here I sit,

waiting for my wife to come,

and bring some bread and cheese for lunch.

 

Freedom

Peter

Is this him now?

No right-hand rules,

We could all be present

Sit ourselves in silence,

While living in the light

Sautéed on dance

Talk of lists and beginnings.

Write a major hypnotic fright symphony.

Or buy and drink canastas of rum.

 

Freedom,

Is it a declaration of independence

Or the manner you carry your hair?

Is it free will or predetermination?

Or is it that we have an agreement,

To sit and write poetry.

When we could be learning French?

 

(The poem was written in English put through google translator into French and then put back into English again.)

Driving

Driving

Hanni you are being hugged,

huddling happily on the back seat.

On the soft, leather, squeaky springed,

rolling, beeping, clanking, street

and your laughing at the games of hide and seek

and your head leans back, resting on his cheek,

and your soft blonde hair, is lying there, a touch static.

His eyes are closed, his mouth it smiles, he’s lost in traffic.

 

And your friends are leaning into you,

squashed in like glued sardines,

under coats, cosey-like, a bunch of laughing teens.

And your driving, somewhere, anywhere,

where the light is liquid black

and white and silver-hazey-brown,

the kind that’s owned by movie stars.

like Summer days burnt down.

 

And the window is a halo,

That is filled with empty space.

and the infinite flat paper,

illuminates your face,

and the road is driving onwards,

and you don’t care where it ends,

cause your frozen in the moment

and your laughing with your friends.

True Grit

True Grit

true_grit_poster

We saw True Grit the other day. I haven’t seen the original, so can’t compare, but I thought it was a good old fashioned Western with lots of Cohen brothers dry wit. Great performances from the actors, especially the young girl and good Roger Deakin’s cinematography. The character’s juicy old Western idioloects (word of the day) create great dialogue most of which I think was cropped from the book. Just an all round well made enjoyable film.

Black Swan

Black Swan

blackswan_poster-535x793

We went to see Black Swan last week. I really enjoyed it. It’s an old fashioned Polanski-esque psychological thriller/ melodrama. A bit like Repulsion meets The Red Shoes.

Natalie Portman gives an amazing performance as Nina, an uptight ballerina from the ensemble who’s given her chance at the big time, when Vincent Cassel – the Lermentov style director, offers her the lead in his new production of Swan Lake. But can she stand the psychological pressure from her overbearing director and crazy mother and the sabotage from her sexy rival ( Mila Kunis).

If this makes it sound a bit soapy, it really isn’t, but it is pretty melodramatic and could have easily tipped over into the ridiculous, which I think it manages to avoid. It’s a beautifully shot movie dark and claustrophobic in tone. It’s full of weird paranoia and visual and aural representation of the torture ballet dancers go through for a part. The whole film is from Nina’s point of view, very subjective and first person, which I love and is a very hard thing to pull of narratively.

Darren Arnofsky’s sure footed direction keeps things on a tight course and the script, keeps the twists coming and doesn’t descend into the third act silliness I thought it might.

Nathalie Portman trained for a year for the part and her dedication really shows through. Some people have said her character is a bit wet and old fashioned, and I can see there is a case for this. The archetype rivalry  of the virgin and the whore, play this up too. But this is all to reflect and weave in elements and themes from the ballet.