The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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Posts from — October 2010

Lost Pilot

Reentering the atmosphere
Burning at white hot speed
Coming apart
Losing consciousness
Hanging on for dear life
Choking on my shit…
Until the moment it finally passes
The smell still lingering in my nostrils
Wondering why I never die,
Disappointed I am myself again,
A pilot without a mission or a home.

October 31, 2010   Comments Off on Lost Pilot

The Big Black Bird

The big black bird has it in for me, he says,
As his eyes widen to gaping holes.
Have you seen it?
I shrug,
There are no black birds that size except for crows.
He ignores this.
Have you heard the way it swopes past the window?
Woosh, woosh, its wings are massive.
Sure, Dad, I murmur.
I couldn’t locate it at first
But now I’ve seen its nest.
It’s coming for me.
To which I can only nod
Impressed by the way
He’s facing terror, as a child might
By inventing a fairy tale.

October 30, 2010   Comments Off on The Big Black Bird

The American

The American tries very hard to be an art film, similar to those Jean-Pierre Melville created in his prime, but, alas, Anton Corbijn, the Dutch director, gets it all wrong. Even George Clooney can’t resurrect it. In truth, no one could. From the opening scenes we don’t care one wit about him, and nothing that follows creates a hint of sympathy for this utterly boring hero who kills with the precision of an Italian craftman. Not sure what any of these people were thinking. They seem to have no clue. The shots of Abruzzo are nice, though. Save your money, I suggest, or go see something else.

October 29, 2010   Comments Off on The American

To Akimoto-san

Expensive coat rippling in the wind
Regal in every detail
A Japanese countess of noble birth
Though with ears cocked in two directions
Nose going, eyes intent
At full stretch
Ignoring all distractions
Wondering if I’ll materialize like a majin from thin air,
You wait like a mother for a son.

October 29, 2010   Comments Off on To Akimoto-san

All Roads Do Not Lead to Rome

This morning in my neighborhood, I watched a thin, angular woman cross the sidewalk in front of me, and thought, a total type, what else could she be? and on impulse said, “Sembra italiana.”

After a few paces, she turned, obviously surprised, and responded, “Io sono italiana!”

I smiled.

“Do you know me?” she demanded.

“No,” I said, “Assolutemente no.”

“Then how do you know I’m Italian?”

“Sono intelligente,” I said, to which she responded with a disbelieving sneer. I had to laugh. The woman thought I was hitting on her with some elaborate scheme only an Italian male could dream up.

October 29, 2010   Comments Off on All Roads Do Not Lead to Rome

The Social Network

The Social Network is an interesting film, not so much for its filmology as for its nouse. The film captures the essence of the Facebook generation in a way no other description or memoir or interview with Oprah possibly could.

We’ve all felt it, haven’t we, but have not been able to express it succinctly. These people are shits of a kind we have never seen before on the face of the earth. It’s very cool to see their faces exactly as they are.


October 28, 2010   Comments Off on The Social Network

Yum Yum

I suspect Wayne Rooney’s coming renaissance as a footballer will not be so much about the larger salary he and his agent have procured as about beating back the challenge of Chicharito. For how can a man with an ego as large as Rooney’s accept being supplanted by a twenty-two year old kid with plucked eyebrows from Mexico? It makes me laugh–a deep, raucous belly laugh. If Chicharito can’t make a fire-breathing, goal scoring demon out of Rooney again, no one can.

Consider, for a moment, the alternative. Just as Michael Owen became a has-been at twenty-one, so Wayne Rooney will become one at twenty-five if he doesn’t get this right. Definitely, most very definitely, this is going to be an interesting spectacle to watch.

By the way, in case you hadn’t guessed, my money’s on the Mexican.

October 28, 2010   Comments Off on Yum Yum


Twenty sleepless nights
In which you assume new forms
And I am unchanged.

October 28, 2010   Comments Off on 294


Halting in cold rain
Treading on cedar berries
As wild geese take flight.

October 26, 2010   Comments Off on 293


In the empty streets
Lined leaves lie in fan-shaped plains
Left from last night’s rain.

October 24, 2010   Comments Off on 292