May 25, 2008

if i stand at all

Posted in books tagged , at 1:50 pm by placeinthestars

So I’m reading Mask Market, the not-quite-latest Burke book from Andrew Vachss, and, well, okay. First off, I should probably disclaim my love of these books upfront. I mean, even though they’ve sort of devolved into histrionic mary sue stories over the years, I still enjoy visiting with Burke and Max and Michelle and the Professor et al. I love the cadence of these books – the pop philosophy interspersed with sserious violence. The ability to be over the top and pithy at the same time. It’s sort of like The Wire by way of John Woo (which is not to say that these books are on par with The Wire, because they’re not, but the gritty urban feel, the knowledge and love of a city [New York in Burke’s case], the view of life from the criminal side – those things are similar).

I feel like the language lately is shading into a parody of itself – there’s such a thing as too hardboiled, I guess – and Vachss is no James Ellroy, but still, I always find myself drawn to the style and the rhythm of the writing in these books, definitely more than the plots (which I don’t retain, I admit) and almost as much as the characters. Possibly because the style shapes and illumines the characters. Hmm…

I have been reading it kind of piecemeal, so I guess I will eventually pick this back up again and finish it, but I haven’t yet.

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May 22, 2008

you brought a knife to a gun fight

Posted in movies tagged , at 3:11 am by placeinthestars

L. and I had a fabulous late dinner at a new restaurant in the neighborhood (omg the dessert menu! choosing just one was TORTURE), and then we went to a midnight show of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls.

My non-spoilery review is that I enjoyed it a lot. I thought it was pretty hilarious, and a good evocation of 1950s B movies, which is what I think they were going for.

Was it a good movie? I dunno. Maybe? It’s pretty entertaining, even if I’m pretty sure it breaks most of the laws of physics at one point or another. Possibly I am just seduced by the theme music, which never fails to make me grin like a loon. There are a couple of facepalmy moments with scary savage natives, but those are mostly kept to a minimum, and the plot barrels along at breakneck speed, which is all to the good, because if it slowed down, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t make much sense.

I was surprised they were showing it in two theatres, because the auditorium we were in wasn’t packed. It had a decent-sized crowd, but not like the one for RotK.

click for more spoilery comments

May 6, 2008

i am iron man

Posted in movies tagged , at 11:50 pm by placeinthestars

Dude. Iron Man was pretty freaking awesome. I really loved Tony and Pepper’s relationship – the pining assistant who does everything and the boss who finally sees and recognizes the contributions as integral and partner-like. Yes. Okay, so maybe it’s um, old-fashioned is probably the kindest way to put it, but I can’t help it! I love it! Robert Downey Jr. was fantastic, and I didn’t actually hate Gwyneth Paltrow, which is so unusual as to be noteworthy. Also! spoiler?

May 2, 2008

Salt by Marilyn Krysl

Posted in poetry tagged , at 9:25 am by placeinthestars

Salt
by Marilyn Krysl

Now on this table a small bowl of salt, and I think
of the lagoon, quiet at midnight, in moonlight,
you in that doorway, your sarong a flare:
if I needed you you were there, offering.

The body is water and salt. A breathing sea.
Why do we think we know better than the body?
Maybe refusing the offering is the one thing
we will not be forgiven. I came from the ocean,

skin crusted with salt, and you rose and lifted
the hose from those vines and came and knelt
on the stone. I let you take my foot in your hand,
hold it beneath the water: one foot, then the other,

as though I were the god, you the petitioner.
Friend, I am lying down in the arms of your absence.
On the day of your death the world sent no signs.
I went on like a beggar without water, without salt,

the way the blind refuse what they can’t see.
If I were there I would kneel, put my lips to that stone.
I wore the sea’s scrim of salt, that fine, thin shawl:
salt you’d have tasted, if I’d let you kiss my shoulder.

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