On the adhesive-gummed, torn bottom of the photo, I can just make out the city name of Liege, in Belgium.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
A month or two ago I took in an advance review copy of In the Mountains of Madness, a biography/cultural study of H.P. Lovecraft. I also took a look at the work in its final form. I noted few differences between the two versions, other than a few spelling corrections. The book has a few good points; it's adequate as a basic account of Lovecraft's life. But Poole's study contains numerous flaws.
The ideas and writing are frequently inane, derivative, or poorly-researched. With reference to the movement which succeeded in vanquishing Gahan Wilson's Lovecraft-figure trophy bust from the World Fantasy Convention awards, Poole writes: The petition further urged that the award, in a symbolic move, replace Lovecraft's head with that of Octavia Butler, an African American writer that any objective observer would describe as one of the greatest fantasy and horror writers of the twentieth century, one whose work in many respects exceeds the boundaries of genre.
Come on now, the bar's set pretty low here. A fantasy and horror writer? A cursory web search reveals that Butler was a science fiction writer, not a "fantasy and horror writer." And just how is this assessment of her "objective?"
Here's another questionable statement: "He (Lovecraft) did not call the suicide hotlines that did not exist in 1904." What is the reason for mentioning something so banal and obvious, in such a contorted manner? Other dubious segments of the book include a forced attempt to define Lovecraft as an earlier practitioner of gaming, and a curious statement concerning the possible future cult status of the prose poem "Nyarlathotep."
In total, the book is a curious exercise, lacking in useful insights.
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Rest Stop, West of Boardman
By Jonathan Falk
Crickets screamed under the wind, blades of night query past. My stilts beyond the Columbia walk, corneas pulsed with newer life. Censor: Sachem Pharos, green light signaled on hermit’s island in the river’s hippogriffs, basalt eruptions, laved with painted floods. Tom Jefferson stacked his books apropos of milt sunset. Fruit could need I fruit flies time fruit powder.
I remember the transient beard, something to shift when I saw for a moment scoriac splendor, a fairyland, one of those viewpoints I shot past driving, marvelous things, lunar lava and farms. Eagle Creek trail, drought childhood sneakers melting. Time the panhandler raven. You rode with old Nils, you better not drink a cup of coffee.
On the Washington shore, one blue light knocked on the night, filter of dawn.
Written before the switch to Daylight Saving Time, November 6, 2016
Photo: Columbia River Gorge, 9-16-16.
Sunday, October 16, 2016
Stuart Gordon at a Q & A session following a screening of the unrated director's cut of From Beyond. One observation Gordon made was: Republican administrations are golden eras for horror (but don't get any ideas). Saturday's events also included a dynamic live radio show presentation by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society: Dagon: War of Worlds, with splices from The Temple, Dagon, and The Shadow over Innsmouth. And I caught some other movies and short films.
Friday, September 23, 2016
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Thursday, September 15, 2016
Sunday, September 11, 2016
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Today marks eight years since I started this blog. I'll have Jimi Hendrix (with Curtis Knight) play a version of "Happy Birthday," to mark the anniversary.
And here's the first journal-like post from the distant parallel universe of 2008...Myspace and after-rumbles of the Surge:
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Sunday, July 24, 2016
Monday, July 4, 2016
In recent weeks, I watched, for the first time in its entirety the deeply accursed film of Nicholas Ray, Rebel Without a Cause. I saw a little of it on a videocassette once, which unraveled while the movie was in progress.
I was pleasantly startled to find an element of cosmicism, conveyed through astronomy, in the planetarium sequence, embedded in the James Dean vehicle.
What visions of Porsche Spyders and wind-up toy monkeys did Jim Backus have on the isle? "You're tearing me apart, Gilligan!"
Collage by JF, Independence Day, 2016
Sunday, June 12, 2016
Monday, May 30, 2016
Lately I've been absorbing It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis. Noteworthy, among other elements, are the excerpts of the fictional, book-within-a book, "Bible" of the fascistic presidential candidate/ candidate- elect/ U.S. president, Buzz Windrip,
The Grasshopper Lies Heavy Zero Hour -- Over the Top, along with a few melancholy tones of landscape poetry, and a remote but resonant time, between the world wars, of fraternal organizations, Father Coughlin, and class conflict.
Collage by JF
Monday, May 16, 2016
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Monday, April 11, 2016
Transient Wings, Western Half of the Columbia River Gorge
Loneliness, it’s such a scraped affair.
Hawk jewels flowed sightlessly westward.
The reason of the excavation was to reveal deep layers in stony time.
Vast sutures of independence whorl chakra.
At the mountains of energy, float with your mind until lunar provenance enlightenment reached.
The polished immensity of the mountains, twilight ermine fanfare of the argent musk.
Train de Chirico like whistling spiders, grave robber polka spinster yellow ancient grove sad mossy-flamed farmhouse, Edelweiss rocking horse.
Hawk’s wings, rotating like spiders,
Kites drumming over slough and grove.
Train rolls austere and limber,
Caboose like a tramp, twilight of gold.
Rubbish eye incantatory,
Snowy fields, untrodden, transient and flashing on the crest of the Cascades.
JF April 2016
Photo of Crown Point by JF, July 4, 2002
Saturday, March 26, 2016
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Away over down the floor, twilight. Brought and immense monument, closed eyes. Hedge, blue gathering, night and quiet.
Shaded edge of inner range, gold and snow. Crow on mead. Thick eyelids, garlands, whiteness, brooding over leagues of grey pines; sun waves across through grain fields, river, black bridge, flooded and stained paddies.
Pitted red stones, gilt and curved December leaves rolling down, massed and overbent rice, thunder, paws of fox, toothed muzzle open, bundled-twig broom, stacked splits beneath the raised house.
JF -- ca. 1992, written after my first time in Japan
Photograph by JF, Yellowstone Park, 1975.
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Saturday, February 13, 2016
Sunday, February 7, 2016
Collage: Guiteau/Garfield, by JF, 2016.
This was inspired by my recently watching the Murder of a President documentary on PBS, on the assassination of President James A. Garfield
by Charles Guiteau.
Garfield, Arthur, Harrison, and Hayes, time of my father's time, blood of his blood, life of his life, . . . were the lost Americans: their gravely vacant and bewhiskered faces mixed, melted, swam together in the sea depths of a past intangible, immeasurable, and unknowable as the buried city of Persepolis.
-- Thomas Wolfe (source)
I should re-read some Thomas Wolfe sometime. I always remember his description of his writing practice, using the top of a refrigerator as a desk.
Sunday, January 24, 2016
Sunday, January 17, 2016
Monday, January 11, 2016
Sunday, January 3, 2016
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Saturday, December 12, 2015
This web page drew my notice to these outstanding lectures, from 1979, at the Naropa Institute. "Time is everything" -- one hears the writer asking the students if they've seen Apocalypse Now yet, just then a fresh unknown quantity. Roll eyes -- "What do you mean by rotten ectoplasm?" A participant asked Burroughs. Organic material.. I can't hear you, what did you say. Hassan i Sabbah's reach extended all the way to Paris... Korzybski, Jane, and Paul Bowles; Crowley, Conrad, Julian Jaynes... The question is far too general.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
I read Scandal: Essays in Islamic Heresy (1988), by Peter Lamborn Wilson, when the work was crisp off the shelf, around 1989. I unearthed my copy recently. A blurb on the back from William S. Burroughs reads: "Fascinating material on the Ismaili sect and on Hassan i Sabbah... the only spiritual leader who has anything significant to say in the Space Age." The work covered, among various topics, Sufism, mystical aspects of select Arabic and Persian poetry (i.e. "Eros and Style in The Interpreter of Desires,") and Javanese shadow puppetry. Wilson included some material about his journeys to such places as Afghanistan (when it was possible to travel there in relative safety), in the chapter titled "A Note on the Use of Wine, Hemp & Opium."
The volume also referenced the Yazidi sect. Such matters have a different resonance now than they did in 1989 or 1990 (although the 1970s and 80s had a number of bombings, hijackings, hostage-takings, indicating the tenor of events that followed). The period when I read the book was around the time of a brief and evocative truce of the world, when the Cold War ebbed, before the Persian Gulf War began.