Adalbert is a forum for me, to post ephemera, photography, poetry, occasional travel notes, and various spontaneous motions. Cover photo: Parsonage where my great-grandfather spent his early years. Taken near Liegnitz, Silesia, ca. 1870.
On 8 October I experienced the day at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon in Portland, Oregon -- around the 14th time I've attended, off and on, starting with an early event in 1995 or so at the Fifth Avenue Cinemas.
Q & A with participants in Lovecraft Under the Gun.
Tim Uren's extraordinary solo, dramatic interpretation of Lovecraft's The Rats in the Walls.
My grandfather, Fred Clark (fourth from left), and most of his brothers, probably in Ennis, Montana, January 11, 1951. There is a an elegiac sense here, a feeling that the photo could almost have emerged from 1880 rather than the 1950s. The Place of Dead Roads... Quién es?
The saloon might have been Oscar Clark's, mentioned by the lateDr. Losee.
Images of totality I captured during the total solar eclipse, August 21, 2017, Madras, Oregon. The flash washed me out in the selfie shot, but I like the "Jupiter and Beyond the Infinite" tone overall. The skies might be out of a John Martin painting. In spite of the doomsday forecasts of media and government, matters associated with the event mostly rolled smoothly. The night before the occultation, I missed my shuttle bus and walked at night up into the hills, where I had my camp (of sorts). Crickets shrilled in the sagebrush, beneath the vast rush of the Milky Way.
On my return, I did get stuck in nine hours' worth of traffic, on what would normally have been a two-hour drive. Someone driving past me the other way, going east, taunted me with "there's a hundred-mile traffic jam in front of you!" The slow drive did give me the opportunity to witness some samples of landscape one normally wouldn't have time in; but it was tedious as well.
On the way back, I also stopped for dinner in Warm Springs, Oregon. I hadn't been in that area in general in central Oregon, for a long spell.
On 6 May, 2017, I visited my long-time barber, whom I knew variously as "Sonny" and "Jimmy," for a tonsorial trip. I had the sudden idea to take a photo of him; which I incorporated into the digital collage above. I had never before snapped a picture of him, in all the years I knew him, stretching back deep into the Bill Clinton era.
The next time I wended my way to his shop, around the solstice, I noticed the traditional striped barber pole was unlit. In the window lay a sign announcing his memorial, which had already transpired the following week.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, he placed Obama and Hillary signs in his barbershop window, side-by-side.
A kind of extradimensional Floyd the Barber, his shop packed with Americana such as a Norman Rockwell print, baseball caps, and quaint signs, his unpredictability and unbroken idiosyncrasies will be missed by this one.
To use a phrase, one which Poe quoted, In pace requiescat!
Oliver Stone signing a copy of his novel A Child's Night Dream. Portland Art Museum (in the former Masonic Temple building), Portland, Oregon, October 13, 1997. Powell's Books hosted the event, a talk and book signing.
I first became aware of Joseph W. Kittinger through a PBS documentary, Space Men. Some numbers from his life: He jumped from a balloon at 102,800 feet, or 31,333 meters (a record-breaking freefall, which stood until recent years); he flew 483 combat missions during the Vietnam War; he survived 11 months in the Hanoi Hilton; and Colonel Kittinger is 88 years old.
Paging William S. Burroughs:
"When I was on that step looking out, I was just amazed at how beautiful
it was. It was absolutely beautiful, the colors, the transition from
black overhead down to the horizon. It was beautiful and I was stunned
with the beauty of what it was. But the same moment, I remembered Dr.
Stapp talking about arsenic outside because right outside my hand was
death." -- Joseph W. Kittinger, from here.
Since April, 1985 I have kept a sporadic, handwritten journal. The following is an lightly-edited entry selected from 24 March, 1995, as representative as any:
Got card from Gina from Taiwan today.
Went & saw Ann Charters at Powell's this evening who gave a rather interesting talk about Kerouac, visited him for two days & talked about how bloated he was, drinking Johnny Walker & beer, playing the piano at a bar, walking on the beach, supporting the Vietnam War, rude & anti-Semitic. How he was a writer, memorial park in Lowell, his mother making him chicken pies he didn't eat, asking Charters to fuck him. She didn't drink herself.
J. & S. were there.
Photo by me from February, 1986. I spent a fair amount of my youth in a house perched atop the hill on the left.
A journal entry involving a dream about Henry Kissinger, from December 2, 1988, by Allen Ginsberg, from We magazine, issue 12, which appeared around 1990. Allen Ginsberg signed the page for me at Powell's Books in downtown Portland, August 30, 1991. Todd Mecklem and I also had a poem, Löwestrasse, in this issue.
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 strange statement concerning the possible future cult status of the prose poem "Nyarlathotep."
In total, the book is a curious exercise, lacking in useful insights.
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.
before the switch to Daylight Saving Time, November 6, 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.
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!"
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 HeavyZero 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.