Thursday, April 19, 2018

Today is Poetry And The Creative Mind Day

As you may know April is Poetry month. On Poetry And The Creative Mind Day, you can take time to read (or listen to) some poetry written by your favorite poets.

Earth by Phil Elverum

I don't want to live with this feeling any longer than I have to
But also I don't want you to be gone
So I talk about you all the time
Including the last day you were alive
And I hang your pictures around my house
For me to surprise myself with and cry
Everybody that used to know us seems concerned
But if they knew that when you went through my mind
I'm full of the love that illuminated our house for all those years
And made this dancing child who tears through the days
With a brilliance you would have deepened and sang along with
But you're sleeping out in the yard now
What am I saying?
No one is sleeping
You don't even have a dead body anymore, it was taken away
I went and wrote a check
And got a cardboard box full of your ashes
And a little plastic bag with your necklace
And I drove back home truly alone
I guess I didn't bury you deep enough
When I poured out your ashes beneath the three witch hazels
That you planted in the yard a few years ago in a triangle for us
Where me and the kid were rolling in the grass the other day
And I saw actual chunks of your bones
Bleached and weathered, unerasable
You're still out there in the spring upheaving
Coming out of the ground into air
Is that exact fragment your finger
That once caressed me not that long ago?
I still can feel it
And is that other shard a piece of your skull
That once contained the wild brain that used to overflow with loving?
Undiscovered and gone
And now just shrapnel remains:
Another place I poured your ashes out
Was on a chair on top of a mountain pointed at the sunset
I went back there last week after years passed
And noticed the chunks of your bones that haven't been blown away
Are indistinguishable from the other pieces from animal bones
Brought there by coyotes, vultures, and Gods
Against my will I felt a little bit of solace creeping in
But I laid there on the moss
Compost and memory:
There's nothing else
I can hear Wolves in the Throne Room singing:
"I will lay down my bones among the rocks and roots"
At night I sit and picture myself curled up beneath
Ten feet of water at the bottom of the lake
I imagined trout bumping against me in the low diminished light
Holding my breath trying to be a boulder
Eroding, to join you in re-mingling with a background
Of churned muck coalescing in the dark
But to get ground back down to matter only
Eternal and dumb becoming not a thing
Abdicating form

If you are good at writing poetry, then go ahead to write some (or write a song.)

April 19, 1927 -
Cecil B. Demille's
silent-film version of The King of Kings premiered on this date.

It is rumored that the film featured author Ayn Rand as one of the hundreds of people in a crowd. At a time when Rand was a struggling immigrant, Cecil B. DeMille gave her the job to help get her on her feet.

April 19, 1946 -
Raymond Chandler's
film-noir classic The Blue Dahlia premiered on this date.

One of the reasons that Veronica Lake was selected to star opposite Alan Ladd was because of her height. Ladd was a notably short leading man (5' 6"), and Lake's similarly diminutive stature (4' 11") meant that the filmmakers did not have to make Ladd appear taller by comparison. At the same time, Ladd resented Doris Dowling, who played his wife in the film, because she was half a foot taller than him, and tried to have her replaced. The producers placated Ladd by having Dowling sitting or lying down during all her scenes with him.

April 19, 1961 -
Frederico Fellini's iconic, La Dolce Vita, premiered in the United States on this date.

The film contributed the term "paparazzo" to the language. The term derives from Marcello's photographer friend Paparazzo. Federico Fellini took the name "Paparazzo", as he explained in a later interview, from the name of someone he met in Calabria (Southern Italy) where Greek names are still common. "Paparazzi" is the plural meaning.

April 19, 1967 -
MGM released a truly bizarre James Bond spoof, Casino Royale, starring just about everybody, including Woody Allen(?), premiered on this date.

The film's original studio-approved budget was $6 million, a large sum for 1966. However, production problems resulted in the shoot running months over schedule, with an accompanying increase in costs. By the time the film was finally completed its original $6-million budget had more than doubled, making it one of the most expensive films made up to that time.

April 19, 1987 -
The Simpsons make their television debut in the short Good Night - a segment for The Tracey Ullman Show.

(Once again, I had to hang around the murky world of the internet underground to get this blurry copy of the clip. I'd like to show you a better version of the clip but the goons, I mean lawyers from Fox would break my legs and I've just about gotten used to walking.)

I wonder whatever happened to The Simpsons.

April 19, 1978 -
The Patti Smith Group released the song Because the Night on this date.

Bruce Springsteen
wrote this song. He gave it to Patti Smith in 1976 because he thought it would suit her voice. He was also in a legal battle with his manager, Mike Appel, that kept him from recording for almost three years.

April 19, 1990 -
On the BBC, the television program, French and Saunders show, airs a Pythonque courthouse sketch featured the guitarists David Gilmour, Mark Knopfler, Gary Moore and Lemmy.

The sketch ended with a jam by the musicians. Please watch the clip; you may thank me later.

April 19, 2002 -
The Nia Vardalos written rom-com (also some of my friends watch it as a docudrama) My Big Fat Greek Wedding, starring Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Lainie Kazan, Michael Constantine, Andrea Martin, and Joey Fatone, premiered in the US on this date.

According to Nia Vardalos, paying for catering during the film proved not to be a problem. Wherever the film was being shot, whenever local Greek restaurants learned about it, they sent over lots of free food.

Here's a new sponsor for ACME

Today in History:
April 19, 1775
Alerted by Paul Revere, the American Revolutionary War began at Lexington Common with the Battle of Lexington-Concord on this date. Eight Minutemen were killed and 10 wounded in an exchange of musket fire with British Redcoats.

In New York, Lexington seems to have won as there is no Concord Avenue.

April 19, 1824 -
Notorious drug user, buggerer, sister sleeping, club footed man about Europe, oh yeah, and poet, Lord George Gordon Byron, died from malaria fever in Greece on this date.

His body was set back to England for burial (his heart, literally remains in his beloved Greece, buried under a tree in Messolonghi) but he was so infamous that neither the deans of Westminster and St Paul's would accept his body for proper burial. His family at last buried him in a small family vault in Northern England.)

April 19, 1897 -
The first Boston Marathon was run in Boston, Massachusetts. John J. McDermott of New York ran the 24.5-mile course of the all-male event in a winning time of 2:55:10. The course was lengthened to 26 miles 385 yards (42.195 km) to conform to the standard set by the 1908 Summer Olympics and codified by the IAAF in 1921.

It was the first of its type in the U.S. For the first time in 33 years, an American has won the Boston Marathon. Desiree Linden took the women's race Monday with a time of 2 hours, 39 minutes and 53 seconds.

April 19, 1906 -
It was a rainy day in Paris. One of those days that song writers write about. Nobel-winning chemist Pierre Curie was preoccupied and in a hurry. He tried to run across the street and did not look both ways. He slipped and then was hit and run over by a horse drawn vehicle. His skull was badly fractured.

Kids' once again - Your mother is always right. Just because you're a Nobel winning - look both ways before crossing.

April 19, 1927 -
Mae West
, suspected transvestite, was jailed, on this date, for her performance in Sex, the Broadway play she wrote, directed, and starred in. She was sentenced to ten days in prison. While incarcerated on Roosevelt Island, she was allowed to wear her silk panties instead of the scratchy prison issue and the warden reportedly took her to dinner every night.

She served eight days with two days off for good behavior. Media attention to the case enhanced her career - it didn't make her change her act, but it did bring her national notoriety—and helped make her one of Hollywood's most memorable, and quotable, stars.

She said: "I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it."

April 19, 1993 -
More than 80 Branch Davidians died in Waco, Texas as the FBI stages a disastrous final assault on their compound on this date. This brought a sudden end to the 51-day siege.

As you about to see, this helped us a great deal.

April 19, 1995 -
At 9:02 am, 23 years ago today, a large car bomb exploded at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, and injuring 500 including many children in the building’s day care center.

Authorities charged Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, with the crime.

Both were convicted. McVeigh was executed in 2001 and Nichols is currently serving a life sentence.

And so it goes


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