All the world

there is nothing, and nothing ever matters,
because your brain is nothing but sparks and dials and levers
going haywire on a loop
over and over, but what about beauty?                                                                                                        
Shaolin vs. Wu-Tang is a story about friendship
where the two styles merge, choreography superior
fetishistic circus of movement, kung fu inferno
never translated with a meaning, iron eyepatch
villainy inherent, there is always more.                                                                                            
Nothing and more there is always there, behind
all time and space, depending on how you look
through one eye alone, see vapors evaporate
into joyful progress, every day a new door
made of candy, stars bursting chewable
red and blue and purple, but probably not.                                                                                      
That would be madness, panoramic obsessive
without paranoia, you’d be locked up
believing that, there never was tomorrow
in the first place, because all of us can feel
that we are the same, marrow and saliva
leaking out the folds, memories of pain becoming.                                                                               
Shadows receding slowly, clearing your head
of detritus, nothing is ever at all
without a passion, stories die as reborn
becoming all places, characters and statements
at the same time popping a brain out your eyes.                                                                                     
Love is in everything, forever onward
omnipresent dreadfully looming
horrors of the dawn dusk in between and end,
search for a kernel of joy, that’s all there is
when it comes down to it.
All the world

Movie Review: LA Confidential (1997)

Director: Curtis Hanson

Writer: James Ellroy (novel) Brian Heigeland (screenplay)

Starring: Guy Pierce, Kevin Spacey, Russel Crowe, Kim Basinger

LA Confidential, simply put, is one of the most compelling, endlessly re-watchable thrillers of all time.  One thing that distinguishes this film from its rivals is the faithfulness to its source material.  I don’t mean the novel it was actually adapted from, James Elroy’s piece of the same name, which I haven’t read, I mean Dragnet (1952-9)Dragnet has its fingerprints all over the film, from the opening slightly satirical monologue delivered over a montage of scenes from the city, to the way the story tends to take place in a series of interrogations.  However, this isn’t Dragnet, and modern audiences need a bit more nuance and a bit more honesty.  Not every interrogation ends in a fade out.  Some interrogations end in blood, some end in death, and some end in sex.

The interrogation that ends in sex is one of my favorite scenes in the movie.  Kim Basinger (who won Best Actress for her performance) blazes the screen with wit, honesty and intensity.  Her character Lynn Bracken distinguishes herself early as an intelligent and capable woman, but the world in which she works as a high-class call girl only values her sexuality.  So when Ed Exley (Guy Pierce) knocks on her door in the middle of the night, and passionately kisses her, she resists at first.  She even says “fucking me and fucking Bud White (Russel Crowe) aren’t the same thing you know?”  Upon hearing this, a statement that correctly judged Exley’s true motives, he simply persists, and power relationships being what they were in the 50’s, she has no choice but to succumb.  This quasi-rape scene spurs the film on to its conclusion, but more than just a plot point, it showcases in horrific microcosm one of the film’s central themes; that when the police outstep their bounds, they become indistinguishable from the criminals they fight against.

This theme is shone most obviously in the performance of Russel Crowe, who is stunning as veteran detective Bud White.  When we first see officer White, he interrupts a domestic dispute not by ringing a doorbell or pounding on the door, but by yanking the christmas decorations off their roof.  Though it turned out officer White was justified, as his actions did put at least a temporary halt to an ongoing case of domestic abuse, I wonder who was going to pay for the destroyed christmas decorations.  Later in the film, White executes a man, shooting him in the chest, before taking care to pull out a second gun and stage the crime scene.  Both White (Crowe) and Exley (Pierce) are weak and morally compromised in their own ways, but by the end, they must join together to reach a satisfactory conclusion.  This brings us back to Dragnet.

Every episode of Dragnet ended with an arrest, showing that any mystery is solved and evil is punished, and though LA Confidential is definitely unconventional in most every respect, its ending draws everything together.  Through the masterful performance of everyone involved, particularly James Cromwell whom I believe should’ve won an oscar for his portrayal of Captain Dudley Smith, Curtis Hanson (Director) stitched together a remarkably compelling history lesson.  He shows through the slanted motives and animalistic desires of nearly each character involved, that nothing is exactly as it seems.

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Movie Review: LA Confidential (1997)

Poem: The Killing of a Horse (Sort Of)

The texture flits in and out

like a spark hog, I guess, I mean a spark that’s all

like “I’m totally a spark n’ shit,” sparking shit blue moon

tongue depressors, but you knew this would happen, or preternaturally

supposed the future as it occurs, but sometimes it’s like yesterday

by the Beatles isn’t my favorite, ‘cause it’s kind

of doughty, it’s probably cause you hit her, whichever one that was

I forget shit all the time, and my girlfriend is increasingly reluctant

to believe thee readily evident, repeatedly reticent

panoramic period ending the sentence, and then it starts

“Again, crackers!” crackers this time, cheerio that is

as in “that is,” a good pip, when you pop.

 

explicative pretense denied, bitches, this is my coaster

rain-soaked chinchilla prostitute in the future, a pig in every poke

on the literal use of terms, pejorative leaning Mamet monologue

you son of a bitch, the truth handles your ass or some shit

I’m so Sorkin, showing itself a gag on fire

speech of truth, which has never been written

before now, madness fudge-battered cocaine spectacle

sounds tasty in the sun, but it would totally melt so

it would probably kill you, unless you were a hardcore

user specific, or lucky like me I guess.

Poem: The Killing of a Horse (Sort Of)

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 4

Swelling like good songs, Strummer gone acoustic

spanish optimism, calming a steady breeze

curling inwards, patter past the pit

in your gut still clouds bang horizon

darkness towers forever

over us, all of us, struggle sharply instinctual

suicide, when it’s hard red eyes

frozen by the beat, clear blue

shattered with a ball peen

strike at the center mass, nothing of a cushion

underneath, shards will rain

over everyone on both sides

opposite the split, the river will run

red as the sclera screeching

from the blood shot, unplug in emergency

if at all like this, they’ve won already.

 

But they haven’t a knowing smirk

painted left to right like a comet trail

in the dawn light over the plain, booming a shattering

pulse throughout all reality, it seemed at the time

or must have had I been there, overconfidence

shaky fencepost complicit swaying

this and that, hesitance may be

a symbol of the soul or time ravaging

footprints in the sand, showing the way

enlightenment presents to us

going in circles, seeing blank horizon

everywhere forever on, footpads placing

pleasantly in the sand, it is warm

sustaining hilarious resonant contemplation.

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 4

Poem: Inscrutable Wisdom

Dream of having nothing at all, and think

what you’d be, fossilized snot bubble, skipping light

curmudgeon complaining, casting darts on the lawn in formation

spelling “THAT’S IT” or “THIS IS IT” just to fuck with people

in the morning

on their day off, they can’t read it

at first as they haven’t the angle, it takes time

to understand the meaning

of a disappointing slime leaking, it’s nothing.

 

at all dummy, this is nothing just like everything.

But people loved it, they went crazy

chanting intricately in column formations

and shit, assuming it’s a warning, filling a hole

with wishes written down and set

aflame, until a pit of ashes in its place

raked by an elderly Chinese man

wondering what the words had meant

becomes the sole symbol, showing that shadow

obscures nothing of note, and mystery is wanting

not finding a solution, the search itself is.

 

Poem: Inscrutable Wisdom

Poem: Public 1

A mortal cloud sits affront me, at the sides

as well is a crunching Armada, and passing is Pointless

Shadow on the right, Vacuum on the left

with taunting vulgarity, chit chat hyper fuse

apocalypse bringer, Task Force United, T.F.U.

screamin’ up capitol streets with odd numbers

in ‘em, strangely catatonic facially

reconstructed bubble-butt beasts, the future is bringing

a porn mag in the bathroom, lockin’ the door

not for shame but safety, which is first

then teamwork, keeping cautious eyes

on each other permanent, just in case

interruption is lurkin’, shame over shoulder

Setta Strike, leading team Point Chuckle

up the park to the tennis court, a bad place

to be masturbating in the day, but at night

the sensation is priceless, I’m sure.

Poem: Public 1

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 3

Secrecy is pleasurable, in itself by definition

inherent, being a sneaky little guttersnipe

shines a joy for the ages, saying “I did this”

knowing full well that you didn’t is a carnival

festival drunk in daytime new year Christmas day

funeral of a bastard that we all loved, singing drunky loops

by the jukebox, swaying with our fists in the air,

that’s the kind of fun to be found in a lie, especially when

it doesn’t mean anything, because you’ll get it

done before the “authority” knows

the difference, and the pace is yours to decide,

so the fashioning of progress reports is the pit of a port-a-potty

at burning man, all hell smell and maggot

spirit clusters, which, to each his own but is not my idea

of a good time, so I need my box of trinkets

pills and hand-held mirrors, remnants of a freedom

long lamented, kept in a safe and buried.

 

To say lying is never moral is a lie, catch 22

Kant you motherfucker, intellectual Circe

looping logic like olympic rings, writing

as an asshole, but his ideas make weighted

sense, vitally decisive, that which is

categorically imperative, showing logic

is the only law, act only in such a way

that the maxim by which your actions are directed

should become a universal law, for the benefit of all,

which might be true, though we’ll never know

after all is pronounced, because people suck

the big one when it comes to self

control, so laws like these, carefully considered

though they might be, may never survive

the span of a three-day weekend, because

I dream of right angles, straight lines

easy choices just, for they are not

we must consider them, watch yourself.

Poetry: Philosophy Volume 3