Charles Bukowski – “The Sun Wields Mercy”

February 21, 2009 at 10:27 pm (Charles Bukowski, Poetry & Literature)

and the sun weilds mercy
but like a jet torch carried to high,
and the jets whip across its sight
and rockets leap like toads,
and the boys get out the maps
and pin-cuishon the moon,
old green cheese,
no life there but too much on earth:
our unwashed India boys
crosssing their legs,playing pipes,
starving with sucked in bellies,
watching the snakes volute
like beautiful women in the hungry air;
the rockets leap,
the rockets leap like hares,
clearing clump and dog
replacing out-dated bullets;
the Chineses still carve
in jade,quietly stuffing rice
into their hunger, a hunger
a thousand years old,
their muddy rivers moving with fire
and song, barges, houseboats
pushed by drifting poles
of waiting without wanting;
in Turkey they face the East
on their carpets
praying to a purple god
who smokes and laughs
and sticks fingers in their eyes
blinding them, as gods will do;
but the rockets are ready: peace is no longer,
for some reason,precious;
madness drifts like lily pads
on a pond circling senselessly;
the painters paint dipping
their reds and greens and yellows,
poets rhyme their lonliness,
musicians starve as always
and the novelists miss the mark,
but not the pelican , the gull;
pelicans dip and dive, rise,
shaking shocked half-dead
radioactive fish from their beaks;
indeed, indeed, the waters wash
the rocks with slime; and on wall st.
the market staggers like a lost drunk
looking for his key; ah,
this will be a good one,by God:
it will take us back to the
sabre-teeth, the winged monkey
scrabbling in pits over bits
of helmet, instrument and glass;
a lightning crashes across
the window and in a million rooms
lovers lie entwined and lost
and sick as peace;
the sky still breaks red and orange for the
painters-and for the lovers,
flowers open as they always have
opened but covered with thin dust
of rocket fuel and mushrooms,
poison mushrooms; it’s a bad time,
a dog-sick time-curtain
act 3, standing room only,
by god,by somebody and something,
by rockets and generals and
leaders, by poets , doctors, comedians,
by manufacturers of soup
and biscuits, Janus-faced hucksters
of their own indexerity;
I can now see now the coal-slick
contanminated fields, a snail or 2,
bile, obsidian, a fish or 3
in the shallows, an obloquy of our
source and our sight…..
has this happend before? is history
a circle that catches itself by the tail,
a dream, a nightmare,
a general’s dream, a presidents dream,
a dictators dream…
can’t we awaken?
or are the forces of life greater than we are?
can’t we awaken? must we foever,
dear freinds, die in our sleep?

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“Yellow Submarine” (1968)

February 21, 2009 at 10:01 pm (Cinema, Reviews & Articles, The Beatles)

Written by Andrea LeVasseur for the website, The Beatles’ animated 1968 film. Possibly the greatest psychedelic “cartoon” of all time… 


Yellow Submarine is an animated meandering journey filled with puns and dry British humor, where psychedelic music videos take precedent over any linear story. What little there is of a plot, however, concerns a vibrantly colored place called Pepperland that resembles the album cover for Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band come to life. The swirling animation is a mixture of pop-culture images and modern artistic styles brought loosely together with a naïve antiwar message and some clever political commentary. The Blue Meanies take over Pepperland, draining it of all its color and music, firing anti-music missiles, bonking people with green apples, and turning the inhabitants to stone by way of the pointed finger of a giant white glove. As the only survivor, the Lord Admiral escapes in the yellow submarine and goes to London to enlist the help of the Beatles (voiced by actors). The charming and innocent boys travel through strange worlds and meet bizarre characters, including the tagalong Nowhere Man. Several blissed-filled musical sequences and drug references later, the Beatles drive out the Blue Meanies and restore Pepperland to tranquility armed with only music, love, and witty remarks.


An animated musical-epic, Yellow Submarine is a head movie for the whole family to enjoy. Made as the Beatles were close to breaking up, and agreed upon as a way to get out of the United Artists’ three-picture deal after A Hard Day’s Night and Help!, the bandmembers had minimal input on the film. They didn’t even provide voice-overs and only appeared in a short live-action scene. Yet, Yellow Submarine stands as evidence of what the band symbolized to fans by portraying the Beatles saving the world with love and music. Visually, it is a kaleidoscopic lesson in art history, with director George Dunning fusing together pop art, op art, surrealism, and general weirdness. The swirling colors and dazzling movement set the standard for British psychedelia of the time, as well as proving influential for experimental animation styles to come. The story is numbingly simple, interspersed with cultural references and the spontaneous banter common to the other Beatles movies, but that is secondary to the excellent musical score, including “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” “Eleanor Rigby,” and “All You Need Is Love.” Yellow Submarine remains an animated classic that captures the charming fantasy of the late-’60s psychedelic phenomena.

Andrea LeVasseur

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Hubert Saal – “The MC5: Kick Out the Jams” (1969)

February 21, 2009 at 2:23 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This article comes from Newsweek, May 19, 1969…

    It’s mind-blowing, earsplitting, stomach-churning. The souped-up music of the MC5 (MC for Motor City) starts off in high and never throttles down. Until recently, pop music from Detroit was all Motown, the slick manufactured charm symbolized by the Supremes. But up from the underground has come a real Detroit sound, pulsating with the belch of its smokestacks and the beat of its machinery. Some of the new groups are the Amboy Dukes, the Psychedelic Stooges, SRC and UP. Last week, the leader of the pack, the MC5, was playing an infrequent out-of-town date, at New York’s Ungano’s.
    It’s a driving music that has in it the dirt and factory pulse and scream of rubber turning corners at full speed. The unmuffled engines of the MC5 spare neither audience nor musicians, who exercise an uncanny control over their electrifying, abandoned ferocity. They steam with sweat, they leap and stretch and spin as they play and sing. They even carry along a sort of flight engineer who adjusts their electronic amplifiers, hands out towels, passes around a water bucket and replaces frenetic drummer Dennis Thompson‘s sticks as he breaks them – ten, fifteen, twenty a set.
    The battering ram of a revolution is how the MC5 think of themselves. “Call Me Animal,” chants lead singer Rob Tyner, a plumpish blob of wild-haired libido. And the band makes happy pig noises as Tyner throws a handy “groupie” to the floor and exuberantly pretends to rape her. They play and chant with relish “Motor City Is Burning” and regard society as “The Human Being Lawnmower (Chop-Chop-Chop-Chop-Chop)” as they chant the litany or point the necks of their guitars at the audience like bayonets or machine guns.
    Profane: To these kids – 25-year-old bass guitarist Michael Davis is the oldest – the Revolution is happening. “There’s two cultures today,” says lead guitarist Wayne Kramer, who wears a Continental Army uniform and paints his guitar with stars and stripes. “There’s the adult honky culture – Frank Sinatra, Democrats and Republicans. And there’s the Alternative Culture – the Cream, Jimi Hendrix, the underground.” “It’s a revolution against cultural repression,” adds guitarist Fred Smith. “What’s obscenity?” asks Davis. “Four-letter words? Making love? What’s obscene are city streets, dead fish, pollution of air and water. And war. Honky culture is death culture.” The group’s use of profane language on one version of their Elektra LP, “Kick Out The Jams,” which has sold more than 100,000 copies, and in an advertisement in an Ann Arbor, Mich., newspaper were apparently the reasons why Elektra recently fired them, citing “unprofessional conduct.” However, it looks as if they will soon sign with Atlantic Records.
    All except Davis come from Lincoln Park, “the other side of the tracks” from rich Grosse Pointe. That’s where they met, schooled together, learned to make music together. “After high school, in Lincoln Park,” says Smith, “you can go to college, which you can’t afford, or the Army or the factory. You end up working all year in a loveless job to have two weeks’ vacation a year.” Smith’s father works in a factory; Kramer’s is a truck-driver; Davis’s has worked for Ford for 30 years. He himself once worked in a steel mill, and Dennis Thompson used to work in a tool-and-die shop.
    Impulses: Despite the show of violence, the MC5 is a likable group, not only talented and personable, but concerned and peace-loving, driven genuinely by inchoate but profoundly felt impulses. “We want the rebirth of the natural, righteous, self,” says Thompson. “It’s a young planet, ” says Tyner. “We’re just getting out of the caves. What we try to say in our music is: Come out, have the whole planet, not just the room with the TV set.” To the MC5, their music “tries to create an atmosphere for change.” “We found out that when you played super-loud and super-fast, it made you feel pure and happy,” says Tyner. “It makes you feel better today,” says Davis. “It makes you feel even better tomorrow,” says Smith.

Hubert Saal

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