Mr. George A. Romero

Some years ago now, I wrote a rambling blog post that was titled “Closing the Loop On Romero.” I still have what I wrote but I’ll spare us the reposting of it. The gist of it was that when I was in the seventh grade, in my Advanced English class, we watched two films, a 1955 film titled “Les Diaboliques,” in which a wife and mistress plot to get rid of the abusive man they’ve been sharing at their digs at a French boarding school owned by the wife, and a 1968 film titled “Night of the Living Dead,” in which a group of people hole up in an abandoned house in order to escape the “living dead” rising up out of the cemetery, whom seem to be interested in dining on human flesh, which makes it sound sophomoric when it is, in fact, completely adult, and despite our seeming cultural desensitization to such horrors, if you engage your brain and think about what you’re watching, it remains a completely terrifying film.

These two films taught me to understand films as art. These two films began my fascination with films as art. It was one of those moments in life when the world changed for me, expanded, deepened, became more interesting.

Imagine the world if George Romero had never made the film, “Night of the Living Dead.” It is an art film. It has been selected for historical preservation by the Library of Congress. “Night of the Living Dead” has a lot to teach us about the ways in which people interact with one another. It isn’t the first so-called zombie film, it is, however, the zombie film that irrevocably changed our cultural landscape.

Rest in peace, Mr. Romero.

Unlimited

You know what a woman wants? A badass son of a bitch who can make the trip and still treat her like the most precious being on the planet. A man who’s really a gentlemen underneath it all, even if sometimes she doesn’t act like much of a lady. She wants a proper rescue. She wants gallantry and chivalry and decency, chemistry and, understanding. 

She wants a knowing look exchanged before you take her hand and jump together. She wants thunder storms and sunny weather. She wants you to remember her birthday with an obscure book mentioned once in passing. She wants you to give her a wild flower. She wants you to carry her if she cannot walk. She wants you to be there every time she falls and understand what it means every time she gets up. She wants you to grab hold of her hips, pull her up against you, look her in the eye and not lie, when you tell her she is everything. She wants a fortress in your arms. She wants a connection with you so strong that people take a step back when you exchange a glance, and gasp, when they see the two of you slow dancing together. She wants you to read her mind and respect her privacy, or at least, her illusion of it. She wants to be able to be quiet with you, and know, and believe. She wants fireworks. She wants sunsets and sunrises. She wants happy, naked, joyful dancing and to feel like she is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen. She wants you to push her on the swings and carry her into the waves and fall with her on the beach and kiss her until she can barely breathe, your hands moving over her rib cage, across her belly and down between her thighs. She wants to take your breath away with her smile. She wants you to notice the subtle change in her expression that escapes every other eye but tells you that she needs the reassuring squeeze of your hand, or that it’s time to leave the party. She wants to know that you know who she is so that when you touch her it becomes an expression of your appreciation of her. She wants you to make love to her. She wants you to fuck her. She wants your admiration and your awe, wants you to look at her and say, “No one can hold a candle to that woman.” 

     She wants your praise, your encouragement, your faith and your belief, because if you believe in her, she can do great things. She wants you to know when she can’t make it on her own and she wants you to give her some help without making her feel like she’s a failure. She wants you to know how hard it is for her to ask for anything. She wants her name tattooed on your heart. When you say her name, she wants you to say it with a sense of possession and knowing and belonging. She wants you to put her first and she wants to never doubt it. She doesn’t want anyone else to ever doubt it either. She wants you to be able to fix the car, the sink, and hammer a nail straight like a real man, without complaint. She wants you to love her cooking and take her out to dinner. She wants you to be the one who measures up, never wants to let her down even if you sometimes do. She wants to inspire that want in you, because you inspire it in her.


      She wants to be cherished. She wants a man who knows how fragile she is, and how strong. She wants a man who understands that “I love you” should never be used as a band-aid or an apology or an excuse or a manipulation or a last resort. She wants to know it her bones that your love for her is true. She wants you to forgive her. She wants you to be her salvation. She wants to be enough.

She wants something legendary, even if no one else ever knows the story. 





2009, Gold Mine

TOE

    Some pages from the first collection of my poems that I slapped together all those years ago on what was then, a decent typewriter, purchase price of $283.86, though I’m not quite sure about that being the change, just know that is the number stuck in my head about that, I kept the receipt for years. Possibly then leading to my lasting affection for the courier font, in particular.  Some of the poems were good, some of them not so good. Poetry, I think, is the most subjective form of literary expression. Most poetry, poems, allow for the reader, more than any other form of writing, to put their own interpretation on at least some of the meaning. Thus all those puffed up explanations, dissections and discussions of “What So and So really meant was…” and I always think that’s funny because most of the time it means, they don’t know what it means.
       Sentimental, because I tended to be that way, though less and less, that’s probably kind of sad but there it is. I was younger. The world was a much different place, no Internet. At that time I attended, participated in, two or three poetry readings ( maybe it was four?)  at a deli/ice cream shop, of all places, actually, people were reading all sorts of things, stories, poems, one young man read his song lyrics. After each one, a little swarm kind of crushed around me, wanting to talk to me, some people asking for copies of things. Unprepared for that. Of course I was careful to read the poems of mine that I thought were the best, not necessarily these selections. There had been an article in the newspaper about the deli that was so cool to be hosting this, seeing as how the valley was a cultural dry gulch starving to death in those days. The last one of those readings that I attended, a few authors showed up with their chapbooks and what not. There were chairs lined against the wall to the door, the occupants of which could not see the reader at all, but they could hear.  That little swarm crushed around me, got between me and the person I was with then and I …just couldn’t wait to get out the door to the sidewalk. Couldn’t breath. At that point began to then question every thing I’d ever written, thinking, realizing, if I were to pursue it…well, the idea was that other people were going to read it. Yes, that messed me up for a while.
       So they weren’t all the best poems, essays or pieces of prose, no not at all. But what I see when I read them now are all the roots of everything after. For every really great piece of work, there were a lot of not so great and some truly bad. All of it a necessary learning process.
 Storm.
I’ve posted this one once or twice previously, likely edited. I think it’s self-explanatory. But there was this and a piece called The Raven, and I wrote them with great trepidation at the time. What would people think? ( if I wrote about…you know…sex.)
 
 Birds on The Verge
The imagery of the Phoenix was working for me at the time, ideas of rebirth, regeneration. It descends into the corny, the sentimental, with the dramatic foundations of friendship and “ancient stone” but this poem remains a favorite, because I do know what I was going through at the time and all of the meanings it has for me.
Obviously, it’s about getting ones posterior kicked and getting up.
Demons
  an ode to Joan of Arc  at the end, a verse I sometimes drop. Otherwise, well, personal, metaphorical demons are just that, aren’t they? Personal?
 Cigarette
I still love this poem. This was where I started to see something change, something turn. Maybe a willingness to be more honest or to express that? And it had actually been three years since I’d quit cigarettes but I felt like I needed to lie somewhat, like I didn’t want anyone to know when I had really quit smoking.
 And that is not to lend to the idea that everything written in this style, confessional, is actual truth. It’s just the opposite a lot of the time. But, it’s the emotion that has to ring true. This is where I saw the change begin. Where it started to become about understanding processes to get at what was needed with the words.

 

   We learn our craft.
    I felt the need to scrawl, on the side of the apartment building where we lived in Richardson, Texas when I was four, while some boys who wouldn’t let me into their “He-Man-Woman-Haters Club” set fire to a hedge, the first word I learned to spell when I was four. You know, maybe that was it… Look here, the magnificence of this first word. I can write it in lowercase or, with capital letters. Look here at the amazing TOE, written in fine stubby pencil, four year old font.
We learn.

TS