Saturday, July 30, 2011

Center of My HeArt video by Mystical House Productions

This video started to be an art video but it became more. It's about borders, separations, endings, all that is meaningful in our lives. Paul Schwartz is given credit for the song, - Center of My Heart, though it is clearly not him singing. Keith Thompson and myself get photo credit and I put it all together. I hope it is meaningful for you.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Eromenos by Melanie McDonald, reviewed by BL Kennedy

Melanie McDonald
Naples, FL
Seriously Good Books
174 pgs
ISBN: 978-0-9831554-0-9

I was born in Bithynia, in the town of Claudiopolis, during the reign of Trajan, and named Parthenos Antinous.

This books is the first novel from a new press called Seriously Good Books that specializes in historic fiction, and you can imagine my surprise in not only getting the book, but amazed at how well written it is. This is just a beautifully executed novel by a young writer, who, it is my prediction, you will be hearing a hell of a lot more from, and I strongly urge that you hunt down and buy this book. I am not joking here. This was a treat of a read, and something that I think that any lover of fine literature would really enjoy.

So if you have the cash, and trust me, in this economy, that’s always a big if. But IF you have the cash, hunt down this book either online or at your local bookstore, and snatch it up, because this is one fine read. As for the writer Melanie McDonald, I only have two words: thank you.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Root of Lightning by Michael Spring, reviewed by BL Kennedy

Root of Lightning
Michael Spring
Springfield, OR
Pygmy Forest Press
64 pgs
ISBN: 978-0944-55083-0

The Clown She Always Feared
-for Sara Backer

he walked in
silk upturned shoes

of burritos and bourbon

why she punched him in the nose
was anybody’s guess
but nobody in that restaurant knew
what to do—

when the clown fell
on the ground another clown
rolled out
and then another
and another

until the entire during room was jammed
with clowns—dwarf clowns
juggled fat clowns—skinny clowns
shoved plates into their noses
the cash register sprung
open with rubber coin clowns

when she walked away
every clown snapped back
into the original clown

who pulled himself up form the floor
sad he lost
her attention—his red nose
crushed on his face

I cannot help but to praise the poetry of Michael Spring. I just really love this young man’s work. I think his poetry is informative and very much aware of the world around him. It’s inventive, cohesive, very imagistic, and most of all, it works.

Root of Lightning seems like a collection of such simple poems, and yet, upon the second or third read, Mike Spring’s work just cracks you upside the head with all the impact of a dead wet fish. It’s as fast as lightning. His characters breathe, his rhythms move and his words, oh, his words, so alive with lyric! And his conviction, his conviction, such perceptive fortitude.

I love the primitive truth of these poems. They are like a fine painting. Think of Frieda Kahlo as a rattlesnake being stung by Robert Duncan as a scorpion. Think of Vincent Price kicking Basil Rathbone in the nuts. Or think of Marlon Brando, not the Marlon Brando of “The Wild One”, but the really big fat Marlon Brando, duking it out with Fu Manchu while planting a bed of roses. This is the beauty of Michael Spring’s work. He inspires images like these even in a review.

Look, I can go on and on about the poetry of Michael Spring, but truth be told, your best bet is to pluck down the cash and buy the book. Trust me, you will not regret it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

THE DEAD PATH by Stephen M. Irwin, reviewed by BL Kennedy

The Dead Path

Stephen M. Irwin
Doubleday Books
New York, NY
374 pgs
ISBN: 978-385-53343-0

Snow Fell.

It drifted down slow as morning mist, settling white on brown, white on silver, white on white. It fell so thickly that Nicholas could see no more than a meter or so ahead. His hair, normally, the color of dry grass, was white with it. His hands on his hips, flecked coral, blood red, and indigo, grew steadily paler as he stood in the steady downward wash of white. His eyes, the darkest part of him, were all that moved as he watched the figure above him. A ghost, swaying its arms in the milky sky, waving. Or a summoning angel. A spectral thing, unmindful of him.

Most people who know me know that I have a soft spot for suspense fiction, what the lesser mind would refer to as “horror” fiction. And rarely in that genre does a first time writer come about who will totally rattle my cage. In the past, this has been done by the likes of Stephen King's Carrie, Dan Simmons' Song of Kali, and maybe a handful of others of whose names do not come to mind at the moment.

However, we can now add to the list Stephen M. Irwin, because The Dead Path is hands down one of the best if not THE best book of suspense i.e. “horror fiction” that I have had the opportunity to encounter in the past five years.

This book crawled up my spine and ran down doing the 8-80. I was unable to sleep. I would walk around my apartment peeping in between the shadows in the dark, knowing that there was something there. The Dead Path is that type of book. Add to that fact that the damn thing is well written! What type of an oxymoron is that: a well written horror novel? Outside of Stephen King and Dan Simmons, this does not happen. But Stephen M. Irwin grabs by you by jugular and does not let go. It’s like the thrill of watching an early John Carpenter movie like “The Fog.” You remember how you felt when Adrienne Barbeau was all up there in that lighthouse and those dead creepy things, those pirates were crawling up in there, and the fog was flowing all over the town, and there was something inside of it, and you were in the dark theatre, and you that there was something inside of it, and you knew that Adrienne was all alone, and for all you knew, that thing was beneath your fucking seat too, and that’s the type of book The Dead Path is.

So, if you want to have your pants scared off, or, in the case of the ladies and drag queens, if you want to have your panties scared off, run out and purchase a copy of The Dead Path. Read it and scream.

Available on Amazon.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bathysphere - a Koly Digital Poem

While cruising around on YouTube I came across this gem. It deserves some attention. Below is a description written by the creator.

Uploaded by michaelkoly13 on May 7, 2009

"Ever wonder about the feelings you would have as you drifted and fell, deeper and deeper.
Bath y sphere
noun Oceanography.
a spherical diving apparatus from which to study deep-sea life, lowered into the ocean depths by a cable.
192530; bathy- + -sphere"

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

MUDSONG by Michael Spring, reviewed by BL Kennedy

Michael Spring
Springfield, OR
Pygmy Forest Press
76 pgs
ISBN: 0-944550-71-1

What is Love?

she stands before me
stoking the campfire

when she finally speaks
it is with the smoke rising
the smell of cedar wood

sparks pop and fizz
wildly tumbling upward
inside a circle of black trees
my eyes follow

the smoke coils and streams
then bleeds
into the blue night

it leads to the first bat
of the evening
then to the first star

the sky clouds
with bats and stars

What a relief to get a book in the mail by Michael Spring, who is a fine, fine poet out of the state of Oregon, who in my opinion, can simply do no wrong. I find so much music and beauty in Spring’s poetry that I often cannot put his work down.

There is a human consciousness working here that is in a direction connection with the landscape of the world in which he lives. When you read his poems, its as if you’re being groped by the earth. Spring plunges into the reader with a natural energy, an everyday vision of intensity melting, not mocking, the purity of poetry and language. His timing is precise and perfect. He is as natural as a beautifully crafted rock sculpture, and Mudsong is a dramatically envisioned collection of very passionate poetry. I love this collection and highly recommend it. Here is a powerful writer, a poet who says his say and is not afraid to commit what he says to the page. The only thing left for me to add is for you to get off your ass and purchase a copy of this book ASAP. In fact, purchase two, one for you, one for someone you love deeply.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Vampyres of Hollywood Adrienne Barbeau and Michael Scott, reviewed by BL Kennedy

Vampyres of Hollywood
Adrienne Barbeau and Michael Scott
St. Martin’s Press
New York, NY
325 pgs
ISBN: 0-312-36722-8

They don’t call me the Scream Queen for nothing. “Where is he?” I shouted, and everyone who wasn’t deaf, drunk, or dead heard me. “Where the fuck is Travis now?”

This book is a fucking hoot! I mean, where can you go wrong? Vampires and Hollywood: has there ever been a more perfect oxymoron? Plus, you get the extra added addition of the book being coauthored by the legendary Adrienne Barbeau! Oh my God! I’m having wet dreams just reviewing the damn book.

This is one very cool book, and would make a very cool bad movie, which I hope they do! Oh, I can see it now. There would have to be a scene where Larry the Cable Guy gets munched by a vampire, or at least Conan O’Brien. God, I mean, vampires, Hollywood, and its over three hundred pages!
The really cool thing: you can probably find a copy on any remainder table at Borders or Barnes and Noble for $5.99. I can’t promise that, I don’t know where you live. For all I know, in some shitkicker town in Texas, they may take this book as literal truth. But me? I read it for what it is: just a fun rollercoaster ride that is more exciting than sitting at home watching the golf channel. Buy it! Just buy it.

Available on Amazon.

Friday, July 1, 2011

HYBRIDS by Whitley Strieber, reviewed by BL Kennedy

Whitley Strieber
A Tom Doherty Associates Book
New York, NY
336 pgs
ISBN: 978-0-7653-2376-7

In 1974, a Ph.D. genetics expert called Thomas Ford Turner realized that very advanced technologies he was working with under conditions of extraordinary secrecy could, in time, free young Americans from the danger of serving on the battlefield. With hard work, in years to come, it was going to be possible to create the perfect soldier, a complex biochemical hybrid.

I know longer have any idea what Whitley Strieber is doing. Since the publication of Communion, which was way back in the 1980s I believe (I think I remember the 1980s), he’s been grinding this UFO and alien thing into the ground. It may have started off as a true story, but now, we’ve gone off the deep end, unless Uncle Whitley is using fiction to tell us things that the secret government doesn’t want us to know. How’s that for a paranoid reference?

Anyways, I’m going to review this book strictly as a novel of suspense. Not that I don’t think that there are alien hybrids all over the place; how else can I explain the capital of California, and what better way to explain Florida? But really, this is a really cool book. Unfortunately, Uncle Whitley has kind of overdone it to the point where I think very few hard covered editions are b printed of his work. This is kind of sad, because Whitley Strieber is hands down a damn good writer. In fact, one of the things that separated his book Communion from other books about alien abduction is the fact that Whitley Strieber was a writer. He knew how to construct a sentence. Personally, I think that the events that occurred in Communion and the books that immediately followed it were absolutely outstanding. But in the UFO community, being what the UFO community is, Strieber has been targeted with some unfair criticism. This I find to be unfortunate, because the man has some serious things to say. And Hybrids, be it a work of suspenseful fiction, is nevertheless addressing a subject that is taken very seriously within the active UFO community.

I highly recommend this book. Whether you want to shell out the cold cash to purchase this edition or wait until it come out in paperback is your call. I say Hybrids is worth the read.

Available on Amazon.
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