Virtual Blog Tour: 2nd Introduction

One of the rules of participation in the Virtual Blog Tour is to tag three other people.

Self’s first tag was poet and teacher Luisa A. Igloria.

Here’s self’s second tag:  Kathleen Burkhalter.

She was Dear Departed Sister’s  friend before she was self’s.

Dear Departed Sis died December, 1991.  Self lost touch with Kathleen, but when self started this blog, in 2006, Kathleen found her.

The internet has saved self in so many ways.

Now, look at that face.  Isn’t it just pure radiance?

Kathleen Burkhalter: Writer, Mother, Friend

Kathleen Burkhalter: Writer, Mother, Friend

Kathleen Burkhalter grew up in Baguio in the Philippines and spent summers in La Union on the South China Sea. After many life adventures she found herself happily married to Bud Bell and became the mother of six extraordinary children.  She has two degrees from Harvard, the most recent one a masters in Journalism.

Her personal ghost story collection, Through a Glass Darkly, came out last Halloween.

She has a blog, Cresta Ola, and lives in New Bedford, Massachusetts with Bud, the family pets (four cats and a yellow lab named Cleo Pan de Sal), and the children, who are constantly stopping over at the family home on their way to big adventures.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Endless Summer Lovin’

Backyard, Summer

Backyard, Summer

Backyard:  Clematis "Niobe"

Backyard: Clematis “Niobe”

"Polka," one of self's oldest roses. It blooms only once a year, early spring.

“Polka,” one of self’s oldest roses. It blooms only once a year, early spring.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

And STILL MORE Summer Lovin’ !!!

Why yes, dear blog readers.  Self was able to tear herself away from Miguel Hernandez’s poetry to take her regular Wednesday evening stroll to Stafford Park, two blocks down the street, to listen to the free summer concert.

Self keeps forgetting to note the name of the band.

Such a thrill to have a policeman stop traffic while she crosses the street.

She buys a hot dog with chips and a can of orange soda.

Listens for a while.

Walks back to the house.  Resumes reading poetry.

In the Philippines, they would describe her thus:  Ang babaw ng kaligayahan.

Which means: Cheap. Thrills.

But that’s why she loves summer.  Because cheap thrills abound.

Stafford Park, Redwood City: There are free concerts every Wednesday throughout the summer, starting at 6 p.m.

Stafford Park, Redwood City: There are free concerts every Wednesday throughout the summer, starting at 6 p.m.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Miguel Hernandez, NYRB/Poets, Poems Selected and Translated by Don Share

Received in the mail today, these treasures:

Arrived in the Mail Today: a poetry collection and PANK # 10

A poetry collection by Miguel Hernandez, translated from the Spanish by Don Share;  and PANK # 10

Self has blogged about Miguel Hernandez before, so his name should be at least passingly familiar to some readers.

A poem of his, translated by Don Share, has been taped above her desk for months.

Finally, she has his translated poetry in her hands! She reads the first poem, “A Man-Eating Knife.” Here’s how it begins:

A man-eating knife
with a sweet, murdering wing
keeps up its flight and gleams
all around my life.

A twitching metal glint
flashes quickly down,
pricks into my side,
and makes a sad nest in it.

My temples, flowery balcony
of a younger day,
are black, and my heart,
my heart is turning gray.

About the poet:  Miguel Hernandez Gilabert was born on October 30, 1910, to an impoverished family in the old Visigothic capital Orihuela, in the south of Spain.  Of seven children, Miguel was one of only four who survived.  His father raised goats and sheep, and for most of his life Miguel worked in the family business as a shepherd.

About the translator, Don Share:  Don Share is the senior editor of Poetry magazine.  His books of poetry include Squandermania, Union, and most recently, Wishbone.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

“Lucy”: Feminine Degradation

Something about self’s mood today — she feels extremely argumentative.  Ornery.  So, take the following with a grain of salt, dear blog readers.

Self likes Luc Besson.

She really does.

She can never forget that Besson gave us the glorious Annie Parillaud in “La Femme Nikita.”

And Scarjo is one phenomenal actress.

And beautiful, too.

But “Lucy” is just one more in that long line of sub-genres that are little more than titillating flirtations with feminine degradation.

Like what happened to Noomi Rapace in “Prometheus”?  You will like “Lucy.”

Like how the “Kill Bill” movies are one long revenge fantasy enacted by statuesque Uma Thurman?

You might like “Lucy” (though Besson and Tarantino are light years apart — that is, in terms of cinematic wit)

And what was that movie Kathryn Bigelow did with Ralph Fiennes, “Strange Days,” the one where you put on these special glasses, and while you’re raping a woman you can experience HER fear, which heightens your pleasure?  The one that had Juliette Lewis’s skateboarding Goth waif bonding with pervert played by (typecast) Tom Sizemore?



One of the most painful scenes in “Lucy” was the one where Scarjo, having been kicked so many times in the stomach, starts crawling up the walls (literally).  That was creepy and grotesque, as if science fiction was melding with Kafka.  Might Scarjo actually turn into a bug?  At one point, she grabs her long chain (she is chained to the wall) and runs full tilt — into, presumably, a wall.  But mercifully, we are not actually treated to the glorious sight of a beautiful woman’s face slamming against stone.  Mercifully, there is a cut right here.  Next time we see Scarjo, she appears quite composed, with no external disfigurement other than a cut lip.


There is something self likes about “Lucy,” though.

Scarjo acquires a craggy-faced sidekick, a French investigator/cop(?) called del Rio.  Now, that guy, though not conventionally handsome, is actually quite a find.

Not to mention, he is an excellent straight man.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Iain Kelly

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