“A book of codes and lost histories, grainy film stock and the harder-to-catch frequencies”

James Pate reviews my book, A Neon Tryst, here @ Montevideayo. “These poems are like flashing, oblique messages from a dead or yet-to-be country. From the nocturnal neon tryst between lateness and image. Between static and paranoia. When you read Vitkauskas’ book, it seems like it’s after midnight, and everyone for miles around is asleep.”

The Next. Big. Thing.

What is the title of the book? A Neon Tryst Where did the idea come from for the book? It’s a collection of ekphrastic poems featuring the films L’Eclisse (director Michelangelo Antonioni); Seconds (director John Frankenheimer); and Wild Strawberries (director Ingmar Bergman). Though divided in three separate sections by film, the collection stands as one, cohesive piece, as all main characters…… Continue reading The Next. Big. Thing.

Algebra Suicide

  Enjoy Lydia Tomkiw, belle of Chicago’s disjointed poetic collaboration, Algebra Suicide. How true and tragic these turns: “It’s was keeps our glands oiling.” I was also given (to borrow) Joe Soap’s Canoe from the UK (Copyright 1991) which included essays on poems that poets were assigned. Citics/essayists included Paul Violi, Tony Towle, and Simon…… Continue reading Algebra Suicide

"The Fall"

A visually stunning movie about a beautiful little Persian girl with a wild imagination who worked in the citrus groves of California in 1913, and who is in a sanotorium/hospital after falling and breaking her arm. She meets a young suicidal actor who tells her tall tales while they are both in the hospital. The…… Continue reading "The Fall"

Daumal & Soyinka

I tend to tag-team read, that is, I read about 3-4 books at a time. This past week, every morning on the train, I’ve cracked open the Rene Daumal book, Le Contre-Ciel (The Counter-Heaven) that Simone bought me for my birthday. Daumal is a self-destructive 22-year old at this point, one who is raging with…… Continue reading Daumal & Soyinka

The Residents

  I was first exposed to The Residents in a dark room at 2 a.m. in Columbus, OH. Their music struck me enough to pursue musical research for about a week. Concept bands always fascinate me, so these eyeball men are on my permanent playlist.

“Last Year at Marienbad”

1961Alain Resnais The Music Box, Chicago, IL I have to remark that Italian Neorealism, from which Resnais and other French New Wave directors derive some cinematic style, was immediately apparent to me via the elaborate setting of the French hotel/chateau. Another character in of itself, the chateau was unfurled in all of of its stoic…… Continue reading “Last Year at Marienbad”

“Lilya 4-Ever”

  Directed by Swede Lukas Moodysson, Lilya 4-Ever is a wrenching story of a girl who is sold into sex slavery. In a post-Soviet Estonian slum, sixteen year old Lilya (Oksana Akinshina) is elated when she finds out her mother’s new online boyfriend is taking both of them to the States. The day before the…… Continue reading “Lilya 4-Ever”

Which One of You Wrote with the Greasy Lipstick?

The Decline of Western CivilizationPenelope Spheeris (1979)  RE: Claude Bessy (Slash editor, raconteur, Catholic Discipline ringleader) Excerpt “From Los Angeles to the Haçienda: The Ballad of Kickboy & Philomena”: “But the segment where a certain he holds court is different; even the hardcore punks look like poseurs next to Claude’s poetically splenetic rants. Claude, whose poison…… Continue reading Which One of You Wrote with the Greasy Lipstick?

Diane Arbus

Diane Arbus has always been a fascinating figure among those shooting documentary-style photography. FUR examines her life through a fictional lens, utilizing factual components of Arbus’s life and spinning a fantasy tale of a freakish neighbor turned love interest—perhaps a cinematic representation of what may have been the pictures Arbus took with her soul rather…… Continue reading Diane Arbus

The MTV Video Games

This satire on teen suicide really spawned a generation of movies that turned the John Hughes collection onto its head, paving the way for later movies such as “Election”. It effectively captured the clique-infused teen attitude toward a devastating problem. My favorite scenes involve the principal, faculty, and school counselor meetings after each teen dies–keenly…… Continue reading The MTV Video Games

ONTV in Chicago

ONTV was the first paid subscription “cable” television we had on the South side of Chicago in the early ’80s. This logo is burned on my brain, as it was the signifier of a treasure trove of “adult” movies such as Ellie starring Shelley Winters and Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke. My brother and…… Continue reading ONTV in Chicago

Ryokan

  Like Han-shan in China, Ryokan is loved in Japan as much for his antics as for his profound poetry. Ryokan became a priest at age 18 and took to a life of wandering. He eventually met his teacher, Kokusen Roshi, and settled down to study Zen practice, ultimately becoming his most esteemed student. When…… Continue reading Ryokan

Free Sample

Sample supermarket mavenveteran of persuasion!Her secret life,series of bloody,unrelenting moments of horror There is an unspoken code among those who make a profession of the supermarket sample gig. They are the seasoned experts at creating a moment of enticement–appealing to senses of smell and taste, one spear of toothpick precision to your very core. They…… Continue reading Free Sample

Time is Bleeding

In 2006, I wrote a preface for Denis Emorine’s book, Au chevets des mots (A Step Inside). I remember reading this little book and becoming quite delighted with it…it spurned my desire to quest for that which is unsaid or cannot be said…that is, the pauses between “words” that say EVERYTHING. (Kalinauskaite, previous entry /…… Continue reading Time is Bleeding

Arizona

  Carefree, AZ. Cave Creek, AZ. Sedona, AZ. Pure vortexes of energy in those stoic, wise rocks that have stood the test of time on the barren landscape. The vegetation–saguaro cacti, ocatillo, pricky pear. Javelinas cross the roadways. Cowpokes and Harley riders. The stretches of long desert miles. The constellation-filled sky–seeing Venus as bright as…… Continue reading Arizona

Pulpo

“Ace Of WandsScissors in a crossAn invisible heartis distressed, see it?A heart reflected on the wind.”—“Incantation”, Poem of the Deep Song, Gabriel Garcia Lorca The still wave,pulpo of ice, storm reef,stolen elephante formsan apprehensive crash. Emily said, “A word thatbreathes distinctlyhas not the power to die.”The ether of each ovary ember, lost in the wine…… Continue reading Pulpo

Invisible Hairshirt

Lyrics to 20+ year-old songs like Alison Moyet’s “Invisible” (which stopped by the brain this morning) has redressed the idea that the subconscious does have a soundtrack and puts the needle to the proverbial life vinyl when an appropriate “groove” arises. My whole life, I’ve seen the world symbolically, through letters/characters, language/words, sounds/sights. It is…… Continue reading Invisible Hairshirt

Kiss Off

“I hope you know that this will go downon your permanent recordOh yeah?Well dont get so distressed.Did I happen to mention that I’m impressed?” Last night, I saw a great friend of mine play in his band, The Telepaths. The show was a breast cancer cure fundraiser, and, having nearly missed early detection four years…… Continue reading Kiss Off