Friday, May 23, 2008

Meritage Press, in the angelic form of Eileen Tabios, informed me that the check is in the mail. in other words: Royalties!!!. before you offer me 1st dibs on your Florida swampland, let us just say that the incoming greenbacks will not overstuff my stylish purple wallet. still, let us affirm that the nuance of this economic turn seems right. neither the inherent barter system nor the potlatch of the poetry world bothers me, I rather regale in it, to the degree that I can afford to. and yet it is ridiculous to think that the books, the product, of this writing enterprise are so little valued. a cookbook, a thriller, an earnest self-helper: these all bear worth. but poetry, you have to give it away. not to say that there is no earnest audience for poetry. that big time real estate monopoly in Cambridge that owns the rights to Emily Dickinson knows there are paying customers to serve. it's an odd, and contagious, reluctance that confirms that poetry should be diminished in respect. you might read Da Vinci Code once (which is about all the crappy binding of the paperback could take) rather than the many times reading a poetry book, but the commodity of the thriller is much easier to accept than poetry's. wanting to get the work out to a small, recalcitrant audience means giveaway. the internet supplies a good free access, with potential to make it lucrative. I think publishers ought to work on the model of capitalistic enterprise rather than charity. perhaps put resources to fewer books but support those books, and the author. I speak of larger books, perfect bound ones. chapbooks are good for expressing the charitable side, if you want to publish tactilely. but I didn't mean to go afield like this, I wanted to nod in respect to Eileen, for the respect she shows her authors by offering, and paying, royalties. so here, once more, is a link to Days Poem, which has earned its author royalties.
Goodreads, if you have not discovered, is a social network of readers. you can post your library and books you want to read or have read, and check out the selections of others. with that in mind, go to the site and search for Lanny Quarles. he lists more than 2500 books, a wild, enthusiastically eclectic range of interests. which is what it is all about.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Briefly, just to keep my hand in, a blog post. by the way, I like reading my blog. I like watching the movements of my thoughts, which just flutter away if I don't write them down. so anyway, Beth worked late friday so Erin and I watched a movie. I deemed it necessary for the movie to be stupid, in some way. the winning selection was Krull. which was not abject, but it could have been a victim of Mystery Science Theatre 3000. Which I miss… Anyway, Krull was fantasy with un poco scifi. I have seen it before, actually, back in its day, which was the 80s, I believe. was Krull the hero’s name? I don’t think I caught anyone’s name. He was played by Ken Marshall. Who looks like someone I should know, but I can’t think of any other appearance of himself in something I have watched. Several others in the cast were like that. The director was Peter Yates, who I think is a noted director (you tell me, I’m merely an amateur cineaste). This movie would not be a highlight of his career. But let us consider the plot, shall we? It seems this Krull, if indeed Krull he is, is to wed the curly haired damsel in the flouncy princess suit. They are even performing the ceremony, which includes him sticking a flame in water, and she taking a flame out of the water, when a motley of evil doers called slayers invaded the proceedings. It brought to mind the wedding scene in M Python and Holy Grail. The slayers were maybe space creatures or something. When killed they screamed and a wiggly wormy thing would scurry off. The movie’s prologue I guess prepares one for such a fact, but not well. During the brawl, Krull’s lady love is whisked away, and even Krull is battered to unconscious. In the morning some guy exhorted Krull on his quest. I never got the back story on this guy. He knew about the prophecy and that’s enough for any sane fantasy hero. 1st step, for some reason, was to seek the doodad that was displayed in the credits, a 5-pointed thingie that resembles ninja throwing stars. this may be Krull, but if so, what is our hero’s name??? Krull finds the Krull in a river of lava. He pulls it out, unharmed, and it is clear that there could be psychedelic fun in future. Next step is to be cornered by a band of outlaws, who Krull enlists in his quest. And they go on. And on. There is a Cyclops, good guy, who helpfully divulges some key plot points. Other stuff certainly happens, I mean, Erin and I were watching an active television screen. At some point near the end Beth arrives and is immediately swept into the theory of dramatic excitement that founded (not foundered, please) this film. And MST sort of commentary began to spill from ourt mouths. I should mench that the slayers have the same zesty lack of response as Imperial Storm Troopers, and indeed, I thing P Yates spent a few moments studying Star Wars. To no avail. Periodically we would leave Krull’s quest to witness princess in her problematitude. She was stuck in some amateur theatre set for Alice in Wonderland, which is the plot of a Tom Petty video, as I just now realize. The evilest doer was a space creature, I wot, tho on the order of the Wizard of Oz. she had few wardrobe changes. The one I can think of, she was enwrapped by the evilest one in a gown made of aluminum foil, a quirk I cannot quite divine. the evil one appears to be a space alien. the effects are crappy, think Dr Who, tho they may have been considered hotcha in the day. EO looked like a blurry picture on a screen. So... Krull and his merry band quest on toward this flying mountain, sic, where trhe Evil One holes up. of course the band is whittled away thru various malfeasances. oh, Liam Neeson was in the cast, as a hearty lug who buy it near the denouement. the cyclops, who has prescience concerning the day he will die, excuses himself from the final assault on that mountain lair. so this handful of men attack the mountain, which is exactly what it looked like, and don't make headway until the cyclops comes running.he climbs up to0 the entrance and holds the door open for the rest, then is crushed as the door inexorably closes. sic transit gloria cyclops. Krull finds the princess and rather quickly dispatches EO with the krull, and that's that. quest quest quest. it had all the elements of entertainment but never quite committed to that principle. even tho the acting wasn't wooden or lame, nothing came together. nowadays you get bulkier heroes and better swordplay. we really were in the doldrums in the 80s.