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Out of the Blue

Out of the blue and into the black describes the descent of a wildly dysfunctional family in this rambling, nihilistic film by Dennis Hopper. Don, a degenerate convict, pulses with Hopper’s dark charisma, devouring everything in his path. Kathy, his wife, numbs herself from the chaos with drugs and sex, leaving Cebe, their daughter, on her own to deal with the fallout. It doesn’t end well. Cebe, played by Linda Manz, seems to sneer at the brutal cards handed to her, but under that tough facade is a bruised child who craves the comfort and love that’s been absent in her life. Tragically, her signature walk, that strident march, leads her nowhere.
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The Misfits

Oh wow, Marilyn. The Misfits is a peculiar film, dropping a sensitive and melancholy idealist into the crucible of crumbling western masculinity. Gay, Perce, and Guido would do almost anything for Roslyn, yet they resent her power over them. Their traumas are skillfully revealed, the emotional weight carried by Roslyn from which she cries, “Help.”  Roslyn, too, has become disillusioned by her own troubles but somehow clings to a fading idea of love. Perhaps she’s resigned to the idea that as a woman, this is as good as it’s gets.  Thank goodness for Thelma Ritter’s comic relief, but sadly she disappears after the first half.  The Misfits is a little wobbly at times, but it never bucks you off. The stellar star power binds it together making for an intense and heartbreaking ride.

Love Lifted Me | #365 Prompts

LOVE LIFTED ME We’d practiced "Love Lifted Me" in GAs until it sounded reasonably good. Well, Anna sounded good. I suppose it was expected since she was the preacher’s daughter and honestly blessed with an angelic voice. She carried any number the trio performed. This time, however, it was a quartet. The choir director had reluctantly invited me to join—I guess she felt it was her moral duty to include me while knowing I couldn't sing.   But I would do for a Sunday night service when the pews were mostly empty. I wasn’t nervous really, even though I’d never sang in front of an audience. And I had forgotten about my bouts of hysteria. Now, these little fits weren’t debilitating. Just brief and inappropriate responses to stressful situations. Like when my dad fell from the ladder and caught his foot in the rung. He was swinging by his sickled ankle, and all I could do was laugh. He grew angry, livid even, screaming at me to help, but I rolled on the ground in hilarious conv


  WE BITE We walk the streets at night. Me and the dangerous dog. Staring them down, daring them down, in the crosshairs of a feral gaze. To whistles, catcalls (and just plain cats), we bare wet teeth.  They think it’s fear.  But really, it’s love.

May Reads: Not a Lot

I was a mess this month — moody, unfocused, restless. It felt like every day was a full moon. My mindset affected my reading, and I quit three novels. I didn't love the other two I finished. It would be unfair to name them because it probably wasn't the books — it was me! Really! O.K., there was one clunker. But somewhere along the way, I turned a corner. My attitude has been adjusted, and I'm halfway finished with a pretty good book! I'll tell you about it next month.  

April Reads: Denis Johnson, Willy Vlautin, Chelsea G. Summers

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson Dark and often hilarious, Johnson's final work unearths madness and desperation.  Don't Skip Out on Me by Willy Vlautin In this beautifully written and tender gut punch, we meet Horace, an aspiring boxer who never has a chance, but we root for him anyway. A Certain Hunger by Chelsea G. Summers A story about power, food, and fucking featuring Dorothy, whose carnal appetite includes eating her lovers. The Night Always Comes by Willy Vlautin Dreams don't come true in Lynette's world. In fact, she often lives in a nightmare. But her grit and determination make you believe that one day, she'll beat the odds. I certainly hope so.

March Reads: Riley Sage, Raven Leilani, Tracy K. Smith, Wallace Stroby, Jean-Patrick Manchette

Home Before Dark by Riley Sage Family secrets are scary. A woman returns to a haunted house to learn the truth about her childhood.  Luster by Raven Leilani  A brutal, intoxicating story about loneliness, race, power, and privilege.  Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith  This was the life-giving read I needed. You should read it, too.  Heaven’s a Lie by Wallace Stroby  Full of heart and plenty of thrills, Stroby delivers another knockout. Breakneck pacing, a smart, tough and endearing heroine, and a villain you can’t help but like. It’s just great. Fatale by Jean-Patrick Manchette Aimee's on a mission to annihilate assholes. Who can blame her?