That girl stood before the hedge
In an infiltration of august light
The shafts of her hair captured
Do you remember that girl?
How her words trembled
And fell out of her mouth
Black and white cubes
Tumbling across the expanse of my skin
I’d cut my self and she say “Don’t move.”
Band-aids shaped like animal cookies
Would come out and cover my wounds
Love is like is like that
And O, how I want to kiss her again
The girl who stood behind the hedge
In infiltration of august light
”—Joseph Lally, WHITE MAGIC CHRISTMAS collection of poems
Coming here into birth, swirling down the pipe
The snow reaching a climatic height
As I leave heaven
To come to sorrow
A descent of the Soul and why?
Be it not that I never came to your land
Be in not I never saw your sky
Be it that I was pushed in
Against my will
Creeping along the hedge
A shadow makes way
Could it actually claim fatherhood
When God Himself is my love?
Yet the shadow
Draws closer and lifts me into his dark
Breathing into me
Whispering, “You are my son.”
by joseph lally
from his collection entitled WHITE MAGIC CHRISTMAS
1.) Joseph Losey
2.) Otto Preminger
3.) Alfred Hitchcock
4.) Fritz Lang
5.) Jean Luc Godard
6.) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
7.) Stanley Kubrick
8.) Orson Welles
9.) Ida Lupino
10.) Marguerite Duras
11.) Vincente Minnelli
12.) Henry King
13.) Roberto Rossellini
14.) Jean Renoir
15.) Barbara Loden
16.) Elaine May
17.) John Cassavetes
19.) Luchino Visconti
20.) Jacques Tourner
21.) Susan Sontag
22.) Billy Wilder
23.) Robert Aldrich
24.) Charles Chaplin
25,) Robert Altman
26.) Frank Perry
27.) David Lynch
28.) Jerry Lewis
29.) Paul Morrissey
30.) George Cukor
31.) Robert Bresson
33.) Josef Von Sternberg
THE AMERICAN DREAM GONE AWRY
Or, The Sacrifice of the Blond Goddess
By Joseph Lally
What must it feel like:
To be blond and beautiful, to be young and full of promise, to be caught in the swift current of the pursuit of the American Dream.
I imagine it a blond cascade, the thrill sensation of the rapid ascent to a satin-lined heaven on earth.
Was it like that for Anna Nicole Smith.
For Marilyn Monroe.
Or is it the assumption of a non-blond average male.
Who is dreaming the dream?
Anna Nicole born November 28, 1967, dead February 8, 2007.
Marilyn Monroe born June 1, 1926, dead August 5, 1962.
Blonds have more fun and why is it we prefer them dead at a young age? Is it a way of stopping linear time? A convergence into myth if we can freeze-frame them in youth? Did you really want to see Marilyn at age eighty?
The decay of the flesh
The lost of beauty
The diminished self
:are not on the resume of an eternal blond but tragedy is.
The white blond goddess: she captures and contains the shimmer of light, offering us a way out of gray realities. The gleam in the eye, the sheen of the skin suggests the renewal of health. We envy the genetic make up of the blond and secretly hope by merely watching them that some of the glow will transport itself on us. We are hopeless romantics entertaining a notion and it is a blond notion and it connects to the American dream. It is the Horatio Alger story in which an American can go from rags to riches if the determination of the individual is strong enough. Both Monroe and Smith you can say started out from humble beginnings. They were determined to wipe their past away but at what price?
PIN-UP, what an expression. A sex symbol is a pin-up and a pinning up is in a manner: the crucifixion of an image. Both Monroe and Smith were pin-ups, both were featured in Playboy magazine. Both blond, both dead at an early age.
Despite similarities, they were different.
Marilyn had a genuine talent as an actress and a yearning to be educated. She was a voracious reader, attracted to men with minds who could bestow their knowledge onto her. She had an intense need and belief in self-improvement.
Anna Nicole seemingly did not.
Anna Nicole was coasting on her blondness, on the attributes that genetics had favored her.
And the plastic surgery.
And the implants.
And the liposuction.
And the make-up.
And the dye.
And the prescribed medications.
And the unprescribed anguish of existence.
The Anna Nicole Show [2002 to 2004]
A reality show in which the fantasy of the blond goddess is deconstructed and a woman is paraded around as a grotesque figure who value is solely camp.
Exhibitionism as a formation of masochism.
The series fascinating as watching a car wreck. We pretend shock but we cannot take our eyes away. Is there built-in to the worship of the goddess a revenge factor? Do we secretly want them to pay the price for their beauty?
Andre Breton wrote beauty will be convulsive or will not be at all.
Does that mean there needs to be something sudden, frantic and violent to underscore the beauty?
The theory brings me back to time: linear versus circular.
If they die young enough, the blond enters a circular time in which they remain static and fixed in our perception thus our secret desire for them to sacrifice themselves publicly on an altar. That altar being the press, the savage eye of the camera, the words that bleed them dry and soulless: to be a star is to risk the essentials of humanity.
Both Monroe and Smith paid a price for a dream, an American dream.
They traded in to become symbols.
Worshipped and desired
Both were basically alone.
Not only is feminine beauty convulsive but also one can say it is existential.
She is parked in a white sports car on a street lined with trees. The green leaves rain-soaked, glistening in the aftermath of the storm. She had stopped the car when the windshield wipers had jammed and the rain so violent that the vista ahead had become obscured. Now the violence had stopped and the golden hue of the late afternoon sun seemed a bestowal of grace. She could hear hummingbirds and their music fixated her, gave to her a focus.
Focus had been problematic the past few years of her life. Reality had gained the texture of cotton candy, as if wading through gauze.
I am in slow motion she would say to herself and laugh.
The capsules handed to her were shiny and plastic; their colors enchanting, some like candy, some like gems and some like her fake nails.
But the capsules took her focus away. Diminished her capacity to think for herself.
There was no center.
No sense of operating from any one point of view.
Perspective is not advantageous if those who surround you wish to control you, wish to take advantage of you, wish to inherit your estate.
For it seems dead celebrities are worth more dead than alive.
She feels serene here in the car beneath the trees. There is no past, no future, no identity, only this sensation of complete tranquility. No thought arises. She is an empty vessel and the golden light of that late afternoon in a suburb in Los Angeles is filling the vessel.
If only I can remain here she thinks.
But she does not. She opens the door and exits the white cream car beneath the trees.
No one is home today. For the first time the handlers are gone. She walks through the house and notes the emptiness, the absence of sound and the fact that is if she remains without sound, she will go insane.
No one is home, no one here, no one to regard, no one to avoid, no one to argue, no one to dictate.
Beauty is existential.
She wants someone to break the silence. She wants someone to walk in and annoy her. She wants the emptiness filled with regret, anything to shift the focus. She wants the emptiness inside her wiped clean.
As I said, focus has been problematic.
She looks in the mirror. She is pleased. She has lost the weight. She has gained back the elasticity as well as firmness of skin. The muscle is toned, just right, not over-developed like many of the new actresses. She prides herself on being ultra feminine. She dabs on a fragrance. A flowery scent. The bottle shaped like a huge diamond. A gentleman lover had given it to her, or so she imagines but in actuality, she had purchased it and in actuality, gentleman lovers were not appearing, not the way they did in the movies of her youth. The movies had betrayed her, oh if only she had not these dreams, these anticipations of true romance and happy endings.
She looks again in the mirror. The glossy pink lips, the blue mascara, the hair now platinum: white blond is a step up from blond.
She smiles, maybe she can fake it. Maybe happiness is only that.
At this point, she does not know:
That she would become pregnant a second time.
That lawsuits would be file to establish paternity.
That there be an actual request because of the paternity suit that a DNA sample be extracted from her dead body.
That other men would come forward wanting to claim rights to her daughter.
That a doctor would prescribe methadone in her eight month of pregnancy.
That on September 10, 2006, in his mother’s hospital room after visiting her and his half-sister that her son would die from a lethal combination of Zoloft, Lexapro and methadone.
That on September 28, 2006, she and Howard K. Stern would exchange vows on a 41-foot catamaran off the coast of the Bahamas. The bride wore white and carried a bouquet of blood red roses. The ceremony was not legal.
That on February 8, 2007, she’d be found dead in room 607, whose numerical value equates 13, an unlucky number.
On the day that I have imagined her,
the day in the empty house,
the day she stood before a mirror, the day that Anna Nicole Smith knows none of this.
I have felt what it must have been like to be her that moment.
She feels that moment no harm will come.
But it will come.
All of it.
And in spades.
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 is divided into 4 sections: section 1 and 4 are non-verbal and in sections
2 and 3, people are like computers (or androids) while Hal the computer has more emotional tonality
in his voice than any human. The murder of Hal is oddly enough the most compelling scene is Kubrick’s one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
“Boring” films that are Masterpieces (And Some of My Favorites)
1. Kubrick’s 2001
2. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Chantal Akeman)
3. Antonioni’s L'eclipsse
4. Joseph Losey/Harold Pinter’s Accident
5. Michael Snow’s WAVELENGTH
6. John Cassavetes The Killing of a Chinese Bookie
7. Barbara Loden’s WANDA
8. Andy Warhol’s Vinyl
9. Visconti’s DEATH IN VENICE
10. Marguerite Duras INDIA SONG
11. Roberto Rosselini’s The Taking of Power by Louis XIV
12. Made in USA by Jean Luc Godard
*all these films can be called “boring” in that they demand a precise
attention and mediative state of consciousness to be appreciated