Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Stark Naked Eyes

Eyes wide shut
First cry
First breathe

Didn't cry
Didn't sleep
Watched all night
Pixie face
Full of promise

First pang
Alien sensation
Sucked milk
From breast
Heart palpitated

Yet eyes wandered
Alien world
Full of wonder

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Once There Was an Ogre

Forgive me for going off-topic again. I'm stepping down memory lane of not so old movies that for me will never grow old. That's what a lot of sun could do to my head, I guess. :-)

Once There Was an Ogre

I never was a kid who spent hours and hours of time watching cartoons. In fact, I never really liked animated movies or tv shows when I was a kid. As I grew up, I maintained the not watch any animation if there is any other option preference. I found them boring and really, the stories are almost always the same, that is, until a friend brought me along to watch Shrek. I have never laughed in any movie as hard as I did when I first laid eyes on Shrek’s green face and Donkey, the fast-talking, well, donkey.

The movie revolves around a green ogre named Shrek, a princess with a secret named Fiona, a fast-talking Donkey, a dragon and of course a villain named Lord Farquaad who wanted the princess for himself. The plot is a smorgasbord of classic fairy tale characters with a twist, with a dash of dry wit and sprinklings of pop and oldies music here and there. And of course a love story with a bit of conflict and struggle that both Fiona and Shrek had to overcome.

Shrek was a success in capturing both mature and young audiences. Its humor appeals to all ages. And even though its story seems to be based on classic fairy tale stories we know, its delivery is not. It is part parody, part celebration of stories we grew up listening to or reading in books or, for some, watching on television or in the movies. It brought us new characters to love and challenged us to look differently at classic characters like Robin Hood, the gingerbread man, the dragon and many more.

Mike Myers gave his voice to Shrek adding a touch of Scottish accent. Cameron Diaz made Fiona alive and Eddie Murphy injected his humor into Donkey’s. Shrek was followed with three more movies and a spin-off featuring Puss in Boots who doesn’t appear until the second movie. Shrek planted in me a new appreciation and respect for animated movies. It’s superb rendering and innovative animation techniques raised its kind to a new level.

Monday, July 21, 2014

10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You

Since it's summer and the heat is super on, allow me to go off-topic and talk about the movie that made my day back when things were simpler and over-thinking was not my way of life. Some of you might like this movie the way I did, or not, it doesn't really matter. I'm getting a bit sentimental about Heath Ledger I suppose. :-)

10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You is probably the movie I will always remember Heath Ledger by. There are other movies he has done that are far more impressive but this is where I first fell in love with him. The movie is an adaptation of a Shakespeare play, The Taming of the Shrew. I must admit I haven’t read nor seen any play of the original but I loved the adaptation. I’m not sure how related it is to the original but 10 Things I Hate About You is an interesting and entertaining coming of age love story.

The saying “don’t judge the book by its cover” is pretty well depicted in the movie. As a matter of fact, it seems to be the underlying theme of the movie. Heath Ledger’s character Patrick Verona is wrongly accused of being a delinquent and a hoodlum. Julia Stiles’ character Kat Stratford is being judged as an anti-social and a difficult person to deal with without anyone even trying to get to know her story. In the end, it took a scheme and ironically, a lot of misunderstanding to finally sort things out.

Another theme that is apparent in the movie is the issue of physical perfection and conformity to society. Most of the time we get easily taken in by people by the merits of their look or how they dress. But as we get to know them, we realize that they are not exactly how we imagined them to be. This is quite true of today’s young people. Perhaps because of Hollywood’s influence or the myriad of print ads and tv advertisements that are constantly brandeshing the importance of physical perfection above all other things, the reality of what’s really important has been blurred and obscurated.

The premise of the movie is light enough for most kids to understand and the message powerful enough to catch their attention, which attests to the film’s box office success. 10 Things I Hate About You is still relevant to teens and even to adults of today. Young people still struggle with the same issues of identity and need for acceptance. The stigma of inconformity to what is acceptable in a society driven by Hollywood and Vogue is still an issue that needs to be resolved.

10 Things I Hate About You is the movie that brought the names Julia Stiles and Heath Ledger to peoples ears. It opened more doors in Hollywood for both actors. While Stiles’ career seemed to have flattened out in recent years, Ledger’s left an indelible mark ending in an Oscar nod for best supporting actor for his role as the Joker, sadly, after his death.

10 Things I Love About 10 Things I Hate About You

1. Heath Ledger

2. Heath Ledger singing “Can’t take my eyes off you.”

3. Verona being taken away by the security guards still singing “Can’t take my eyes off you.”

4. Heath Ledger’s accent

5. Can I say Heath Ledger again?

6. On a serious note, 10 Things I Hate About You delivered on what feel good movies should do, it makes me feel good watching it, everytime I watch it, from 1999 to present.

7. The fact that Verona and Kat are such strong characters that stood up against people judging them, or simply didn’t care.

8. The witty to the point of sarcasm dialogue sparring between Kat and Verona.

9. Kat reading the poem 10 Things I Hate About You with Verona listening.

10. Can I say Heath Ledger again one more time?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Day Night

All eyes
All eyes
Intoxicating joy

Other side
The world
Not the same

Mouths talk
Mouths talk
Souls die
Meaning devoid

One profess
Moral nihilists
Cry for justice

Far away
Let others
Save the damned

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Very Personal Definition of Poetry

What is poetry? The usual definitions are just one click away. But to each poet or wannabe poet the answer would be a gamut of words and phrases both imagined and defined. Each one unique. Some might be fathomable, others oblique. It depends on ones point of view and the history of that point of view.

What is a poem? Is it enough that words rhyme or have cadence. Or in answer to contemporary voices, none at all but needs some sort of flavor that only its author understands. Many scholars attempt to decipher some hidden meaning between lines and words of dead poets. What if there is none?

What if a poem is simply a cornucopia of words as it comes out of our heads, or fingers as we type or write depending on ones preference. Maybe in some deep seated consciousness a poem is ones attempt to put definition to an otherwise pale view of the world. Or simply some neural rumblings that needed shape and texture.

Poetry could be a means to an end or could simply be the end product of an experience. Sometimes emotions so intense are difficult to communicate straight. Or the object of the emotion is absent and poetry is the only way to express it. Words chosen could be meant literally with no agenda hidden or otherwise. Sometimes words are chosen because they sound poetic enough that they merit eternalization by ink. Does such a word exist?

In poetry there is license to experiment with words. Use them where otherwise it would be frowned at. Some use poetry as a means to vulgarity or to elevate the mundane to extraordinary, or simply to shock. Perhaps a better way to understand whether a poem has meaning is to understand first the person who wrote it. And maybe there lies the difference between a poet and a poet wannabe.