Monday, October 28, 2013



Full moons

Lycanthropes and terror

a murder looms

inside your mirror.

What better time

to speak of these

than in the month

of ghouls and screams

than in the month

of Halloween.


The smell

Of burning leaves

A corpse?

but yet it breathes.


A scary

picture show

a thing

best not

to know.


Lon Chaney Jr. talks

as the Wolf-Man stalks

A whisper and a scream

Is coming

from the screen.

Within this month

you’ve seen


a host,

a gruesome thing


this month of Halloween

this month of Halloween.
Del Toro

awakes tomorrow

heavy heart

was born

to sorrow

his strength

has all been spent

a night of horrors vent

awakens with the dawn

a bloody

sickening throng

man / wolf

or in-between

beware of Halloween

beware or you

will scream.

From what?

You dare not dream

because of Halloween

because of Halloween.


Monday, October 21, 2013

Diaghilev & The Ballets Russes @ The National Gallery

Serge Diaghilev
There is always a certain contained excitement when walking down Fourth St. to the East wing of The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. An anticipation of knowing the greatness of beauty, artistic achievement and perpetual awe that is housed there is about to explode before your very eyes.
  I hadn’t been to the museum for a few months and I knew there would be new exhibits to discover. When approaching the main entrance the first object seen is a marvelous but very familiar Henry Moore Bronze (one from a series of works he based on the bone structure of elephants.) The opposite wall always features a 50’x 80’ poster of the current featured exhibition. Looking in passing for a glimpse of what to expect; a preview of sorts, I recognized the exuberance of a Leon Bakst costume design but the title didn’t feature Bakst’s name. The bill board sized ad read: “Diaghilev (in huge bold letters) and the Ballets Russes, 1909 – 1929: When Art Danced With Music.” Who was Diaghilev? This was something of a mystery that had some possibilities. I was to find out in a grand way.
I walked inside through the revolving doors, past Miro, Naguchi and Motherwell to stand below the gigantic Calder attached to and hanging from the massive ceiling. I stopped to spend some time with the small French Impressionist works in an adjacent gallery and from there on to the second floor and Diaghilev! I walked into what was one of the most incredible, extensive and phenomenal exhibitions of the museums history. This was a multi-medium extravagance comparable to none the NGA has presented before. Original costumes, designs, drawings, backdrops, models, posters, video and music all just as a beginning. 

This was a land of enchantment filled with visitors from around the world and across the nation; Serge Diaghilev the promoter, the entrepreneur, the man who revolutionized the world of dance and inspired the great artistic creators of his time was an undeniable; “Hit.” The exhibition itself was of such proportions to cover three floors of the NGA and some interior walls literally had to be removed to bring many of the pieces into their display spaces.      

 Diaghilev’s talents were those of the promoter, the organizer, the pitchman. He was very much a Russian born P. T. Barnum of the arts. Diaghilev; the impresario knew how to stage a production and enlist the services of the great creative talents of his time, many of them the greatest artists of all time. Leon Bakst, Henri Matisse, Georges Roualt, Eric Sati, Coco Chanel, Pablo Picasso and George Balanchine were among those enlisted by the man and created many of their most famous personally celebrated works.  Anna Pavlova and Vaslav Nijinsky would dance for the Ballet Russes as they toured the world and changed dance and theatre forever.

Igor Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring and The Firebird,” Maurice Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloe” and Eric Satie’s “Parade” all seminal pieces, all Diaghilev commissions.    Modern companies like the New York City ballet, the Joffery and the Dance Theatre of Harlem regularly perform works originally commissioned by Diaghilev for the Ballet Russes. Contemporary artists/designers including Julie Taymor and Nick Cave are under Diaghilev’s spell and show elements originating with the Ballet Russes in their work.    

 In conjunction with this informative, enlightening and thoroughly entertaing exhibition the NGA has produced videos, held lectures and even included on site live performances of such works as the “Fire Bird.” I was to visit “Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes” a total of two times. The idea of a third visit; considering the scale of the event it’s staggering volume and quality of presentation would have been considered but “Diaghilev” was to end prematurely.

The recent shut-down of the United States Government would close the National Gallery it’s many wonders and Diaghilev. The arts are always among the first to suffer.   

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Breaking Bad; post finale...

It is already being compared to Shakespeare, Melville, Dickens and even Shelley. The central character; Walter White aka Heisenberg was both Dr. Frankenstein and Monster, Ben-Hur and Messala, Batman and The Joker, Jekyll and Hyde, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.   It was a drama of the highest order while ranging from being hilariously funny and timely, to moments of total absurdity. Existing for a mere five seasons Vince Gilligan’s “Breaking Bad’ became so ingrained into viewer’s psyches that an obituary was posted in an Albuquerque newspaper upon the series’ end. The fans that posted the obit said they needed the closure. The show will resonate still for some time to come.

Vince Gilligan the creator, producer, director and chief writer for “Breaking Bad” developed the series from an “off the wall” idea he imagined when he was between writing jobs. The multi-talented Gilligan has worked in the television medium for many years and written most notably for “the X- Files.” Joking to his friend that they should become meth dealers to make ends meet was to evolve into the TV series that is comparable to none before. Gilligan’s protagonist would essentially go from “Mr. Chips” to “Scarface” through the course of the series. This was as unusual and as risky a premise as has ever been proposed to any network for programing. AMC would give Gilligan “The Go” on his project. Gilligan’s idea would capture the imaginations and respect of a nation including house-holds, critics and the entire television industry. “Breaking Bad” has been awarded throughout it’s duration on every level for acting, writing and production.    

“The Pink Teddy Bear Mystery” began with the opening of Season II. A plastic eyeball floats on the surface of a body of water; a swimming pool…the ocean perhaps? The camera slowly drops below the water’s surface to an object; a pink teddy bear that as it floats aimlessly turns to reveal one side is blackened and badly burned. The scene fades away.  This was one of the many “Breaking Bad” flash forwards and a device used to great advantage throughout the run of the series. The things and events involving the pink teddy bear would expand with each episode as the season progressed only to be explained in a totally unpredictable fashion in one of the season’s late shows. The bear can also be seen again as part of a mural in Season III. It seems to hover above the head of a character directly tied to the events associated with the stuffed toy.  This series was one to watch closely looking and listening for clues, hidden messenges and unexpected cross-overs between characters and events. Things that seem to have little importance will later blossom full scale into major plot lines with significant repercussions.


Vince Gilligan and all those involved with the creation of this phenomenal TV series “Breaking Bad” have achieved a sort of immortality for their efforts. Whenever the great shows of the television era are mentioned this landmark piece of fiction will be mentioned as being among the very best; if not the best.  It was that good! 10.3 Million would watch the emotionally charged and anticipated finale. Who would live or die? Would there be revenge, closure or justice? How could so many intricacies be resolved in a satisfying way with so many fans to appease and so many potential endings?    With the airing of the finale “Breaking Bad” has ended; it has passed on to whatever place history will allow. It is sadly and was neatly and perfectly; with a nod to “Scarface,” done.

The cast of Breaking Bad was responsible for many miraculous, engaging, moving and entertaining performances. Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul were at the center of a cast that taken as a whole would come to keep viewers in complete awe and rapture. The many actors involved were amazing and are to be lauded.

The Breaking Bad Cast:
Bryan Cranston as Walter White aka Heisenberg: Chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer who becomes a meth (cooker) manufacturer
 Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman: Former student of Walt's who becomes his meth-making partner in crime
Anna Gunn as Skyler White: Walter's wife, a mother of two and co-owner of A1A Car Wash
Dean Norris as Hank Schrader: Walter's macho brother-in-law and DEA agent on the trail of Heisenberg
Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman: Walt and Jesse's attorney (the shady lawyer’s shady lawyer)
Giancarlo Esposito as Gustavo (Gus) Fring: the owner of a fast food chicken restaurant and a major meth distributor
Krysten Ritter as Jane Margolis: Jesse's landlady; later becomes his girlfriend and also a recovering drug addict.
 Daniel & Luis Moncada as The Cousins: cartel killers who travel from Mexico to kill Walt for business and personal reasons
 Laura Fraser as Lydia Rodarte-Quayle: The Head of Logistics at Madrigal Electromotive and Gus Fring's methylamine supplier
Jonathan Banks as Mike Ehrmantraut: works for Gus and is Saul's go-to guy when his clients get in sticky situations


The producers of Breaking Bad used music in an uncompromising, elegant and unusual fashion. The music was effective and often juxtaposed with images that before Breaking Bad would not have seemed compatible. The soundtrack of Breaking Bad was as much a break through as all of the incredible and innovative themes the series was to introduce.

The Breaking Bad Soundtrack Play List:
(click on the titles to listen to the music)

Respect the Chemistry