Mike Figgis Riff

August 12, 2008 at 7:25 pm | Posted in links, poetry, writing | 19 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

some deep profundity plops like some bubble
through thick purple ink
only to splatter down a cracked porcelain sink,
if i just speak in some spotlight like
some frill necked lizard coughing dislike
hunching his spine truth as a shield
especially in dry spells
like this when the dust
makes poetry a mental martial art
Ozymandius, where is your crumbling
hungover statue now?
staring blindly into the sun like some
actor playing Bukowhiskey,
there is courage in your momentary erections
set against time in a blind
Tipota landscape
seen through Mike Figgis’ eyes. 

(Mike Figgis wrote and directed Leaving Las Vegas. Ozymandius is both a poet and a famous poem set in the desert by Shelley about how the works of men decay over time. Tipota is a writer who writes surreally often in a very filmic way. Ben Gazarra starred in “Tales Of Ordinary Madness“, a film based on Charles Bukowhiskey’s book “Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions and Other Tales Of Ordinary Madness”

So this is a poem about landscape, both the physical landscape of the desert and a cultural landscape the theme of which is similar to Shelley’s. Our efforts to defeat time. An iconic image of a man in sunglasses staring into the sky over a deserted landscape can be found in all these references in various forms.)


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  1. I love how you’ve used the image of the frill necked lizard here…
    Thankyou, Juliet. I was commenting while you were commenting, excuse me.

  2. Now the first person who tells me whether I should edit in footnotes or links or leave it like this or explain the references down here wins a free signed copy of “The Puzzle Box”, currently retailing for nearly 40 bucks, haha,

  3. take a deep bow gingatao, that was great kooky spooky and nod
    oh, thankyou, Tipota. i can just say because you are so cool you already know. Ben Gazarra played Charles Bukowhiskey in “Tales Of Ordinary Madness” (and other erections was the original title) and Mike Figgis wrote and directed “Leaving Las Vegas” cool, thankyou Tipota for understanding that everything is deletable in bloggoland and it is important for me to leave notes to myself, hello,

  4. edit in footnotes!
    Yes ma’am. *saluting*. You win a book yayayay.

  5. I love this imagery:

    ‘staring blindly into the sun ‘

    Reminds me of one of my favorite Better than Ezra songs, Burned…
    Oh, I will have to have a listen. Ezra, that’s a synchronocity, Ezra Pound used to have use footnotes to explain his poems all the time too.

  6. I need all of them 😦
    There you go, Simonne. Did it make no sense without knowing all the references? Oh well, back to the drawing board,

  7. In this agglomeration of writers on the internet, sometimes we are praised when we don’t even deserve it; actually causing us into a make-believe concept of our self through the praise of others, and hence, through their expectations. such praise can even (unintentionally) be debilitating, and self-blinding. because what is more essential than anything is to be honest to oneself.

    but then, at other times, there are posts like these which you can’t help but praise. even behind their simplicity, one can hear that bubble of profundity plopping…
    That is true Sumedh, your first paragraph. And thanks for the second,

  8. Didn’t get this, probably cause I haven’t heard some of the names or yet read the stuff of Tipota and some others 😦

    Loved the lizard though, masterfully put 🙂 …
    Thankyou, Mental Mist, I’m glad the lizard bit worked,

  9. i’m with sumedh on this one…
    me too, hello, Mrs Ott,

  10. I think “lizard” is a forbidden word ; – ) –liked your list.

    Hello, Larissa. Was ‘lizard’ on the list? If it gets too long, there’ll be no words left,

  11. I think this is a well crafted and creative poem. I wish I had time to read all your stuff. For now I must catch as catch can. As far as the footnoting, I think it does not detract from the presentation as long as there is adequate spatial separation.

    make that a double tipota
    Cool, thanks Qazse. I think I should stop posting poems that require footnotes maybe. Oh well, it’s all good healthy fun,

  12. Haggis is just as good.
    Hello, again, Mollie.

  13. No, don’t stop posting that which expands.

  14. Love love love the references Paul 🙂
    Sadly, yes, without them it made little sense to me, and Sumedh, despite the truth of the first paragraph, did not help me feel any smarter by saying this poem has simplicity! Sigh. But it’s ok – my education will progress much faster with the footnotes! And I agree with Qazse above…. sometimes I just shrink instead of expand, but that’s hardly your problem! 😉
    Haha, I blunder and occasionally shamble, Simonne, but the adventure continues, woohoo,

  15. I certainly related to the first half, as a reflection of all those times that I have had an idea and lost it before it could take form. Aaargh!
    The references in the second half did leave me puzzled, but my curiosity had been sufficiently raised that I would have quite happily gone and done some research.
    The footnotes are excellent, and will save me much googling.
    Poetry that dares to teach. Great work.
    Thanks, Brad.

  16. love the visual effects you create in this.

  17. had a purple pen once that had this thick flow and touch that i secretly coveted and would let no one near ..there is courage in your momentary erections…ahhh a mind that writes.. putting perspective before reality is heaven donchathink… now that uptight hissing, spitting lizard trying to cross the street… just in case he passes while im walking the other way, i’ll pretend he’s not real… yes ,yes, no, no… y would u want to chg something that isn’t broken.. know thaz abt as old as dirt but seemd fitting.. great stuff paul,
    Thankyou, that is a fantastical comment, you are a wonderful writer and your comments are precious,

  18. Intellectual squee!!
    Squeee? hello,

  19. This is amazing. The rhythm, the references that are so intriguing. Those names that you mention, IMO, are also very beautiful and unique as simply words, they don’t need a meaning, so if I never knew who they were referring to, they still serve the wonderful purpose of just sounding exquisite. It was a nice surprise, though, that you enlightened us at the end. Saved me some Google research. Nikki
    Nikki, that is a lovely comment, thankyou. We have a mutual friend in Lissa! who pointed me at your wonderful prose.

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