3.31.2009

LOCUSPOINT: New Haven

The talented, beautiful, and wonderful Suzanne Frischkorn selected work from among her New Haven denizens for the most recent issue of LOCUSPOINT.

Visit now to read new work by

Jason Labbe
Jeff Mock
Judith Nacca
Marilyn Nelson
Margot Schilpp
Justin Sider
Claire Zoghb

And, my last managing editor's letter (from January, but I'm not changing it yet):

Expect a huge year for LOCUSPOINT. Editors who've been slaving away for the past several months are now coming back, their arms heaped with phenomenal work by their local colleagues, peers, and mentors at a rate so overwhelming I'm not sure how to get it all out there fast enough!

I'm beginning to suspect that interest in LOCUSPOINT is growing and, with it, I hope there's excitement. Responses to LOCUSPOINT that I've encountered so far have been varied. While many people find the project interesting, at least one critic has mused over the "cronyistic" nature of what we do.

And it's true: if you define it that way, LOCUSPOINT is devoted to cronyism. I ask editors to publish their friends, their lovers, their friends' lovers, their brothers, their mothers, their enemies, and their frenemies. Editorial objectivity does not exist here—at least, not in the way it does elsewhere. These editors still select the best work: they just select work by people within their community. I think that's important to note.

Everyone defines community differently. For some poets, it's purely geographical, tied intimately to the place they live and write. For others, it's chronological, allowing them to pick up companions along the way. This is especially true for the most transient of poets, those moving to take short- or long-term jobs in the academy or elsewhere, or whose familys are rooted in rootlessness. I don't value one form of community over the other, but because the internet is already so akin to linking us virtually, I think the work of the editors does rely so much on place as a unifying element.

As much as a community is defined by what it includes, it's just as much about what is excluded. That's why it's my intention to keep LOCUSPOINT pressing along for as long as I can. I hope to revisit completed cities in the future under the leadership of new eyes and voices, editors whose unique experiences will lead them to unique epiphanies about their community.

It's routine in our world for the reader to decry the anthology as irresponsible for purporting full inclusion—in an attempt to "define" a movement, a group, a time—but, by necessity, overlooking some. We don't do that here. We don't purport to define. We simply explore.

3.22.2009

Digging Up Bones



While Beau's been here, I've not been blogging as much because I've been taking some vacation time...and watching season 1 of Bones with him.

Beau likes watching shows about forensic scientists, so I thought he'd like this. I watched Bones when it first came on because, you know, the David Boreanaz thing (see also Buffy), but somehow my DVR misbehaved during season 2 and we lost touch.

Bones, set in DC, follows the teamwork of the FBI's Special Agent Seeley Booth and "Jeffersonian" Institution's forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan. Booth and Brennan collaborate on murder investigations where bodies have been torn, spindled, or otherwise mutilated beyond recognition or identification, or sometimes just when cause of death is nearly impossible to determine. Like Moonlighting meets CSI, the show tends to work because of the banter/chemistry between the leads. I also enjoy the supporting cast of Brennan's Jeffersonian scientists, who realistic representation of life in the workplace includes frequent discussions of who's-dating-who and other titillating types of gossip.

Watching Bones with nearly a year of DC under my belt has been interesting. Although Medium was set in Phoenix, it never even featured shots of Phoenix, so it wasn't interesting on that level. Bones tries hard to capture DC life, namedropping neighborhoods, restaurants, streets, suburbs, and organizations. I see familiar shots of the landscape and cityscape, and I fill Beau in on what it means when someone lives in Chevy Chase versus Anacostia.

What I really love about this show? Booth's ties! They are beautiful. I want to know where the costume designer shops. Booth has this hip, Dragnety clothing vibe, and his ties all feature asymmetrical or non-patterned designs on them. They tend to be on the thin side, too, which I like, because it makes you look a little broader-shouldered. Plus, he's not so bad to look at. Right?

3.19.2009

Jesus Christ! (Superstar)



In a move that shows you're never too old to play Jesus, Ted Neeley showed up in DC this week starring as Jesus in the touring version of Jesus Christ Superstar. I caught last night's show--my first time seeing it on stage, since I love the film version so much. I didn't outright love it, although Beau kind of did.

One of the best parts about the film is that it uses anachronism to comment on today/yesterday through the lens of the passion. Guns in the temple, hippies celebrating free love, etc, are all integral parts of the film. The stage version is much more Bible-y: traditional dress even as Jesus' followers are chanting "What's the buzz? Tell me what's a-happening!"

In the touring show, the stand out was Herod, whose role affords him the most latitude in performance. This show's Herod sang a Calypso version of his solo, with four Carmen Miranda-like back up singers. My only reservation is that the actor played Herod as a kind of mincing bitchy queen--and the last thing the gays need right now is to be connected to the crucifixion of Jesus, if you ask me. But he was funny, and he incorporated the most anachronism into his brief moment on stage, combining a divaness with the kind of critcal rancor usually reserved for restaurant reviews and NPR film reviews.



The letdown was Judas. But how can anyone live up to Carl Anderson's portrayal in the film? It's amazing, impassionated, and truly demonstrates the conflict between loving Jesus and wanting to do "what's right"--one of the most important commentaries the show makes about contemporary society. The stage Judas sounded frequently off-key, had difficulty conveying passion that wasn't mechanical and premeditated. He did turn it out for his Vegas-style final number, though.

The other standout was Mary, who had a gorgeous voice, although her entire performance was pretty understated, kind of as it should be.

Ted Neeley's getting a little too old to play Jesus. I think one of the interesting aspects of this show is that Jesus is a rock star, a young, handsome, charismatic rock star who collects groupies and takes them to Jerusalem. The film is 36 years old now, and Neeley's performance then was excellent (if a little stiff). The stiffness is mostly gone now, replaced with a holy arrogance, and his voice is blissfully unchanged. But he looked a little waxy under the lights. I'd like to see a younger, hotter Jesus next time around.

3.08.2009

Insobriety Required



Because I am often slow to get to the movies lately, I just finally saw Twilight this weekend.

You may recall that I tried reading the book some months ago and found it annoying, poorly written, dull, and all-around ridiculous (even barring vampires). I only read half of it and then regifted it as a white elephant Christmas gift for a party I went to. Getting rid of it was more a gift for me.

So my movie expectations were low, but I did think it would be better than the book.

No.

Wrong.

So wrong.

It was at least as bad as the book if not worse. Mostly because it pulled dialogue directly from Stefenie Meyer's awfully-rendered scenes and dropped them into the gorgeous Pacific Northwest landscape. The acting was, simply put, atrocious, except for Kristen Stewart, who showed occasional glimpses of brilliance/adolescent awkwardness. But any bright points were infrequent, often clouded by the awful, awful dialogue and ridiculous scenarios--for example, it takes Bella about 90 minutes to figure out Edward's a vampire. She even has to read a book to be sure. It's like, hello? If the dude is cold, pale, stays out of sunlight and has super strength and catlike reflexes, he's a vamp. Duh. Turn on a TV now and then, or read some classic literature. Bella is supposed to be very gifted otherwise. Right.

One of my friends referred to the film as a "cinematic abortion," while another claimed the film was causing him to "grow a vagina." While harsh, my own opinion was not far off. I actually said out loud at various points, "REALLY?" and "You're kidding me." It is so amateurishly done, it's like the studio went out and found people who'd never even watched a movie and then said, "Here's the book and a camera--call us when it's done!"

The upside was that we saw the film at Cinema Drafthouse in Arlington, where we got to scarf down greasy bar food and a pitcher of beer before and while we watched. It seemed a small price to pay to crane my neck around the waiter in exchange for yumsy beer and deep friend mac-n-cheese bites. I will definitely go back there, although from now on we've all solemnly agreed not to see another film as awful as Twilight--in case we vomit with disgust, thereby ruining an otherwise nice night out.

3.04.2009

They're Heeeee-re



America's Next Top Model is back and already an outrage! Tonight's elimination was so WRONG and obviously motivated by keeping a bitchy, conflict-inspiring contestant in the house while sending home the sweet-natured, attractive, better performing model.

So, aside from that, who am I loving?


Allison, freaky-eyed alien girl, who is awkward and strange, but also totally herself, and essentially very sweet.


Aminat, who is taller than me in heels and, without being cruel, tells it how it is.


London: "She loves Jesus, and modeling too." She's like a Tom Petty song! But she is also just cool and confident and fun-loving and wild--you know, in a Christian way.


Fo, whose freckles and fresh personality give her inner and outer beauty.


Jessica, of the flawless skin and flawless features.


Kortnie, who dated Dale Earnhardt junior and lived to tell about it! And who is barely plus-sized and plus-fabulous.

Sad to see the first elimination. I hope the next time--SHE'S on the chopping block. I usually don't root against my hometown girls. Unless they're, you know, evil

3.02.2009

The Escape

Over the weekend, Arden and I drove out to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware. I checked into a little motel off the beaten path to ensure there'd be few distractions and then settled into get a ton of writing projects done. And I did. I wrote some book reviews, revised a ton of poems, and even wrote some new ones. I read some books too!

Best of all, I took Arden to the ocean for her very first ocean experience. She barked at it. It was cute.