BACK TO LA & OTHER TALES: This past week was very challenging what with the computers being down at work while we're in production for the August editions and mopping up from the flood at my new apartment. The computers are back up and the leak is fixed. I thought about it and decided to stay in this apartment rather than pack up and move to a top floor unit. The day before the flood, I had finally put up all the pictures and the wall and set up my office. The thought of packing all that up (although the complex offered to pay for the move) is just not something I wanted to deal with. I'm supposed to be on my "sabbatical" and it's been mostly bogged down in little dramas. I think I'm on the other side now. I did manage to submit some new poems to a couple of literary journals and I'm going to start again this coming week shuffling the poems in my next collection....which is still untitled.

During all the hellishness, I received a lovely invitation from John Amen and Cecilia Woloch to join them for another of our trio readings at Beyond Baroque in Venice, California on Thursday, Oct. 27. I'm so looking forward to this. Beyond Baroque has been around for something like 30 years and all these brilliant poets have featured there. It's definitely an honor to be asked, and to read with Cecilia and John again is just a cherry on top. I hope to pick up a couple of other readings while I'm out in LA and see some friends like Brendan Constantine and Teka Lark Lo. More on this soon.

Thanks to everyone who commented on the new poem cleanskin/lilywhite. The poem is still in progress as more details about the terrorist bombings emerge. It was good to see the unity in London on Thursday evening at the rally in Trafalgar Square and the swiftness at which London police have moved on the bombings.

On Friday night, I went to see a staged reading at Neighborhood Playhouse in Decatur. My pal Lisa Allender was starring and it was directed by Cherryl Floyd-Miller. The play, Nighthawks by Evan Guilford-Blake, is based on the painting by Edward Hopper of those lonely figures seen through the window of an all-night diner. Lisa is an amazing actress and Cherryl performed a miracle by getting these people ready in just three days. I enjoyed the play, which has been produced all over the country at small theatres and festivals, but somehow it seemed a bit dated. I couldn't put my finger on it. The second act was the strongest and Lisa's portrayal of mentally retarded prostitute was disturbing. I don't get to the theatre nearly as often as I would like, so this was a treat.

On Saturday, I schlepped all the way to Cumming, GA for the Georgia Poetry Society quarterly meeting at Humpus Bumpus book shop. Humpus Bumpus in Cumming. Insert any number of jokes here. It was a fairly quick meeting and I had lunch with Lisa and Dustin Brookshire. I also hosted an afternoon reading for the Java Monkey Speaks Anthology with Karen Wurl and Lane Young featuring. We sold quite a number of copies, so I was pleased. A long board meeting kept us, but I was back in time to meet up with my gal pal Mal for a movie.

We saw Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which was not my first choice, but Mal was dying to see it. I was pleasantly surprised at how dark and twisted this movie was. While I'm not a huge fan of Johnny Depp, he made one of those Nicole Kidman moves (a la The Hours) and disguised himself behind white make up and false teeth that totally transformed him. His nasty little comments and the look of the film are genius. The dispatching of Veruca Salt was particularly disturbing, and I heard quite a few whimpers in an audience full of children. I have to admit I still love the original film with Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, but this was an inspired film on Roald Dahl's classic story.

Today, I had to go into work for an hour or so to catch up and I also picked up John Irving's new novel, Until I Find You. Of course, The Borders I stopped at was still in a Harry Potter frenzy and was sold out of that book. They had sent someone to the Kroger across the street to try and buy up a few copies. I know many consider is sacrilege, but I've never picked up a Harry Potter book or seen any of the films. Maybe one day. When I'm on a longer sabbatical.


Cindy Lou Whoo said…
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is a very dark book. Dahl was a slightly twisted, brilliant man. So many of his books turned movies have been softened up, I can't wait to see Depp play Wonka! Keep in mind I teach reading and have all the Potter books on CD and in book form. I got the hook up!
Ryan said…
Collin OMG I almost forgot about you until you gave me a comment thanks so much! I will link you I so love your work.

Take Care tell Gavin I miss him!
Cleo said…
Did anyone else find it interesting that Tim Burton, in the midst of all his surreal carefully sculpted landscapes has Violet coming from a treeless McMansion suburb in Dunwoody/Atlanta? Complete with the blond barbie doll mom, and the over-the-top winning is everything attitude? Is he saying this is as surreal as all the other movie environs?

I'm glad to see that Burton sees the whole irony and humor in the landscape of North Atlanta.
Barbara said…
the audience at the midtown laughed their ASSES off when they showed violet's house (and every time her mom was onscreen)!!!
Collin said…
Yes, having Violet and her mom from Atlanta was inspired. Everyone laughed in my audience, too, and Burton seemed to have tapped into that faded beauty queen mom forcing her child to be "the best" at everything.

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