Friday, November 9, 2007

Cold as Kerouac's liver

It is finally cold. Real autumn is in the air, and the air is moving. My apartment smells like quince, a fine, faint musk I wouldn’t mind bottling. On Henry Street at midday yesterday I saw a ruby crowned kinglet, one of our tiniest birds. Also one of our boldest. This one flitted about a front-of-house tree within a foot of my eyes. I got to thinking about that diminutive “-let” at the end of the name. A kinglet sounds like an oxymoron, but then I thought of Bush II. Not to disparage the avian species in comparison to the simian, but what a perfect moniker for him.

Meanwhile, on the 41st parallel, shared by NYC and Napoli - my home when I was a sprat -, two by Pietro Germi at the Film Forum. I’d never heard of him before this series, but I’m glad I caught The Facts of Murder (Un Maledetto imbroglio better translates as “an awful mess”) and In the Name of the Law. The former was a neo-realist policier, the latter a Sicilian western, with honest magistrate up against the real Mafia. Yucks up next at Divorzo all’italiana. Marcello!

Enough with that momma’s boy Jack Kerouac already! Fifty years of On the Road, yadda-yadda, another piece of supposed rebellion so successfully absorbed into the maw of the beast so that it’s now quite conformist to proclaim it. Personally, I’ve never gotten over the fact that Kerouac said the most beautiful girls in the world were in Des Moines. Hell, I’ve been to Des Moines. But Jack, a rather conservative fellow at heart, in fact, kind of reactionary in the 1960s, probably did think that corn-fed blonde look was the top of the pops.

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