Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I saw A History of Violence today. Good flick. I think it's being slightly overhyped by critics eager to embrace a more mainstream turn by Cronenberg that's also filled with top-notch work by Viggo Mortenson, Maria Bello, and Ed Harris. In that it's somewhat overrated, I don't really see that it's somehow a commentary on violence and America; I don't think that subtext is really there. It's a very affecting piece on violence, on the pressure it places upon the present and the past. It plays honest and true; you see it in their eyes. Excellent movie.


Of course, you might gather from this blog I'm seeing a lot of movies. And you'd be right. I get in for free so I see everything I'm interested in. I think I'll list, towards the end of the year, everything I saw.

It will likely surprise even me.


I'm beginning to think of not going to AWP in Austin. I fretted last year over the cost when I had the money and university support. Now I have neither and I'm thinking it may not happen. I just had to cancel a reading in Denver this month because I couldn't afford it.

I don't know. I may have to go if any job interview comes through. Which is always a huge if.


Feeling hale and hearty again. And the sun's been back. Thank God.


I got the time wrong for the movie today, off by 45 minutes, so I had time to kill. I was hungry, no lunch, so I walked next door to get a sandwich. Before I could pay, this young kid behind me, a teenaged guy, hands his debit card to the cashier, tells her he'll get it.

I protested, of course, but in that moment both people become conspirators of a kind. One is performing a generous act and the other is touched by the act and all too willing to swipe that card, or whatever is needed. I can't complain, really. This has happened fairly often in the last nineteen years, or some variation on it.

Once, me and two friends were waiting on elevator after seeing a movie. A man, without saying a word, sidled up to me and slipped something in my shirt, and walked off. When I looked, there was either a fifty dollar bill or a hundred. I can't remember which. The man was gone.

In Tuscaloosa, I was waiting to be seated in, of all places, an Applebee's. A man walked by, we nodded to one another on his way out, and I was taken to my table. Shortly, the waitress came back to tell me that my meal, anything I wanted, was already taken care of. That man had come back, taken care of the tab somehow.

And what do you do? It's a little embarassing, though not because it makes me feel, I don't know, like a charity case. It's not that. I understand that people do this sort of thing out of a very pure place in them, and I honor that. It really isn't about me and that's what makes it ok. That night, at dinner, in bed, the men tell their wives, maybe, about buying some kid in a wheelchair his lunch.

And it's not really me but a symbol. And that's ok.


God bless you, Aimee Nez. You know why.


Radish King said...

If I met you I have a feeling I'd sit on your lap and sling my arms around your neck. This would be neither be an act of charity or compassion. It's also why I don't leave the house much.

Paul said...

I'm not sure I would complain....;)

eliot said...

Hey Paul,

Good to see that you are among the living. Is this hihophicok thing still on? And what are the dates? Is your phone out?


Ali Davis said...

I liked the History of Violence, a lot, although I am a fan neither of history nor violence. I am however quite a fan of Cronenburg, Mortensen, Loudon, and Guest.

Dee said...

Glad you are feeling good again, Paul.

I don't think I'd slip you a fifty because you are in a wheelchair, but because you are an excellent poet. My ulterior motive would be that I want to participate in a resistance to mass culture in a tangible way.

That said, it's heartening to hear about people giving to each other, whatever their motives, and of recipients who accept gifts with such grace.

cornshake said...

ah, i think I used to have a post with that same title, back in my non-married days and LOTR madness...;)

Alexis Z said...

i don't believe you're getting all that stuff for free. i think you're forgetting part of the story, like the part where you gave all these people sexual favors. jesus, paul, tell the truth for once.

Paul said...

A gentleman does not speak of such things!

At least not in the open....