Sunday, July 27, 2008

Poem: Someone


Everyone has someone, as the tale’s been told
But everyone less this one, who is fast growing old
Chance sometimes offers up a whispering stream
Yet the moments are passing like an echoing dream
For everyone to someone makes a neat turn of phrase
But while time slowly empties, the truth gets betrayed
Wisdom of prophets shape a hypnotic lie
If the fables are sold then a someone shall buy
Bravely depicting all the storyline plots
Some are the haves, some, the have nots.

Copyright SGW 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Batman: The Dark Knight

I admit it: I am a super hero movie geek. As a kid, I read thousands of comics books and loved the stuff. As an adult, I am right there on line waiting to see each new flick. I also am rather territorial about the movies staying true to the original comic books - Kudos to Spider-man, Iron Man, the second Hulk and the first couple of Christopher Reeve Superman movies, and finger wags/held nose for later Superman efforts, the Batman run of the 90's, the first Hulk, and Daredevil.

The latest Batman efforts are part of the group of quality movies that followed the ideas of the original comic books, but the recent effort, "Batman: The Dark Knight," goes to an entirely different level. The script, written by Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan and David Goyer, is brilliant because it transcends comic books and looks at our society.

Are we as individuals and a society capable of making the right choices and sacrificing of ourselves in the process? Do the ends justify the means, and how far is too far? What is a hero? The movie attempts to answer some of these questions, but others are left to us for debate. There is nuance in the answers provided and in those left open. I left the theater feeling inspired by the thoughts I was brought to.

"The Dark Knight" is a great comic book superhero movie, but it is also a superb drama. Though it is seriously violent and dark, that is partly the point. We live in similar times after all.

There has been much hype about the performance of Heath Ledger as the Joker due to Ledger's subsequent death. Let me say that the accounts of Ledger in the role are understated; he is even better than that! This is clearly an Oscar-worthy portrayal. He is twisted, demonic, brilliant, pointless, frightening, and all too real. Ledger is gone, but his turn as the Joker will be enduring.

As mentioned above, there is a lot of violence and some scary scenes in the movie. I do not recommend taking any child under the mid-teen range. Also, I think it is important to discuss with teens why vigilanteism (sp?) is a slippery slope, and to engage in serious dialogue over the issue of ends and means. Had President Bush taken such time perhaps we would not have had Iraq, illegal spying and torture to deal with.

I highly recommend "Batman: The Dark Knight." It is without a doubt a thought provoking, entertaining and intelligent movie worth the price of admission.

Addendum: I forgot to mention something, but I just saw a "Batman" commercial, and it reminded me of a small, throwaway scene in the movie. When Batman is working on his new suit, Morgan Freeman's character says it will even protect him from cats (Batman had a run-in with some dogs). Foreshadowing of Catwoman in the next "Batman" movie?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Poem: Dandelions

Kids say the most abstract, yet wonderful things. My boss's daughter, who is ten years old, told him over breakfast that if she was president she would make a law that dandelions would be flowers instead of weeds. How could that not be a poem?!


Through ten year old eyes
Truths are revised
Laws will be changed
Ideas re-arranged
Dandelion grown
Weeds no more known
As flowers she sees
Perception’s degrees

Copyright SGW 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

George Wirth

How lucky am I to be living in Monmouth County, New Jersey?! I have the beautiful Atlantic nearby, sometimes fast access to NYC and Philly, and so much character and promise in the area, if you look away from Route 9, the strip malls and the corrupt politicians. I also have great clubs and coffeehouses, like the Twisted Tree, where the best music can live and breathe, and a poet can find a sweet spot to pen his words.

It's in these music sanctuaries where a fan of the best of the singer-songwriter genre will find George Wirth. For those that have heard George play, saying he is a unique and original incarnation of Bob Dylan or the early or recent Bruce Springsteen would not raise an eyebrow. Those of us who are entranced by his words and music know that we are listening to something special; at once powerful and tender.

Previously, I have spoken about George Wirth here and here. The poem "Storyteller" is about him, too. That said, while there is a George Wirth performing, I am not certain there can be enough written about what a shining talent he is. With that in mind, I'd like to call your attention to more of George.

You can listen to my favorite song, "Weight of Sin," by downloading from the link. But George has now gone to an entirely new level with "Memorial Drive." This nine minute saga is about Asbury Park; but not. It is a slice of Americana that anyone will understand and relate to via the imagery of loss, emptiness and shattered dreams that translates no matter where you call home. Had Wirth attempted to write an Asbury Park song, or striven to channel Dylan or Springsteen, failure would have been likely; it would have lacked the integrity of truth. However, Wirth comes from a place that is all his own while striking a chord in each of us that is familiar nonetheless.

There, I have said enough; check it out for yourself.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Problem? What problem!?

Boo and catnip ... an interesting mix.