Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

In a Batman Notebook...

There's a poem called "Self Portrait in Ink" by Bruce Beasley, originally printed in the Virginia Quarterly Review. In it, Beasley becomes a translucent octopus, releasing an exact copy of himself, in ink, which he leaves behind to escape from a shark. Layered meaning ensues, etcetera, etcetera. Actually, it's a gorgeous, dense poem with exciting wordplay and tantalizing line breaks. It's a fun read. I may add it to this entry later.

Anyway, our Advanced Creative Writing professor had us read it in class today and then decide what we would want to use as a medium for our own self-portraits. Some of the answers were as follows: wind-blown leaves, guitar strings, a stone bust (like Lionel Richie's!), and a jar of honey. It's a small class, nonetheless chock full of weird people, as you can tell. Anyway, I chose comic book cells.

The next part of our assignment was to create a self-portrait using the medium that we chose, in the form of a poem. We had about seven minutes to create. The results were actually incredibly impressive. What I struggled with before I started to write was not wanting to create a self-portrait. I really wanted to explore the control that an artist has over its subject, and the dynamics of that relationship. Then I inadvertently got into the audience's response to art as I wrote.

No matter how introspective of a person I am, and no matter how much I truly try to know myself, I want more than anything to be able to see myself from the outside, to get the best objective view. So I fell in love with the man who draws me in this poem. It may or may not be Daniel Clowes.

he draws my breath
and blood.
I am drawn to
exceedingly self-aware
thoughts in clouds,
colored blue
by Small Press, Inc.
only when we can afford to.

Each cell as a linear,
filmic storyboard:
bird's eye black,
XCU, flecks of green
in mine,

Tales of little consequence
made epic
by thick black guiding lines,
boxes of time and space
with white space in between,
never filled.

Comics are supposed to be!
comics are not!
comics never!
Shouldn't this be
funny? You're funnier
in life than on paper.

The paper is under my
skin, I say silently,
and pull a long
pointed speech
from my tongue,
and there's a paper cut
on my windpipe

which he kisses in
his brain, hot
under clip-on easel

Monday, April 16, 2007

Demanding Re-counts!

"You Voted For it! This Month's B-W Cinema Movie is 'Wild Hogs!'"

On the way into the student union this sign assaults my vision. "You Voted For it!" It says. So accusatory. Like it's my fault that I have to suffer through this crap with the rest of my colleagues. The truth is, I didn't vote for it. I didn't even get to vote. When did this so-called "voting" take place? And why the hell are we watching "Wild Hogs" again? Are you serious?

Baldwin-Wallace has this monthly event called B-W Cinema that takes place in John Patrick Theater. Students vote on a movie that they'd like to be screened, and whichever film receives the majority of the vote is shown. There's free popcorn, some raffles, etcetera. It's a simple, free event that's easy to enjoy.

Usually the films that are nominated by Student Senate are semi-popular ones that are about a month away from being released on DVD. It's kind of cool if you've missed the movie while it was in theaters and still want a chance to see it on the big screen. In the past, the Senators provided a great variety. Last year I got to vote for "Mad Hot Ballroom," for instance. This spring, "Wordplay," was one of the nominees. Obviously these were dark horses. I'm perfectly happy that "Batman Begins" and "Casino Royale" beat out the less popular "indie" choices, because I enjoy both of these movies very much. I'm not against Blockbuster films at all, when they're well-done and entertaining, and I agree that it's appropriate to show something that most college students will enjoy watching with their friends.

But seriously: "Wild Hogs?"

This year, the voting process has been shrouded in mystery. I actually don't think that the first semester's films were voted on by students at all. I think Senate hand-picked them. Last year I was sent an e-mail that directed me to an online B-W Cinema poll. And this year? Nothing. I wasn't given a ballot. I'm incensed.

The first blow was when Senate chose Chingy to perform here this spring. It was between Chingy and OK Go. And they picked Chingy?

First Chingy. Now "Wild Hogs."

Is there something terribly wrong with my peers, or am I the weirdo here?