Saturday, November 3, 2007

Busy Week With No Poetry Readings


Isabelle/Hibiscus
Originally uploaded by Michael_Kelleher
Isabelle Pelissier visited us all week. She came to Buffalo to retrieve all the art she left here when she and Joanthan moved to Maine in 2006. We were sad to see the Hibiscus paintings, which we had hanging in one of our guest rooms, leave the house. Had we the money, we would have just bought them, but alas... We really miss having Isabelle and Jonathan here in Buffalo -- even though we probably see them almost as often now as we did when they lived here. Both light up the room when they are around.

Remarkably, I have not been to a literary event all week.

I spent most of the week gearing up for Orhan Pamuk's visit next Thursday. It's amazing how much work is required for a reading this size. Hopefully it will all come together for the big show. I need to spend the next few days writing an introduction. In this case, I think I'll likely need to give up my usual laconic style in favor of something a bit more grand.

I was on a TV talk show called PM Buffalo on Thursday. The guest before me was a Buffalo guy who now has a TV show on Animal Planet. His animal that day was a live crocodile, about 4 feet long, which he had sitting in his lap throughout the interview. Twice it flicked its torso and started hissing -- even though I was 20 feet away it was still pretty frightening.

We saw "Gone Baby Gone" last night, which I highly recommend. Ben Affleck is still learning as a director, and some of his techniques were a bit cliched -- like using time lapse photography of the sky changing to signify the passage of time, etc., and there were perhaps one too many kinks in the story, which made it drag a bit. Aside from that, he has put together a very affecting film about the complexities involved in making a wrenching set of moral decisions. Not easy to pull off. I liked it better than Mystic River, which suffered from a lot of histrionic acting from the leads, especially Sean Penn, who needs to try doing something understated for once. Casey Affleck's performance is a case study in restraint and should be commended (and imitated!).

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