Commentary Poetry

Link: Why should poets engage with ‘ordinary people’?

Why should poets engage with ‘ordinary people’?  They don’t exist.

Ordinary is just the word we use for the less intellectually sophisticated.

“The best part of human language, properly so called, is derived from reflection on the acts of the mind itself.” So wrote Coleridge in the great 17th chapter of Biographia Literaria that deals with his friend Wordsworth’s argument that the proper diction for poetry consisted in language taken from the mouths of men in real life, under the influence of natural feelings. The language, in Wordsworth’s own words, of men “in low and rustic life… because in that condition our feelings coexist in a state of greater simplicity… are more easily comprehended and more durable”. Tosh, said Coleridge.  CLICK BELOW TO READ ON……

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2CV Summer…Ete sur la plage

Another summer photo…


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Summer In New York City

Looking for summer pictures, I stumbled onto this page…

Vintage Summer in New York (4)

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Random Internet Photo: Jaws

otter-eating-clamIt’s been a while since I dove into the web and emerged, like a wild-eyed otter with a calm in it’s paws, with a tasty image between my teeth.

I wanted another summer picture, so I searched for “summer” and ended up with a lot of empty beach pictures and bikini girls.  It’s really astounding how much we equate summer with bikinis–I mean, not really and…yay for me.  I would have no problem filling a blog just with pictures of attractive women, but that would be admitting I’m a bit of a dog.  (A dog and an otter–go figure.)  Which leaves me with a dilemma, but I think I’ve found a good solution….













About these posts and the photos in ‘em:



Southpaw–My (hair)Brush with Celebrity

I worked the past week as an extra in a movie to be titled “Southpaw,” directed by Antwon Fuqua and, as I mentioned the other day, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Forrest Whittaker, and 50 Cent.  Arriving on set last night was another star, Rachel McAdams.  I have no designs on a career as an actor, but it seemed like a fun thing to do. While Pennsylvania’s fantastic Film Tax Credit brings a lot of Hollywood to western Pennsylvania, like The Fault In Our Stars, The Dark Knight Rises, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Jack Reacher, Promised Land, and The Road, to just name a few, it is not common for a major motion picture to be filmed ten blocks from my home.  So, I rearranged my life and signed up.

It was a lot of fun.  I met some cool people, and a lot of weird people–some the kind of weird you expect when folks are mass-hired for temporary, low-wage jobs.  Others just weird in the way that doesn’t necessarily show until we’re thrust together in close proximity, in a situation with lots of down time and a lot of external stimuli to react to.  You’re sitting shoulder to shoulder with people, waiting to watch millionaires play pretend, and it’s pretty natural to look to one side and say, “Hey.” Or “having fun?” Or “sandwiches again for lunch?” The next thing you know, you’ve got a fleeting friendship–you’ve got, um, maybe the best word for it is “buddies.”

There was the guy who sat down beside me and said “Explain String Theory to me real quickly….”  Uh yeh, right.  Or the pudgy bald guy who blurted out, “the last time I bedded an 18-year old I was 36,” as a non-sequitur, as if he’d been holding that line in reserve all week, waiting for a good moment to let if fly.  For his trouble he got awkward, nervous laughter and some wincing. Finally–and most famously, the haggard, 90 pound older woman with the unnaturally black dyed hair, homestyle tattoos, and witchy poo face who rasped in her cigarette-scathed voice about her career in musical theater and all the professional wrestlers she’s bedded. One of the extras told me later that she’d shown up at his yard sale last summer and loudly told similar stories until he gave her the stuff she wanted for free and begged her to leave because she was scaring off the other browsers.

But I’ll get back to the people.  The process–hundreds of us worked for a week to create what can’t end up being much more than 15 minutes of film, and even that feels long.  The costs are astounding.  Extras salaries alone, not counting overtime and the bounty of food they provided, cost somewhere around $60/minute for 14 hours or more a day (I worked 56 hours last week).  Scenes are filmed multiple times from multiple angles, with long waits for “reversals” when the cameras are flipped from one side of the shot to the other.  Yesterday, for example, this was my day:

  • Arrive
  • Stand In Line To Check In and Receive Pay Voucher
  • Stand In Line For Wardrobe Check (I looked “great”) after a cursory glance.
  • Stand In Line For Hair and Make-Up.  If nothing else, “Southpaw” has provided me with a lifetime first: hairspray.  I have worn hairspray 5 days straight.
  • Get a pass from Make-Up (I looked “perfect,” of course).
  • Have my somewhat undisciplined hair brushed and sprayed into a helmet suitable for the amphibious invasion of a hostile nation.
  • Browse the breakfast buffet (bagel, banana, donut holes and coffee)
  • Sit and wait…for the next 2.5 hours.  Talked a little, tried to read, mostly slept.
  • File onto set (along with 300 others–it’s a large scene), take seats, and wait.
  • Filming begins, 3.5 hours after arriving, lasts about 4 hours
  • Sent on break for about 40 minutes, told not to eat “lunch” (it’s 530 pm) because it’s not lunch time yet. It’s break time.
  • Told to eat “lunch”–it’s been sitting there on the tables all this time.
  • Told to wait.  Some people sent home.
  • Assembled in a group for my scene, stand around in that group for half an hour.
  • Costume change.  Predictibly, I look “great.”
  • Stand around in the same group of people, in a different place, for a breakdown of the scene.
  • Led inside for scene–it’s a really cool one, lots of conflict.  Jake Gyllenhaal is tremendous and Miguel Gomez brings tons of charisma–he’s almost a scene stealer. One of the extras, a guy I’ve talked to all week, gets a bump to a speaking role–just one line, but he’s building a film career so it’s a big deal.
  • Break.  We’re led off the set for a short break while the crew arranges things for the reversal–some people lose their places, but I just have to slouch so a camera can shoot over my head: this may be my big moment to get my face on the film in a way that I’m actually recognizable, and I’m slouching!  Ugh.  It’s karma for a lifetime of arrogance about my above-average height.
  • The scene is just fantastic–the best part of a long week–and we’re dismissed.  It’s 11:45 pm.
  • Stand in line to have pay voucher signed and verified.

More later….


Hangin’ With Jake–Hope You’re Not Jealous

jake-gyllenhaal-takes-his-dog-for-a-walk-in-nycApologies for being absent of late–please don’t take it personally.  I still love you, but I’ve been busy hanging out with Jake Gyllenhaal. Really. Sort of.  Wish I could say more, but I’m pledged to secrecy.


An Open Letter to Comcast / Xfinity

Comcast…sigh. I have very slow internet, they tell me it’s the wires in my neighborhood. At least I don’t get disconnects every time it rains (right, Verizon?). That would suck. What sticks in my craw is constantly seeing those “introductory rates” that are half what I’m paying–wouldn’t it be cool to be rewarded for my continued patronage?



My name is Stacie Huckeba I have been a customer of Comcast for over eight years.

I realize that it’s a dirty little secret and you don’t like to talk about it, but c’mon, between just you and me, you can admit it. Basically you have a monopoly on internet service, at least in terms of speed. It’s ok, I like money too. Nobody is happier than me when I deposit big fat checks. Sadly, I’m not quite as “connected” as you guys.

I’m a photographer and I think I’m really good, unfortunately, I live in a town with a plethora of talented photographers so I can’t just sit back and be lazy. I’ve sent emails to the Mayor, and Governor and even my Senators and Congressmen asking that they put in regulations to make sure I am the only photographer who can use professional and top of the…

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We’ll Miss You, Coach

Not a lot of dry eyes in Steeler Nation this weekend.  Here’s a fond farewell to the greatest football coach in the history of the game, Chuck Noll.  Huzzah!








Camping Post

camping…or, a cheap way to cover up the fact that I’ll be camping instead of blogging this weekend.

This will be me  >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


Random Photo Found via Google: Small Pizza & A Beer $2.25

I remember the Pizza Hut opening in my hometown, and how weird that pagoda-shaped building seemed, but I don’t remember when.  We rarely went there, because my folks were hooked on a local pizza joint–which I still favor to this day, which has pizza that still tastes the same as it did 35 years ago.  We stopped going to Pizza Hut when they dropped the salad bar years ago…


(look ma!  it’s a repost from “the old blog”).  A rant on pizza hut–how bold and vital of me!  It was, as I recall (and hope) supposed to be a little tongue-in-cheek, but nevertheless, it’s little wonder that old blog had about, um, let me count…oh,  one follower.  Maybe two.  And yes, I used to list the music playing while I wrote each post:

I like good pizza–“real pizza”–thin, but not too thin, crust that’s a little crispy on the bottom, but still supple, a little thicker and cheesier than New Jersey serves up, and not any damned whole wheat crust, either, followed by a simple, tangy (never sweet) tomato sauce, and generous quantities of just about any toppings but fish, pineapple, or artichokes. I have my reasons: I simply don’t like anchovies, artichokes on pizza are pretentious (especially since all the flavor bakes out of them), and pineapple, while delightful in most cases is, on pizza, Just Plain Wrong.

Now, a confession: I also (shamefully, secretly) like Pizza Hut Pan Pizza.


When we lived in Oregon, home of the soggy “take and bake” pie, and where Pineapple Pizza runs as rampant and free and wild as the captive minks E.L.F liberated so they could stampede across all four lanes of Interstate 5.  The closest good pizza we found was in San Francisco, a solid 8 hour drive away. We were so desperate we even ate Little Caesar’s not once, but twice over the course of just three years.  In that environment, Pizza Hut was a blessing, a beacon, a life preserver.

It’s a regional thing. Great Asian food abounded, superb Mex options were everywhere; but, just to offer an example, when the Olive Garden opened in Eugene the lines stretched out into the parking lot, folks raved and exclaimed: FINALLY good Italian had come to Lane County. I recall my wife and I staring at each other, dumbfounded.

Olive Garden? Really? Here in Westsylvania, Olive Garden is one small step up from Strip Mall Food. Think Bob Evans or Denny’s.

It was Pizza Hut that saved us then, and until very recently it’s been Pizza Hut that regularly spared us from faster food joints along the interstates. Pizza Hut trumps McDonalds every time. You pull off the highway, see that bizarrely paradoxical pizza pagoda roofline, and sigh in relief–no greasy burger for you, fatboy, there’s hot pizza and a big pile of salad from the…………


Wait a minute! Last weekend, desperately hungry and on the way home from a pleasant day spent perusing the GIANT HEAD exhibit at the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, we rolled into a Pizza Hut in Blairsville, PA and discovered, to our shock, NO MORE SALAD BAR! Not one to be discouraged, I made a “pfft!” sound at the clerk, and led my family back to the road. Two more stops at two more Pizza Huts, both in Indiana, PA, rendered the same result: No salad. At one, a little bleach-blonde held up a pitiful bowl of iceberg “You can get a side salad!” She offered breezily. I muttered something inappropriate and stalked away.

At the last place, where S. 7th Street meets Wayne, a sullen, pudgy little man said, “We have KFC.”

Holy non-sequitur, Batman! “What?” I asked.

“Kentucky. Fried. Chicken.” He spoke very slowly and loudly, presuming (I suppose) I was either hard of hearing or developmentally impaired.

“Why.        No.       Salad?” I replied, considering his presumptions might be relative to his personal experience.

“Uh, I guess we just didn’t have a need for one anymore.” It was a straight answer, and in retrospect I appreciate it, but it didn’t stop me from being an ass and mocking him, of course.

“Uh, I guess we just don’t have a need to come here anymore.” I said.

“Okay,” He shrugged. He truly didn’t give a shit, and I don’t blame him, given what these places pay. Still, I was deeply disappointed. I enjoyed going to Pizza Hut, but the pizza by itself isn’t good enough to lure me in. I guess we’re done with it.

Listening To:
Veruca Salt: Seether
Lurkers: Cyanide
Allman Brothers: Mountain Jam