Sea-crest Secrets, Lynd Ward, &c., "I get up on top of an inhuman voice..."

Frankenstein, by masterful woodcut artist, Lynd Ward

Cool, grumpy morning (In the tar of Tarkovsky), frosted chatter on the grave'd sky, "Lady in Cement" last night, thoughts of birds landing on my shoulders, deer and squirrels and that once-in-a-blue-moon fox that oft sprints across the backyard -- why not take me by the hand and allow me to earn my living by flying, sprinting, climbing trees? This can happen. It is happening. Compatibilities-of-ageless stow. "The only success beyond work is the Dictionary." Wrong.

Several moons ago, I began writing a story titled The Appalachian Journals. Over such time, decided to leave the remaining blank, unfinished, quiet, primarily unedited, dramatically-misguided, unable to keep the mental-pen (keyboard a-rumblin', think T. Monk, '65) from jamming into my brain, like an an excellent choice of holiday gifts in old-fashioned boxes, wrapped firmly, but strictly "unprepared." As blank as Laurence Stern? (who gets it?). Here are several equipped whipped words from this once "hungry story" of mine [started out on fire, has ceased to a frosted belltop]:

. . .

My Great Grandfather's house caught fire 87 years ago today in the foothills of the Southern Appalachian mountains. Prior to these events, concerns had grown that the house was pleading for help (in more ways than one), that not only were the run-down remnants of the house's outer-siding hadn't been re-furnished in years and the roof had begun to decay and crumble, but it was also filled with what he phrased as "the cries of gulls." His slender hands, his cold and sagged face and the slow walk in which he had tripped upon one evening, as he fell into the basement only to be found the day after, was a solitary thought that seemed to blister his weary psyche'---the way a road block halts one from getting to their destination, having to take unfamiliar detours, slithering through mazes that strike with the equivalence of an oldened memory. That being said, I am not one to pay attention to those things that point to Ageist Language, nor am I a "pro" member of these proverbial parades of misunderstandings, but the reality of certain events are inevitable and to improvise around them is a form within itself, but I must conclude that any distinction between two "things" typically exists in the realms of one's own verbial air. As it turns out, my Great Grandfather, as he wrote sloppily in his journal making it difficult for me to read, had all of the necessary nuts and bolts readily available (pure intensity) in that once musically-syncopated mind of his, without needing to measure each thought with a dosage of over-evaluation (driving people up the wall in the process).

. . .

The roaring of cockroaches in moist places, like my darkening-conscience these days. Tomorrow, the dim dew of Heavenly Morning in fine layers. No one ever frowns on a trampoline unless they fall off of it. This is how it was: I could have reached deep inside of my skull and twisted my memory into something less bouncy, syntactical-slants, this first day revealed to me a singe of regret. Should I be doing this, I thought. I gathered my entire Being and Undressed the dark for light but peeled out a medium-gray fog, instead.

Under the remnants of melted cherries, could use a little work. However, I've preserved that they shall remain the same; an object to the invitation of the -non.

Which, somehow, brings me to Lynd Ward (1905-1985). A brilliant woodcut artist (who also worked with "wood engraving, watercolor, oil, brush and ink, lithography and mezzotint") that illustrated around "200 juvenile and adult books." His many works include Frankenstein, which is a truly stunning illustrative-masterpiece, that was originally printed in the 1934 edition of Mary Shelley's novel.

1934 edition of Frankenstein, illustrated by Lynd Ward

Pagan Press Books's site allows one to view some of these brilliantly-gorgeous illustrations from the actual full page illustrative pages.

Here are several:

The icing has been only slightly scathed, however. Go Here to view more of these illustrations throughout the book.

Searching images for Lynd Ward's illustrations is also quite rewarding. Here.

Illustration from God's Man, Lynd Ward

As stated:


Ward's woodcuts illustrated a 1934 edition of Frankenstein, published in New York by Harrison Smith and Robert Haas. These are outstanding, not only for excellence and power of design, but especially for insights into a disturbing and powerfully poetic work.

More than any other illustrator, Ward grasped the ambivalence with which the author of Frankenstein, Percy Bysshe Shelley***, portrayed the “monster” (also called “Being”, “creature”, “fiend”, “demon”, “wretch”, and “devil”). As seen by Lynd Ward, the Being is both pathetic and terrifying; his body is both athletic and deformed. You can pity him, sympathize and even identify with him, without quite wishing to hold his hand or let him cry on your shoulder.

[{I added two extra asterisks from the original text} ***The author believes that Percy originally wrote Frankenstein, rather than Mary, and has written a book about the reasoning behind his theories and beliefs on the subject, but I'm having a difficult time believing that. However, I may read the book anyhow to see if he can coax something out of me.]

With that said, Ward also wrote several "wordless novels" himself (illustrated without text to tell a story). Two of the most famous, God's Man: A Novel In Woodcuts and Mad Man's Drum: A Novel In Woodcuts.

from Wild Pilgrimage No. 28. 1933, Lynd Ward


A dream, & randomative-contemplations/thoughts, &c.

Mr. Duane Michals, playing Goof-off

A dream:—

I was talking to Ray Bradbury in my Grandmother's kitchen, in which, after a few events of noticing, I realized had turned into my Father, who appeared to be carrying on about his business, and wasn't making any hesitations to find the appropro items needed to prepare his dinner. Gene Okerlund and Bobby Heenan were in the living room interviewing, again, Ray Bradbury. Gene Okerlund was bald on top (as one has always known of his appearance) and the hair around his head was long and was puffed up in the air like a bad version of an afro. Bobby Heenan looked like my Uncle Terry Huckaby and his shirt was unbuttoned a few ways down in which he was showing his chest-hair. I stood there in front of them, watching and listening to their conversation as they interviewed Ray. After the interview was over, they walked towards me with big smiles on their faces. I moved out of their way as they came walking past me, but I didn't turn around to watch them leave. Walking from the living room and back into the kitchen, I saw my Father continuing to prepare his meal - walking from cabinent to cabinent, in which he appeared to be searching for something specific.

Suddenly, I was at the Grammy Awards. My hair combed like Carey Grant and I was wearing a black tuxedo. I was seated on the right side of a "bleacher" area with various family members who had come along to hear my name called during the nomination. Driftingly-so, I was standing inside of an airport looking out of one of the large windows. Outside was a white airplane that had "2000" written across it and some other text directly combined into it. The airplane's wheels were like "Bigfoot" wheels, yet its original wheels were located in different locations underneath the plane. Immediately I was sitting inside of the plane as it began to slowly move before eventually taking off. I realized shortly after it began moving that I wasn't supposed to be on this plane and that I needed to get off immediately. There was a woman sitting in front of me who had a "beehive"-style haircut, pinned up. I told her that I needed the plane to be stopped so that I could get off. She halfway turned her head around, pointed, mumbled, and turned back to her original forward position. I heard someone say something in relation to how the plane wouldn't be stopped. It was as if I was sitting behind the pilot and the woman "became" the pilot. Looking out of the front windows of the airplane we were now on an interstate. Desperation to find a point where we could turn around, I motioned for her to take a left at the first "Exit" I saw. I thought to myself, "There is no way possible this plane is going to be small enough to get onto an Interstate..." — The end. How sad.

Anyone whom wishes to become a good writer should endeavour, before he allows himself to be tempted by the more showy qualities, to be direct, simple, brief, vigorous and lucid.

This general principle may be translated into practical rules in the domain of vocabulary as follows :—

Prefer the familiar word to the far-fetched.
Prefer the concrete word to the abstract.
Prefer the single word to the circumlocution.
Prefer the short word to the long.

—from The King's English, by Henry Watson Fowler, Francis George Fowler

Interpretations bear fruit, at times, do they not, to take up residence? To be excited by such passion makes it like an "identical place," — "like a tad-pole, both summer and winter, in a puddle" — but critiquing isn't necessary when you're intentionally "breaking the rules." The fatigue of laziness shows no remorse. Imagine that you hair grows soft, docile and abundant. I personally find that a good memory is as rotten as writing, especially if the conditions can be formed from something that hath no copy of errors that're committed by day, and no direction ("no direction home," perhaps) where no methods can be reviewed at any time. Thus, the effect is multiplied. As a form of reference?
[Julia Kristeva states that each text is built like a "patchwork of subpoenas," which implies recognition of intertextuality as a phenomenon that is at the root of literary text. "Any text is the absorption or conversion of another text," said Kristeva.]
In any case, have you ever wondered what the elephant is thinking when doing tricks in a circus for clumsy clowns? Feed the clowns, the tigers, the bears, the elephant that stands with one knee on a stool. Or, perhaps: You are surprised at all, what the elephant thinks to interest easily, brailed up in a circus for the Clowne maldestro? It feeds the Clowne, Tigris, the bears, the elephant[?], that it is stopped with a knee on a support?
Charlie Brown. Lots of "good grief" intertwined. My uncle always says, "grief is never good." A "Karen" could have her name changed to Cairn. Writing is like leaving something in a subway — a card, envelope, dust, blood, wallet, purse, &c. — and expecting it to be there upon returning. It's like Leaf Miners leaving visible trails, wound-pixels, magnified places [paces], anisotropy, rural french château, grotesque shores and so-so many direct methods of exploiting it all because you feel like it is a healing, a kind of omittion from the brain ("a relief" until it comes back again), so the results are typically the same. Writer's block is false. It's like being constipated.

I've — after surgeons.

My "indoor drama" is a three-stage (strange) Light at the scene of creeping. A sort of inner air-to-air. I can also feel quiet places.

The mind's memory, like the expanding cosmos.


Small Faces (1996)

from Small Faces

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon gives us a dose of "brutal reality" in this gorgeously-photographed film set in 1960's Glasgow about gangs (especially the "Tongs"). Thanks to the Sundance channel, I was able to see this film, uncut.

Lex is offered a knife for "protection"

Lex Maclean, a thirteen-year-old who lives with his mother and two older brothers (Alan and Bobby) is caught up in the violence of gang-activity (his brother, Bobby, being affiliated with the Glen gang). After firing an air-gun at the maniacal leader of the Tongs, Malky Johnson, and hitting him at what at first appears to be in the eye (though it's confirmed later in the film that it was on the bridge of the nose or close-stitched) Lex knows that there will probably some form of retrobution in the near future. The Glen gang leader, Charlie Sloan, offers Lex a bit of help in the form of protection, but only if Lex will work with Sloan and his former gang-mates (Lex eventually ventures to the dangerous "Tongland" to act as a "spy," but really to somewhat "throw off" the Tongs into believing he wants to join their gang. That all backfires, of course).

Eventually we are shown a splay of human emotion throughout the film (including death, of course), proving to one how violent human beings can be in certain "rough 'n' tough" neighborhoods throughout the world -- especially when there is high gang-activity swarming the areas like manaical vultures awaiting their next pursuit of trouble, pecking at whatever they can get their hands on, as if it were like breaking apart asparagus.

Leader of the "Tongs," Malky Johnson


Wait Until Dark (1967)

Wait Until Dark, 1967

Ah, the things that people will do for a little booze, or, in this case, a bit of drugs (heroine). This 1967 psychological-thriller (what sounds better than those duo-combos, other than "weird," "avant-garde," "experimental" to name a few?) stars one of my favorite actors, Allan Arkin, along with the nimble and oft distraught (and rightfully-so!) Audrey Hepburn "about a blind housewife, Susy Hendrix (played by Hepburn). Independent and resourceful, Susy is learning to cope with her blindness, which resulted from a recent accident. She is aided by her difficult, slightly unreliable young neighbor Gloria (played by Julie Herrod) with whom she has an exasperated but lovingly maternal relationship. Susy's life is changed as she is terrorized by a group of criminals who believe she has hidden a baby doll used by them to smuggle heroin into the country. Unknown to Susy, her photographer husband Sam (played by Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) took the doll as a favor for a woman he met on an international plane flight and unwittingly brought the doll to the couple's New York apartment when the woman became afraid of the customs officials.

Allan Arkin as "Roat" -- a flamboyantly "coolster" Psycho

[continue]: ...Alone in her apartment and cut-off from the outside world, Susy must fight for her life against a gang of ruthless criminals, led by the violent, psychotic Roat (played by Arkin). The tension builds as Roat, aided by his gang, impersonates police officers and friends of her husband in order to win Susy's confidence, gaining access to her apartment to look for the doll. The climax of the film, a violent physical confrontation between Susie and Roat in her dark kitchen, is one of the most memorable and frightening scenes in screen history. All performances are outstanding, particularly those of Hepburn who plays a vulnerable, but self-reliant woman, and Arkin, in perhaps his best role, as the ruthless, manipulative Roat."

There is a very good reason why the conclusive scenes of this film ranked #10 on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments.

from Wait Until Dark


The Innocents (1961)

Quint the Ghost watching Sir Christopher Frayling
in the window
whom he has essentially possessed

Over the Holidays I had the opportunity to see The Innocents starring the great Deborah Kerr. The film, based on Henry James's haunting novella "The Turn of The Screw," centers around the governess, Miss Giddens, "who is hired by the uncle of two unwanted orphans to look after them without bothering him about them. Upon arriving she meets the charming, but seriously strange little girl, Flora, and Mrs Gross, the housekeeper. She learns that the brother, Miles, is being expelled and sent home from school for being a bad, perhaps even perverse influence on the other boys. Meeting the smooth, charming and rather creepy Miles, she feels that there must be some sort of mistake. Gradually she learns of the sinister hold on the children that was established by the recently deceased Peter Quint, the valet and the late Miss Jessell, the children's previous governess. Disturbing manifestations, revelations of perversion and suicide, ghostly appearances and evil forebodings occur, and Miss Giddens comes to the conclusion that the children must be confronted about their secret communications with the dead..."

As one reviewer wrote, The Innocents remains, along with Jacques Tourneur's Night of the Demon (1957), Sidney Hayer's Night of the Eagle (1961) and Robert Wise's The Haunting (1963), not only one of the best attempts to present the supernatural in an adult manner, but also, perhaps, the most satisfying and successful," and I would thoroughly acknowledge and agree with that last line, because I find it to be slightly better than The Haunting. The conclusion is quite shocking as well, which elevates this film further up the ladder.

A horrified Deborah Kerr in The Innocents