Wednesday, July 30, 2008

You, Me, and Haiku - 7/30/08

A short breath of light
Perfumed in ash and iron
Hammer strikes anvil

-David Yuen

Monday, July 28, 2008

You, Me, and Haiku - 7/28/08

Long jewels of salt
Run clean over day worn bronze
The young field worker

-David Yuen

Friday, July 25, 2008

A Meditation On Undead Slasher Films

I’ve just read, from a recent forum, about the common motif found in typical undead slasher films (“Friday the 13th”, “Halloween”, etc.). Although it could be argued, but an author of a graphic novel, involving undead slashers, theorized as to why undead slashers target the people that they target in their films. They do what they do because they possess a burning irrational hatred for the things that are denied from them due to their very nature—youth, beauty, sex, etc.

This pattern seems very obvious, because in nearly every undead slasher film, it’s almost a general rule that if people make-out, they’re guaranteed to be victims. And in many undead slasher films, young beautiful teens tend to be targets.

Whether this theory is true or not in the context of the actual films, it reflects an important truth about the real world. There are many murders and evil acts that are driven by a sense (justified or not) of injustice. The feeling of “I was robbed in my life because ______(insert reason)” or “he/she/they don’t deserve _____ because I was never given _____” is an overwhelmingly common reason that drives many people to do the wrong things that they do.

These undead villains (Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger, Mike Meyers (even though he’s technically not undead)) are dark reflections of ourselves that we recoil from, yet find an odd attraction towards. In many ways, one could argue how this theme extends to the very nature of good and evil itself—where evil focuses mainly on the self above others (how I feel, the vengeance I want), while good tends to focus on others above self (for their good, to help them).

Yes, it’s true that the line between evil and good are easily blurred if one limits themselves only to the definition above (people can do evil things for the sake of others out of a twisted sense of morality or people can do good for themselves without doing evil), but if one searches for this pattern of evil being “self over others” in horror films, one could easily find it everywhere.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Artist Showcase: T.S. Eliot's "The Love Song Of J. Alfred Prufrock"

Personally, I never understood T.S. Eliot. In fact, I never really liked his poetry that much. Maybe it's because in college I had to do a paper on interpreting his "Prufrock" poem and I couldn't make heads or tails of it.

But then, one day (which is actually today), I ran into this video of Michael Gough (Alfred from the first few Batman movies) reading this poem and now I'm considering giving Eliot another look.

Overall, I still can't make heads or tails of the "Prufrock" poem without going to Wikipedia. But because of the way Michael reads it I think it's enough to captivate any audience. The actual poem itself is typed below the video. Please note that this is a LONG poem, so if you love reading as much you love listening, this is definitely your poem. Enjoy!

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherised upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.

And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”]
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”]
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:—
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

And I have known the eyes already, known them all—
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
And how should I presume?

And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
It is perfume from a dress
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
And should I then presume?
And how should I begin?
. . . . .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…

I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head [grown slightly bald] brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,
And in short, I was afraid.

And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
Should say: “That is not what I meant at all.
That is not it, at all.”

And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
“That is not it at all,
That is not what I meant, at all.”
. . . . .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

-T.S. Eliot

Monday, July 21, 2008

You, Me, and Haiku - 7/21/08

Sweet caustic fumes
Over the drone of the pump
Money down the drain

-David Yuen

Friday, July 18, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day: "The Editor"

According to the Youtube description:

"Bob is an editor struggling to finish a movie he's working on. He becomes obsessed with his work and finds himself getting sucked into the film..."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"The Great Divorce" by C.S. Lewis (2nd Reading)

"For to be afraid of oneself is the last horror."

-C.S. Lewis

Monday, July 14, 2008

You, Me, and Haiku - 7/14/08

Fragrant as flowers
The ripened peach in the sun
Rots pungent inside

-David Yuen

Friday, July 11, 2008

Short Movie Filler Day - "my name is lisa"

This film is a very profound film and, though it might seem simplistic at first, it truly reveals its intricate depth with each passing moment. According to the Youtube description, this film is:

"Winner - Best Short Film of 2007
3rd Prize Winner ~ Project: Direct
Official Selection ~ Short Film Corner ~ Cannes 2008
Official Selection ~ Now Film Festival
Official Selection ~ Portable Film Festival (Australia)
Official Selection ~ California Next Gen Film Festival
Finalist ~ Crackle Shorts Contest"

To find out more and take action, visit:

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A Mad Hermit Disclaimer

I'm just writing this disclaimer to let people know where I stand with certain things that I post on this site.

For those of you who have been following "The Mad Hermit", every now and then, I have the habit of posting videos or various "art" pieces (namely in the artist's showcases) that I find either amusing or poetically crafted.

But I have to note that, just because I may promote certain pieces from select artists, it does not necessarily mean that I promote or share the same views of those said artists/performers.

FabledVerse, for example, is one artist who, although I enjoy some of his pieces, I do not share the same views as him based on what I saw from his other Youtube posts.

So I just wanted to clear that up for everyone out there just to be "safe".

Happy reading!

Something a Little Funny For Today From FabledVerse

Just to get off on a light hearted note, I found this amusing little piece on Youtube by FabledVerse. I featured him on this blog before and for those of you who missed it, click on the "poetry" topic and his artist's showcase should come up.

Today, instead of poetry, I'm featuring a short skit by FabledVerse, entitled "Absolute Power", that gives tribute to the Star Wars universe. Let's just say that it's a little....ummmmm...

Monday, July 7, 2008

New Link - "Men with Pens"

Happy belated July 4th everyone!

I didn't get a chance to do much updating this weekend, so I apologize for that. But to start off the new week, I found this wonderful site on freelancing and writing that every writer should look at. It includes some valuable tips and interesting articles that can prove helpful for any crafter of the pen.

It's called "Men with Pens" and the link to this site is

A great article to start off with, from this site, is
"27 Secrets to Avoid Internet Burnout".

I personally enjoyed glancing through this article and I think you would too!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fishing With the Mad Hermit

Usually all of you, here at the site, tend to see me reading poems and making my own comments on them. Hardly ever do any of you get to see me beyond this element...until now.

Just for the sake of improving the personal connection between this blog and its audience (and for the sake of self-mockery), I've included an absolutely random video of me in one of my most recent fishing excursions to Sandy Hook.

Basically, I didn't catch these fish, but my friend, who originally caught them, gave me the opportunity to reel them in. And all I have to say is this: "YOUR GILLS ARE USELESS HERE!!!"

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"A Time to Talk" by Robert Frost

A Time to Talk

WHEN a friend calls to me from the road
And slows his horse to a meaning walk,
I don’t stand still and look around
On all the hills I haven’t hoed,
And shout from where I am, What is it?
No, not as there is a time to talk.
I thrust my hoe in the mellow ground,
Blade-end up and five feet tall,
And plod: I go up to the stone wall
For a friendly visit.

-Robert Frost


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