Tom Lutz, chair of the Creative Writing Department at UC Riverside and editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books here interviews author Lionel Rolfe at the December 11 tribute to Rolfe sponsored by the Public Works Improvisational Theatre at the Warszawa Loft in Santa Monica.
Hyla Douglas, Lionel Rolfe’s daughter, sings at the December 11 Tribute to Lionel Rolfe staged by the Public Works Improvisational Theatre at the Warszawa Loft in Santa Monica.
Mike Sonksen, better known as Mike the Poet, is a 3rd-generation LA native acclaimed for poetry performances and published articles. Poet, journalist, historian, tour guide, and teacher, he graduated from the University of California Los Angeles and is currently pursuing an advanced degree at California State University Los Angeles. Here he performs one of his poems at the December 11 tribute to Lionel Rolfe staged by the Public Works Improvisational Theatre at the Warszawa Loft in Santa Monica.
Lionel’s Been Relaxing For Years, Awaiting His Big Dec. 11 Event; His Daughter Hyla Douglas To Join In
More than 40 years ago, my then wife Nigey Lennon and I were on our way home to Echo Park when suddenly she said to stop. I thought it was because she saw a garage sale. Instead it was a woman who had set up a bunch of cages with cocatiels for sale. Some were in the cages and some stood on top of the edge of the cages.
“Oh hell,” I said. “I don’t want birds. They’re messy and they’re…well…bird brained. Stupid.”
Nigey, of course prevailed, and as we approached the birds, I was amazed that as we were looking them over, they were giving us the once over. That unnerved me. And it began the process where I began to realize we share this earth with a lot of creatures who are every bit as sentient as us.
Over the next few years, other birds impinged on my life and took me into their soap opera lives. The bird we bought that day was named Mo. Gurly came next because we walked into a bird store on Melrose Avenue near my old alma mater Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. As we walked around the cage, one rather drab gray bird was intently following us with her eyes and body. She peeped and squawked, obviously saying, “I’m here. Look at me. I want to be with you guys.” Read more
Ever since she arrived in the Big Apple, the author of “Exit From Eden” has hung out and interviewed some tough customers. Here, she’s interviewing the leader of the New York City’s Hell’s Angels.
By Mary Reinholz
It generally breaks my heart when tough guys cry.
So I felt a twinge of sympathy as corpulent New York porn king Harvey Jewell shed copious tears over the murder of his wise guy distributor in a double homicide. I didn’t know what to say or do as he sat bawling on a wooden work bench a few yards from VdeQ’s office where the capo de cino also known as Vinnie DeQuattro still sat at his desk, shot dead by a single bullet to the jugular.
But when Jewell’s nose started running, I handed him some Kleenex from my shoulder strap bag, patting him on the head as if he was a small boy stricken with grief over the sudden loss of his favorite choo choo train.
“VdeQ helped me launch F.U. nationally,” Jewell blubbered. “Nobody else would distribute it except him. Together we put an honest sex tabloid on the map. . He was a sensitive guy. I brought him a gift today. A cigarette lighter with his initials on it. It’s sterling silver and it cost me. But VdeQ was worth it.”
Jewell heaved dry sobs as he showed me the lighter. Yes, I mused, here was a smut merchant with a deeply sentimental side. There was something endearing about his feelings for a thin well dressed mafia killer who was probably getting ready to slit his throat for bringing me unannounced to his mob warehouse. Meanwhile, the shooter of VdeQ and another man in his office was at large and the cops were on their way. Jewell needed to get himself together for a grilling. Read more
Phyl van Ammers
Only two other people sat in the theater in downtown Concord to see Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhall and Rene Russo. Perhaps because tonight is Thursday – the day the theater adds a new movie. Perhaps because people thought it was another Halloween movie, and Halloween is over. Or perhaps prospective film viewers thought that this Nightcrawler was the comic book superhero Nightcrawler in the Marvel Universe, who is able to teleport across both short and long distances and has adhesive hands.
After the movie ended, I listened the two other people that had been in the audience. One said she wasn’t going to be able to sleep after seeing this film. The other said she didn’t like Jake Gyllenhall anymore.
I thought the film was predictable from almost the beginning: the protagonist is a psychopath in a corrupt world; his flawed but human partner “Rick” (apparently Latino but the actor Riz Ahmed is a British actor, writer and rapper of Pakistani heritage who graduated from Oxford– Middle Eastern) is going to die, and Lou Bloom (Gyllenhall) will be the cause. Bloom is going to sacrifice Rick, and Rick is going to deserve it because he allowed himself to get sucked in. That Rick dies and Lou thrives is a twist on noir. Noir, which grew out of Greek tragedy and French realist writing, means the psychopathic protagonist will die, sometimes from falling, say from a train, as Joseph Cotten died in Hitchcock’s 1943 Shadow of a Doubt, or sometimes his partner in crime kills him, like in Double Indemnity (1944).
Noir protagonists are sympathetic, and they look normal. Read more