Archives for posts with tag: Movies

Holly Golightly Wears a Mask
by Tricia Marcella Cimera

Behind a mask
our faces go sad,
we Holly Golightlys
of the world.
The mean reds
have got us bad
but no one knows –
and Tiffany’s
is cold and closed.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The mean reds were what Truman Capote’s immortal literary creation Holly Golightly felt when she was afraid, but going to Tiffany’s always comforted her (“…nothing very bad could happen to you there…”).   What would she do today?  I find it hard for my face not to go sad behind my mask.

PHOTO: Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961).  The film was based on Truman Capote’s 1958 novella of the same name.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tricia Marcella Cimera is a Midwestern poet with a worldview. Recently her micro-chapbook called GO SLOW, LEONARD COHEN was released through the Origami Poems Project, with plum poem receiving a Pushcart Prize nomination.  Tricia lives with her husband and family of animals in Illinois, in a town called St. Charles, by a river named Fox, with a Poetry Box in her front yard.


Martin Scorsese‘s celebrated new film Silence, based on Shūsaku Endō’s 1966 novel is an intense journey about the nature of faith — and what people will do when their beliefs are threatened. The film and book take place in 17th century Japan, where converts to Roman Catholicism are persecuted by those in power — and face life-or-death decisions about whether to keep or abandon their faith.

In Faith Stripped to Its Essence (ACTA Publications, September 2016), Patrick T. Reardon has written a guide that, in his introduction, he calls a “pilgrimage through the discordant voices of faith in Endō’s novel.” Reardon’s 111-page book features brief, reader-friendly chapters that break down the subject matter of Endō’s complex novel into thought-provoking, accessible material.  Questions for individual reflection or group discussion appear at the end of each chapter.

Reardon’s book is an essential addition to the canon of writing — both fiction and nonfiction —  that endeavors to bridge differences among religious groups and focus on the significant questions that all believers need to address. “What are we required to do because of our faith?” Reardon writes. “What does it mean to believe?”

If you plan to see Scorsese’s film — or if you’ve already seen it — Faith Stripped to Its Essence will enhance and deepen your viewing experience of Silence, and provide material for reflection for years to come.

Find Faith Stripped to Its Essence by Patrick T. Reardon at This beautiful volume also makes an impressive gift — for the modest price of $12.95.

Hands of young potter
Throwing a Perfect Pot
by Tobi Alfier

IF I had an imaginary skill it would be as an artist. I would wear flowered sundresses and sandals, braid my hair, and have a booth at the long-gone Whole Earth Marketplace where I would throw pots all day. I would take them to my aunt, the REAL artist, for glazing beauty and then to a studio that rented kiln space. I would sell my work for what amounted to ten cents an hour, make friends with all the other hippie-types with their VW vans and a dollar fifty-two in their checking accounts, say “yes, I saw Ghost” a hundred times a day to all the “real” people coming to shop, and be perfectly happy. I would trade a bowl for a pair of dichroic glass dangling earrings, shave my legs never, and sing Joni Mitchell songs, or all the songs to Hair, in my head as my hands got strong and the clay did my bidding.

PHOTO: “Making a pot” by Best Photo Studio, used by permission.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’m still a bit of a hippie. I still know the words to most Joni Mitchell songs and most of the songs to Hair. But the art is gone. Others in my family are blessed that they can call themselves artists. I can’t even pick out paint colors.

talfierABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tobi Alfier is a multiple Pushcart nominee and a Best of the Net nominee. Current chapbooks are The Coincidence of Castles from Glass Lyre Press and Romance and Rust from Blue Horse Press. Down Anstruther Way is forthcoming from FutureCycle Press. She is the co-editor of San Pedro River Review (

rita and fred
by Rose Mary Boehm

I could see myself. The singing, dancing,
long-legged Rita Hayworth double. I would.
I did. I do. Mame.
Long mane, probably red. Long
gloves until over my elbows.
Probably black.
Dress? Silk and shine and hugging my thighs
and calves. At least six inches of heel.
How I’d dazzle, how I’d pirouette, how I’d
swing my hips without being vulgar. Never
be vulgar, my mother said. Oh no, ma’am.
I’d put Ginger to shame. Fred and Rose.
No boogie. The Marimba?
Begin the Beguine?
More athletic? Gene and Rose?
For Gene I might be Leslie Caron instead of Rita.
But she was too sweet.
No, not John Travolta. The emphasis
Is on “slinky.” Someone from the underworld
would come backstage
and offer to shoot himself
unless I said “yes.”

PHOTO: Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire in a scene from You Were Never Lovelier (1942).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: When I was socially gauche, my dancing skills negligible, my red high-heeled peep-toes hurt my feet, and when I wondered whether I would ever be looked at by any male, I imagined I could exchange my mouse-blonde ponytail for Rita Hayworth’s blonde mane, my awkward gait for her sinuous moves, could flow across a stage with at least Fred Astaire, and be admired by all.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A German-born U.K. national, Rose Mary Boehm lives and works in Lima, Peru. Author of TANGENTS, a poetry collection published in the U.K. (2011/2012), her work has been widely published in U.S. poetry journals (online and print).  Twice winner of the Goodreads monthly competition, her new poetry collection (From the Ruhr to Somewhere Near Dresden 1939-1949) was published by Aldrich Press in May 2016, and another new collection will be published by Kelsay Books in 2016/2017.

raising arizona
The Lottery
by April Salzano

Lined up, ready to go to Grandma’s
for their weekly visit to a home with functioning
appliances and constant utility service,
one of the four would be
chosen to ride on the back of Dad’s
Harley. Why did their mother
subject them to this—
to breathe more freely in the car
that traveled a different route to the same place
with three bickering children instead of four?
To surrender one child to the father,
to see if they loved each other
when they got there?

Each avoided eye contact,
not wanting to be picked, and still
with the flick of a finger,
the quick pronunciation of a name,
one would have to strap on a helmet
and ride, careful to hold onto
Dad’s beltloops and not
grip the fat squeezing over his jeans.

She chose the middle child that Sunday.
She was changing a diaper, holding
the baby’s ankles in one hand and couldn’t
see the girl’s eyes pleading,
No, not me, I rode last week.

The father looked at the choice
as a burden. He wanted
to drive fast and free,
to forget he had children.
For a glorious fifteen highway minutes,
to forget that not remembering is impossible,
that plastic sneakers melt on tailpipes
and careless laces stick in spokes.

The girl didn’t know
before she straddled the leather seat
that her helmet wasn’t fastened properly,
that the wind would lift it,
or that her father would stop
and punch it back on her head.
She only feared that her fingers would slip
from the loops, and the wind would tear
her from her father’s back.

PHOTO: Lone Biker of the Apocalypse and Nathan, Jr., in the 1987 Coen Brothers film Raising Arizona.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Though not on a bicycle, learning to be a good passenger seemed a kind of acceptance into the private world my father inhabited, which always seemed to me to be a place where he could pretend to be someone else.

photo-salzano1 (1)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: April Salzano is the co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press and is currently working on a memoir about raising a child with autism, as well as several collections of poetry. Her work has been twice nominated for a Pushcart Award and has appeared in journals such as The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Visceral Uterus, Salome, Poetry Quarterly, Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. Her chapbook,The Girl of My Dreams, is available from Dancing Girl Press. Her poetry collection Future Perfect is forthcoming from Pink Girl Ink. More of her work can be read at

Downey versus Downey
by Cullen Downey

I know that you have no knowledge of my existence
In the world we share at a distance
Robert Downey Jr hero, lawyer, detective, prince, and millionaire
And a girl named Cullen with a last name we share.

I have convinced friends that we are related
But gullible and naïve they were to believe such a lie
Now I do not tell that lie since you went to jail
Since you went there I was upset, I wanted to see what happened to you      and Watson.

Physically we are opposites in age, size, eye color, and hair color
You brown eyes and hair, I blue eyes and blonde hair
I can see the resemblance with my family and you
My aunts are mostly brown eyed and hair the same as yours

I hope to see you in a third movie of Sherlock Holmes
And you and Watson are reunited once and for all
In real life I hope you do well even though you had your issues
Sharing a last name with you I feel connected but I do think my last name      will be more famous than

PHOTO: Robert Downey Jr. as the title character in Sherlock Holmes (2009).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The creative process in writing this poem was to express my thoughts when someone asks if I am related to Robert Downey Jr.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cullen Downey is passionate about art. She is 17 years old and is a junior at George Walton Academy. She participates in cross country, track, AP Art, and gavel club through the school. Outside of school she volunteers for Team Up, a mentoring program to help underprivileged kids in Monroe. She loves reading novels and newspapers, and she also loves writing. She also loves wearing different, crazy socks to bring a little laughter in life.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This photo was taken before a Christmas Party that turned into a surprise Retirement Party for a family friend.

Me as Patrick Swayze
by Patrick Lee Marshall

Dirty Dancing,
ready in a heartbeat
to sing, move, teach.
Music taking you
places you didn’t
know you could go.

My song and dance;
cleaning messes
made by shoppers
during the day,
dragging their feet
across the floor,
spilling their drinks,
throwing their trash,
in rhythm to music
from ceiling speakers.

I practice with a mop,
moving dirt.
He moves Jennifer Grey.
There is something wrong
with my picture.

PHOTO: Patrick Swayze in a scene from Dirty Dancing (1987).


NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I grew up singing in church. I tried to dance; that’s the most I can say about that subject. However, I was not bashful. I worked at a grocery store in Irving, Texas in the early sixties. We were cleaning the store one night and switched the sound system to a local pop station. I did not realize a friend took a picture until he gave it to me later. I was singing and dancing with a mop for a partner, standing on the bucket. Years later, I saw Dirty Dancing and was delighted by dance moves in the movie. When the SAME NAME Series was announced, I knew I had to find that picture and write something.

PHOTO: Taken in 1962 at Hutch’s Grocery Store, Irving, Texas.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patrick Lee Marshall is a member of the Denton Poets’ Assembly, Poetry Society of Texas, and the National Federation of State Poetry Societies. His poetry has appeared in over 20 publications and anthologies, including Encore: Prize Poems of the NFSPS, A Galaxy of Verse, Blue Hole Magazine, Merging Visions (Collections II, III and IV), Inkwell Echoes, Hunger for Peace, and Visions. He lives in Keller, Texas, with his wife Andrea and three cats.


Dear Katharine Hepburn…
by Cath Bore

There was a girl called Joan in my class at school. It seemed to me that someone with a name like Joan belonged in a black and white movie on a rainy midweek afternoon, not 1980s Britain with its manmade fabrics, bright pop music, and copies of Jackie magazine. Apparently Joan’s mum and dad wanted her to be called Joanne but her gran didn’t approve, and pushed for the short old fashioned name instead.

As a kid I could never work out why your name was Katharine, and not Catherine like mine. You had a mighty kicking K, my curvy C seemed dull and bland in comparison. I wanted our names to be the same. It bothered me no end that they weren’t, but in the end I decided my name was like that because my parents probably didn’t know how to spell it properly like yours did. Or perhaps my grandmother was a bit like Joan’s.

Joan got a lot of stick in school for having the same name as an old lady, but then again so did I, having glasses as thick as Murray Mints, and the rest. We notice our differences so much when we’re growing up. It’s all so intense.

Joan grew up to be a happy woman and I managed the same, eventually. When I got older I realised there were lots of ways of spelling the same name, and got okay about you and I and our mismatched letters. Now, I think your name is more beautiful than ever and mine is exactly like it, but in its very own way.


PHOTO: Actress Katharine Hepburn (1907-2003).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cath Bore is a writer based in Liverpool U.K., currently writing a novel and lots of flash fiction. Her website is

vlake12 2
by Veronica Hosking

Blonde hair swept over
one eye, alluring vision
Veronica Lake

PHOTO: Actress Veronica Lake (1922-1973).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: I was born in 1973, the decade Jennifer was a popular name for girls. Throughout my childhood, I became friends with so many Jennifers my family started to number them. I knew eight. I never met another Veronica which is why I was fascinated by Veronica Lake. She was the only real person I heard of who shared my name. But after writing this poem, I found out Veronica wasn’t her given name. Oh well, I have a picture of me sitting by her star in Hollywood.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Veronica Hosking is a wife, mother, and poet. She lives in the desert southwest with her husband and two daughters. Her family and day job, cleaning the house, serve as inspiration for most of her poetry. She was the poetry editor for MaMaZina magazine 2006-2011.  “Spikier Spongier” appeared in Stone Crowns magazine, November 2013. “Desperate Poet” was posted on the Narrator International website and reprinted in Poetry Nook. She has had several poems published by Silver Birch Press. Follow her poetry blog at

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: May 2013 me sitting next to Veronica Lake’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

by Clifton Snider

Growing up,
I hated my first name.
Who else was named Clifton?
It was a name apart, a name
for someone like me,
(football or baseball),
the boy who played violin,
an instrument girls excelled on,
a name confused with
“Clifford,” clumsy
with its double f’s,
a name I hated worse than my own.

In high school I worked
as bus boy at
Clifton’s Cafeteria,
a reason to like my name.
I’d whip out my
driver’s license to prove
to customers who I was.

I discovered Clifton Webb
in vintage movies on TV.
Perfect hair & mustache,
always proper, exquisite
suit & tie, a gentleman I assumed
was British with his eloquent
diction, covertly gay,
of course, as was I at the time,
a hero going down on the Titanic,
a comfort to his young son
he’d hitherto been estranged from,
down but not defeated —
a role model for a young queer
who did not yet own
his own exquisite self.

PHOTOS: (Left) Actor Clifton Webb, 1940s; (right) the author.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Clifton” was written expressly for the Silver Birch Press SAME NAME project. The prompt gave me an opportunity to reflect on why I had disliked my first name and how and why I came to embrace it. Much of that process came through my early identification with the characters Clifton Webb played on screen in a few movies I’d seen on TV. I suppose much of this was intuitive, and I make it explicit in the poem. The process of coming to terms with my name had much to do with my accepting myself for who I am. Clifton Webb helped in that process though, of course, it was far more complicated than just my identification with him as a fellow gay man.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Clifton Snider is the internationally celebrated author of 10 books of poetry, including Moonman: New and Selected Poems, and four novels: Loud Whisper, Bare Roots, Wrestling with Angels: A Tale of Two Brothers, and The Plymouth Papers. He has published hundreds of poems, fiction, reviews, and scholarly articles utilizing Jungian and Queer Theories. He pioneered gay and lesbian literary studies at California State University, Long Beach. His work has been translated into Arabic, French, Russian, and Spanish.