Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kurrah

There were kurrah skins all over the fairgrounds.  They’d gotten into a patch of volunteer potatoes and tore up the meadow something fierce.  William and Zack Briarson were kicking chunks of sod back into the holes that had been dug, but if it rained there’d be nothing to stop anyone from calling it a mudpit.  

I picked up the skins as I came across them, stuffing them into my old paper route bag.  It was shiny from ink and sweat and grease and still smelled like the Hartwick Courant.

The skins were funny things – some were intact from the waist up, so you could almost picture how big the kurrah was before it shed.  They had little strands on the inside like you sometimes see on an orange peel, but the outsides were smooth, almost glossy in the right light, but so thin that you could read your fingerprints right through them.  They smelled like a cross between cabbage and cinnamon, if that makes any sense.  I’d picked up at least two dozen before Zack called me over.

“What do you make of this?” he said, pointing at a big sheet of skin with his toe.  It was at least two feet across, bigger than any I’d seen.

“Wow.  That one must be at least four feet long,” I said.  We said “long” rather than “tall,” probably not for a very good reason.  It seemed easier to think of them as less than bipeds when it came time to clear out a nest.  Some of the old timers couldn’t figure out what difference it made, but those were the same old timers who would cook and eat them in lean times.  There were some certifiably country folk who lived out east of Millpond and Gerth Roads.  

I’d be charitable in saying that the people who ate kurrah had probably never seen one wash the little shift of fabric that they sometimes wore around their necks, or seen one cry over their young when they got hit crossing 28 South.  But I bet they’d seen it all and didn’t care.  “Meat is meat,” they’d say. 

There’s only so much empathy you can expect out of some folks.  

--Steve Kilian


The Last Reality Show

Birthday Cake Balloon

 



Friday, February 13, 2015

Birth Day

Ybbraggm rose from the earth.  

He gazed about, wondering what form he should take, what body he should inhabit. He had been so many things.  Should he be one of the oozes that scoured the crushing depths of the ocean? Should he take the sky as his home as a raptor or cloudvein? Once he had been a turtle of enormous size, smashing cycads with his armored tail.  

No, no beast for him on this birth day. For here was an interesting species, new to the world. He would become a Man. 

And that man would wield an axe.  



-Steve Kilian

Capsule 

Steve's Video and Pat's Video

 

Friday, February 6, 2015

Three Thoughts On Groundhog Day

Now that it is nearly a full week after Groundhog Day, here are three reflections on the day the third in a more poetic form, by my brother. Timeliness is not our thing.

Thought One:

Why is it called Groundhog Day and not Groundhog's Day? What, the animal doesn't get ownership? It's animalism! 

Thought Two:

They should do a remake of the movie Groundhog Day, only just show the original movie again.

Thought Three:

       Punxatawny Horror

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

The groundhog knows only pain.

-Dan Kilian
-Steve Kilian

Staten Island Chuck

Dispatch from Gobbler's Knob 

Staten Island Muck

 


Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Turn Back Around


Some cops have gotten the wrong message, and are sending the wrong message. Turning your back on Mayor de Blasio is childish and negative, and rather than helping your cause, it does the opposite. Every time a cop turns his back on the mayor, the police force gets politicized. 


“It's not political, it's personal”? No, it's personal when someone gets killed, for them and their loved ones. It was personal when Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were killed. It was also personal for Eric Garner's loved ones. It's okay for the communities to be torn up about it and to demand justice. In the case of Officers Ramos and Liu, innocent policemen just doing their job, the assailant was a crazy person who blew his brains out. In the case of Eric Garner, an innocent, unarmed man, the assailant was a policeman, and there was no trial. That's a problem. 


Did rhetoric drive Ismaaiyl Brinsley to kill the cops? No. There is a great wave of antipathy toward the police, especially in the black community, which no doubt fed this troubled man's motivation. That anger came from an unnecessary death of a man by chokehold, not anything anybody said. 


De Blasio didn't back you the way you want? Do you think it was a mistake for him to try to find commonality and empathy during a time of great outrage? The mayor has a black son. Was he not supposed to talk about this? I think it was an excellent time to connect with a furious New York. If he'd been Rudy Guiliani (who backs de Blasio in this dispute, although he also blames Obama for the police officer's deaths, so fuck him) and gone all "Hey, police gotta do what police gotta do," there would have been a riot. People would have torn shit up.


Did you notice something about the protests over Eric Garner's death? People did not tear shit up. Kudos to the mayor for that, and kudos to Reverend Al Sharpton and the other protest organizers as well. Thank you, New Yorkers, for maintaining a sense of community, even when you think your community provides you no justice. The cops who turned their backs on their mayor spurn that community.


When two cops were killed, it was an ugly climax to a horrible story. Universal condemnation of the crime and support for the police poured forth from all quarters. A black person must see this and wonder why the major news networks didn't and don't show the same support for them when they're down. An innocent man is killed, there's no follow-up, and the response is "Be a better father" and "Stop getting pregnant." Does the black community have problems? No doubt. Do those problems have anything to do with Eric Garner's death? Hell no. Is a policeman’s death more important than a black man's death? Only in the media.


Still, when those cops were killed, people came together. Shrines were built on the street and online. The mayor (with his "friend" Andrew Cuomo jumping on his lines earlier that morning) called for a "pause" in protests, aka a stop, forever, at least until the next time someone gets killed for no reason. The only good that could have come of this senseless killing would have been to let the community come together. 


Instead, Patrolman's Benevolent Association president Patrick Lynch saw it as a time to take potshots at de Blasio. He described blood on the hands that "starts on the steps of city hall in the office of the mayor." I'm sorry, saying you've had to coach your son on how to interact with cops is not tantamount to calling for police executions. Also, can we all clean up our metaphors? Are there handprints all up the steps? Is de Blasio a circus tumbler, walking on his Macbethianly blood-soaked hands all over city hall?


When cops pile on to that nonsense by turning their backs, they send a message not of unity but of political divisiveness. They do this not just at a time of national mourning, when people are supposed to come together, but also at a time of black pain. Eric Garner is still dead, at the hand of cops. This is no time to get self-righteous. It's not your turn at the outrage game. Every time you turn your back, you say that Eric Garner's death, and the other deaths of black men and children at the hand of police, is not as important as these cops’ deaths. What's more, you're also saying that the deaths of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu aren't as important as the fact that you're mad at the mayor. That you can't maintain decorum at a funeral. 


It's shameful and it's ridiculous. You're public servants, with a job to do and a relationship with the public that still needs to be greatly improved. Turn back around.

--Dan Kilian

Freddy vs. Wishmaster

 

Michael J. Fox's Bad Day

 

 



Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Ho!

Back when the four track was state-of-the-art (okay, well after. I've never been a first adopter) I made a Christmas album Jimmy Christmas and the Kringleland Players Present We're Having A Christmas Party. It's still available in sterling cassette tape format, provided you can find the single cassette it's on, and have a four track player for cassettes. Every year around this time I remember that I mean to rerecord it, using state-of-the-art techniques. Next year for sure!

That's why I feel equal parts jealousy and delight every time my friends King Truelove (Terry King and John Truelove) come out with their annual Christmas video. Truelove is the real deal songwriting wise, and he can get to the angst and the joy of the season. They're clearly working up to an album's worth, which, if not to be a staple of regular listening come December, should at least be mined for these gems by pop stars looking to cash in on the holidays. We need more Christmas songs! We can't abide another version of "Baby It's Cold Outside," when Dino's version still exists.

Here, in reverse Chronological order, are the King Truelove offerings.

Starting with "X Spells Christmas" where the pair give romantic blues the Dylan treatment, making full use of 5 Pointz "Phun Factory" location to illustrate the bleakness of lost love.



"Two Little Devils at Christmas" is probably my favorite, because it's a rocker.



"Paul The Elf" seems sad, but it's got the hope that's buried in the bleakest of Noels.



Things get downright surreal with "Home For Christmas" with the introduction of Bacon and Creme, the new balloons in the Christmas parade. This has got to be most classically Christmas-y tune. If I left right now I'll be home in time for Christmas.



Unless it's "Christmas Time" a country flavored instant classic.



Missing the familiar songs of yuletide yore? Let's close (open?) with "Pee Wee's Christmas" and King Truelove's cover(s) of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." Weird stuff man!



Thanks for the songs, guys! Merry Christmas Everybody! Love, Dan

--Dan Kilian

Death To Everyone

The Legion of Santas

 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Proverb

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.

Teach a man to fish and you bring him into the glorious human army doing battle with that ancient watery enemy, the Bathyphasm, foul spirit who is made manifest in all aquatic creatures, be they finned or not, swimming freely in the open waters or burrowing in the seabed, weak-minded or cunning.  That his sanity may be consumed by the Deep Song is no cause for trepidation – for we may all suffer that fate.  

--Steve Kilian 

Godzilla's Ghost


Definitely Probably Possibly