Sunday, October 20, 2019

I'm Having Wendell Berry's Dream

I keep coming back to Wendell Berry's poems, and I don't think it's just because I have a book full of them in my bathroom.

After all, there's an extensive library in the ol' Barkey Throne Room, and unlike Berry's poetry, a lot of the books have pretty pictureswhich make for easy reading as I'm completing my digestive process.

And yet...

I find myself endlessly re-reading Berry's poem The Dream, and I think it's because in it he brilliantly calls out both the Big Problem, as well as the reason any solution is bound to sputter.

Check it out...

Sunday, September 15, 2019

a poem for a Sunday...

When an early bird
deftly plucks a spider
from her dew starred morning web,
she leaves behind a work of art
no less beautiful
and no more ephemeral
than an abandoned cathedral in the mist.
A man (or woman) could work an entire lifetime
and never make something so harmonious,
so mysterious,
so captivating in its power.
Think on this, you small Creators 
you who are no Frank Lloyd Wright, no Gaudí.
Think, when the opportunity of your life
leads you to both wonder and despair.
Sit in the dew starred silence and know
that although your striving will be all a vanity...
because you were here,
that same web's cold intent,
now seen,
has become a thing held in eternity 
a thing as precious
as your own,
dew starred

Saturday, August 17, 2019

"Dont' Call, Don't Show"

Despite my lack of musical talent, I seem to have developed an uncontrollable songwriting habit. My wife says my funny songs are my best songs, so here you go:

Sunday, May 26, 2019


Depending on what kind of music fan you are, this story may make you want to punch me in the face.

In the early 2000s I was living in a dilapidated camper/trailer in my friend's back yard in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. It was winterwhich in British Columbia means it was drizzly-cold and gray most of the timeand it was on one of those dark, drippy evenings when my friend Kirsten called and told me I had to get down to Vancouver that night to see her boyfriend's band play a show. I think the venue was Richard's on Richards, but the details are a bit hazy.

What is not hazy is Kirsten's enthusiasm for the band, with which she was at the time touring the countryhandling their merch table.

"They're really, really good," she said. "Nobody knows who they are yet, but they're totally gonna be famous. Come on down. You can hang out with me and the band in the green room and then afterwards we can maybe do something. But seriously. They're awesome. You'll love them."

So, yeah. Girlfriend thinks her boyfriend's band is awesome. Yawn.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Remembering Danny Fast

Looking back, I can't quite understand why Danny Fast was my friend. He was, after all, twenty years older than me, and when we first started spending time together I was just a little boyyounger by several years than my eleven year son old is today.

I know why I was his friend, though: Danny was a celebrity.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Lives of Fishermen

I got my first canoe when I was twelve years old. It was a dugout, which I bought new for I think forty bucks from a skilled local craftsman whose name I can't remember. A criminally low price for something he’d worked on for weeks: chopping the tree with an axe, burning out the middle, and then hand-hewing the wood until he had the perfectly shaped little boat-for-one. And a small one, at that: I was a pint-sized, introverted, and bookish little pre-teen, the child of missionary schoolteachers growing up barefoot and half wild in the Amazon basin of Peru, South America.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

My Top-Ten Favorite Films (and more) of 2018

This is not a Best-Of list, because ranking art is silly. These are just the filmed entertainments I watched and liked most, and that I felt were fine exemplars of their respective genres.  So without further ado...

Wednesday, December 12, 2018


Lately I've been thinking about how much the patriarchy sucks (in part due to the novel THE POWER, by Naomi Alderman). Perhaps that's whywhen I was looking for something to doodle on to keep my hand in the ol' arting gameI chose to incorporate a couple of images from a National Geographic article about widowed women who are fighting back against marginalization in oppressive cultures.

Or maybe I just thought they looked cool.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

The PINKest of all trailers!!!

Really super stoked to share the trailer for my first produced feature film, PINK, which will have its worldwide premiere at the Cucalorus Film Festival at 1:30pm on Thursday, November 8 in the historic Thalian hall. Can't make it? There's a second screening on Saturday, November 10 at 4:00pm in the Station Main theater. Go to the Cucalorus website for your tickets!

Pink Trailer from Jacob Kirby on Vimeo.

The trailer was cut by the multi-talented Jacob Kirby (who was also our first AD, on-set DIT, and pinch hitter with the boom mic).

I'd like to blame all the inappropriate stuff in this movie on our uber-talented, wildly improvising actors, but some of it's definitely on me. What can I say... I was workin' through some stuff. You've been warned :-)

Friday, October 12, 2018

A movie I wrote (finally) gets its world premiere!

So stoked! My first produced feature length comedy film, PINK, will have its worldwide premiere at the Cucalorus Film Festival at 1:30pm on Thursday, November 8 in the beautiful and historic Thalian hall.

 Can't make it? There's a second screening on Saturday, November 10 at 4:45pm in the Station Main theater. Check out the Cucalorus website for more details!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Stretching the Tree

John L. Milligan
My maternal grandfather died of lung cancer when I was eight years old. He was sixty-five.

I remember him as a mountain. A strong, ready-smiling man who loved to wrestle with us on the living room floor and then read, side-by-side, on the couch. By the time I knew him, his blond hair had turned yellow-white. He seemed infinitely old, but he and my grandmother nonetheless traveled every year to visit our family where we lived in the Amazon, in Peru. He was a kind, generous man.

Although I didn't know it at the time, he was also an intellectuala man who overcame a vicious stutter and early diagnosis as mentally handicapped to earn a doctorate in agriculture and nutrition, eventually working as an executive in the poultry division at Purina foods. Before "retiring" to the house-flipping he was doing when he died, he volunteered his considerable knowledge to work in development around the world. This last perhaps most notably in Peru, where my barely-post-teen American mother met my Canadian father and whirlwind-romanced their way toward the culmination that is myself (he said, joking).

Thursday, August 2, 2018

me 'n Ernie

It has been fifty six days since I typed the last word of my latest novel and closed the file. 

The novel is called "Marlene the Divine." 
The last word is "balderdash." 

The dictionary defines balderdash as "a nonsensical jumble of words," and as I stare at that pile of papers on my desk I get the sinking feeling that it might have been a little too appropriate a conclusion. Have I written the worst possible book? Is this a monstrous waste of paper? Have I violated the sanctity of some happy little north-Canadian tree for something people are just going to hate or, worse, ignore?

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

unseen magic...

One of the most under-appreciated aspects of good film-making is sound design. This nifty video offers a peek behind the curtain.

The Secret World of Foley from Short of the Week on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Wendell Berry vs. Social Media

The angry echo chamber of social media has been making me wanna drop everything and just scream inconsolably, forever. So the Wendell Berry poem I encountered on this morning's trip to the Great White Throne was an especially timely consolationa tears-in-my-eyes reminder of the One Path available for healing.

To wit:

Support my writing habit: click below to...