Results of marathon French Film Polling on Monday Morning Diary (May 2)

Wonders in the Dark

by Sam Juliano

I will be departing the area early Wednesday morning to serve as a chaperone on the annual 8th grade Washington D. C. trip, and will return late Friday night.

Over the past week I have been able to put some quality time into Irish Jesus in Fairview, and am moving close to 60,000 words total.  The French polling results are included here on this post and with 55 voters choosing 30 films, it was quite a remarkable project.  Kudos to Voting Tabulator Bill Kamberger and everyone who handed in such fabulous, comprehensive ballots.  The results do speak for themselves.  This week the next poll (The Greatest Films of Spain and Portugal) will debut with each voter allowed fifteen (15) picks to be presented as usual in chronlogical, alphabetical or ranked order.

“The 400 Blows,” “Children of Paradise,” “The Rules of the Game,” “The Passion of Joan…

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Robbie’s Inspiration – Recipes from around the world, seafood chowder (a la Robbie)

Robbie's inspiration

Hello everyone, last week there was no recipes from around the world post as we were away on a mini-break. The Ukutula Conservation Centre had a large number of statues of African wildlife. I’ll share some pictures at the end of this post. If you’d like to see a few of the pictures and videos I took of tigers, baby leopards, and baby cheetahs, you can see them here:

We ate a lot of red meat while we were away as the venue offered a set menu and, unless you said you didn’t eat it, that is what was served. The food was very good, but more red meat than I would ordinarily eat.

As a result, I needed a break from meat this weekend and decided to make this tasty seafood chowder. It turned out really well with the improvisations I made to the recipe.


250 gram…

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Miriam & Robbie Visit the Bar – SoCS

No Facilities

Today is a poetry day
I should open with a poem
But I got zip

Still, bonus points are on the line
Stream of Consciousness Saturday
Nothin' zero

Robbie and Miriam have poems
Not here - in the anthology
Me? Nada - zilch!

Because today’s post required more planning than Linda allows, I was going to skip the SoCS part. But then she offered bonus points.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘zip, zero, zilch.’ Use one, use ’em all, bonus points if you use all three. Have fun!”

If you follow my blog, you know I like poetry and I appreciate the work of poets. I have always had an interest in poetry, but only through the friends I’ve made blogging have I gotten to know poets. I have said it numerous times, but poets are the true artists in the writing world. The make…

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Cold Moon!—The Horror Film Led Me to the Book & its even better!

The Sanguine Woods

Originally published in 1980 by Avon Books. The above edition was published in 2015 by Valancourt Books (covert art by Mike Mignola).


Look down fair moon and bathe this scene,
Pour softly down night’s nimbus floods on faces ghastly, swollen, purple,
On the dead on their backs with arms toss’d wide,
Pour down your unstinted nimbus sacred moon.

—Walt Whitman



One hot afternoon in July of 1965, Jim Larkin and his wife JoAnn were slowly paddling their small green boat upstream on the Styx River that drains the northwestern corner of the Florida panhandle. Having spent the several hours around noon lazily fishing in a favorite spot, half a mile downriver from their blueberry farm, they were bringing back enough bream for themselves and half the town of Babylon besides. Jim’s widowed mother, Evelyn Larkin, was back at the farm, taking care of their son Jerry, eight…

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Robbie Cheadle reads! Poetry Treasures 2; Relationships


Why I enjoy poetry anthologies

By Robbie Cheadle

I have always enjoyed reading poetry. My love started with nursery rhymes which I read repeatedly when I was a child. I had some personal favourites including The Owl and the Pussy-Cat, There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Fly, and Who Killed Cock Robin. My enjoyment of nursery rhymes developed rather naturally into a delight in poetry.

When I was at school, we were made to learn certain poems off by heart. This was required for both English, my first language, and Afrikaans, my secondary language.

Astonishingly, some of the poems I learned impacted me so much, I can still recite them. Do you recognise these lines?

“When you hear it languishing

and hooing and cooing, and sidling through the front teeth,

the Oxford voice

or worse still

the would-be Oxford voice

you don’t even laugh any more, you can’t.”

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BOOK REVIEW: Naked Lunch [the Restored Text] by William S. Burroughs

the !n(tro)verted yogi

Naked Lunch: The Restored TextNaked Lunch: The Restored Text by William S. Burroughs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars page
This isn’t a novel so much as a series of heroin-fueled fever dreams. While that makes it sound incoherent and unreadable, there’s a great deal of visceral imagery and clever language in it. What there’s not is a thread that carries the reader through a series of events constituting a coherent narrative arc. The book reads like dystopian fiction, but that’s merely Beat-style lingo and heroin addict worldview applied to a combination of Burrough’s world and the surreal mind-space of the addict on a fix.

As is also true of Joyce’s “Ulysses,” if you’re a reader who needs a coherent story and the avoidance of experimental language, you probably won’t like this book. Furthermore, readers who’re uncomfortable with pornographic imagery will also find the book objectionable. However, if you enjoy books that are…

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Troubador of Verse

(It has been the poet’s unfortunate experience that in situations of communal assistance the contributions of others have too often made too much of while her own frequently failed to have been mentioned at all)


Recorded Reading:



A town took up collection for
The daughter of a local man
Her medical expenses meet,
For those expenses, they began

Her father’s budget to exceed ~
This place was the old fashioned kind
Did not continue on its way
Uncaring, unconcerned and blind

To that which any member might
Be finding themselves of in lack ~
Each one would give a little; all
Together thus take up the slack

One woman, who’ll nameless remain
Paused near the pot collection for
Considering if she should give
A penny, or a penny more

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Haunted Locations: Mansfield Reformatory, Ohio

Stitched Smile Publications

Welcome back to Weird Wednesday where we like to take a walk on the wild side!
Today, we visit Mansfield Reformatory, home of the Shawshank Redemption film location! The Ohio State Reformatory began construction in 1886, right on top of a former Civil War Camp site and admitted its first inmate in 1896. The goal of the prison was to reform and rehabilitate its inmates during their incarceration. The program consisted of religion, education, and trade and if inmates showed progress after 18 months, they would be released. If not, they would stay another 18 months. While the facility was having success with their methods, the state pulled its support in 1960 and began using the facility for a maximum-security prison, which it was not built for. Ultimately, this led to bad conditions and the facility was sued by its inmates.

The prison was closed in 1990 until activists purchased…

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Daniel Kemp


The dead stand in silence forming a line
Hand in hand waiting for more hands to entwine.
Their eyes are closed with mouths askew
Then they watch as the bullets slam into you.

All lives were shattered leaving nothing to stand,
As the blood of war stained each grain of sand.
They laughed those warmongers standing so far away
As the cameras were loaded for another bloody day.

Do shells preach the truth, does death tell no lie?
Shall we all wave goodbye to truth and watch it die?
Can the death of children be an answer? Can war be a game?
Is it the dead who stand in silence who are taking the blame?

© 2022 Daniel Kemp All Rights Reserved

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Sonnet: Scattered Seeds

Troubador of Verse


Recorded Reading:


Scattered Seeds

Some seeds are scattered in a sheltered glade
And die repining for a ray of sun
The promising beginning, once ’tis made,
All frustrated, bewildered, is undone

We pass, and smell the sweetness of the air
We pass in conversation insincere
We pass, of grad’ual torture unaware
The hemline brushes it, it is so near

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Book Review: Thunder Point by Colin Holmes

Isobel Blackthorn

…reviewed for Blackthorn Book Tours

About Thunder Road

When an Army Air Force Major vanishes from his Top Secret job at the Fort Worth airbase in the summer of 1947, down-on-his-luck former Ranger Jefferson Sharp is hired to find him, because the Major owes a sizeable gambling debt to a local mobster. The search takes Sharp from the hideaway poker rooms of Fort Worth’s Thunder Road, to the barren ranch lands of New Mexico, to secret facilities under construction in the Nevada desert.

Lethal operatives and an opaque military bureaucracy stand in his way, but when he finds an otherworldly clue and learns President Truman is creating a new Central Intelligence Agency and splitting the Air Force from the Army, Sharp begins to connect dots. And those dots draw a straight line to a conspiracy aiming to cover up a secret that is out of this world⎯literally so.

My Thoughts

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Concerning mental health, Jack White, and my mother’s death (sort of)…


I’ve filled my week with movies about madness.

The other night I revisited one of my all-time favorite films, The Lighthouse (DIR: Robert Eggers). It’s this character study on isolation, paranoia, and survival. There’s nightmare sequences featuring sea monsters and sirens and even some old-timely sailor folklore that drives one of the characters (well, I suppose it affected them both in this way, really) into a murderous rage. It’s beautifully shot in black and white. One of those films where every frame is a work of art. If you haven’t seen it, you should see it. Eggers has a new film coming out later this week, The Northman. I watched his first two films in their initial theatrical run, and I’ll definitely be doing the same with this new film.

Another film I spent time with this week is lesser-known, at least I had never heard of it before…

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Have you been to The Hollow Places…? #tkingfisher

The Sanguine Woods

A young woman discovers a strange portal in her uncle’s house, leading to madness and terror in this gripping new novel from the author of the “innovative, unexpected, and absolutely chilling” (Mira Grant, Nebula Award–winning author) The Twisted Ones.

Kara finds the words in the mysterious bunker that she’s discovered behind a hole in the wall of her uncle’s house. Freshly divorced and living back at home, Kara now becomes obsessed with these cryptic words and starts exploring this peculiar area—only to discover that it holds portals to countless alternate realities. But these places are haunted by creatures that seem to hear thoughts…and the more one fears them, the stronger they become.

With her distinctive “delightfully fresh and subversive” (SF Bluestocking) prose and the strange, sinister wonder found in Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s LabyrinthThe Hollow Places is another compelling and white-knuckled horror novel that you won’t…

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“Building the House”—An Essay by #maryoliver

The Sanguine Woods

Miss you Mary (Mariner Books 2000).


I KNOW A YOUNG MAN who can build almost anything—a boat, a fence, kitchen cabinets, a table, a barn, a house. And so serenely, and in so assured and right a manner, that it is joy to watch him. All the same, what he seems to care for best —what he seems positively to desire—is the hour of interruption, of hammerless quiet, in which he will sit and write down poems or stories that have come into his mind with clambering and colorful force. Truly he is not very good at the puzzle of words—not nearly as good as he is with the mallet and the measuring tape—but this in no way lessens his pleasure. Moreover, he is in no hurry. Everything he learned, he learned at a careful pace—will not the use of words come easier at last, though he…

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Hello, Stranger, Have Some Soup!


Passover starts tomorrow night, and the most important part of the celebration is called a Seder which means order. The order is prescribed in a little book called Haggada that we read at the table. The most important part of that is called Maggid which is the actual story of redemption and exodus from Egypt.  And the most important part of the story, repeated several times, is an admonition to share the holiday meal with a widow, an orphan, and a stranger because “you were strangers in a foreign land.” The same admonition is found in many other Biblical and Talmudic sources.


As soon as a started understanding the words in theHaggada, I asked about this line. Even as a little four- or five-year old, I sensed a lapse of logic: as strangers in Egypt, we had been slaves, sorely mistreated; we finally escaped, and, as a reminder…

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