Books »Chas Addams Mother Goose

charlesaddamsmothergoose1by Chas Addams (1967)

Alright, alright so this Christmas gift was for me much more than Van but I couldn’t resist The Chas Addams Mother Goose.

Addams’ clever and ghoulish illustrations lend humor and bite to classic rhymes. One of my favorites is Mary quite contrary (pictured).

Worth noting that the book is currently for sale on Amazon used for $75 up to $900! We paid no where near that (maybe $12) so don’t get suckered into buying at such insane prices.

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Posted on January 27, 2013

Laughs »To Leonardo, With Love

Beautiful Pizza Poetry

If you’re trying to get your son into poetry and ee cummings isn’t doing it, try a classic Timothy Jefferson.

Perhaps To Leonardo, With Love – the most touching poem to use the phrase “villainous neck” and “Remember that time we ate pizza?” that I have had the honor of reading.

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Posted on January 9, 2012

Books »The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy

by Tim Burton (1997)

The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy and Other Stories is a simple collection of quick witty poems, stories and illustrations that could only be the work of Tim Burton. Macabre and charming, they focus mostly on body morphing and children being born very, very strange.

The drawings are delightfully ghoulish yet childlike. As Halloween and before you know it, Christmas are approaching, it’s a perfect read for those wanting something a bit off center for the holidays.

I also love the design of the book from it’s black cloth binding down to its font, which embodies the mood exactly. Several of the books characters have been made into toys and Stain Boy has been made into a series of animations written and directed by Burton.

Click here for the rest of The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy

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Posted on October 22, 2010

Albums »Reflections

by Iceberg Slim (1976)

I am slightly conflicted about recommending the pimp poetry spoken word gem Reflections by Iceberg Slim. It has become a favorite of Jim and mine since we came across it and became intrigued during our last Amoeba trip but it’s definitely not pc. It contains offensive material to nearly everyone (women and homosexuals getting the worst of it) but both the work and the man behind it is more complex than that. Slim, born Robert Beck, was an actual pimp for most of his young life and after a long prison sentence, decided to write about his life experiences. The result was the cult classic (though largely ignored) book, Pimp: The Story of My Life. Long before the gangsta rap that spoke of the violence and brutality of the streets, Slim was using his life as inspiration for eye opening and disturbing truths.

Reflections is his sing songy spoken word version of that rough life but accompanied by the Red Holloway Quartet, it’s also addictive, jazzy and strangely calming (kind of like a beatnik Dr. Seuss from a pimps point of view) and is unlike anything else you’re likely to have in your library. If you can get past the content and take it as one man’s experiences concerning a certain dark lifestyle, which by the way is always eloquent and often poignant and heartbreaking, this could be one of the greatest albums you’ll discover this year if only for the undeniable smoothness of his incredible voice.

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Posted on September 5, 2010

Books »The Seven Lady Godivas

by Dr. Seuss (1939)

The charming Dr Seuss oddity, The Seven Lady Godivas, was actually a failure when it was published in 1939 and in fact, it’s failure led Seuss to turn to writing for children full time. But the years have been kind to this quirky tale of the Godiva family of women, pursued by the Peeping brothers and going about their lives as naked as they were born. The book is currently out of print, my sister got an older edition for her husband for Christmas, but it’s worth seeking out for fans of Seuss’ rhymes and illustrations.

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Posted on March 7, 2010

Books »somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond

by E.E. Cummings (1931)

There are few poems that I’ll carry with me through my entire life and somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond by ee cummings is one of them.

I can recall copying this down in a junior high journal (“nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands” still makes me sigh inside). I was very, very romantic back then, as I’m sure most girls were at that age. Strangely, now that I live with the love of my life, my interest in things romantic has dwindled… I guess reality is just too good to compare to fiction. The poem was published in the collection Viva.

somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

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Posted on February 7, 2010

Books »The Curious Sofa

the curious sofaI can't tell you how much Edward Gorey's Mystery! introduction thrilled me as a kid – my sister and I, after dozens and dozens of studied viewings, got the handkerchief wailing toss down pat. Gorey's books and style are completely unique and singularly devious, so you can imagine the naughtiness and eventual savagery he might bring to the table working under an alias on a book for adults only.

I actually came across The Curious Sofa during one of those vague childhood recollections that lead you on a wild goose chase. I remember being totally enthralled with a slightly dirty picture book… maybe even a pop up book? At that age I was interested in anything that had to do with the forbidden subject of sex (even though I only had vaguest notions of what it was), and I even remember specifically wanting to see The Man with Two Brains because he said the word in an ad. Anyway, all I can recall were twenties style drawings, the color pink, and tits in a bubble bath.

Ends up that the delightfully wicked Curious Sofa, while a wonderful find, was not the book of my distant memories, but a notable and funny book rife with Gorey's signature style, wit, innuendo and mystery. With nary a single pornographic image (as hinted at in the books subtitle, “A Pornographic Work by Ogdred Weary”) it still manages to point your imagination into dark, frisky, and sometimes disturbing corners.

View some images over at Rotating Corpse.

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Posted on July 13, 2009