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                                the always-aslant encounter
                                                              of humans and street
                                              making their lives
                                                              in the grounds they see
                                making their lives in the grounds they are given
                                                                                 constant encounter
                                              as variable as the daily

                                                                                 for those who see
                                elliptical to the happenstance –
                                                              the skyline to the treeline
                                                                                 the glide to the cobble
                                              the palm to the point
                                                              the both-step-aside to avoid each other’s path
                                                              and collide –
                                                                                 Hopper saw it
                and Colan saw it and Strange had already
                                                              stepped into it
                                                                                 stepped through it stepped out again


                                                                                 but now
                                his pupils are that much more round
                                              the trashcan tilted the better to see now the street
                                                                                 the face in the orb implied
                                that everything had changed and that
                would never be the same again


I am psyched that the first trailer for the Doctor Strange film has just been released; I think this is going to see me lose my 56 year old jaded-cool; I am more excited about this than I was for the Batman movies, even though Batman is my character (oh, sorry, didn’t you know?), (in fact, I envisage Batman, ideally, as more akin to Doctor Strange, the character should be more mystical than he is generally presented); I am glad to see the trailer dealing with kaleidoscope-reality, this has a lot to go for it from the start; Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One is a genuinely creative piece of casting but I hope she is not as ‘explainey’ and active as this trailer suggests (or even as dynamic as she was Gabriel in ‘Constantine’, a female sage should have more devastating effect but with less of the door-slamming); (and talking of door-slamming: I was disappointed that the trailer starts of with the ubiquitous iron door slam portending dire catastrophe for gawp-eyed Humanity, I was hoping Doctor Strange, at least, would approach tale-telling differently, but I suppose superhero movies have hit their formula now, no one’s going to play with it with that much money going in … mind you, Stark’s humour, and the first Avenger’s humour were interesting innovations, I might hope for something innovative in Strange, not humour, so much, as power through deft and understatement, rather than grunt); the round loft-window gave me The Smile at the end; Cumberbatch has a Good Walk as he broaches realities, he has the right eyes to see-through fingers for the part as well; I once hoped that David Lynch might write and direct Doctor Strange … that would have been interestingly different and so right … it was not well-received (have a look in the comments section of https://longboxgraveyard.com/2012/11/28/76-superhero-greenlight-doctor-strange/) … actually, dab’n’abbit, here is my tender, but I’ll settle with what this film seems to promise:

Dr Strange operates in worlds which are ‘mystical’ in the sense that they function within natural laws and forces which are alternate to our own – they are worlds which we just don’t get and it would be better for us that we didn’t know about them so we can continue functioning ourselves.   And yet Stephen Strange is of and from this world – he is all too human but has mastered the Mystic Arts.   He therefore lives between the two worlds – the physical/political and the occult worlds – or rather he lives amid, at the same time.   He is ‘strange’ because he bridges these two worlds, and this is the central pull of the character for me.   In comics the ‘occult’ world was depicted fantastically (the floating-island footsteps of Ditko, the swirls of Colan) because it was a visual medium meant for younger audiences (growing up); but the occult world doesn’t so much ‘look’ strange (like a childishly re-arranged physical world), in fact it isn’t even a different world it is the same world ‘seen’ (and ‘heard’ and ‘felt’ and acted in) differently.   What was equally attractive about Dr Strange (and under-used in the comics) was the depiction of the character in ordinary, recognisable surroundings but knowing he was actually operating in a world out of the space-time continuum.   I would conceive that Strange’s ‘battles’ took place while he was strolling through a park, while walking on the street, in the blink of an Eye (herm).   I once heard David Lynch talk about how he achieves perspectives in his work by ‘filming through the eye of a duck’ meaning that he doesn’t just film ‘lineally’ he films simultaneously/alternately – he shoots a scene/whole films which physically depict one narrative but which affectively show an alternate landscape in which they play out.   What better ‘mise-en-scene’ist than David Lynch to depict the life of a character who has ‘mastered’ the arts of living bridged across two worlds-in-one?   No need of CGI, no need of costumes, not even much need of action!   I know, I know, not the ingredients for your standard superhero blockbuster money-maker.   But they have been done and will continue to be done under their own momentum.   Dr Strange has always been a peripheral character because he is so … strange.   Perhaps this would be time to make a different take on the comics-to-film translation formula …

Anyhoo, I wrote a series of poems tracking Doctor Strange through a key set of issues written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Gene Colan; (Dr Strange #6-13 (Feb 1975-April 1976)); these issues are some of the best comics I have ever read; they were also seminal in shaping me to become the significantly un-noticeable writer I have become to this day; I posted them in 2012 and then re-posted them again in 2014 because I thought the film was immanent – it wasn’t; but, dammitall, I like these babies so I’m going to post them again, spread out until November 4th …




change wormhole: top table
comics wormhole: Poewieviews
Dr Strange & Gene Colan wormhole: Dr Strange VII – the madness of Mordo
Edward Hopper wormhole: New York, New Haven and Hartford, 1931
eyes wormhole: b / r / e / a / t / h / i / n / g
hands wormhole: really
life & reality & streets & time & walking wormhole: 1964
living wormhole: dash
seeing wormhole: rhymed
skyline wormhole: miss / ad / venture – poewieview #22
trees wormhole: like ink – poewieview #23