Claudio Parentela

Claudio Parentela is an artist and freelance journalist. who lives and works in Catanzaro Italy.

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Art Noir: Female Human Animal (2018) by K A Laity

Female Human Animal (2018)

Dir. Josh Appignanesi

Starring: Chloe Aridjis

Here is another film that dwells at the intersection of art and noir: Female Human Animal isn’t a heist though, nor is it a con. Instead it’s a film that brings together many unexpected strands for a story that doesn’t neatly fit any genre. Nevertheless the noir ambience is pervasive and used to great effect with the surrealist nature of the narrative. There is a great overlap between noir and surrealism historically.

What’s also unusual about the film is that the star plays a version of herself immersed in events that were really happening: Aridjis was co-curating the Leonora Carrington exhibit at the Tate Liverpool and writing her novel Sea Monsters (2019). There was a terrific conference connected with the exhibit, which is how I learned about the film; Catriona McAra has written an insightful chapter on the film and Aridjis’ works for Leonora Carrington: Living Legacies (2020). Carrington ‘haunts’ the film in documentary footage spliced into the main narrative, offering advice or hauling up short her protégée with incisive critique. It’s glorious to see so much of her art all together: El Mundo Mágico de los Mayas looks particularly gorgeous and I had no idea some of the tapestries were so huge. The arresting And Then We Met the Daughter of the Minotaur is a focal point both visually and psychologically. If you’re unfamiliar with the artist, this film will whet your appetite.

Filmed on VHS it has the grainy, gritty feel of 70s crime films. From the start, the Chloe character (to distinguish her from the real person) seems on edge, uncomfortable, almost cornered. Like many people at a turning point in their lives, she cannot enjoy the good things before her and instead longs for escape with a vagueness that invites trouble. Soon a mystery man appears, but it is she who must pursue him as he proves elusive. So much noir hinges on a folie à deux, yet this film manages to both exploit the audience expectations and turn them on their heads. It’s as much a meditation on creativity and the boundaries you need to create as it is a psychological stalking. A fascinating mash up of noir sensibilities in the art world: I recommend it for those who want something beyond the old standards.

See the trailer here. It’s available through Amazon Prime in the US and BFI in the UK. Here’s an interview with Aridjis and Appignanesi. Here’s another review.

SamHaiNe presents: Hainesville – Natural City

A cold winter night in the secret city.
A collection of short monologues and flash fictions highlighting some of the individuals that call Hainesville “Home”. These are stories about people who live outside the margins that define civility and exist in the moment on the edge of a razorblade.

This is a pulp future-present inspired by neo-noir, retro nostalgia and some cyberpunk aesthetics.



released September 6, 2020

Written, Spoken & Produced (except where mentioned)
by Sam HaiNe
Directed by Sam HaiNe.

Tracks: 2 &15, produced by The Green Dutch (Jade Palace Guard)
Track: 3 produced by DJ QUAZZAR
Track: 5 features Theo Copeland reading as Richard Applegate
Track: 6 features Logan West as the Salesman
Track: 7 & 9 produced by $need the Jade Badger (Jade Palace Guard)
Track: 9 written by The Broke MC
Track: 14 produced by JK/47
Track 16: Originally produced and mixed live by Mr.Chi-202 & the Jade Badger (Jade Palace Guard)

Shout Out to :
AmorKillz, JK/47, The Green Dutch, The Jade Palace Guard,
New Retro Wave, Victim1ne/Thor, Vinyl Fatigue, Real Vision Radio,
Tha Night of the Goonz, DJ Polarity, Paul D. Brazil, the Taco Cartel, Ghost Decibels, Cutey Calamity, Cult Classic Goods, The Dead End Kids, 21215, Void Vision, Harlem-NYC, Philadelphia,
Crazy Eddie NYHC, Rec.Real, Anthony Danza, Broke MC,
Demetrius Daniels, J.Hexx Project, King Vision Ultra, Mia Tyler,
Logan West, The Foley-Mcnair-Fladness family, Chef Alison Fasano,
Terrence and everyone from O.L.L. class of 96′;
LyeBway, Chuck Locc, Dunny, Melo, Meter, Black
& everyone from 148th street, Sugar Hill, Harlem.

This album is dedicated to
the memory of Mark Levin of the High Road Cafe, R.I.P.

Two Crow Carriage Sonnets by Kristin Garth


Illustration by Amy Suzanne


Siren of Smoke


At library table, button back chair,

scoot close to examine the volumes laid

bare.  One illuminated by her flare

in midair, Siren of Smoke, who glissades

somewhere.  Abandons candlestick.  Forfeits

the flame.  First tome opens wide.  Pictures

explain, specters diagrammed, recorded

peculiarities.  Ghosts have strictures,

a host of species.  Notation by one

with dripping red lips, mother it says,

below lunar eclipse, spells some have done

for selective mortality, for eyes

that water, mouths that feed – at which you choke.

Consequence of enlightenment is smoke.




Haunted by mere molecules, stifling air,

smoldering scent, September fare, a pile

of leaves someone made to burn amidst rare

volumes, lessons unlearned.  Candlestick child

once kept upstairs, in bell sleeves, liquefied

pink nightmares, lit by a taper she

one day will be to waft here alongside

a tragedy.  Incandescent only

so very few nights with so many truths

to bring to light.  Bright black beeswax she could

conserve; her flames finite as answers, proof

undeserved.  How could any subject trust

an accomplice to this experiment?

Light for a life, you could choke on its scent.



Author’s Note:

Siren of Smoke and Phantosmia both introduce a new character in Crow Carriage known as the Siren of Smoke.  The Siren of Smoke is a ghost of a subject who killed herself by drinking a bottle of laudanum left too close at hand in the room of the subjects.  The subjects are adolescent captives of the evil Doctor who is attempting to cure Addison’s Disease by producing and extracting cortisol in young women he keeps in a perpetual nightmare state.


The leaving of laudanum close to the young subjects was a mistake not repeated by The Doctor and his staff. After the girl ingests the bottle and dies, though her body escapes Willowbee Manor, her soul does not.  She hides herself in a boiler pot of beeswax for candles.  Her soul is distributed among fifteen tapers.  Each time one burns, she appears in the smoke, dancing as was her great passion.  When the candles are all used, her haunting will also be extinguished.

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of seventeen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket forthcoming from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website


Spellbound: The Story of John McGeoch

john mcgeoch

From Wikipedia:

John Alexander McGeoch (25 August 1955 – 4 March 2004) was a Scottish rock music guitarist who played with several bands of the post-punk era, including MagazineSiouxsie and the BansheesVisage, and Public Image Ltd.

He has been described as one of the most influential guitarists of his generation. In 1996 he was listed by Mojo in their “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” for his work on the Siouxsie and the Banshees song “Spellbound“. Signature characteristics of his playing style included an inventive arpeggiosstring harmonics, the uses of flanger and an occasional disregard for conventional scales.

Musician and producer Steve Albini praised McGeoch for his guitar playing with Magazine and Siouxsie and the Banshees, qualifying as “great choral swells, great scratches and buzzes, great dissonant noise and great squealy death noise What a guy” and further commenting: “anybody can make notes. There’s no trick. What is a trick and a good one is to make a guitar do things that don’t sound like a guitar at all. The point here is stretching the boundaries”.

Laughing at the Great God Pan by K. A. Laity

Pan Joy Morton Cover

Laughing at the Great God Pan

K A. Laity

In 2001 Camden Joy and Colin B. Morton wrote Pan, a book purporting to be ‘A work of imagination endeavouring to recount the Extraordinary yet True events occurring within the City of New York upon April the Seventh, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Eight when: numerous hearts are engaged; feats of Astonishment and Daring unfold: a man loses his found love: a primitive power draws manifold strangers into a supernatural dragnet: a father’s gift sends a son across the ocean: space-time continuums (QSTs) are repeatedly straddled: tears get shed: after which the assemblage of cross entertainers known as The Fall ceases working together (yet again) and everything threatens to remain exactly as it has been’ which is a nicely balanced evocation of bombast and litotes.

There are lots of books about, by and inspired by The Fall. Ex-band member volumes are a hefty shelf themselves and just about all of cracking quality, too. ‘Inspired by’ is a more tenuous category and by ‘tenuous’ I mean there’s some rubbish out there. I’ve always heard Pan spoken of as one of the better ones, so stuck in lockdown and floundering on any number of overdue projects, of course I decided to pick up a copy to finally read.

It’s not cheap to lay hands on; I reconciled myself to the price because I’ve not had to pay for lots of things since March. As frequently happens with things connected to The Fall, a crazy mix-up ended up giving me half-off on the price, so yay. It’s really more of a novella, so I sped through it in no time, even with stopping to look things up that jogged my memory.

The book itself is lovely, a product of Tom Devlin’s Highwater Books, which I knew mostly from comics by folks like Megan Kelso and Matt Madden. It was designed by Matt Lerner of Rag and Bone Shop with exquisite typeface and a subdued yet unsettling image of Pan on the cover and printed on luxurious paper. The title page with the above précis features calligraphy by Nancy Howell and is just beautiful. There’s a pull quote from Jon Langford of The Mekons to offer street cred to the unwitting innocent (i.e. non-Fall fan) who might pick up the book. My copy is signed twice by Joy.

What about the story itself? Buring the lede again: it’s fun. Do you have to be a Fall fan? Possibly, though I think Ballard and Dick fans may enjoy it for non-Fall related reasons. People who prefer their fiction meta will get a kick out of it. Fans of Pan, you will deffo enjoy. It kicks off right at the epigraph which purports to offer a mini history of Pan in the Western world by ‘Magnus the Good’ (resonant of Olavus Magnus but not quite) and translated by an ‘R. Totale’ in two volumes back in 1923.

The epigram establishes the impetus setting all the action in motion: the god of Panic, having been subdued by fire and death was then bisected, his head buried by the Celts, his body taken to the ends of the earth by ‘the North sea-dwellers’ or as we call them, Vikings. ‘His Head, kept by the Celtae in the ground, occasioned sorcery to render the grave as hot as the fires a warrior finds in beastly dens…’

The book opens in a Manhattan office, overlooking the Seagram’s building with Clarke suddenly meeting two very strange fellows who seem rather…shall we say, alien. Clarke being part of the music biz, that’s not so outlandish as it might seem to others, but he begins to be unsettled, especially once they mention his friend Vaughan (I have to believe that’s a Ballard ref). Are they private eyes? Fortunately his boss crashes in with news:

‘The Fall!’ Brandon shouted at Clarke from a short distance. ‘Clarke, hey! The Fall; tonight at Brownie’s; you remember; punk rockers from England? God, Clarke: fuck I always hated all those guitars; no more; The Fall’s in town!’

If you’re not a Fall fan you won’t know the cataclysm that announcement contains. There are bad gigs – and with the Fall legendarily bad gigs – and then there’s the meltdown at Brownies (if you want to see it for yourself, you can). An apocalypse no one thought the band could survive.

[Spoiler: it did (but that’s another story).]

‘Meanwhile, in a far-off place called Newport, Wales, the bell of a record shop rang and Colin B Morton entered.’ Yes, it’s that kind of book where one of the co-authors is a character in the wildly esoteric adventures. His dad, as it happens, has given him the head of Pan which had been dug up at an archeological dig at Caerleon (notebooks out, medievalists). The head has told him to head to New York and to play the fruit machine at his local to provide cash for the journey.

The scenes in the record shop and the pub are excuses for a lot of Fall fan jokes: ‘This amused Colin, for it was the cry of every Fall fan down the ages. At any given moment, The Fall was not as good as it used to be.’ Pointed mentions of Mark E. Smith’s procog intrigue the girl on the not-so-megastore check-out desk to the point where she ignores Colin and pores over the FallNet.

He leaves for the pub to join his mates for a few pints of Brains Skull Attack and discussions of everything from the occult, the Mekons, Swamp Thing, Pan’s head, the Liverpool Scene, and of course, the finer points of why The Fall was not as good as it used to be.

Colin heads off to NYC and many disparate threads begin to intertwine, strangle one another and fray like the band is about to do onstage. While it is not always about The Fall, it is always about The Fall in the sense that physics exists only to examine the finer point of whether the band 1) exists 2) is better or 3) is worse than it is any other given point in the time-space continuum.

‘Do you remember last year, in Belfast, when all the members dispersed? Snook believes that, in the brief period, The Fall still existed. It’s just that there was nobody in it, you know?…Snook also believes…that, for those few moments when The Fall existed with nobody in it, it went spindizzy about the world. Like some sort of prowling phantom, you know? It traveled around the globe, almost as a virus or something, disrupting various musical personalities in which it did not belong.’

Precog: it’s a drug. Like love, I guess. So if this sounds like something you’d enjoy hunt it down like a lost Fall member and lay your hands on it. Don’t lay your hands on ex-Fall members though. They’re not books.



Three Poems by Jon Bennett

black butterfly

Black Butterfly by  Andrea Hasko-Marx


Needle Fight


The two men squared off

in the hotel hallway

a bright red hypodermic disposal box

smashed open on the carpet

between them

Ray could see it on the monitor

he dialed the police

On the screen

the two men were trying

to dart each other

with used needles

They dodged, they leapt,

they flung more needles

but these made poor projectiles,

too light, badly balanced

though still a potential

death sentence

if you got someone

just so

It was a duel

fired by fury

or, more likely, thought Ray,

a duel

fueled by love.


(thanks to RW for this story)

Black Butterfly


The boy murders minnows

with handfuls of wet sand

on the bank

many minnows will die today

so I climb a slope

to get away

I feel like

the king of California

up there

the sea, a kayaker

too far out

and the people on the beach

too close

The cala lilies

are in full flower now

white flesh open

to the black butterflies

which alight

flit off

and land

on the next

and the next.

The Reprieve


“It’s like a sobriety

get out of jail free card!”

I told myself, my friends,

everyone but my sponsor

“Waiting my whole life

for this shit to happen,”

in my Plymouth Duster

before a bleak horizon

me and “her”

post-punk, red lipstick

shotgun, flame thrower

whiskey highway

I drank 3 days straight

There was no “her”

I couldn’t drive

The pills made me sick

I woke up

and yes, the shit

had really

hit the fan.

Peace Within by Spaghetti Eastern Music

Peace Sea Bird with dots

With “Peace Within, Spaghetti Eastern ventures to the ambient sphere of his musical lexicon, with an instrumental chapter of chill that may just be the perfect sonic tonic for these troubled times.  The piece unfolds slowly in a series of waves, an aural mediation in chapters. An echoey piano, vibraphone and phased strings, ones that could be a lost track from Eno’s “Another Green World,” provide the soothing musical bedrock.  This is complemented with sustained drones from a duo of Ebow guitars\ drenched in reverb, setting the stage for the lead guitar which propels the searching melody of the piece.  The calming and cavernous ambience created is periodically shocked and heightened with heavily processed, thunderous percussive accents.

Spaghetti Eastern Music is genre-leaping solo project of NYC/Hudson Valley, NY guitarist/keyboardist Sal Cataldi. His cheekily titled debut album, “Sketches of Spam,” and his January 2020 single, “Her Lemon Peel Raincoat (Because It’s Raining),” have drawn notice from critics at a multitude of prestige outlets like The New York Times, Time Out NY, Jazz Times and The Huffington Post and airplay on 125 radio stations and podcasts across the globe.


Open Eyes To The Unknown by Kristin Garth

A sonnet, illustration and footnote from Crow Carriage:


Open Eyes To The Unknown


Add the footsteps upon the stairs, eighteen

at least you are aware before the groan

of the unwieldy door, the rattled keys

that underscore your confinement alone.

Open eyes to the unknown.  Only darkness

which amplifies each sound of what

would scurry on this ground. Hirsute harshness

from which you seek to hide.  Feel for blanket

atop this mattress and beside though none

you find within your reach.  Dare not wander,

bare feet, beseeching shelter, aid, someone

two floors above.  Monster you dishonored,

loved has sequestered you with your own kind

inside a mischief35 for mendacious minds.


35A mischief is something that a human can commit, much as The Mistress of Malice

did this evening breaking the one cardinal rule of her host:  do not interfere with the experiment.  The experiment, years of his labor, involves young women of her own village the nobleman doctor collects and keeps upstairs.  There are exposed to his protocol of laudanum in pink milk inciting terrible dreams and the consequent cortisol production – essential to the doctor’s lifework of solving Addison’s Disease, which took his own dear brother’s life.


None of this a layman could understand.  It’s why any guest to The Doctor’s home, which had not been terribly many since the experiment’s conception had been caution and consigned to the first floor.


The adolescent Mistress entered the home of The Doctor, a recipient of much grace after

a life of abuse.  The Doctor’s generosity with the child was manifold – he had taught her the requisite skills to kill her abusive relatives, offered her a beautiful room on the first floor with a lady to wait on her every need.  He had ignored his own needs for yet another young

female subject for his work to aid this girl.  All he had asked of the child, as he would any lay person, was that she not interfere with his work on the second floor.


And yet there had been mischief, Mischief of the Mistress.  The child had waited until The Doctor slept soundly, after a day of draining scientific work to better mankind, so that she might take advantage of his fatigue to climb the stairs and break the only rule.


Of course, she hadn’t known that the laboratory where his adolescent subjects slept and nightmared for him in perpetuity had a night duty nurse much more formidable than the doctor himself.  His dearly departed mother had offered her services to his experiment long ago as a matron of the laboratory in the nights when The Doctor and his human assistant must attend to their mortal need for sleep.


Mother makes quite an impression on the adolescent subjects, her death form quite unlike the beauty The Doctor knew in his youth.  Her bloody, beastly visage a warning that keeps the girl in bed.  The form had obviously scared The Doctor’s young new mischevious houseguest who had wandered to the forbidden floor.  It scared her enough the sound of her head bouncing off his parquet floor when she had fallen in fear had woken the Doctor who lifted the devious child into his arms.


But what to do with the girl now?  The first thought was to lock her inside the experiment and forego looking for another always essential subject to nightmare and provide her cortisol infused blood to his lifework.  There was, though, the risk of contamination with one as willful as this.  That could not be allowed.


And so to the basement, he had brought her and left her inside its depths, locked.  There was a bit of poetry to this plan and karma that appealed to The Doctor.  He had brought a mischievous girl to the mischief as she had craved – though maybe not in this form.  You see, The Doctor, as a scientist would know that a mischief is also the name for a group of rats.  His basement was teeming with them.  Not a scientist herself, she might not know this, but he would leave her there nevertheless alone in the dark tonight where she might learn.


art by Amy Suzanne

Kristin Garth is a Pushcart, Best of the Net & Rhysling nominated sonnet stalker. Her sonnets have stalked journals like Glass, Yes, Five:2:One, Luna Luna and more. She is the author of sixteen books of poetry including Pink Plastic House  (Maverick Duck Press), Crow Carriage (The Hedgehog Poetry Press), Flutter: Southern Gothic Fever Dream (TwistiT Press), The Meadow (APEP Publications) and Golden Ticket forthcoming from Roaring Junior Press.  She is the founder of Pink Plastic House a tiny journal and co-founder of Performance Anxiety, an online poetry reading series. Follow her on Twitter:  (@lolaandjolie) and her website