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Cover Story

His Great State

by Geoff Kelly

Barring a political cataclysm in the next three weeks, New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer will be the state’s next governor. The latest poll from Quinnipiac University, released last Wednesday, showed Spitzer leading his Republican opponent, Assembly Minority Leader John Faso, 73-21 percent among likely voters. Faso only just barely carries his own party, according to the poll; 40 percent of Republicans polled plan to vote for Spitzer and six percent hadn’t made up their minds.

News of the Weird

by Chuck Shepherd

■ In the midst of violence and despair in Baghdad, at least two institutions are working smoothly, according to September stories in, respectively, the Washington Post and Los Angeles Times. Iraq Star, an American Idol-type reality TV show, attracted 10,000 contestants for 45 slots in filming at the downtown Baghdad Hotel, and will be shown locally and around the Arab world. Other reality-style shows are in the works. Second, the almost 3,500 Baghdad traffic officers still command high respect despite the city’s other problems. Said an engineer, “The traffic law is the only thing nowadays that functions correctly.” In fact, the Web site of the Shi’ite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani contains a query whether it is permissible, even when a driver has the street all to himself, to violate traffic laws; the ayatollah’s answer is no.

Free Will Astrology

by Rob Brezsny

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Uber-model Elle McPherson has been nicknamed “The Body” for 20 years. But now an almost equally legendary star of the fashion runway, Heidi Klum, is trying to horn in on the title. She, too, has begun to call herself “The Body,” enraging McPherson and her team. While these two superegos fight it out, I’m going to borrow their trademark and apply it to you Libras for the next three weeks. Why? Because your physical organism will be at the peak of its health and attractiveness. If you listen closely to its signals, it will give you good ideas about actions you can take to further promote your well-being. Even more than usual, it will be a source of wisdom and pleasure. You will have every right, therefore, to call yourself “The Body.”

Casino Chronicles

Byron Brown's Bupkis

by Bruce Jackson

Bupkis. Var. bupkes, bupkus, bubkes. Noun. Yiddish. Said to have originally meant “goat-shit,” but always used in American Yiddish to mean “nothing, zero, worthless, having very little or no value, not worth the effort,” as in “He said he got a lot for his effort but all he got was bupkis.”

Somali Stories

Somali Star Rising

by Peter Koch

The flag of Somalia is plain: a sea of light blue with a white, five-point star in the center. The blue honors the United Nations, which was instrumental in Somalia’s independence, and the white represents peace and prosperity. The points of the star symbolize the five Somali regions that were divided by the colonial powers.

On Words

Reasserting the Power of Robert Creeley's Verse

by Michael Kelleher

Since his death in March, 2005, poet Robert Creeley has been amply remembered and lauded on literary Web sites such as Conjunctions and, as well as here in the pages of Artvoice, and in many memorials and celebrations around the world. Amid this chorus of praise, however, a persistently sour note has sounded in many an obituary. While mostly reverent, they bear within them a subtle undercurrent of doubt about Creeley’s literary legacy, implying that his far-reaching influence on American poetry rests more on the force of his persona than on the quality of his work.


by Anthony Chase

Theatre of Youth has had a successful run with stage adaptations of the odd children’s stories of Roald Dahl. Their current production of The Witches, a play by David Wood based on Dahl’s book, follows Theater of Youth productions of Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach and The BFG (Big Friendly Giant). Can Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory be far behind?

Design Matters

Eternal Returns

by Albert Chao

Buffalo is reasserting itself architecturally. Buffalo is rebuilding, renovating and rediscovering. We can see it in the restoration of the Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin D. Martin House and Toshiko Mori’s Visitor Center, a church transformed into the Righteous Babe Records performance space and Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, old buildings being converted into new lofts.

Good Eats

For Sake's Sake!

by Bridget Kelly

There’s no avoiding the comparisons. Kibarashi is located in the very same space formerly occupied by the mythical and beloved Kuni’s. And Kibarashi’s owner, Wes, acknowledges the inevitability of comparison. He was a regular at Kuni’s, you see, and it broke his heart when they closed. It’s not possible to replace Kuni’s, any more than it is possible to replace a loved one. “Kuni’s is the golden standard,” Wes says. But, that said, he is overjoyed by his location: Elmwood is his home, and the community has been wonderfully supportive and welcoming of him and of his restaurant since it opened in June.

Film Reviews

Class Still Tells, But More Softly

by George Sax

Shell Game

by M. Faust

You Auto Know

Veddy Interesting

by Jim Corbran

Although my automotive prejudices usually slant towards smaller cars, I’ve always been open to look at just about anything as long as it was—interesting. Now, “interesting” can be a very interesting adjective. Like in that old saying which I believe is attributed to Confucius: “May your life be interesting.” The one-million-dollar Bugatti Veyron I wrote about some weeks ago was definitely interesting. Then again, back in the 1970s so was the Yugo.

See You There

The Shell of Sense

by Lisa Cialfi

The Musical Box

by Buck Quigley

Shai Hulud

by Siobhan A. Counihan

Xiu Xiu

by K. O'Day

Left of the Dial

Greg Gillis

by K. O'Day


by Donny Kutzbach

Calendar Spotlight

Protest the Hero

Mustard Plug

by Lisa Cialfa

Rock and Roller Derby Extravaganza

Bouncing Souls

by Siobhan A. Counihan

Fes Festival of World Sacred Music

by Nikki Kozlowski