Summer Solstice, New York City
By Sharon Olds
By the end of the longest day of the year he could not stand it,
he went up the iron stairs through the roof of the building
and over the soft, tarry surface
to the edge, put one leg over the complex green tin cornice
and said if they came a step closer that was it.
Then the huge machinery of the earth began to work for his life,
the cops came in their suits blue-grey as the sky on a cloudy evening,
and one put on a bullet-proof vest, a
black shell around his own life,
life of his children's father, in case
the man was armed, and one, slung with a
rope like the sign of his bounden duty,
came up out of a hole in the top of the neighboring building
like the gold hole they say is in the top of the head,
and began to lurk toward the man who wanted to die.
The tallest cop approached him directly,
softly, slowly, talking to him, talking, talking,
while the man's leg hung over the lip of the next world
and the crowd gathered in the street, silent, and the
hairy net with its implacable grid was
unfolded near the curb and spread out and
stretched as the sheet is prepared to receive at a birth.
Then they all came a little closer
where he squatted nest to his death, his shirt
glowing its milky glow like something
growing in a dish at night in the dark in a lab and then
as his body jerked and he
stepped down from the parapet and went toward them
and they closed on him, I thought they were going to
beat him up, as a mother whose child has been
lost will scream at the child when it's found, they
took him by the arms and held him up and
leaned him against the wall of the chimney and the
tall cop lit a cigarette
in his own mouth, and gave it to him, and
then they all lit cigarettes, and the
red, glowing ends burned like the
tiny campfires we lit at night
back at the beginning of the world.
And I covered this for Trek Nation but
By John D. Thomas
On Playboy.com's previous Guest Celebrity Photographer shoots, most sessions went down the same way: An anxious celeb walked into the studio, tentatively gripped the professional camera he was handed and then haltingly, tentatively, took nudes of a Playmate.
No such trepidation existed when the world's most beloved Starship Captain, William Shatner, swaggered into Playboy's hallowed Santa Monica studio. Taking a break from his insane schedule -- he's on The Practice, he's about to film the sequel to Miss Congeniality and he has an album coming out this summer -- Shatner knew what he wanted and he knew how to get it. Too bad we didn't. The well-equipped Playboy studio didn't have the exotic fisheye lens he needed, so a call was made to find one.
"I have been fascinated with photography most of my life," Shatner explained while waiting for his lens to arrive. "I came here with the intention of not just shooting a beautiful girl, but photographing those parts of her that say something to me -- the texture of her skin, the curve of her body and the femininity that we men like to look at."
Once fully equipped, Shatner explained to his model, Miss May 1998 Deanna Brooks, what he was looking for, and that no wardrobe would be needed. He then proceeded to pose a nude Deanna on a mod white leather couch, draping her this way and that and then coming in to take extreme close-ups. Quiet, calm, determined and focused, Shatner kneeled before Deanna and orchestrated the studio crew to shift the dozen or so lights around the room to get the exact "bodyscape" he wanted.
"Keep this position," Shatner told Deanna, "and then I'll move in and around your body, as if you were a series of hills."
"It's like photographing the landscape of me," Deanna quipped with a wry smile.
Shatner snapped away for about 90 minutes before he felt as if he had captured his artistic vision. "I had never done nudes before, and it was a little intimidating," he said as the set was being torn down. "The first five minutes it's a naked girl, and after that it becomes an object to find those qualities that I was looking for -- the golden hairs on her body, the curve of her breast or thigh....
"I am a Playboy fan, and coming here had a kind of forbidden feel to it, which I enjoyed. But I knew, having had some experience in nude scenes of my own in motion pictures, that it's workaday [for this staff]. At the same time, it was great fun to poke this lens along Deanna's beautiful body."
Captain James T. Kirk of the Starship Enterprise is one of the all-time great characters of American television. Kirk was a commanding and courageous man's man who had a knack for wooing interstellar babes no matter what galaxy he warped through. William Shatner will forever be known for his role as Kirk, even though the actor's varied career went well beyond those three seasons helming the Enterprise (who could forget his stint as T.J. Hooker?). Shatner recently took a break from his breakneck schedule (he is currently appearing on The Practice; his loosely-autobiographical novel Captain's Blood was recently published; and he has an album produced by Ben Folds coming out this summer) to show some love to Playboy.com. Shatner opened up his Captain's Log and gave us the dirt on everything from alien sex to making out to his own music.
1. Who do you think is the sexiest alien babe of all time?
William Shatner: There was a beautiful manipulative rock on the moon that I saw when I was there. This alien was extraordinary. She multi-tasked.
2. So you have had sex with an alien?
WS: On the moon.
3. Who is better in bed, Captain Kirk or T.J. Hooker?
WS: One is a giver and the other is a taker. So it works beautifully.
4. If a night in bed with William Shatner went up on Priceline.com, how much would it go for?
WS: [It wouldn't, because] there is no discount there.
5. You have a new album coming out. Is William Shatner's music good make-out music?
WS: I think you should give the record to the person you wish to make out with as part of the exchange.
6. Who gets laid more, Star Trek fans or Lord of the Rings fans?
WS: Well, the Lord of the Rings was named because of that ring, and wearing that ring makes it very difficult.
7. Have you ever been approached to appear in a porn film?
WS: No, I haven't, and it's been a bitter blow to my ego.
8. At its height, was the Star Trek groupie scene pretty intense?
WS: Yes, but they talked a lot.
9. In a sexual sense, has William Shatner gone boldly where no man has gone before?
WS: I don't know about boldly. With some trepidation, I have gone where few people have gone before.
10. Have you ever been called Kirk in bed?
WS: I thought she said "twerp."
11. Do you prefer your Tribbles furry or shaved?
WS: Heart shaped.
12. What's your best pick-up line?
WS: My best pick-up line is, "What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?" It's fresh, it's unique and nobody has used it before.
Must run and get organized, as I have no car ($500 something wrong with the coolant system grrr) and am stuck at home so