19 September 2020

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

 the president is mentally ill. the attorney general a criminal. half of Congress are folks you wdn't want as neighbors. the air is unbreathable because of fires caused by our disregard for the environment. we're in the middle of a pandemic while people still have birthday parties & pool orgies. there is too much racism & homophobia & misogyny.

I try hard each day to find joy & create magic. but it's becoming more & more of a struggle.

28 August 2020

Dinos Christianopoulos

 he died 2 weeks ago in the Thessaloniki he rarely left. he was 89.

we met at his gallery in 1987. somewhere I have notes of that. after we met he translated my poem "For Jim Provenzano's 19th Birthday" into Greek. it was publishd later that year.

just now I was going thru some files & found a journal I kept online when I got my first computer.  it commentd on a manuscript I was working on my with partner who was Greek  -- translations into English of Christianopoulos. I rememberd we'd translatd a very short poem of his on the plane to Greece & showd it to him. but I'd forgotten we workd on more after returning. I knew no Greek so I suspect it was the same as with the one Cavafy poem I did a version of. my partner did a literal translation which I then turnd into English a la Robert Lowell.

I don't have a copy of the translations & my partner kept no possessions on going to the next stage of his life. 

15 August 2020


 is the anniversary of Woodstock. so it came as a surprise that I was going thru a file of forgotten writings & found this. have no idea of the date but it was scribbled on the back of a library card. & yes over the past century I have dabbled in fiction. this is the opening of a story that I never finishd.


Rose Tarragon was embarrassed by the pictures of her romping nude at Woodstock. She was only 3 then but it embarrassed her now almost as much as her full name -- Rosemary Thyme Tarragon.

11 August 2020

"Poetic License"

 a summer like no other. so much sorrow & death. so any personal disappointment seems trivial.

however one of the events I was most looking forward to was the art exhibition "Poetic License" at the Palm Desert campus of UC Riverside.  abt a year ago curator Terry Hastings askd me to write a suite of poems. then artists were given the poems for response. an opening was on schedule for june. I was to read my work with the art on the walls around me.  a poet's dream.

in an attempt to save the spirit of the event Terry put together an online exhibition/reading. I wrote 9 poems. the first 4 were coverd in a Zoom presentation which is now available on You Tube here.  then the final poems were on another episode here.

this was not what I expectd this summer. but no one expectd what we got. & if I didn't get a reading before faces beside actual art this will have to do. & it's still one of the lovely moments in a sad summer. I'm grateful to Terry & to all the artists who took my words & flew with them.

26 July 2020

"box of little bags"


wooden box originally containing Walker Shortbread Cookies. since I didn’t write on the box when I got it I’ve forgotten its details. I suspect it was a distant Xmas gift from either Nancy & Paul Metcalf or Billy Berger. when I chose it for this piece it was full of ribbons & twine & hidden in Charlie Carrillo’s candle box on top of my refrigerator.


1.   “the sauna penny” found at World Gym. Palm Springs 29 nov 2018.
2.   miniature gingerbread man which was in hand of a larger gingerbread man. Ron Oliver’s Xmas open house. Palm Springs 2018.
3.   “Laughlin nickel.” rec’d as change from breakfast at Duet in Aquarius Resort. 5 feb 2019.
4.   fleck fallen off Superflex’s Desert X installation “Dive-In.”  Palm Desert 7 mar 2019.
5.   piece fallen off Kathleen Ryan’s Desert X installation “Ghost Palm.” Desert Hot Springs 9 mar 2019.
6.   bit of “Into the Sea” cake from my Galleria Marconi reading. Palm Springs 24 apr 2019.
7.   snippet of gold braid worn for Terry Hastings’ shoot for “The Planets.” Cathedral City 8 may 2019.
8.   bark from tree on Ernie Maxwell Trail. Idyllwild 2 aug 2019.
9.   sliver of R.B. Sprague oil painting discarded by artist.
10.                 turf from Santiago Resort. Palm Springs 30 aug 2019.
11.                 item 3 from CinemaScent card for “Steam Room Stories.”  Cinema Diverse. Palm Springs 21 sept 2019.
12.                 fairy dust from “Peter Pan” at Palm Canyon Theater. Palm Springs 27 sept 2019.
13.                 piece of “that shirt.” 13 oct 2019.
14.                 strands from pink wig worn to Todd Hughes & P. David Ebersole’s glam rock party at King’s Point.  Palm Springs 20 dec 2019.
15.                 daisy taken from table centerpiece at Palm Springs International Film Festival awards gala & worn to after parties at The Parker & Georgio’s. Palm Springs 2 jan 2020.
16.                 palm frond debris. San Andreas Springs Oasis 25 jan 2020.
17.                 thread from shorts tailord for me by Cesar Julio. Palm Springs 4 mar 2020.
18.                 piece of stem of flower placed between my teeth which was inspiration for poem “Pandemic Rose” & then used in “Pandemic Rose Collage.” Palm Springs 21 mar 2020.
19.                 peel from tangerine pickd in Billie Dove’s front yard. Palm Springs 24 mar 2020.
20.                 Sherman’s sticker from box holding a double fudge cake given to me by Estee Huff for my 77th birthday. Palm Springs 25 apr 2020.
21.                 scrap of spine that fell off as I was reading Gary Snyder in my tatterd batterd copy of The New American Poetry 1945-1960 on his 90th birthday.  Palm Springs 8 may 2020.
22.                 Aneka Brown sticker from packaging for her anti-racism tee-shirt.  Palm Springs 16 june 2020.
23.                 leaf removed from pool during morning swim.  Palm Springs 24 july 2020.

20 July 2020

"Kim Novak at 87"

for Richard Lopez

she's a decade
older than me

when I first
saw her on screen
I was 12
& she was old enuf
to make love 
to Guy Madison
& a year later
to Bill Holden

we were both
too young
to contemplate
outliving our leading men

she releases
an image
for our times

hard to tell
if it's a photo
softend with filters
or one of the paintings
that kept her sane

all in reds
except for the mask
in her favorite lavender

she still has
movie star hair
& o those eyes

& then this message:
"I feel like staying around
on this earth
for a while longer.
so please
wear a mask
if not for YOU
then for ME."

one more time
Kim becomes
the face
of an era
& I'm 12 again
watching the sparkles
in her hair
rime with the jewels
on her shoulder strap

"Five Against the House"

27 June 2020

in terms of Covid I live in one of our 3 worst states. & in Riverside County which is second only to LA County for number of cases. Republicans blame this on Mexicans. they don't seem to see the throngs of rude tourists who come to play without rules.

in the last day or 2 several restaurants & bars in town have closed back down because of sick employees. the grapevine claims there are at least 10 more with employees who got sick but aren't closing.

the country is being ostracized by the world because of our mismanagement of this crisis. the president cowers in fear -- not wearing a mask because it will smear his makeup. his enablers refuse to speak up.

in 3 years we've become a shit hole country. I don't mind that I'm in my 4th month of strict quarantine to save myself & protect others. but I do mind having to live in this stench.