04 December 2018

A Plenitude of Pennies

I was naked & sweating in the sauna at World Gym (same one in which I wrote "Sauna Poem" & "Poetry Inferno"). my fingers slid across hot wood & felt something. no. it's not that kind of story. what I felt turnd out to be a penny.

suddenly that hot copper was a madeleine as I became flush with memories of all the pieces I've done featuring this lowliest of coins.

I began "Pennies from Heaven" at the end of 2000 & finishd it in summer of 2011. there were 120 coins in that piece. it's "sequel" was "Pennies from Heaven: Part 2 (The Leaving)." it was done from 2010 until 2014.

"The 1943 Pennies" was a little work from 2003-04.

more recently I collaboratd with Tyler Alpern on a penny piece a bit too naughty to share here.

finding this morning's penny also made me remember I had a baggie full of coins I'd found & labeld. I decided it was time to conceive a work which wd distribute those.

my initial notion was to list the origin of those pennies. then to mail each to someone whose name supplements the list. but that seemd merely a variant of "Matchless."

so I go to bed knowing I need to stretch. & also that this morning's coin -- which I now call "the sauna penny" -- shd not be used in the new project but kept as a talesmanic muse with a possible future as yet another work.

29 nov 18:PS


over the weekend I put on for the first time the CD I bought a few weeks ago from Linda Lavin. I opend the baggie of saved pennies. one by one I took out a coin & "unwrapped" it. I then put each penny with its original notation into a tiny baggie.

this process turnd out to be a major memory trip. the collection mostly reflectd my day-to-day life in Santa Fe. pennies pickd up in various locker rooms & store parking lots. but there were also many found at airports which in turn included ones from vacations. gay resorts such as Inn Exile in Palm Springs & Blue Moon in Las Vegas & Coral Sands in Hollywood & Alcazar in Fort Lauderdale were spots holding pennies for me to gather.

because the work was surprising tedious I did it over several days. I now have that original baggie full of 68 tiny baggies. what to do next will take time to ponder. I have some ideas but will wait for the new year to complete this.

4 dec 18:PS

02 December 2018

festival of lights

went to Riverside last nite with friends. it was cold. & there were too many people.

26 November 2018

the morning I wrote 2 poems

I was sitting beside a pool with a notepad
when I wrote this:

when I face a blank page
I feel a need
to search that place
within me
that collects every word
I've ever read

I need to scoop
into that trove
to find a combination
never seen before
to spread
across the page

& when I'm finishd
I turn the page
to find
another blank one

my work
is never done

pause while I walk to another pool 
& discover another poem:

after writing a poem
I treat myself
to a trip
to the tangerine tree

it's so beautiful
I don't know
which fruit to pick
but the one I do
makes me want
to write another poem

17 November 2018


last nite Linda Lavin playd the Purple Room.  at 81 she's pitch perfect & put on a show so much better than my expectations. she was backd by the best musicians -- starting with her musical director Billy Strich on piano. he's a cabaret legend & the valley is grateful to have him leave NY so often to perform here.

but there was yet another treat. at the beginning of the show & then again at the end a young man with a violin & almost a smile performd. I confess to having never heard of Aaron Weinstein. but now I'll be checking his progress. he plays his instrument with skill. & his bit of patter was a sweet throwback to vaudeville.

when the show was over I saw him in the lobby & nearly rushd to get to him. after praising  him on his performance he complimentd me on wearing an ascot. "not everyone can pull off an ascot" he sd looking me straight in my eyes. I meltd. there were other words abt this & that & then I was off into the dark.

but as I was enjoying tea on the patio in morning sun he wdn't leave my mind. there was something abt Aaron Weinstein that brought back an era of my past. when I was the age he is now I visitd Manhattan with regularity & panache. there were the Broadway shows & boy bars & museums & bookstores & concerts.  endless cocktails & cruising. flirting with waiters & chance encounters with chorus boys. lads who with a wink & a word had you out of yr pants.

& there was a kind of young man that enchantd me. I suspect my "type" -- if indeed I had one -- was the California surfer boy. a bundle of blondness & lithe body that requests licking. but often after the rush of sex there wasn't much more to do. but the guys that really got to me were the NY charmers. most didn't start out in Manhattan but once they claimd that real estate there was a stamp on them. rarely surfer boy beautiful but a package of wit & charm & accomplishment that beggd you return to them long after you entangled yrself from their sheets.

of course I miss the fervor of that moment. but I had it. I was a part of the whirl. so many of those young men are forever in my heart. & I hope that somewhere there's a not so young man sitting on a patio who remembers the me that was.

so thank you Aaron Weinstein. for what happend on stage & in the lobby. not often is a time machine so attractive.

(photo by Dennis De Groot)

14 November 2018


a friend took this from his moving car. my billboard has been altered. why they put me in sunglasses & a chain with money in my hands is baffling. but I'm still there. I guess that's show biz.