30 September 2007

it's official

Mark Young has announcd the lineup of new Otolith titles.

if you want to see what It's All a Movie looks like click on "preview this book" for sample pages.

I'm thrilld.

29 September 2007

another centennial

Gene Autry was a better singer than an actor & a better businessman than a singer. in the annals of film he lacks the stature of John Wayne. Autry's oaters were strickly kiddie matinee material. but over the decades his fan base has includ'd Sonny Rollins & Harvey Pekar. & he holds a special spot in my personal history.

Gene Autry was the first movie star I ever saw in person. I was abt 5 when Uncle Tom took his daughter Regina & me to see the cowboy perform in Cleveland. I don't remember a thing abt it. many years later I'd see Autry at the American Cinema Award dinners in Beverly Hills.

so today I tip my Alta Calidad hat to the memory of Gene Autry on his 100th birthday.

28 September 2007


when I met James Robert Parish in a theater bar in NYC in 1976 I was already a fan of his books. volumes such as Paramount Pretties & The Fox Girls were frequently consultd. over the years we became friends. the peaks & valleys we've both been thru wd easily make a book.

there are many things I admire abt JRP. he's a loyal & generous friend. & one of the hardest-working writers I know. that work has paid off. the shelves of books he's producd make an essential show business library.

the other day he sent me a copy of his newest -- The Hollywood Book of Extravagance published by John Wiley & Sons. the cover features Hollywood's most legendary hotel   Chateau Marmont (where I stayd for years till the rates soard to the ridiculous).

here we have short chapters covering "extravagant" stars from the silent era (John Barrymore & Gloria Swanson)to today's headlines (Lindsay Lohan & Paris Hilton).

      with JRP & T. Allan Taylor in Weho (1992)

27 September 2007

dinner out

I missd seeing weaver James Koehler get the Governor's Award because it was on my mother's birthday. so we made up for that with dinner tonite at Espiritu. it's alwys good to catch up.

James' all-black pieces are enchanting but don't always reproduce well so here's one that will.

26 September 2007

"Gymnast of Inertia"

in 1992 -- crouching toward retirement & the move west -- I did a series of 5 sculptures under the umbrella title "Au Revoir Ohio." I gave away 4 but kept this one. the piece of wood was barnsiding brought back from Jean-Claude van Itallie's farm in the Berkshires. & the bowtie is a clip-on (damn   I'm guilty) that I actually wore in the early '70s.

25 September 2007

I'm dancin'

Theron Moore has put up 2 of my poems on St. Vitus.

Laura LaPlante

altho I hadn't seen that many of her films I always liked LaPlante. so it was a thrill to see her on the vast stage of Radio City Music Hall for one of the "Nite of 100 Stars" events more than 2 decades ago.

last nite TCM showd one of her rarer films "Man of the Moment." she was so charming I had a smile on my face thruout. she's best rememberd today for her work in silent pictures. but she had a good voice & her gift for comedy shd've guaranteed a major career in talkies.

here's Imogen Cunningham's famous 1931 portrait of her:

24 September 2007

"In Iran we don't have homosexuals"

one of those days

in the morning mail: a friend informs me of the death of his cat.

in the yard: fresh gopher mounds.

then: coffee machine malfunctions   spewing brown stuff all over the kitchen.

then: I discover the hot water tank is leaking.


in the movie star scrapbooks I kept in the '50s there is evidence of a pretty even division between cheesecake & beefcake. in fact there's one page which I labeld "Male and Female Pinups." at the top there's a color photo of a smiling George Nader in one of his ubiquitous swimsuits beside a b&w shot of Richard Egan in his underwear combing his hair in front of a mirror. the lower half of the page features Jane Russell in that scandalous pose from "The French Line" & Esther Williams with her back to a grindstone   boobs pointing skyward & chiton partd to display ample leg.

I rememberd all this last nite as I watchd "The Rebel Set." this minor heist film from 1959 featurd Vikki "The Back" Dougan in a small part. she made only 6 films in her 7-year career. none of them establishd her as an actress. but she must've had one hell of a press agent. her pinup pictures were everywhere -- even on a 1953 Life cover. she dated the likes of George Raft & Porfirio Rubirosa. but she got the most ink for a gimmick. while Marilyn & Jayne & Mamie were showing more & more breast she became famous for "reverse cleavage." yup... just look at this typical photo of her:

there's only one clipping of her in my scrapbooks. she's wearing either this same dress or a duplicate -- along with a to-the-floor fur stole.

she disappeard from public view years ago. however many of her cheesecake photos circulate on the internet. & folkies remember her for 2 reasons: Malvina Reynolds wrote a song abt her for the Limeliters & her final screen appearance was in "Hootenany Hoot" which also featurd the legendary Judy Henske.

23 September 2007

in a black bowl

pieces of roastd chicken

baked potato forkd into strands

some slivers of Tillamook butter

scatterings of curry & sea salt

cheddar cheese

a whisper of olive oil

21 September 2007

back in front of the cameras

since moving here I've been an extra in 2 movies   "Santa Fe" (1997) & "Maniacts" (2001). today I did it again.

neighbor Rita & I went to the Rodeo Grounds where a young director by the name of Joshua Michael Stern was shooting "Swing Vote." we were in the stands as a helicopter shot down on us. finally the film's star Kevin Costner came out. he askd for a mic & gave a short but heartfelt impromptu speech abt how great movies are.

Costner was seatd near the stands & across the way was a stage on which presidential candidates were to debate. the candidates were playd by Dennis Hopper & Kelsey Grammer. altho we heard Costner say the same speech for several takes   the other actors performd in mime.

to entice the audience to remain till the wee hours prizes are being given away & later tonite Costner will appear with his band. but Rita & I escapd after a while.

20 September 2007

young & foolish

I live across the arroyo from the football field of a middle school.

right now there's a pelting rain. the baby players are out in it.

I can imagine the roar against their helmets.

19 September 2007

another sad Hollywood tale

30 years ago I was working on a suite of poems calld Visions of Jan-Michael Vincent. Michael Milligan did some drawings for the book including this one of Vincent. at that time he was Hollywood's golden boy.

now he's a 63 y/o alcoholic who sat for an interview with "The Insider"   an irritating rip-off of "Entertainment Tonite." to say he looks awful is understatement. his voice was forever changd after an auto accident years ago which he no longer remembers. he doesn't even know how old his daughter is. probably the interview shd never have happend. but one suspects he needs whatever money he got for submitting to the humiliation. he's sort of the male Barbara Payton.

from the archives

I took this picture of Frank Green at my 1984 brunch for Ira Joel Haber.

18 September 2007

"It's All a Movie"

Otoliths will be bringing the book out shortly. it's a collection of poems & prose & photographs. as soon as ordering info is available I'll post it.

we're in the final proofing stage. I have to say that working with Mark Young has been a joy. as both editor & publisher he's the best. kudos as well to Ray Craig for both front & back covers. even Harry K. Stammer offerd production assistance.

16 September 2007

filmmaking in Ohio

while in Elyria a crew was filming on Ely Square for an indie feature to be calld "Make Me Popular."

then on the plane today I startd reading Les Roberts' A Shoot in Cleveland   one of the Milan Jacovich mysteries which centers on a murder on a film set.

12 September 2007

the party of family values delivers again

Senator Craig barely has his pants pulld back up & the GOP is facing an even bigger gay sex scandal. this one includes murder & an escort service & a Congressman with multiple male roommates.

11 September 2007

10 September 2007


will these undies

make it into this piece

hot quote

"I think I was nominated in 1951 for the most promising newcomer. I'm glad I finally realized my potential."

Leslie Caron on winning an Emmy for her guest spot on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit"

09 September 2007

I have a fondness

for the Poverty Row period of Evelyn Brent's career. in "Daughter of the Tong" she was cast as an Asian. the film is the typical low-budget programmer   down to the visible microphone shadows. Brent has little to do until a fight scene with Dave O'Brien which is as ordinary as the rest of the picture. you feel sorry for her until you think of what Anna May Wong cd've done with the part. I suspect that by this time in her career dive Brent was only interestd in the paycheck.

08 September 2007

"Street of Poets     Tucson"

so I cd tell
Mark Young
I walkd Congress
to Cafe Magritte

it isn't

so I went
down the block
to Hotel Congress
where Dillinger
was staying
when he got caught

I thot abt
Todd Moore
as I ate ahi

sorry Mark

what was Cafe Magritte: the clouds remain

Hotel Congress lobby: southwest deco

04 September 2007


as I prepare to leave town for a few days   McAfee is giving me a pain by blocking sites because of some security certificate business. I've overridden it so I cd post before I depart. maybe when I return my whole computer will be a mess. there are times when technology makes me cringe.

03 September 2007

Field on Schneebaum

new visitor

after Melina died   I startd filling her food & water bowls & putting them on the back portal. several neighborhood cats now visit frequently. one -- a skinny white one -- is the most regular.

yesterday I heard loud birdsong. when it stoppd I lookd out to see a large scrub-jay eating dry cat food from Melina's bowl.

02 September 2007

Broadway diva

Bernadette Peters has never been to Santa Fe before. last nite she brought her act to the opera. besides performing standards she creatd in "Mack and Mabel" & "Sunday in the Park with George"   she debutd her sultry version of "Fever." she also did a delicious interpretation of "There's Nothing Like a Dame" & brought the audience to its feet with "Rose's Turn."

SFO has a roof but open sides. at one point it began to rain & a startld Bernadette got peltd. "is this snow?" she askd   adding "I thot it was supposd to be dry here." but like the trooper she is she put on a rehearsal sweater over her elegant gown & went on with the show.

the opera is so strict with its non-photography policy I didn't dare bring a camera. but here's a photo with Bernadette taken at Kennedy Center in 1993:

01 September 2007

many Marilyns

just when I was feeling really shitty I got quite the pick-me-up from Ray Craig.

there is a story to be told abt this but not just yet.


for years Sandia Shuttle has been picking me up & leaving me off at a motel a short walk from my house on almost monthly trips to the Albuquerque Airport. on the phone today I attemptd to make a reservation for next week. I was informd that they would no longer do this if I wasn’t registerd at the motel. I went to the website. it clearly shows this motel as a pickup location. it says nothing about this being only for visitors.

this seems clearly discriminatory to residents & perhaps illegal. I understand the owners of this service want to make more revenue by having me pay for a taxi – which they also own – to a downtown hotel which they now claim is the ONLY pickup place for locals. I've just written to the mayor & Better Business Bureau. to put it bluntly I'm pissd off.


yesterday this blog had its 40000th visitor. we're a little more than 2 months away from a third anniversary. I know there are blogs out there that get that many hits a day. but geesh I'm just an old poet. so for me this is big time.

thx to that small band of regulars. you keep me going.