30 June 2008

C # 1

Asa Nisi Masa is an Italian stripper who found reason in his cereal bowl.


this machine conintues to sputter on & off. so it may keep going for a while yet.

I did order a new one. it's supposd to arrive in "3-5 days." but then I got an e from Dell saying it'll be deliverd on the 8th. I'll be out of town that week. how do you say "shit" in geek?

29 June 2008

farewell Kairouan

my window on the world is closing.

this computer is abt to expire. so I'm going to order a new one. I have no idea how long all of this will take. if I can get the current model to keep on keeping on you may still hear from me in the coming days. but until the new one is in place I have no assurance I'll be in touch with the universe.

is there enuf Antica Dolceria Bonajuto to tide me over?

28 June 2008

Marianna Bassham

College of Santa Fe has a wonderful summer program. the "new works series" brings playwrights to campus with professional actors to test work-in-progress thru staged readings.

the final produciton for this summer was today. Israel Horovitz returnd to direct a grouping of short plays under the umbrella "6 Hotels." it was a heady afternoon. but there was a special element to this show.

an actress came out who lookd familiar. when I checkd the program it sd Marianna Bassham. since she lokd so much like my old Kent friend Carlyn Bassham I had this feeling she had to be one of Carlyn & Ben's daughters. but I hadn't seen them since they were children. so after the show I askd Marianna if she was who I thot she was.

it was lovely to see that she has turnd out to be both an attractive young woman & a fine actress.

27 June 2008

my yoyo life

we all have ups & downs. this seems to be my down cycle. you know some of my sorrows. others don't seem big enuf to dump here but have producd bruising.

now my computer isn't starting up properly. don't know if I did something or it's simply beginning a death rattle. I'll wait to see what happens over the weekend but if I suddenly become silent here it'll be yet another circumstance outside of my control.

26 June 2008

planh on manifest destiny's child

all those professors on summer break. jumping out of their speedos & into chapters on intent. reminds me of something Cuppa Meringue once told me:

eat yr heart out. Sordello in a bordello moand "let the poem be. I just wanna lick."

25 June 2008

pickd myself up

waterd the apricot tree. the sound/sight of water trickling down those lovely branches is always a joy. then inside I took big bold green leaves of Lenny D'Agostino's basil & wrappd them around cherry tomatoes. the smell/taste another joy. then sips of Arizona Green Tea. now I'll make a shrimp salad & watch a movie.

too cranky to write

big things
burdening me &
many niggles
to list here

24 June 2008

change in Cleveland

during my Ohio visit I learnd some things from the Plain Dealer.

good news: Great Lakes Theater Festival in sinking nearly $15 million into renovating the Hanna Theater. I first went to this institution in 1960. the adviser to my high school paper   Margaret Mahaffey   had a subsciption for the season & cdn't go to the national touring company of "West Side Story" starring Larry Kert in his original role of Tony. she gave me her ticket. it was one of the memorable theater experiences of my life. over the decades I saw tred those boards such greats as Geraldine Page   Julie Harris   Cyril Ritchard   Carolyn Jones   Morris Carnovsky. my last visit was disappointing. the rows of seats had been removd to make a cabaret atmosphere. I'm so happy Great Lakes is restoring the house to its glory.

bad news: Bookstore on West 25th is closing. Mike O'Brien's happily clutterd store is down the street from the venerable West Side Market. a trip to one seemd incomplete without a trip to the other.


in my dreams

23 June 2008

Tom Mahl Reminds Me

squirrel tail on antenna
parallel with Winckles St.
as Dad races
from Garford School
to home
Tom on one running board
me on the other
glee on our faces

the Mahls

the long backyard of the house on Winckles abuts the backyard of the Mahl house which faces Prospect. Earl workd for the post office. he & his wife Helen had 8 kids. the oldest was Tom. we enterd kindergarten together at Garford School. later he went to Catholic schools but we'd see each other from time to time at Kent State (where one of Tom's English profs was David Meredith).

the next oldest was Patty. here's one of my favorite photos from chldhood. I presume the sled is my Silver Streak which I still have. that's me in the back   Tom in the middle   Patty in front.

a few years ago the Mahl progeny put out a cookbook Dinner at 410: Mom's Favorite Recipes. among the ingredients for egg noodles: "3 1/2 doz. eggs, separated (need yolks only: give whites to Helen Gildzen)." & indeed I remember not so long ago Tom brought over a jar of egg whites. his father was making noodles (his mother died last year).

Tom became a history professor   photographer   writer (Desparate Deception). he lives in his grandparents' old house on East Broad. Patty married Lawrence Kamba & lives outside Washington DC.

just before I left Elyria Patty made a surprise visit to "one of my favorite people" -- my mother. Patty & her husband were overnighting on a drive from Chantilly VA to Chicago. I mentiond to her the sled photo.

my cousin Sal took this picture of us:

I fear the reason Mom looks a bit dour is because she was only hours away from her regular saturday appointment with the hairdresser & probably wasn't happy abt being photographd pre-do.

22 June 2008

cousin Bobby

Robert Nolan has nearly a dozen classic cars. on fri nite he was going to a nearby car show & stoppd by Mom's with his 1955 Ford Fairlane.

when I was a boy we calld guys like Bobby "fuzzy dicers."

21 June 2008


I had 2 goals for this week's trip to Elyria.

first   go thru probate & finish up Dad's paperwork.

second   redesign the breezeway.

I was able to accomplish almost both. except for 2 small tasks I'm finishd with the filing & calling & account-changing involvd in a death.

for the second here's a picture cousin Sal took of me in the breezeway just before I left this morning:

the area between the house & garage. when I was a boy it was a summer room. we had a couch that opend into a bed & when it became sultry I loved sleeping there. some years ago my parents began storing "stuff" there & it soon become an unsightly junk room. almost as soon as I arrivd I began substracting "stuff" from the space until it was nearly bare. then I rippd out the old carpet & cleand. next came new carpet. finally I got some handsome suede pillows at Bed Bath & Beyond which matchd the carpeting. by this morning it had returnd to being a pleasant & usable room which I hope brings Mom great joy this ummer.

16 June 2008

Warhol polaroids

Kent State is the latest institution to receive a gift from the Warhol Museum.

14 June 2008

historic handshake

Carol Grace Marcus & Oona O'Neill went to boarding school together.

Marcus married playwright William Saroyan in 1943 & gave birth later that year to future poet Aram Saroyan. she was one of many who claimd to be the model for Capote's Holly Golighty. she met Walter Matthau while they were appearing in a Broadway play together. they were later married.

her classmate & friend was the daughter of playwright Eugene O'Neill. she married Charlie Chaplin. among their children was actress Geraldine Chaplin.

in Beverly Hills in 1990 I took this photo of Geraldine's reunion with her mother's dear friend.

13 June 2008

Tim Russert (1950-2008)

didn't always agree with him but when I was in political-junkie mode I'd enjoy listening to him.

how odd this fall's election nite will be without him & that little hand-written board he'd keep changing.


my heart is with the flood victims

12 June 2008

55: the remix

will live
longer than stone

than statues
in Baghdad squares

my love
makes these lines

live here
till end times

11 June 2008

"Singing in the Rain"

last nite I was thinking abt Gene Kelly.

these 4 minutes are one of the great poems in the history of film. (& yes that is Snub Pollard who receives the umbrella from Kelly at the very end.)

this morning I discoverd this video.

the dancer on this British talent show is George Sampson & he's all of 14. what I like abt this is that the young dare to challenge us. take a great sonnet & remix it. that doesn't diminish the sonnet. it reinforces its greatness.

summer's first potato salad

baby blue potatoes
green pepper
sea salt
olive oil

10 June 2008

09 June 2008

my unfinishd play

a '40s ice cream parlor (stolen booth for booth from the late C.C. Brown's)

a moment of the imagination
floating somewhere between the mid '40s & mid '50s

Beth   (who looks like Elizabeth Short)
Jimmy   (who looks like James Dean)
soda jerk   (who looks like Percy Helton)

Beth sits alone. it's a summer afternoon but she's wearing a black dress & a hat. even tho the place is empty she looks around. seeing no one she brings a finger to her mouth & fusses with a tooth. she hears a noise & snaps the finger out of her mouth.

Jimmy lopes into the place. when Beth sees him she smiles. he moves his right hand in a small semi-circle then slowly approaches the booth & settles in. Beth continues to smile. Jimmy looks sullen.


over the years I've written a few speeches for this play but I've lost them all. of course the woman known as the Black Dahlia was murderd in LA 2 & a half years before Dean moved to LA. but for decades these faces have been LA to me. so in the play I bring them face to face to discuss the urge for fame & the premonition of early death.

it's a 2-character play except for a brief moment when my favorite character actor appears to ask their order. Percy is Hollywood of that period. he adds layers to the play as once again he is Everyman.


the play that won't finish itself came back to me this afternoon when I read Todd Moore's new essay. in his mind Dillinger lets Todd touch his gun. in my mind Beth keeps asking me to put her pieces back together.

I've spent at least a half century considering Short & Dean & Helton. each means something different to me. yet it seems natural that I shd bring the trio together in one piece. if I ever complete it I'll dedicate it to Todd whose staccato lines slap the dictionary out of my hands.

Todd & I have had many desserts together over the years but we've not been to Hollywood at the same time. C. C. Brown's is gone. but we cd walk past what's left of the Florentine Gardens. the smell of the dahlia wafts down from its neon sign. & if we wear the shoes without holes we cd keep walking all the way to Griffith Observatory where Dean & a knife made movie history.

"dreaming the dream." Beth & Jmmy both did. & their halting dialog keeps playing in my head. so I dream their dreams & they become mine.

08 June 2008


let the name endure
like the image

forget them
at yr peril

is remembering

07 June 2008

lemon tree

I don't recall exactly when Dad brought me the tree. it was when I was still livng in Twin Lakes. altho I lost many precious things in my "divorce"   I did manage to haul the tree to my new house on Morris Rd in town.

this picture was taken in 1990. that's me (in my antique "South Pacific" tie) standing in front of the tree. with me are Richard Martin & Nancy Holt.

when I moved west I gave the tree to Alegesa & Joe O'Sickey so it went back to Twin Lakes. Joe repottd it. when I calld him the other day I askd abt it. he sd that he gave it to an architect friend who took it to the Cleveland restaurant Nighttown.

05 June 2008

Rusty Nail

when I lived in Twin Lakes many years ago this was our neighborhood restaurant. the building dated to the late 1800s & apparently was built at the site of a onetime railroad station. it was a charming place which servd great steaks. Algesa & Joe O'Sickey lived almost across the highway.

the opening piece in my 1976 book Liszt & Other Lists was calld "Eat." the first section was a list of some of the people with whom I'd lunchd at Eddie's Stag Bar in downtown Kent. the other section was a list of folks with whom I'd dined at the Rusty Nail. among the latter were Jean-Claude van Itallie   Gregory Markopoulous   Gary Snyder   Richard Eberhart   Paul Metcalf   Roberta Berke   Kevin McCarthy   Tom Meyer   Jonathan Williams.

at one point Don Bentley who ran the place built a new & ugly space behind it to house his restarant while the old structure became the Silver Pheasant (which I continued to frequent -- often with my pal David Meredith who died just over 2 months ago). as the name began to change more quickly I stoppd going.

I just learnd today that last week the original Rusty Nail caught fire & has been deemd a "total loss."

02 June 2008

on my first nite in Palm Springs

I enjoyd delish fish at chic Tropicale with Izayah Jeffrey.

knowing my affection for old Hollywood he then took me to a spot I didn't know. Villa Royale Inn is a charming old resort which over the decades has had several show biz owners -- from Sonja Henie to Tony Shalhoub.

he snappd some photos of me at the place & put this one on his blog: