30 September 2008

weekend in LA

spent a couple of days in Culver City with Billy. his big news is that he has a new companion -- a rescue dog. Emma wasn't sure of me at first. she growld. but I workd on befriending her. & by the second day she was comfortable with me as you can see by this picture Billy took in his livingroom.

then it was off to Hollywood for a too-brief visit. on sunday Craig pickd me up & we were off to Silverlake for brunch. afterward he took this with his cellphone.

those are the steps Laurel & Hardy used in "The Music Box."

I packd as much as I cd into the quick trip. there was a disappointing opera at dreary Dorothy Chandler Pavillion & a popular musical at magnificent Pantages Theater. Billy & I took in the John Lautner exhibition at the Hammer. & there were some good meals.

29 September 2008

Paul Newman (1925-2008)

he was quite simply the greatest film actor of his generation.

yes. James Dean was more explosive in his screen beginning. the incandescence of his career is unquestionable. but there was no middle or end to that career.

James Dean & Paul Newman Screen Test

& some believe that Marlon Brando borderd on genius. I've long felt his reputation is as bloatd as his latter day physique. he squanderd both talent & beauty.

Newman was a beautiful man & good actor who remaind a beautiful man & became an even better actor. in his late career he didn't require Brando's gimmicks. his acting came from the soul. he sd more with a look than with a page of dialog.

25 September 2008

inside McCain's head

my father returnd from WW2 with a condition then calld shell shock. today it's calld post traumatic stress syndrome. Dad was able to control it & lead a fairly normal life. but as he became elderly it returnd with a vengeance.

Senator McCain refuses to release his medical records. he wants to be our oldest president ever but won't let the electorate know the particulars of his health. I'm not so concernd abt his cancer history. but I fear no one is talking abt post traumatic stress. that condition wd explain his legendary bad temper. it wd also explain the volatility of his decision-making during this campaign. if conservative Republicans are concernd abt his theatrics   can you imagine a nation having to live with a president performing such frequent stunts.

asking to postpone the debate is a cheap trick. & suggesting postponing it till the veep debate so that Gov. Palin will have more time to learn her lines is pathetic.

if Obama doesn't win by a landslide then the nation deserves its decline.

24 September 2008

too much change

when I walkd into my gym this ayem I had no idea it was for the last time.

without warning or notice the owner is closing the place where I've happily been working out for abt a dozen years. lockerroom scuttlebutt has the building being sold for $1.2 million as part of a messy divorce case. apparently it will be convertd into offices.

the gym was a pleasant walk for me -- I think maybe a mile & a half? & it had a sauna which I like. now I'm forcd to find a new place. there are a couple within walking distance but none with a sauna.

what a year.

23 September 2008

from the archives

with James Broughton in my office on the 12th floor of Kent State University Libraries (dec 86)

22 September 2008

Melina (1990-2006)

hard to believe it's been 2 years already since the loss of my sweet companion.

21 September 2008

whatever happend to Paul Kilb?

he was the lead in Markoupoulis' "Twice a Man" & later appeard in Warhol's "Women in Revolt." Kilb wrote music for Lanford Wilson's "Balm in Gilead" & playd piano for Citizens for Interplanetary Activity.

I used to see this beautiful man in the Village in the '60s. is he still alive?

20 September 2008

last nite

Marsha Hunt turns 91 next month. she was in Santa Fe for our local film noir festival. one of the movies with which she appeard was "Kid Glove Killer" which I saw last year. so I went to the screening of Andre DeToth's "None Shall Escape." I wdn't classify this political film as a noir but it was a last minute replacement for a true noir they cdn't get.

Hunt has a great memory & remains a lively involvd person. she just made a short which was shown & producd a CD of a singer she likes & did a book of fashion stills.

19 September 2008

money bores me

so I'm not conversant in the world of finances. my only reflection on this banking debacle is that it's surely the final ingredient (think Iraq & Katrina & Supreme Court & loss of international respect) in keeping our current president at the bottom of history's list.

* * *

after writing this I realize that the title is misleading. the world of finance & investments & that sort of thing bores me. however for years I've been using money for art pieces. in fact   I'm at work on a new project which shd be the final piece in a small book   Current Seas. so money as symbol fascinates me.

18 September 2008

"Partially Buried Woodshed"

in spring of 1990 Kent State University's school of art held a symposium on the Robert Smithson piece which had been done on campus 20 years earlier.

I took this picture of Nancy Holt walking the foundation of what was the woodshed. behind her are a pair of dear friends who have since died -- Lilian Tyrrell & Richard Martin.

17 September 2008

"deciduous kinesthetics"

that was what Ann Corio felt was a better word for her art than "striptease."

in the early '40s Monogram signd her as their answer to Maria Montez. the stripper only made 5 pictures.

Corio made a spectacular comeback in her 50s doing her strip act on Broadway. on the same stage where I'd seen Geraldine Page play O'Neill exactly 2 years earlier I witnessd Corio perform in "This Was Burlesque" producd by her husband. it was a fascinating glimpse back at a popular form of entertainment no longer in vogue.

16 September 2008

My Monogram

falling out of an ice-box
        like Heinie Conklin
is a moment

our biographies of summer colds
& winter squash sidle
we are back in the dark
among forgotten royalty
Joan Woodbury   Belita   Ann Corio
princesses of Poverty Row

darkness is real
growing population of memorial cards
stuck in a bible
darkness is creatd
Tex Ritter & Snub Pollard
evading bad boy gun play
it's all darkness
Bela or Boris
gumshoe under lamppost

rewind to the Lincoln
long narrow theater of childhood
saturday matinee double feature
imprinting shadows forever

barefoot boy in man's country
(Frankie Darro was one of Mom's favorites)
holds hands with cousin

decades careen around corner
cop car in Chinatown
everyone searching for Temple of Eternal Flame

Lincoln long gone
its flame still flickers
in forever shadows

cut to a young Mitchum
in trenchcoat
walking into the frame

another moment

before nite
swallows me

15 September 2008

the road back

went to the gym today. didn't do the full workout but that I made the walk & did abt half is a good sign. still hacking up some Palin but trying to calm myself.

14 September 2008


David's dear sister sent me a packet of his photographs. & what emotions that brought forth. many I have copies of. however there were at least a dozen that not only don't I have but I don't recall ever seeing.

for instance   I have zero memory of when or where David took this of me posing as a statue.

12 September 2008

I don't like Ike

I shd be on my way to the airport. my plans were to fly to Ohio to celebrate Mom's 87th birthday this weekend. however I was to change planes in Houston. the hurricane has promptd the airport there to be closd.

last nite was too much of a hassle to repeat. let's just say I finally threw up my hands & this weekend I'll celebrate from afar. I'll rebook after I get some rest.

10 September 2008

can't believe it

haven't been calld by a pollster in ages. but last nite -- naturally since I was feeling like shit -- I got 2 calls.

the first was easy. straight out political likes & dislikes. however the next was abt energy policy. the questions were long & I had to ask the young man asking them to repeat a couple. kept wanting to provide an answer other than the choices given. but with patience on the poor guy's part we made it thru.

09 September 2008

he knew my secrets & I knew his

I've already mentiond David Meredith's bequest of 3 art works. there was something else.

last week I rec'd in the mail from his sister 5 spiral bound notebooks -- David's private journals from 1976-80. in the front of each he'd written: "In case of eventuality, turn these journals over to Alex Gildzen."

these past 3 days that my malady slowd me down I had little energy so took to the livingroom a la Madame Recamier & began to read his words. the first journal is missing so we jump into his life. but having been there I knew our location.

let me say that over the 33 years of our friendship we did a great deal of conversing. there were long drives from Kent to Provincetown as well as many other trips. & after my move west every time I stayd at David's we'd be up every nite talking. neither of us held anything back. so there were fewer revelations than one mite expect in the 4 journals I've read so far. but there is all manner of forgotten moments -- during a trip to NYC together I took him to Ira Joel Haber's loft to meet the artist   one time when Jean-Claude van Itallie visitd we took him dancing at American Bar in Akron. that sort of thing.

the reading isn't always easy   esp when he reflects on my battle with alcoholism. there are times when he's hard on all his friends but it's what he felt at a certain time.

in my long life I've been blessd with a handful of friends who made a real difference. my friendship with David was deep & true & I still miss him so much that reading these words often had me in tears.

I remember a couple of years ago I sd in a phone chat with David "I love you." he seemd quite startld. don't remember his exact response but it was quizical. my response was that we were in a stage of life when our future wasn't promisd & it was important to tell the people we care abt that we do care abt them. 8 days after Dad died David calld & toward the end of the conversation he sd "I love you." it was the only time he ever sd that to me. I knew he meant it & I knew he knew we'd never speak again. 19 days later he died.

but in a way he is speaking to me again. thru the journals. I feel the greatest honor that he enthrustd his most private writing to me.

08 September 2008

this is

the third day I haven't left the house. got whompd bigtime by what's generically calld "a cold." I do believe I made myself vulnerable to such insult by my agitation over Sarah Appalling & a personal matter.

felt a bit better upon waking. then I turnd on the news & heard that McCain has jumpd ahead in the polls. almost lost my oatmeal.

06 September 2008

the poem that wasn't

after my recent Whitman posts I was surprisd to see him make our local paper this morning. his fleeting connection to Santa Fe is fascinating.

one can just imagine him orating in the plaza where many decades later Allen Ginsberg was photographd.

05 September 2008

madder than hell

the reason I truly despise John McCain is because this was to be the year of civil discourse   the year in which true policy differences between the parties wd find intelligent examination. but no. McCain pickd the most devisive runningmate he cd uncover. & now any semblance of mature discussion has turnd into an evening of Jerry Springer.

listen to the old man   rancor spilling from that false smile. listen to the hockey mom   clutching the rifle from the dead hands of Charlton Heston. they face their convention of mostly rich white folk & fail to discuss the economy or social justice. instead they bring back the culture wars. they have given permission to vote against hope   indeed permission to vote against a black man.

Mrs. Palin can't be McCain's soulmate because he doesn't have a soul. he sold that when he pickd her.

04 September 2008


Billy took this at Brookgreen Gardens a few years ago.

many many years ago David Meredith & I visitd Whitman's grave. a college chum of David's who lives nearby took a picture of us in front of the grave. I never had a copy of it & David was unable to locate his. I suspect now it's lost.

03 September 2008

Whitman naked

Cell Theater
in NYC will present a reading of "Song of Myself" by 25 naked performers.

02 September 2008

"country first"

no one expectd John McCain to tap Larry Craig as his running mate. after all there's enuf tapping in Craig's bio.

given his major age & health issues it was imperative that McCain make a wise choice. he had a deep pool in which to dive. there was the Mormon & the turncoat Democrat & the closetd gay. but McCain was faltering with the radical right who probably wdn't support any of these candidates. one can appreciate that he has to solidify his base before putting his country first.

deciding to go with a social conservative McCain had Rev. Huckabee in clear view. but for reasons which speak volumes abt his judgment he went with Sarah Palin. I must confess that I had never heard of her before the nomination. but then McCain had only met what his press corps is calling his "soulmate" twice himself. as I got to know something abt this cipher I became depressd. & then I became incedibly angry.

there's no way I'd ever vote for McCain but that doesn't disenfrancise me from having an opinion abt his decision-making process. knockd up daughter aside. Troopergate aside. "bridge to nowhere" flipflop aside. Palin has zero qualifications for stepping up shd nature take its course with the elderly McCain. that he wd imperil the nation with such a choice is staggering.

cultural conservatives boast that Palin had had "executive experience." give me a break. for less than 2 years she's been governor of a state whose entire population is less than Baltimore. compare Alaska's 627000 citizens with Chicago's nearly 3 million for instance. they also are quick to cite her experience as "commander" of her state's national guard. check CNN.com for Campbell Brown's skewering of McCain press aid Tucker Bounds on that issue. if Bounds is as tough as McCain's inner circle will be the nation is screwd.

I suspect McCain's choice felt like a double-hitter to him. snag the evangelicals who have softend on the morality front. then draw in disaffectd Clinton supporters. I can't believe that anyone of any gender who voted for Hillary wd support this wingnut. suggesting Palin simply as woman wd satisfy Clinton's base is an insult.

to me McCain has long been a loose canon. I still can't believe he's the best the Republicans can find. but what shocks me even more is that he's doing so well in the polls. perhaps pollsters shd first ask of an interviwee if they are capable of reading a newspaper.

one hopes that either McCain or Palin will stumble badly in the weeks to come. after all it really is time for all of us to put on our American hats. it's time to put country first & elect Obama / Biden.

01 September 2008

that Ford Victoria

that threw me
into the nite
scoops me up again

drives me
thru eye
of storm

my nails
carve poems
in upholstery

at first
I hop out

I prefer
to walk
thru surges