31 July 2011

from the archives

in 1970 the US postal service issued this embossd stampd envelope to commemorate Moby Dick. I askd my friend & mentor Howard P. Vincent to inscribe one & he wrote this quotation.

30 July 2011

no rain

a new poem
wild sockeye salmon
package from a friend
chocolate ganache cake

29 July 2011

it's easy

to despise the tea party but all of Congress is acting like kindergarten.

28 July 2011

remembering Ann Doran

this is the centennial of the birth of this actress who had a 64-year career in movies. it's estimatd she appeard in over 500 films -- working from stand-in & bit player to leading lady. today she's probably best rememberd as James Dean's mother in "Rebel Without a Cause."

27 July 2011

cdn't stand

the taradiddle of politicians so I turnd off the news. watchd a movie. it was awful. now I feel like crap.

23 July 2011

"Savage in the Railyard"

first time

I heard Dee Dee Bridgewater was in 1973 -- when we both had hair. I remember being blown away. & I remember meeting her in the Kent State Student Center. altho I no longer recall a word that passd between us I retain a memory of us chatting with that famous stairway beside us.

the singer/actress came to Santa Fe & performd at the Lensic last nite. it was the 6th time I've heard her sing. this time the evening was her tribute to Billie Holiday. she's playd Lady Day on stage but this wasn't an impersonation. she used Billie as starting place & inspiration. but the performance was all Dee Dee.

the whole evening was a thrill but one moment particularly shook me. her coruscating rendition of "Strange Fruit" brought shivers.

Bridgewater was blessd with a top notch quartet. a special mention of the amazing (& sexy) Craig Handy.

22 July 2011

passing scene

I took this some years ago.

this was a favorite spot on my walk to the gym. the board with the advertising ("Alaskas") was my addition. my parents found a large wooden crate at a sale & gave it to me when I lived in Ohio. it came with me to New Mexico & for years was a shelter for my cats in the little courtyard off my bedroom. after Melina died I dismantld the crate -- keeping only this single board. for reasons I don't know I decid'd to put it at this site. in the past 5 years I watchd as the elements nearly erased the lettering.

& then this morning as I walkd to the gym I discoverd that the city had destroyd this entire area. some sort of piping is going in. I suspect I'll have to find another way to walk.

nothing lasts.

21 July 2011


I'll never get to North Dakota. I have no interest in going except that it will complete my quest to visit every state. but flying there is impossibly expensive. Winnipeg (home of Guy Maddin) is only 3 hours away from Grand Forks -- but bus service between the cities has been suspend'd. I was thinking too of flying to Minneapolis but taking the bus from there to Fargo is 6 hours.

19 July 2011

"Percy & Bess"

Steve Tills calls these little productions from Hank's Original Loose Gravel Press "chappers."

this one contains 2 pieces of mine: one abt character actor Percy Helton & the other abt "queen of the dress extras" Bess Flowers. cover is by Bill E. Berger. copies are available by e-mailing Steve ( theenkBooks@rochester.rr.com )

18 July 2011


my adobe house retains the cool. but the unrelenting heat of the past few days -- with lack of rain -- has made the place stuffy.

so it's a special thrill when I wake & open every window & door. that quick coolness invigorates my body like little else.

17 July 2011

I'm not

a violent person
I'd love to slap the sneer
off Eric Cantor's face

16 July 2011

Sonny Tufts at 100

if this late actor is rememberd at all these days it's for the legend of his drinking rather than for such films as "The Crooked Way" & "Seven Year Itch."

to mark his centennial here's a poem which I cut from the final ms of The Arrow That is Hollywood Pierces the Soul That is Me


so much scotch
flows down Sunset
even Hitch
cdn’t launch
a lifeboat
big enough
to save him

15 July 2011


after Melina died I put her bowl on the back portal & kept it full. the food disappeard. I began to watch & made mental note of who was visiting. the most frequent diner was a white cat. I learnd that he lived in the apartments next door & that his name was Jonathan. it too me a careful year to gain his confidence but we eventually became buddies.

since returning from Yellowstone I hadn't seen Jonathan. on my way back from the gym this morning I saw his owner & askd how he was. she informd me he'd gone to "kitty heaven." when I askd what happend she sd "I can't talk abt it."

altho Jonathan wasn't "mine" I had great affection for him & will miss his visits.

14 July 2011

note to my literary executor

there is creation & then there is its aftermath. I've been making poems & art since I was a child. not all of it has been splendid but even the pieces that make me wince represent how I was at a certain moment.

I've tried to gather a collectd poems but the project falters. I suspect it's because what I'm creating now seems more important. however I have a few dream projects that I hope to live long enuf to see.

Ohio Triangle is nearing completion. if I prod myself it may finish by year's end.

The Verse Journals wd bring together Dec. '70: Ohio & The Year Book & Swimming. perhaps an epilog cd be my contribution extractd from February 03.

then a sort of coffee table book which wd cull Mail & More & Making Circles & Current Seas.

finally Alex in Movieland. in my lifetime I can hope that another chunk of this will appear -- perhaps beginning with 1943-1973. because I plan to be adding to this work until my last breath the entire thing will appear posthumously. so I'll never know what reception it has.

13 July 2011

last penny in situ

when I began "Pennies from Heaven" more than a decade ago I knew the piece wd be finishd when I filld the Lincoln Cents album I purchasd at a coin shop. the other day in the Montana border town of West Yellowstone I came across this:

I pickd it up & brought it home to be the 120th & final penny of this project.
the album will become part of the Gildzen Papers at Kent State's special collections department.

knowing that this project was near completion I began a second phase which I call "Pennies from Heaven: part 2 (the leaving)."
no longer looking for pennies I now leave them places. both pieces are in my book Current Seas.

10 July 2011


In my quest to visit every state I spent a few days in Montana.

06 July 2011

RIP Jane

it's good to see that the national press is covering the death of Jane Scott & that the obits are so full of affection.

I met her before she startd covering rock. she was the "teen editor" at the Plain Dealer & I representd my high school at a group of teen journalists for the Press. it was more than a half century ago so my memory is shaky. I remember that the Press sent me to a national gathering of high school reporters in Dearborn which resultd in my first airplane ride.

& I seem to recall the Press' teen editor cdn't come so Jane took me under her wing. it was a long time ago but it's easy to remember her joviality & kindness.

05 July 2011

wisdom from the dead

"I think however old and blind and prune-like one may look, the spirit inside stays young and flirtacious."

Anna Massey

“What I like about rock music is that you can’t sit around, feeling sorry for yourself… the blues perpetuates your feeling of despondency. Rock gets you up on your feet, dancing, and you forget about it. The beat gets you going.”

Jane Scott

04 July 2011

the times

I feel most American are when I stand in line to vote & when I eat pancakes on the plaza on the 4th.

here I am once again with Rita & Phil:

thank you both for being such good neighbors & friends.

03 July 2011

01 July 2011

smoke gets in yr eyes

both of the big fires continue. it stinks so much that I plan to spend the rest of the day inside.