30 April 2013

my birthday book

Blossoms is not a "collectd poems." it does cover my entire poet career but it's a theme-based selection.

it opens with what is my earliest surviving poem. a Mozart I was not.  so this simple poem written when I was 12 is more memorable to me than to most readers. but I make no excuses for using it. it clearly shows that the themes I first used I continue to use. also I find it fascinating that I was not only reading Emily Dickinson at that age but was trying to imitate her.

when NightBallet Press publisher Dianne Borsenik deliverd my copies of the book on my actual birthday I was delightd to discover that she had askd Tom Kryss to write an introduction.  we are both survivors of the Cleveland poetry scene of the 60s which continues to fascinate younger readers.  universities have begun to collect the writers of that moment which I suspect means that dissertations & books will follow.

& let me present a heartfelt thank you to Dianne.  as a former Elyrian I'm thrilld that national attention is coming to a press from my hometown. & Dianne was superb as an editor.  her sharp eye saved me a couple of embarrassments. her placement of the Chandra Alderman moonflower photographs is lovely. on a personal note I want everyone to know that she put in a 12-hour day on her real job & still drove to Winckles St to be able to present me with the book on my birthday. as a poet who celebrates events I'm forever grateful to her for that.

getting old is as much fun as a root canal.  but events such as these ease the journey.

blossoming at 70

intro by T. L. Kryss
photographs by Chandra Alderman & Stathis Orphanos

order here

29 April 2013

back from Ohio

where I spent my big birthday with Mom & my favorite cousins.

here I am that morning on Winckles St.  many years ago I bought this magnolia for Mothers Day. this is one of the most spectacular bloomings of it that I've witnessd.

24 April 2013


gophers chewd into the cable that provides me with television.  so the company had to dig a new trench to install another line (this time in conduit).

22 April 2013

remembering Jean Bothwell

one of the earliest poems in my forthcoming collection Blossoms (NightBallet Press) is "Roses and Onions" (1963).  it's dedicatd to one of my favorite authors as a child -- Jean Bothwell (1892?-1977). I reference two books of hers The Promise of the Rose and Onions Without Tears.

I believe I was 11 when I read my first Bothwell book Star of India.  I wrote to her & it was one of my first literary correspondences.  those letters are part of my papers at Kent State.

I finally met her when I went to NYC in 1962 & visitd again the following year.  on one of those visits I took this photo of her.

she was generous to me & important in my beginnings as a writer.  she gave me at least one original Margaret Ayer illustration from one of her books.  & when I came to her apartment she fixd dinner using one of the recipes from her famous 1950 onion cookbook (which I still have).

I have no idea if any of her books remain in print or if children still read her.  but she was important to me.

21 April 2013

happy birthday

to James Robert Parish.

hard to believe but we met nearly 37 years ago at the bar at Charlies in the theater district in Manhattan.

here we are years ago in Hollywood:

20 April 2013

world too small

this morning e-mail from China trying to sell me stuff got thru my spam detector. & I still receive calls from India trying to sell me pills.

18 April 2013

performers who playd the same role on stage / screen / tv

Beulah Bondi as Nellie Northrup
"On Borrowed Time"

Humphrey Bogart as Duke Mantee
"The Petrified Forest"

Leo Coleman as Toby
"The Medium"

Mildred Dunnock as Linda Loman
"Death of a Salesman"

Jose Ferrer as Cyrano
"Cyrano de Bergerac"

Andy Griffith as Will Stockdale
"No Time for Sergeants"

Ethel Merman as Reno Sweeney
"Anything Goes"

Victor Moore as Oliver P. Loganberry
"Louisiana Purchase"

Marie Powers as Madame Flora
"The Medium"

James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd

Benay Venuta as Dolly Tate
"Annie Get Your Gun"

Jesse White as Duane Wilson

Mary Wickes as Nurse Preen
"The Man Who Came to Dinner"

17 April 2013



these Dem senators voted against gun control.

shame on you.

16 April 2013


apparently the ALA makes an annual list of books the dogooders find offensive. at the top of this year's is Captain Underpants.  it's a children's book by Dav Pilkey.  I used to see him in Kent when he lived with Cynthia Rylant.

& in the summer of 1988 he was drawing at a conference in New Orleans when I took this:

Kent Taylor calld

to say I'm mentiond in the new Charles Jackson bio. it's because 40 years ago I edited the Jackson issue of The Serif.

personally this is good news -- esp after having been left out of the Sam Steward bio.

15 April 2013

the bombings in Boston

happend while I was in air. just learning abt it now on tv.

back from Las Vegas

to promote the Warhol exhibition at their gallery the Bellagio includes this floral interpretation of one of his paintings in the spring atrium show

11 April 2013

when you've lived

as long as I have you've encounterd so many people. & so many kinds of people.

I've known milkshake people who curdled. & vile folk who came thru when needed. I knew a boy who stole money & the gold watch my mother gave my grandfather.  I was in love with a man who came into the bedroom with a knife & told me he was going to kill me.  I servd on the board of a charity with a young man who was murderd.

somehow I've ended up living alone. most days that's a good thing. yesterday was a struggle. a dear neighbor -- knowing the particulars of my upset -- came to my door with a bag of my favorite brownies. that sweet act began to lead me out of my funk. & it got me to thinking how lucky I've been. for every cad who was in my life there have been so many more kind & generous souls. I won't name names but I know many of those I'm thinking of are reading this now. & to each of you I want you to know that I wdn't have made it this far without yr help & understanding.  

& I pause to remember all those dear ones who aren't reading this. those who have died. I hope I told each of you how much you meant to me.

09 April 2013

from the archives

I call this my Truman Capote pose. it's from my 2001 shoot with Stathis Orphanos. this was in the lobby of Chateau Marmont.  most of what he took is b & w (see my author photo in It's All a Movie) but he decided to do a couple in color.

08 April 2013

talkin' big

Jim Provenzano postd this image on Facebook.

the hunk on the right is Peter Lupus.  he was a tv star & under another name did sword & sandal films.  but just as Annette was known for the size of her chest Lupus became known for the size of his endowment.  in 1974 he showd all in the pages of Playgirl & 3 years later achievd a sort of immortality when Andy Warhol took one of those photos & croppd it to only crotch for his famous "Torsos" series.

approaching 80 Lupus has been out of the spotlight lately -- except for his unfortunate alliance with rightwingers backing that crackpot sheriff in Arizona.

Annette Funicello (1942-2013)

when I heard of her death I wrote to Richard Balthazar who writes abt her in one of his novels

Bob Kidney's jacket

after reading this wonderful piece in HuffPo I went straight to my closet.  there in the back is a brown sports jacket. it's mentiond in #29 of Postcard Memoirs.

in the fall of 1966 Bob Kidney needed some quick cash.  I no longer remember the specifics of his offering to sell me his jacket nor the price.  because there is no label in the jacket I have the feeling that it was tailord for him. back in those days I didn't have that many sports coats & wore it often.

it's been years since I last heard the Numbers Band.  in my drunk days when I driftd thru most of the bars in Kent I heard them more often than any other band in my life.  I was always stumpd that they never went on to a huge career. but now that I'm older I'm happy they didn't.  because they continue to play great music.  & finally the world is catching up with them.  finally the world is coming to Kent to hear the Kidney brothers.

so a local legend begins to spread.  how sweet for them. & for the town that's known from the beginning that this was something special.

Les Blank (1935-2013)

my favorite memory of this filmmaker was at Filmworks at Kent State in 1980.  he was showing "Garlic is as Good as 10 Mothers."  & while the film progressd there was the definite smell of garlic.

he had a toaster oven & was roasting garlic during the screening & when it was over the audience ate it.

05 April 2013

Sierra Grande

this is a lovely resort in Truth or Consequences. some years ago Regina & I had a magnificent private dinner there with chef Adrian Perez.

this morning I read in the paper that Ted Turner stayd there last summer & liked it so much he bought the place.

03 April 2013

downtown Elyria

on the phone this morning Mom told me the local paper announced that Moss' will close this weekend. this was a restaurant which got a bit of a bounce from its makeover on a Food Network show.

it was one of the last decent places downtown.  in recent years nearly every important store has closed.  there seems to be nothing left but bars. & of course crime.

my memory goes back to when that space was a restaurant calld Paradise -- "the sweetest place in town." when film historian Gerald Mast taught at Oberlin College he'd come to Elyria to dine there.

here I am at Moss' last year with schoolmates Barbara Horwitz Weiss & Tom Mahl.  the latter was one of the spot's last regulars.