29 November 2013

recoverd poem

among the personal treasures I found while packing up 429 was the book Heloise's Housekeeping Hints.  Mom was a regular reader of her column. so I got the book for her for her birthday 50 years ago.  I'd never have kept it except when I opend it I found this poem I'd written.  every reference is something personal that Mom wd've understood.

28 November 2013

Thxgiving 1956

429 Winckles St
Elyria OH

cousin Bobby with cup
Gildzen grandparents in middle
Dad & Mom on right

27 November 2013

Tony Musante (1936-2013)

I saw him several times in this play -- both at the Buffalo tryout & on Broadway. also opposite Meryl Streep in "27 Wagonsful of Cotton." it was while I was waiting for the Tennessee Williams play to begin that Musante's wife -- the writer Jane Sparkes -- informd me of the death of Sal Mineo.

Musante made his acting debut at Oberlin College  -- a few miles from where I was living -- & earlier this year donated his papers there.

a splash of Liz

years ago for some holiday I got Mom a bottle of Elizabeth Taylor's Passion perfume.  she kept it on these shelves in the bathroom with various oddities:

I cdn't pitch it so brought it back.  it's new home is between Dad's shaving brush & my Joe Brainard gauche in my bathroom nicho:

26 November 2013

old stuff

unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of Mom's desk as it was when she left 429. by the time I rememberd things were askew & messy. but some of this reflects her:

what I found amazing is that it suddenly came back to me that that little file card case (butterscotch top & plaid bottom) was the one I had on my desk in Stopher Hall when I was an undergrad & which miraculously is documentd in this rare snapshot of my dorm room.  

between us Mom & I had that object for abt a half century. & as I write this UPS is delivering it to me in Santa Fe.

goodbye to an address

during the summer Mom fell & broke her hip. from hospital she went to Life Care Center of Elyria for rehab. she has since gone into assistd living.

I returnd last nite from one of several recent trips there. the purpose of this one was to ready the house Dad built in 1950 for sale. a huge event in Mom's life & mine. I was terrified of how she'd react but was surprisd that she completely understands the inevitable & was supportive of my packing up her belongings. 

I tried to share just the right things with people important to her. & even tho I don't know where I'll put them several boxes will be coming to Santa Fe.

some people have housewarmings. I decided to have a house wake. unfortunately the weather in northern Ohio turnd nasty so some poets & artists from the Cleveland area who hoped to make didn't. but enuf did to temporarily take away some of the hurt I was feeling. here are Diane Borsenik of NightBallet Press & Tom Mahl of Trick Pitch Press.

yesterday morning -- exhaustd from sending off or boxing so many memories -- I took one last shower in the family house. even tho I knew it was eco-unfriendly it probably was the longest shower of my life. I simply didn't want to get out.  but I did & then took this final photo in that house. probably the only picture in existence of the odd plastic tile Dad put in 63 years ago.

my cousin Sal arr'd. then I shut the front door of 429 Winckles St for the last time.

20 November 2013

"Keith Haring: Languages"

Marvin Taylor -- who I met back in my curator days -- announced this exhibition on Facebook.
it makes me think of my mother's autograph collection.  altho it's at Kent State she gave me the Haring card before making her gift & it's beside me on my desk as I write this.

19 November 2013

Gettysburg address

many years ago when I was a staff writer for Kent State University News Service the library acquired what I seem to remember was the first printing of Lincoln's speech.  what surprisd me & what I wrote in the news release was that the printing included in parentheses when the audience applauded. I had recalld from folklore that the speech was considerd a failure when it was given because no one applauded the president.

18 November 2013

George Reinholt (1939-2013)

odd that I just wrote abt the summer theater in Canal Fulton. back when I went there regularly Reinholt was a resident actor.  I remember him appearing opposite Sal Mineo in "End as a Man" & George Nader in "Mr. Roberts."  later I saw him perform at Cincinnati's Playhouse in the Park & on Broadway in "Cabaret."

he only made one film but was popular on t-v soaps.  & I remember him playing piano & singing at a party at Jean-Claude van Itallie's.

17 November 2013

Mark Thomsen (1952-1996)

reading online abt Carousel Dinner Theater brought back memories. it was startd by the producer of another northern Ohio dinner theater at Canal Fulton. I knew the place more when it was in Ravenna. after its move to Akron I rarely went.

Mark was the pre-show host. 

16 November 2013

I was sitting on the back portal

in the last sun of a cold day. Kiddo was on my lap pretending to sleep. suddenly he got up   left my lap for the green & white stripes of the lounge chair. he made a circle & returnd to my lap   resuming the exact position he had left.  that was a poem.  his poem.  a cat's poem.

I told him that.  out loud. & stroked his gray fur while I told myself that poems are everywhere. I find them in newspapers & movies & cookbooks.  sometimes the ones under stones or in blood gushing from a wound are harder to transcribe.

for something like 60 years I have written thousands of poems.  early on I was told what a poem shd be so that's what my poems were. for years I read the great poets & honord each by imitating what they wrote. but as I lived & wrote I came to trust what was mine.  I cd look at the change in my pocket or the stain of sex on a sheet & see a poem. 

I tried to tell Kiddo some of this. but he had already written his poem & had no need to hear me. his ears twitched not at sound of my voice but at flutter of bird wings.  he was off my lap & ready for an adventure. so I went inside to assemble a sonnet of baby kale & raw garlic.

Barton's place

I've been to every state except North Dakota.  there was never anything there I wantd to see. starting today there is.

14 November 2013

Donna Walker (1939-2013)

word has come from Kent of Donna's death.  we were part of a community which gatherd for meals & parties & musicales & university events.

this is one of my favorite photos of some of that group.  it was taken in 1985.

back row: David Meredith / Bonnie Hawk / me / Donna
front row: Buzz Davis / Alfred Cavaretta / Henry Walker / P. Craig Russell

13 November 2013

Marvin Paige (1927-2013)

I believe the first time I met the famous casting director was at the Brown Derby on Vine in 1981.  I was having lunch with silent screen stars May McAvoy & Lois Wilson.  Marvin stoppd by the table to say hello & to tell me I was the luckiest man in Hollywood to be sharing lunch with these legends.

over the years I saw him often at events in both Hollywood & Palm Springs.  here's a picture I took of him with Rhonda Fleming at the film noir festival a few years ago:

he began his career as an actor -- appearing on the early tv series "The Goldbergs."

Lila Lee (1901-1973)

hard to believe that she died 40 years ago. it was 5 years after she came to dinner at Winckles St.

12 November 2013

Leo Damore (1929-1995)

as we near the 50th anniversary of the JFK assassination there are endless print stories & tv programs abt the enduring mystery of that event.  I've already begun gorging on them.  & along the way I rememberd Leo Damore who exactly 20 years ago told me he was writing a book abt the murder of one of the president's lovers -- Mary Pinchot Meyer -- & its connection to the assassination conspiracy.

Leo killd himself before the book was finishd but apparently others have used his notes for their writings.  & some even claim Leo's suicide was just another murder of someone who knew too much.

before his death Leo left his papers to Kent State.  (they don't include his research on the Meyer murder which was sold by his estate.) here we are in the Special Collections reading room two decades ago.

09 November 2013

dessert bordello

there aren't many firsts left for me.  but I do believe this is the first time I ever went to a pie-athon. of course over the decades there have been many charity events which profferd orgies of confections. but I can't recall another which was limitd to pie.

Holiday Pie Mania brought the best chefs of Santa Fe to a local store (conviently next door to my gym) to bake pies. & they were auctiond off to raise funds for Food Depot. but they also gave out samples.  & this little oinker tried apple & key lime & chocolate & pear & pumpkin. the mile or so walk home was necessary but I did feel blissful.

Duane Hartzell (1943-1998)

just found his high school graduation picture.  this is what Duane wd have lookd like for that week we roomd together in Stopher Hall.

Duane's film career was primarily as an editor (including Katharine Hepburn's tv movie "One Christmas") but also includes his work as sound editor on the classic "Christine."

08 November 2013

today's hike

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Top of the Park

another gay landmark is closing. this spot has been popular in San Diego for decades.  here I am at the place some years ago with the Eadie brothers.

07 November 2013

Jack Mitchell (1925-2013)

I think the first Mitchell photograph I ever saw was the famous one of Alvin Ailey's "Revelations." years later of course there was his work for Bill Como at "After Dark."  all those stunning covers.

I just learnd that Craig Highberger -- who made this lovely film -- was with Mitchell when he died.


wd be Paul Metcalf's 96th birthday

06 November 2013

"Big Joy" returns to NYC

& I'm delightd that when one clicks on the link one of the pix that appears is a huge one of me in the movie

04 November 2013


within a 20-day period in nov of 1913
these people were born:

Burt Lancaster
Vivien Leigh
James Broughton
Benjamin Britten

03 November 2013

02 November 2013

"Dia de los Muertos"

in the earth between the rocks beside the water of my pond
I stuck 14 beeswax candles which had been in a kitchen cabinet
since Dimitri & I purchasd them from the monks who made them
on our only visit to a Greek Orthodox skete in northern New Mexico.

on opposing sides of each candle I had written the name
of a dead one I wishd to remember.

here are the names:

Susan Kirby / T.R. Queen
James Dean / Marilyn Monroe
John F. Kennedy / Matthew Shepard
Allison & Bill / Jeff & Sandy
Frank O'Hara / James Broughton
Janis Joplin / Judy Garland
Marianne Moore / Joseph Cornell
Peter Burnell / Gerald Mast
Howard P. Vincent / Paul Metcalf
Robert Drivas / Richard Martin
Andy Warhol / Ray Johnson
Julia Waida / Bernique Longley
Mary Yando / Sophie Hause
Mark Bingham / Mychal Judge

then I lit the candles
 & as they flickerd in the wind I rememberd . . .
2 nov 02:SF