30 December 2014

Jo Van Fleet (1914-1996)

in celebrating her centennial I'd be remiss if I didn't quote one of my favorite lines from Frank O'Hara:

Who do you think you are, anyway? Jo Van Fleet?

28 December 2014

Dad was in my dream last nite

& then today I rememberd where he was 70 years ago.

I watchd this with tears.

thank you Dad. I love you & miss you.

25 December 2014

Xmas 1986

poor Tobias doesn't look thrilld. but most of the times he didn't mind being held this way.  in fact I have lovely memories of dancing with him.

23 December 2014

31 years ago

last nite I was going thru old "stuff" & found a cache of receipts from my holiday trip to Italy.

on Xmas eve 1983 I attended the pope's mass. I went for the show biz angle & it was that in spades. & then there was a memorable NYE in Venice.

18 December 2014

major housecleaning

third day of work. altho I dislike the toil part I'm enjoying moving things around the house. re-envisioning what my most intimate environment looks like.

15 December 2014


"Gone With the Wind" had its premiere 75 years ago today.  & no Auntie Vera I wasn't there.

I once saw it at Manhattan's legendary Palace Theater with Richard Nelson (not the playwright but Lord & Taylor's graphic designer). then there was 1989 in Wheeling when the screening was introduced by Butterfly McQueen.

09 December 2014


it's hard. gets harder with age. but I'm working to make change a springboard.

08 December 2014

Sam Harris (1877-1965)

last nite I got my Carolyn Jones fix by seeing "Last Train from Gun Hill."  it's a predictable western worth seeing only for Jones whose brilliance often elevatd mundane material. at one moment she stood next to Sam Harris. now I see this man almost every week. he was in some 600 films from 1928 right up till his death.

but last nite I wonderd why he hasn't been the subject of more discussion. if Bess Flowers is veneratd as "the queen of the dress extras" (as well she shd be) then Harris deserves to be king. apparently those in the business calld him "The Major." & some sources list him as Major Sam Harris. perhaps this is why the sobriquet "the king of the extras" isn't used. but when I think of the world of Hollywood extras it's always Flowers & Harris who come to mind first.

29 November 2014

my own private chorus line

some of the things that happen in my head cd never happen in reality. for instance I have this chorus line of all those splendid lads I've been seeing over the decades -- on Broadway & tour & summer stock. but in my head they never age. David Evans at one end looks as young in this line as Tyler Hanes at the other.

they smile & kick. & thrill me endlessly.

I don't have a religious fantasy abt an afterlife.  but I've seen enuf movies to know how I wd direct my death. I'd be in a white tux. tapping my way up a staircase. & on each row of the staircase wd be one of my chorus boys in black tuxes -- smiling those magical smiles & offering a hand up.

who cd ask for anything more?

28 November 2014

Kenny Delgado (1955-2014)

another Santa Fe legend is gone. some calld Canuto our town's number one music fan. indeed he loved music & food & good times with friends & family.

this is probably my favorite photo of him. when I learnd he was that New Mexico rarity -- a Cleveland Browns fan -- I gave him my father's cap. it made me smile when I saw him wear it.

here we are with my dear neighbors Rita & Phil at Farm & Table before hearing Ringo Starr & his all-stars:

& Phil took the final picture of me with Kenny in Carlos Santana's dressing room 2 months ago.  it's not the best picture of either of us but now holds great sentiment:

27 November 2014

24 November 2014

underwear alert

this post is for my guy friends who enjoy colorful underwear.

not sure if you can tell from this photo but the elastic band in these Justus Boyz is gone. now this sometimes happens after a year or so. but this was after the first washing! I've never had this happen before.

23 November 2014

desert holiday flick

Fred Olen Ray began his prolific career by making slasher films. eventually he graduated to the sexploitation field. he must hold the record for having directd the most movies with "bikini" in the title.  so you can imagine my shock when I checkd the credits for something calld "Christmas in Palm Springs" & discoverd it was produced & directd by FOR.

so I watchd it. to be kind -- it's crap. of course I liked seeing scenes at the art museum. but this is FOR. one expects a madman to be chasing a bikini babe thru the museum with a chainsaw. or let me indulge fantasy & ask for a beguiling shot of a guy in a jockstrap walking thru the wading pool at Inn Exile. but no -- this is family formula. I had no idea FOR did this kind of thing.

20 November 2014

the past keeps returning

yesterday Judith Gollust King sent me this remarkable photo she took in april 1969 of an SDS demonstration in front of the admin building at Kent State.

that's me under the lamppost on the right (I know a tie with a shortsleeve shirt is so wrong). next to me (with the wonderful hair) is Bill Whitaker. & all the way on the left (with his camera) is David King.

this was during my tenure as staff writer with University News Service. I was hired primarily to cover the arts. but of course did hard news as well. & that certainly was a volatile time. altho I was as good covering news on the run as more deliberate features it increasingly became difficult on a personal level.  I remember covering one rally when Ted Joy came up to me & shoutd "pig" in my face.  because I was in the employ of the university.  after the shootings it became even more difficult so I talkd my way into a job at the library.

seeing a photograph from a distant time you've never seen before is always fascinating. it opens a window to that past that can be quite different than memory. & sometimes it even opens doors in that memory that have been closed for some time.

18 November 2014

everything old is new again

when I was cleaning out my parents' house I found a pair of vintage swim trunks with a Hawaiian design. I presumed they were Dad's. they were so quaint they went into the save box.

some time later I was going thru family photos & found this of Mom & I at a 1956 picnic with the Poling family:

yes. that's me in those trunks. they were mine. & my parents had saved them all these decades.

2 days ago Tim Jones took this of me wearing them at his Arizona Sunburst Inn:

17 November 2014

back from Phoenix

weekend getaway to hear "Rigoletto" with Sarah Coburn.

weather was all over the place   ranging from 40s to 80s. on the one good day I did a 9-mile walk. but the fluctuations in temps did a number on my sinuses.

10 November 2014

when words retire

I was reading a Maxwell Bodenheim poem which includes the word "flagon." of course I know what it means but I hadn't heard it since maybe watching some Robin Hood movie ages ago.

language is fluid. words come & go. literature captures some for posterity. it's been a while but there was a time when I enjoyd reclaiming words. something startling from Shakespeare can still be used with vigor.

so maybe "flagon" will reappear. poetry is always filling the cup.

09 November 2014

Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000)

there is some division abt her birth date.  altho most sources have today as her centennial there remains out there speculation that she was born in 1913.

this is my favorite photo of Hedy. it's from "The Ziegfeld Girl."

in 1962 I was on Kent State's spring theater tour & walking down Shubert Alley. Lillian Roth was signing autographs outside her stage door. which thrilld me since I was a big Roth fan. but then a short distance from her was a heavily-made-up woman with a scarf over her head also signing. I didn't recognize her as anyone from Roth's current musical so askd someone nearby who it was. yes. Hedy Lamarr right there in front of me.

I think that autograph is in my papers at Kent State.


& then another case of synchronicity.

for some reason I was thinking abt a name from my past -- David Roggensack. he was a press rep in NYC's theater world. googling him I discoverd a 1971 column by Arthur Bell abt the opening of American Place Theater which mentions both David (who was doing the company's press at the time) & Hedy who showd up at APT's opening.

08 November 2014

peculiarity of a single man

for years I've slept on the right side of the bed & on my right side. from time to time I'll roll over to experience the left side of the bed & then sleep on my left side (altho I once read that was bad for the heart). at hotels that have large beds -- like Blue Moon -- I often stay for 4 nites & will sleep on the right side for 2 nites & on the left the other 2.

several days ago I wrenchd my back while digging up gopher trails. I decided sleeping on my back for a change mite be less painful. & then I decided why not put the 2 pillows which I generally have on each side of the bed on top of each other in the middle. & for a couple of nites now I've gone to bed this way. 

as I age I often find change difficult. but I have to admit that this particular change feels quite lovely. & for someone who hasn't slept with someone else on a regular basis for some time it seems it suddenly feels more fitting than what I've been doing for so long.

07 November 2014

today's hike

we went to Jemez to soak in some of the pools. here I am on the trail there. the backpack was a gift from David Meredith   carrying case from Phil Andrews. the shirt was Mike Carver's   vest Dad's.  in the backpack was my Blue Moon beach towel & sandals I bought in Philadelphia.

05 November 2014


once a rare book librarian always a rare book librarian.

for 2 days I've been giddy. yesterday I got my copies of Hydeout Press' Renegade Flowers. & there are 2 editions of this already scarce item. the "standard" edition of only 74 copies has d.a. levy's portrait blindstampd on the front cover.  the even rarer contributors edition of only 26 copies has a flower on the front cover. (very difficult to see these details in this photo)

today I got my copies of the second printing of my flip book  from Poet's Haven. all that has changed is that the number one is now absent from the copyright page. but -- hey -- Gildzen collectors must have both issues.

02 November 2014

first day of backward clocks

& weekend of day of the dead. it's raining & cold. so I'm sipping Genmai Cha from Cynthia & nibbling a warm croissant from Dulce on which I spread butter & lavender vanilla bean sugar I bought the other day at Savory Spice Shop.

31 October 2014

happy & not so

this was taken at Halloween 5 years ago in room 112 of Blue Moon in Las Vegas. the paper pumpkin -- which right now is on my mantle -- & cat were among spooky items Dad bought at some sale & gave me. the manuscript was one of many pieces I wrote in that hotel over the nearly 11 years I stayd there. & the Warhol notebook I bought at his retrospective at MOCA. it's a volume of my Wanderbuch.

29 October 2014

I'm no fan

of reality tv but I just watchd "Rival Survival" because Martin Heinrich is my senator

& because I thot it was a fascinating chapter in current American politics.

the show had Heinrich (a Democrat) with fellow senator Jeff Flake (a Republican) working together to survive a week on one of the Marshall Islands.

because it's only an hour (minus commercials) there's more left out than was there. we see them eat one clam during a full week in the sun & they live. probably Discovery Channel found it too boring to be a series. but one does feel cheatd. however it was fun to see perhaps the two best-looking men in the Senate running around in such conditions. & it certainly is good for their careers.

27 October 2014

Doug Baird (1950?-1986)

Facebook is getting a lot of shit lately. people dropping out for this reason or that. but I still spend time there & enjoy the community it brings to me.

recently someone postd photos taken at a reading at Shelly's bookstore in Kent originally published by the Akron Beacon Journal in 1975. these are of Doug:

I never knew him well. mostly we'd see each other at bars. I recall only one really long conversation. but his suicide sticks in my quilt of Kent memories.

after seeing these photos I startd to think abt him. I lookd up his poems

A haiku

footprints of my past
faint scent of a mountain cat
to the grazing deer

& short stories

"Hi Bud," Hank managed, suppressing an impulse to rush out the door toward the horizon and make a desperate leap for that hole in the world.

I began to wonder what he wd've written had he lived longer. I began to wonder what time wd've done to his good looks. I began to wonder if he wd've been on Facebook & we wd've been friends there & gotten to know each other better than we had all those years ago.

25 October 2014

spectacular day

when I got home from the gym I read some dream songs. then put on the shirt Sal added to the box as a surprise & sunglasses some gentleman left after my final bbq at Blue Moon. I hit the rail trail for a 2-hour hike.

when I returnd I prepared a sumptuous lunch & took it outside to my beautiful wood table. I enjoyd every bite while looking at a yard of cactus & hollyhock & juniper.

before I nap let me say a bit more abt the tee Sal sent. it's from Fligner's. this famous supermarket is across from St. Joseph's Hospital in Lorain. when Dad had appointments at the VA there he always stoppd at Fligner's to load up. as I recall my parents were particularly fond of their bacon. & at this moment I have in my freezer some of Fligner's garlic-smoked kielbasa.

this is the back of the tee:

John Berryman (1914-1972)

today is his centennial

24 October 2014

Mom's camel

my cousin Sal back in Ohio was storing a few last items from 429 Winckles. the box with them just arr'd. & there was this:

I have no idea when or where Mom got this piece.  & I'm not sure why I decided to keep it. there's simply something so eccentric abt it that it's a sweet memory.

in this picture of Dianne Borsenik on her last visit to that house you'll see the camel in the background:

23 October 2014

18 October 2014

"all visual stuff"

before morning got light it raind. that made the day cool. sun's out now but it's windy. I'm drinking the last of the coffee.  it's cold too. & stew's thawing on stove.

I just finishd reading the Green Panda edition of d.a. levy's Suburban Monastery Death Poem. it's been a while since I read it all the way thru.  it's weird to read now that I'm one of those "golden agers" levy didn't want to become. kept making me think what he'd be like if he was still alive & what he'd be writing.

but this edition is more than levy. the goddess that is Bree publishd this. but she also illustrated it. it's as if she climbs into yr head while you're reading & pulls out the images we all make.

so it's still levy. but it's also Bree. & it shd be you & me too.  

I cd point out some witty Bree touches like what she does with "a beautiful set of jugs." but I'm not a critic nor a killjoy. buy yr own copy & roll around in it.

15 October 2014

"places as people" & other notions

I'm in mourning. like the unexpectd death of a friend the closing today of Blue Moon is like a punch in the gut. it wasn't the only reason I enjoyd visiting Las Vegas. I have friends there & savor some great restaurants.  it's a hub to get to many good hiking spots. but for the last decade staying at Blue Moon was a pleasure.  & it was a springboard for creativity.  in addition to my suite of poems written there the resort figures in The Book of Java & Century Dimes & Pennies From Heaven.

so when I learnd of its demise I had feelings the same as those for people whose deaths touchd me.  this isn't the first time.  I remember sadness on seeing the rubble that was my university dorm. recently it was difficult to observe the new owner of my parents' house completely gut the inside. places can be as important to us as people.

we still don't know the why behind this closing.  but I fear it's another in the growing list of places paying the price for equality. don't get me wrong. I despise the bastards of the rightwing who continue to work to deprive us of our civil liberties. altho I have no need to be married or have children I'm happy for those of my tribe who want those experiences. but with so many gay resorts & bars & bookstores shuttering I regret that a generation is emerging with no knowledge of some aspects of the richness of our history. I suppose in another decade we will be so homogenized in society we will be unrecognizable.

so let me be sad abt never being able to check into Blue Moon again. for at least it's balanced by the sweetness of knowing that I did live in a time when there were places just for me.

14 October 2014

Blue Moon (2002-2014)

owner John Hessling announced on Facebook last nite that his famous Las Vegas resort is closing tomorrow. I'm in total shock.

I first stayd there in jan of 2004. so many memories during my decade as a guest. between 2009 & my final visit last june I wrote the 13 poems that form "Blue Moon Suite."  I have those to help me remember the place. & a chunk of stucco workers removed before the 2013 repainting & a Blue Moon beach towel that just today I used as a sort of wrap during my nap.

of the many photographs I took there this is one of my favorites.  it's of Mario who is featured in the poem "Labor Day."

& here's the red umbrellas that appear in "Colors."

even my current profile photo on this blog was taken at Blue Moon by artist Christopher Bachli -- who workd the front desk.

I feel that the closing of this resort -- following on the heels of Inn Exile -- concludes a vibrant chapter of my life. it makes me sad.

13 October 2014

"Winter Garden"

waking to
I still leap up
check time
but return
to bed
to converse
with corpses
plant next stanzas
take a selfie
of my soul

12 October 2014

as it gets darker & colder

I have less inclination to spring from bed in morning. during summer jumping up at 5:30 & starting my day is sublime. but on a morning like this it seems a challenge.

today I got up at 5:20. but I had a pee & went back to bed. it wasn't to sleep but to cogitate. I did close my eyes & soon I found myself on that sidewalk on Norton Ave in LA.

the pieces of Elizabeth Short were beside me. at first I didn't know what to make of it. so I allowd my body to rest on the sidewalk & my mind to be open. what I began to feel was the fear she must have felt in her final moments. it was overwhelming. then I began to wonder why Beth wd want me to share that. there was no clear answer but the fear began to subside.  I cd see her beside me but I wasn't afraid.

eventually I opend my eyes. I got out of bed & threw on some clothes. went outside to feed Kiddo.

I still don't understand this visitation of Elizabeth Short. but it was part of the realm of dreams. when I remember a dream I try not to dissect it. I'm not of the school which attempts to interpret dreams. I take them in the way I do visitations of the muse. to those of us meant to have such visitations that blessing is to be acceptd not understood.

& so this morning that faild to begin with a leap has already been rich. now I'll prepare bacon & eggs with Bolivian coffee.  when the sun comes out I'll finish the process of bringing in plants for the winter. abt a half dozen remain outdoors. there are plants which began as cuttings I brought back from LA & Fort Lauderdale & Palm Springs. inside they'll help me breathe thru the cold months.

11 October 2014

last nite

I dreamt in black & white.  I don't remember ever doing that before.

10 October 2014

a bath???

I'm strictly a shower guy. can't remember the last time I had one.  so why did I just do this?

a whim. for years my bathtub has held plants.  my recent housecleaning marathon included a rearrangement of indoor plants. so I actually cd see the bottom of the tub. then it's only 50 outside.  one of our rare gloomy days.  gray with endless light rain. suddenly I got this flash that I shd bathe. without questioning this rare & odd intuition I had the water running.

the soaking part was sort of pleasant. of course I worried abt my personal dirt moving from one part of my body to another. but I tried hard to feel good. & it almost workd.

I feel no need to ever have another bath.

09 October 2014

cleaning the ceiling

good to hear good news of Allen Memorial Art Museum.  everyone who knows me knows of my fondness for that institution. it was the first art mseum I ever went to. it was where at the age of 12 or 13 I bought my first piece of art.  it's where my art collection will go when I'm dead.

here I am a few years ago under that ceiling:

08 October 2014

a community shows its love

this morning James Robert Parish sent me still more tributes coming in for Marian Seldes.  those in the theater truly loved this woman as both actress & human being.

reading thru some of them I suddenly rememberd that I'd taken her picture when our mutual friend Bobby Lewis was inductd into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1991.

06 October 2014

Marian Seldes (1928-2014)

I've told this story often but that's because it's such a lovely story.

in 1963 I went to the Actors Studio production of "Strange Interlude" starring Geraldine Page. also in the audience was Marian Seldes.  we had a lovely little chat.

in 1985 I went to the Broadway revival of the same play starring Glenda Jackson. to my astonishment there was Miss Seldes again. I ran up to her to tell her of our earlier meeting. she gave me the sweetest smile & sd " well we have to do this again in another 25 years."

05 October 2014

a favorite plant

little by little I'm bringing in plants which have enjoyed a summer outdoors.  this one began as a single snippet from a plant at Inn Exile in Palm Springs. some things I bring from other places don't like the journey & expire.  this one has prosperd.

04 October 2014


Jason Prufer alertd me abt the temporary availibility of Dick Myers' 1969 film on You Tube.  altho I've seen snippets of it online tonite I saw the complete film for the first time since 1983.

altho moments in the film were vivid there were large sections I'd forgotten. on a personal level it's a true time capsule. so many friends on the screen. & funny to see my name wrong in the credits.

here's a couple of bad screen caps I made with my iPad of me in the scene shot at Jo & Ann's Bar:

& here I am on the bus near the end:

when I last saw "Akran" I wrote this:


boy in seat in front of me
sits behind me a young man

Jake & Mary's kids   grown too
live on two coasts

she in the back is dead 
he in front   wives later   lost

in that bus up on the screen
I'm a bearded student riding toward love

but now alone in the dark
I approach 40 barefaced & wambly

Arizona (2001)

while housecleaning & organizing I discoverd a mailing from David Meredith which included photos he shot of our trip.