31 July 2015

remember this?

I realize there are those out there who never saw one of these. it was calld a catalog card. they were in drawers in libraries before there were computers.

today's organizing project turnd up a small cardboard box from OCLC addressd to Kent State's catalog department.  inside were all the cards for my collection. when the library gave up its card catalog someone must've saved my cards & given them to me. this is probably the first time in 20 years that I opend that little box. 

my first inclination was to pitch them.  but then I figured that the box is so small….. why not keep it.  I bet there aren't all that many old catalog cards left in the world.


as I continue going thru closets & drawers I found a little baggie of "stuff" with this note from Mom:

Dad and I are trying to get rid of junk.  Ha ha, my stuff he wants to throw out but not his.

29 July 2015

Joe Allen

in any big city restaurants come & go.  so it seems a big deal that this NYC favorite is celebrating its 50th year.

I startd going there in the 70s. in my drinking days I'd be alone at the bar.  but also meals over the decades with friends. the only regular I recall from the menu was the Caesar salad.  but it was a comfortable place. the waiters cd be the chorus from "Hello Dolly" (as no doubt some of them were over the years). I recall Jean-Pierre Aumont sitting by himself & Alfred Molina coming in from the rain.

I don't get to Manhattan much anymore.  but it's good to know that it's still there.

27 July 2015

Lee Harwood (1939-2015)

this is Lee in 1970 -- the year he &  Stuart Montgomery did an American tour.  they stayd with me in Twin Lakes.

at one time we were going to co-edit an anthology of lists.  but it never happened.


lei brought back from Hawaii (2004)

one of Dad's moth-damaged ties

26 July 2015


my discovery online of several photographs of Rudolph Valentino with a hermit in Palm Springs led me all over the place today.

the man with beard & guitar was William Pester. he was a nudist & local character who some think was the inspiration for the song "Nature Boy."

digging deeper I discoverd that shortly before he died Peter Wild publishd a bio of Pester.  I have a couple of connections to Wild. we share the same birthday (altho he was born 3 years before me). & we both had sweet little books publishd at the same time by Abraxas Press.

mine was my first book -- Into the Sea.  his was Three Nights in the Chiricahuas.

the reason I know they were publishd together is that at some point I was sent some extra covers by the press & they included the cover for Wild's book. they may have even been on the same page when the cover stock was printd.

I love knowing that both Valentino & Wild have Palm Springs connections.

Spanish Market

in 2001 Regina & I visitd Charlie Carrillo at his home. she bought a santo & I purchasd a candle box.  some time later I realizd my piece wasn't signd.

a couple of weeks ago I was in the check-out line with Charlie at our local grocery store. I mentiond the box & he sd I shd bring it by.

so I carefully carried the box on the bus to Spanish Market where Charlie finally put his signature to it.

24 July 2015


in sorting thru & dealing with both treasures & detritus of a long life I'm awash in the craziest of happy/sad feelings.

not long after posting a picture of things that haven't survived whole the mail came. first I opend an envelope which I'd sent to Josh Ronsen as part of my piece "Mathchless." he turnd the envelope over & re-addressd it to me.  & inside was the matchbook from a restaurant in Key West which I maild.  he wrote a little story on it.  it felt odd to have it back -- but lovely in that it has also become a separate work.

then I opend a larger padded envelope.  in it was a long letter from Mike Busam explaining the back stories for the 2 pieces he included. one is a publishd work calld "Universe" which comes from Mike's participation in International Pwoermd Writing Month.  it's witty & wise.

but Mike also sent along a copy of his new poem "Passing Glances (Hamilton, Ohio)."
it's a collation of 7 viewings of mostly musicians in his hometown between 2003 & this month.  but are they? the portraits cd be actual celebrity sightings. or they cd be people that the poet saw who remind him of celebrities. 

here is one of the segments:

Seen from Lane Library
reading room through windows
opposite fire place decorated
with Rookwood Pottery tiles bearded
Thelonious Monk
under trilby
inside long coat
navigating ice treacherous sidewalk
in front of Monkey Mutual
Aid Society 304 N 3rd St
Pauses to wave at passing car

precise language. vivid images. perfect line breaks.

o yes. & something else.  the poem is dedicated to me. I can't tell you how much that means.

so on a day which began by walking to the gym & ended with another mass shooting I felt connectd to who I am & was.  I felt that maybe some of what I've put out into the world has resonated with someone.

23 July 2015

broken things

bull whistle Cynthia brought me from Mexico (1965)

cup from Mom's china collection

cow bought in Greece (1987)

21 July 2015

Tom & all that

change is all abt ups & downs.  ups are elation of dealing with the new.  downs are abt accepting necessary ends.  "every day a little death."

I think my current tussle with anxiety & depression are an offshoot of the major change on my doorstep.  as I unburden my load I'm delightd to have fewer things to deal with but as quiversome as that can be there is indeed a moment of sadness in letting go of so much of my past.

as I review books I've found some funny inscriptions from my old friend T. R. Queen.  I've written abt him before because he is an important character in my life. 

he had the quickest wit of perhaps anyone I've ever known.  in one of our yearbooks he wrote: "Don't forget all the years at E.H.S. I realize that this is an old cliche, but so are you."

it's been some years since I've heard the BBC recording of our friend Roberta Elzey Berke's script "Backwards Through the Funhouse." if I recall Simon Callow plays the part based on Tom.

his birthday is in a couple of weeks. his death remains a shock after all these years.

19 July 2015


I'm listening to Inga Swenson & Virginia Vestoff in a cast album recorded a half century ago.  it's one of 57 such albums I'm willing to let go as I lighten my load.

17 July 2015

a discovery

I continue my review of my library -- finding homes for material I've had for decades.  & in the process I'm finding hidden treasures.

in my copy of levy's Suburban Monastery Death Poem (Zero Editions: 1968) I found I'd scribbled a poem. it's dated 24 sept 68 which is interesting since levy dates his poem as aug 68.

here it is:

Garbo is asleep on my lap --
she begins to twitch all over &
I wonder if she's having nightmares
& if I shd wake her
but I don't & then twitching stops.


there are so many times, d.a. levy,
when I want to say something
about love but end up
not even looking into eyes:
I am a creature of self
trying to reach out
but always finding
my own arms waiting for me

part of me cringes reading this after so many years.  but then as I age I know one needs to put such things in context.  so for me it becomes sort of an historical document. & I see now that it's not simpy an immediate response to reading levy's long poem but also a precursor of my trio of verse journals.  I see a 25 year-old with a cat in his lap   a mimeographd chapbook in one hand & a pencil in the other dashing off the first thing that comes into his head.  it's lovely to know that cat who had such a short life in a way now has a long one. I'll avoid analyzing the obvious.  & ask yr indulgence in even posting this.

15 July 2015

Bea Arthur Residence

when I read this my first reaction was to remember dealing with the Golden Girl when I produced "Live at the Opera" in 1999.

unfortunately I have no photo of us together then.  but here's the poster which she signd for me:

14 July 2015

project du jour

reviewing my vinyl. hundreds of albums I'm now ready to let go.  some I've had for a half century.

Jerome Lawrence (1915-2004)

Jerry Schwartz was a kid from Cleveland who joind up with Bob Lee -- a boy from Elyria -- to become one of Broadway's most famous writing teams. their 2 most enduring plays are "Inherit the Wind" & "Auntie Mame."

the last time I saw Jerry was in Columbus years ago:

& here's what he wrote in that book:

13 July 2015

a lot of Rob

tonite I saw "Oxford Blues" & loved how Rob Lowe was sewn into his jeans.

when it was over all I cd think of was his infamous sex tape. & then I hit the internet & what is being featured right now on Towleroad but a new Lowe tape.  this time he's older & sillier & lip-syncing to Julie Andrews.

as she mite say "dear me."

12 July 2015


today is the artist's birthday. & I remember 2 things.

first is this early poem of mine (1964):

I pause
near the end of

my coffee break
to contemplate

Amadeo Modigliani's
eyesight: how sublime

to see swans
with human heads.

of course I was in my 20s & who in their 20s doesn't love Modigliani.  that passion coold.  but then a few years ago I was at the art musuem in San Diego & absolutely fell in love with his "Blue Eyed Blue" (1916).

11 July 2015

Roger Rees (1944-2015)

my cousin Regina took this picture of the actor at the Jean-Claude van Itallie seminar we both participated in a few years ago

08 July 2015

"Accordian Lines"

this isn't abt Dick Contino
or that Spanish lady
so popular in my youth
this is actually abt
the opposite of youth

on Facebook
I saw an ad
showing a face
& what happens
as it ages

I never knew
those creases
beside the lips
had a name

"accordian lines"

lovely to know
the face in my mirror
is musical

so when I smile
at myself
I hear my whole life
in a song

07 July 2015


splendid to discover this remembrance of a fabulous store of the past.

& hard to believe that I got these items from there 42 years ago.  the larger bottle still has some shampoo in it.

this week

Santa Fe feels like Seattle

05 July 2015

Andy's soup

my friend Gary just visitd from Las Vegas.  he took back some of my "stuff" to try to sell on ebay.  this is the first item:

Jacques Sernas (1925-2015)

he had a long film career but for me he will always be the young Paris in "Helen of Troy"

he of the thighs that launchd a thousand dreams. 

03 July 2015

Cinco (2007-2015)

Rita calld just before half past noon. Cinco had a serious episode & she was on her way to the vet.  I ran out to the car to pet him & they were off.  just before 4 she stoppd by on her way back from the vet to let me know he was gone.


Clear Light Opera House (Cerrillos NM)