as if this year didn't have enuf deaths word comes from Hollywood of the closing of this important spot. it wasn't just a gallery -- showing works by artists like Eddie Jelinet & JC Gonzo -- but it was a meeting place for people willing to look at the dark side. here I am with gallery owner Rick Castro -- famous fetish photographer & co-director of "Hustler White" -- on my first visit in 2011.
& in the notorious Tony Ward Toilet:
but my best memory was my first Hollywood reading:
& here is Rick -- who featured tea salons there -- with my gift of Mom's miniature teapot & napkins picturing teapots.
the death of any gallery is sad. but with the turn toward hate of the coming administration we more than ever need places like Antebellum. I am happy to have been a part of this cultural & social phenomenon but teary to see it end.
as a boy I liked her. in fact this portrait is one her studio sent me when I wrote for movie star pictures back in the '50s. as we both got older I outgrew her. I sourd on Zsa Zsa's dismal politics & obvious quest for money & celebrity. she became a joke. but by the very end I felt sorry for her. she lived too long. in another age she wd've been calld a courtsesan. but for our time the label ranged from "actress" to "gold digger." & as easy as it is to dismiss her one must remember that she did make films for Welles & Huston & Minnelli. every time I went to the airport in Albuquerque from the freeway I'd see that wonderful old downtown hotel where Gabor honeymoond with Conrad Hilton. & when I see her in costume as Jane Avril or Rosalie I smile for my long-ago boyhood.
here is the first poem in my suite "Towns from Trains" :
startld awake at 4 in the
I see from my window
arches of Casa del
"I must be in
then turn over
to dream of Cordova
the reason I return to this 1997 piece is this:
my neighbor Estee Huff gave me this brick because we had a long discussion which involved among other things the Harvey Girls. an earthquake apparently shook loose some bricks from Casa del Desierto which was the Harvey House in Barstow. they were sold to make money for the reconstruction. because of our conversation (& the brick in my atrium piece) she bought bricks for herself & me. rarely do people respond to my work in such a creative way. I was moved by her insight & generosity.