24 June 2019

Hippodrome Theater (1959)

Lana Turner
at a premiere
in Cleveland
on white ostrich feathers   

18 June 2019

Walt's leaves

on the back cover of the anthology I'm so happy to be in -- Lovejets: queer male poets on 200 years of Walt Whitman -- is this quote from Richard Blanco:

“This wide and impressive range of poetry echoing the spirit of Walt Whitman and his literary forebears demonstrates the essential embrace of community that we’ve always needed to feel whole with ourselves and among others, especially now during these tumultuous times. Celebrating what had to be largely hidden from view during Whitman’s day, the living queer male poets who grace the pages trumpet a glorious and unforgettable spectacle of passion and compassion.” 

going thru photo files tonite I found this. it's Blanco reading his poem at the second Obama inauguration. I'd forgotten that for that moment I put my copy of Leaves of Grass beneath the streaming image.

09 June 2019

a collaboration

a while ago I bought a small button piece by Emeline Tate at Janssen Art Space. then in my regular gallery going I met her. she came to my first book anniversary celebration. after that she suggestd a collaboration. this is what I wrote for her:


buttoning silence
lets words
come out to play

when white is witty
pink shrinks

let us know
how letters hurt

filling a square
with smiles
practice for paradise

a sloth got loose
in a library
& ate so many words
it shat poems

then she got to work using 3 of the little poems. & last nite they made their debuts on the Janssen walls.

(photo by Marconi Calindas)

I have always loved working with artists & photographers & choreographers & any other creative person who suggests such an adventure.

with the artist & a little piece she made for me

02 June 2019

"Kiss My Glass"

Selen Korkut is a Facebook friend who lives in Istanbul. on her last visit to the States she went to Hollywood Forever where she kissd my glass. happily she took this photograph.

you can almost see her reflection but you can clearly see lip imprints. this thrills me.

when she messaged me abt it she told me that preparing one's burial spot before death was "odd for my part of the world." my response: "yes it's odd that my final resting place is already on view but since I paid for it I thot why not put stuff in it now & enjoy it before I move in."

having been able to stage my niche has been comforting. I know that someday my physical remains will share eternal space with some of my literary remains. also I'm delightd that the Century Dimes are there for forever. that piece was literally touchd by so many loved ones over its decade. so it's as if the DNA of some of my favorite people will be with me forever.

& then the artist in me is happy that I've turnd this whole thing into an enduring art work. I've already heard from 2 strangers who love it. & apparently the imprint of lips has indeed begun. how special that I'm still here to appreciate the response.

27 May 2019

"Femme Fatale"

in 2011 a Dutch documentary filmmaker interviewd me abt Jetta Goudal. we were in the backyard of my friend Billy Berger in Culver City.  I often wonderd what became of that. I was searching for something else today & found this clip for "Diva."

later I did some more searching & discoverd the entire film online but with the title "The Woman Nobody Knows."

the director is Erik Brouwer. working the camera is his wife Do.

28 April 2019


sooooooo.... I went to an opening last nite. one of the artists showing— whose openings I always attend — came up to me & sd he was sorry to miss my event. I lookd at him sternly   put my finger on his nose & sd “shame on you.” he was so startled he cdn’t speak.

I’m too old to be polite.

21 April 2019

Easter memories

I disdain religions. most holidays have roots in them. or in commerce. so I have a complicated relationship to holidays.

I was born on Easter but have no memory of that.  I do remember one year Mom making a bonnet when she & her gal pals went to Cleveland for a tv show. she took a plastic plate & affixd to it a candy bar of the day which had the name of some food. something like "Cold Turkey." & then there was the magical time my folks hid hand-paintd plaster of paris Disney characters around the house for me to hunt. how I wish I still had those.

both of my parents loved to celebrate. every holiday was a chance for Mom to eat & for Dad to drink. & for both to share. for today's holiday I have fond memories of them making Easter cheese. I can still see the ball forming in cheesecloth hanging from a door knob & dripping into a big pot.

have I already recorded this somewhere? when you're as old as I & have written as much one forgets. my reason for putting any of this down is that it brings me close to my parents. they both adored holidays. I have both glad & sad memories of such.

I woke this morning with this image in mind & it's one which will carry me thru the day.

05 April 2019

I refuse

to allow this april to be a cruel month. because for me it's a triumph. my first book was publishd 50 years ago this month.

Into the Sea was publishd by Abraxas Press in an edition of  200 copies. I don't know how many survive but several are in important library collections.

I never expectd to live as long as I have. & so many of my contemporaries are dead. so this is quite the milestone.  most of my peers have workd the poetry fields for decades without much notice. but something is happening for me this month that's quite frankly a thrill.

on wed 24 april Marconi Gallery in Palm Springs will celebrate me from 5-8 pm. there will be a give-away of some of my out of print books. & at 6 I'll read a sampling of my work. then I'll unveil a portrait of me by Marconi Calindas.

most seeing this are too far away to join me but I'll be reading to you nonetheless. a half century of books is something.

01 April 2019


my friend Bob is visiting for a week. among his addictions is this place. I've never been. so I joind him for a trip there. we spent 12 hours. fun but exhausting.

11 March 2019

"End of the World Project"

so happy to have work in this anthology
because it's important
& because I share its pages
with so many good writers

04 March 2019

last year was hard to beat

but already this year looks like another milestone one for me.

it's the 50th anniversary of publication of my first book

plus the forthcoming publication of the first 30 years of Alex in Movieland (Crisis Chronicles Press).

& this morning I got notice of the upcoming publication of Lovejets which includes my work with poems by an amazing group of gay male poets honoring Walt Whitman.

it astounds me that I'm still here & still producing work & still dancing naked whenever I get the chance.

21 February 2019

another doc

old friends Todd Hughes & P. David Ebersole are editing their Pierre Cardin documentary. but they've also begun filming the next. & that subject -- Trini Lopez -- did an interview & mini-concert in town last nite for the cameras.

13 February 2019

at 4:57 a.m.

the late David Meredith appeard unexpectdly in my dream & I immediately woke up.

28 January 2019

"I am the Night"

is a mini-series which debuts tonite on TNT. however it actually debutd last nite. I know. I'm confused too. yesterday was that rare day when I felt chaind to the tv.  but when I discoverd TNT was screening a "preview" of the mini-series I added it to my hours before the small screen. I did so because the show is partly abt the Black Dahlia case.

anyone who knows me knows of my interest in true crime. & my particular passion for this case. so it's seepd into my work. my pal Todd Moore encouraged me to make Elizabeth Short work for me as Dillinger did for him. but I've never been ready to become that immersed.

last nite I was able to watch only the first hour. there was no mention of Short. there were 2 different stories which I knew wd merge & eventually involve the case. one story was abt a supposedly interracial child. it was so ordinary it was boring. the other was abt an old school journalist. it was pretty cliche as well but had the advantage of being playd by Chris Pine who is so watchable.

I know enuf abt the case that I bet I can predict where this is going. if I decide to follow it thru it will be less abt the case & more abt Pine's appeal.

anyway....... if you don't know I do have a small chapbook abt Elizabeth Short. 

Green Panda Press publishd it in an edition of 40 copies a decade ago. it's already a collector's item.

to observe the 70th anniversary of Short's murder Green Panda brought out a second printing in 2017.

14 January 2019

wonderful visit

Regina left this morning after 5 days of gourmet meals & museums & shopping & films. we also visitd Marconi Calindas in studio.

04 January 2019

Palm Springs International Film Festival

before the awards presentation began at opening nite gala I was walking among tables when I spottd Dale Chihuly. no one else was at his table so I askd if I cd chat with him & he agreed. I told him that years ago (when I later lookd it up it was 38) I'd seen him blow a piece of glass when he was in residence at Kent State.

"don't do that anymore" he sd.  "but let people know I did."

he askd if I knew Henry Halem. so I told him the story of buying a piece of Henry's for Mom years ago & that it's now in the collection at Allen Memorial Art Museum. he askd me to give Henry his good wishes.

we took the obligatory photo & then I was off to my table for the show.