30 November 2004

a test

how do I get this picture to appear in a previous post?

it's easy to add photos which already have a url. I download'd Hello so I cd add digital pix from my camera. it seems easy except I don't know how to insert them in a text.

Tills / Gildzen / Beckett Posted by Hello

29 November 2004

out of the deck

in Elyria David askd my father what kind of toys pleasd me. he rememberd that when I was wee I playd with empty spools & later spent hours with my face in books.

on my second flight home the couple in front of me were playing some card game with their young son. that joggd a memory from childhood. for the first time in a long time I recalld playing a card game calld Authors. with my eyes shut I concentratd till I brought back the picture of a blond Hawthorne on the cards. I don't know what age I was when I playd Authors but I bet I hadn't read any Hawthorne yet. however that image of him must've dazzld me since I can still see it.

I didn't grow up to be a card player but I can still be dazzld by a blond man.

28 November 2004

toward a tryptophan journal

to & fro were both fraught with jostlery & noxious minors. but that sweet time in between.

back to my tower in Kent where I dancd with my past till Tills droppd by. after rummaging thru Bromige we did some rain walks: what's life of "Partially Buried Woodshed"       a pro golf shop in Akron       Quaker Square. finally a bar in Kent & Beckett. there I was flankd by the progenitors of this blog. the talk was all over the place -- from silly(man) to profound but never prolix.

the ayem of Thxgiving my host David Meredith & I slid across the turnpike to Elyria & my waiting parents who were tending turkey. soon cousin Sal Kovach arrivd with enuf food to salvage the Salvation Army & the feast began.

all next day was family time. from carting out Xmas boxes long in storage to preparing turkey soup. & it was all good.

27 November 2004

"the 5 million copies project"

just back from Ohio to find my contribution postd.

got up at 5:30. Dad made pancakes. cousin Sal arrivd at 7:30 & we were off to Cleveland Hopkins for the 1st of my 2 flights. been a long day. so I'll put up an attempt at a trip journal manana.

22 November 2004

a slice of pumpkin pie

I'm on my way to Ohio for the week. will share Thxgiving with my parents in Elyria.

a glance

one of the sorrows of cinema studies is the absence of early work. more silent films are lost than survive. which makes it impossible to evaluate many careers.

my friend Lois Wilson is rememberd today as a competent actress. her strength was underplaying in an era of over-the-top acting. her reputation rests with a single remarkable performance -- in the title role of "Miss Lulu Bett."

accounts of the time however pointd to another important accomplishment in her film career. she was the screen's 1st Daisy Buchanan in the 1926 version of "The Great Gatsby." that it is one of Hollywood's many missing classics made Lois sad. she told me she'd heard a fragment of the film was in an archive in Moscow but she hadn't seen it.

so you can imagine my shock when I learnd that Turner Classic Movies was screening a trailer of "The Great Gatsby" tonite. unfortunately it's only a minute long & Lois has but seconds in it. so it turnd out to be a frustrating tease.

however the evening did provide a sweet association. the trailer came after a screening of "Lady Windermere's Fan." that Lubitsch silent film featurd May McAvoy in the female lead. she & Lois were co-stars & lifelong friends. I was lucky to have known them both late in their lives. this picture of the 3 of us was taken in the summer of 1975:

20 November 2004

thumbs up

pulld the last of Bernice Pogan's brownies from the freezer. brewd green tea. unwrappd the DVD of "Gladiators Seven."

I was 13 when I discoverd Richard Harrison in physique magazines. shortly thereafter he began appearing in bits in Hollywood films. then in the early 60s he went to Italy where he finally became a star. this 1962 movie is a fine example of the sword & scandal genre. but the main reason to see it is to feast on Harrison's beauty. he was 27 when it was shot in Rome & Madrid. in the film he pole vaults battles with swords rides a horse rapells a mountain.

movie legend has it that he turnd down a certain role in a certain spaghetti western but suggestd to director Sergio Leone that his friend Clint Eastwood mite do. which makes Harrison's cameo in "Pussycat Pussycat I Love You" quite poignant. in it he parodies Eastwood's showdown scene.

on my 1st visit to Palm Springs (where he twice ran for mayor unsuccessfully) I spoke with him on the phone. he was so important to my development that my knees were wobbly. however we have never met.

most of his foreign films aren't available here. he made one with another favorite of mine -- Guy Madison -- which I've always wantd to see. maybe another evening. with more brownies & green tea.

that's not thunder that's poetry

in a film last nite a character comments that his father found Langston Hughes cdn't stay on the page but had to be read aloud.

then this ayem I see that Jonathan Mayhew is reading Ashbery aloud.

let's take this further: I propose that all those people in airports & grocery stores who insist on speaking into cell phones be made to read poetry into them. that way as I wait in line with my pain rustique & jug of milk I can hear Marianne Moore instead of a stranger's plans for nocturnal hijinks.

19 November 2004


this is the 2nd day in a row in which I keep returning to the Faux Press e-book by Micah Ballard. I see the poems on my monitor but feel the need to read them aloud. the audenesque rimes fill this room. the rhythms reverberate.

18 November 2004

"what time is it boys & girls?"

only those of a certain age will appreciate this.

but a link to our childhood is gone. Dayton Allen died. he was the voice of both Phineas T. Bluster & Flub-a-Dub on t'v's "Howdy Doody Show." Howdy was a puppet. one of my great losses is that I no longer have the Howdy marionette I did as a boy. years ago my mother gave me a more recent Howdy doll which is on my bed beside his creative nephew PeeWee Herman.

the show began just after xmas of 1947. host Buffalo Bob Smith interactd with puppets such as Howdy & Mr. Bluster. other real characters were Clarabell the Clown (playd by Bob Keeshan before he became Captain Kangaroo) & Princess Summerfallwinterspring (Judy Tyler who went on to be Elvis' leading lady in "Jailhouse Rock").

children in the audience were in a section calld the peanut gallery. from time to time I come across someone of my generation who had actually been there.

one influence of the show was my love of silent cinema. there was a section of the program in which silent comedies were shown. altho my recollection is that they were screend at the wrong speed & generally made light of I'm sure that was my initial exposure to the art form.

thank you Dayton Allen for yr contribution to television history.

16 November 2004

swim thru the sea of nite little swimmer

"tumbleweeds are better than many plants at absorbing uranium through their roots"
The New Mexican (15 nov 04)

for 24 hours
this line has swirld in my head.
I have visions of glowing
weed orbs blowing
thru my nites.
& I have a wee battle
in my ears:
Mills Brothers
vs Sons of the Pioneers.

14 November 2004

some red flowers

I can go for weeks without being social. then bing... I'm a hummingbird supping yon & hither.

last nite I was invitd to the home of Karen Leigh & Robert Nott for dinner & chat. she's a lovely actress & a lively cook. he's an actor/director/playwright/critic who pens bios of movie stars like John Garfield & Randolph Scott. so the discussion was often filmcentric.

this morning August Highland droppd by. he was editor (& remains publisher) of Muse Apprentice Guild which offerd the world my retrospective. he was in town from California for an exhibition of his paintings at a new gallery on Canyon Rd. altho we've e'd & spoke once on the phone this was my initial meeting with the mysterious Mr. Highland. he is easy to talk with & talks easily. instead of going out I fixd an impromptu soup. the non-stop conversation lastd 5 hours. so I feel I know him better.

13 November 2004

sometimes life can be so sweet

a knock on my door. by the time I opend it no one was there. but on the mat was a package. it was from my dear friend Cynthia in California. we were students together at Kent State in another century & happily have remaind in touch over the decades.

inside were 2 brightly beribbond packages & a card with toucan stickers. I opend the card first. it was an image of James Dean. there was Cynthia's familiar script beginning with "Alex dearheart." at the end was one of her signature ladybugs.

one package was a James Dean bank. because it rattld I opend it to find 2 pennies & some chocolates. the other package containd Campbell's limitd ed Andy Warhol soup cans.

the thoughtfulness & generosity of this unexpectd gift elevates my mood. everybody deserves a friend like Cynthia but not all of us are fortunate enuf to get one. so in this dark month of war & election disaster I suddenly want to astaire on the ceiling.

thank you dearheart....

12 November 2004

"Bridge over Arroyo"

I mentiond that my backyard leads into Arroyo Chamisa. some steps away is a foot bridge. abt a week ago I began a series of photographs taken in the middle of the bridge. in each one there are 2 items from my house.

in this photo one item is a saw my father gave me. I'm esp fond of it cause at one point he etchd his name on it. the other item is a silk herb pillow made by someone by the name of Jay. I purchasd it at Covent Garden Market for my mother. recently she began "organizing" & returnd it to me.

11 November 2004

R.B. Sprague

my friend Roger had an opening tonite. but it was at a gallery outside Seattle. at one time we thot we'd make it up there but it didn't happen. I felt the least we cd do was dine out. so we went to a new cajun restaurant calld Gator Alley. I had a taste of chicken gumbo then crawfish etouffee. Roger did catfish with shrimp jambalaya. dessert was gooey hot brownies with ice cream.

I came home with the intention of writing abt Roger's new paintings. I tried to present something profound abt his use of interiors & exteriors but when I startd writing abt the windows in his new skyscrapers as eyes I knew it was time to hit the pillows & leave that to the critics.

A or O?

hours after beginning this blog I receivd snail mail from the neighborhood association mentioning Arroyo Chamiso. I know that's the correct Spanish but I swear seeing signs around Santa Fe saying Arroyo Chamisa. so I sped to the phonebook where I found a nearby street is calld Arroyo Chamisos. but then yes I discoverd a reference to Arroyo Chamisa trail.

an arroyo is "a dry gully." in Spanish it's masculine. chamisa or Chrysothamnus nauseosus is a bush-like plant which reproduces easily. its yellow flower is a hallmark of late summer. it's feminine. the arroyo my backyard leads into is so full of chamisas it suggestd its name. the people who live along it are multi-cultural. their language use is as colorful as they are. so Arroyo Chamiso is proper but seen less often. since this improper gringo appreciates the mix of cultures & the confusion of male & female I'll stick with the way I 1st heard it & not change the name of this blog.

10 November 2004

a beginning again

what a morning.
from Tom Beckett's blog to Steve Tills' balls.
such an ignition.

my mind kentucky-derbyd faster than the diarist in me cd chart. I'm still not sure how I suddenly realizd I may have been the 1st poet to blog.

but you say this is my initial entry into that computer land mind.

the path from Tom in squirrel thong to Steve in silky running shorts is easy. then the blur. I remember writing to stranger Steve after reading in his blog that he'd been getting out the vote in my growing-up town of Elyria. I remember approaching my toothbrush with the consideration of joining that horde of blogging poets. I think I was attending to my molars when it struck me that my early poem journals wd've/cd've been blogs had we been an online universe then.

it startd with Dec. '70:Ohio a sort of experiment that grew into The Year Book & finishd with Swimming which r.j.s. brought out in 1976.

reaction at the time was mixd. one professor calld The Year Book "a piece of shit." Ian Young sd it was "composed of banal gossip." however Ron Schreiber found its details "rich and rewarding." & Mort Krahling wrote a mirror piece in response.

by the time I was rinsing out my mouth I was convincd that I cd offer this early trio of books as evidence that I was the unknowing & unknown paterfamilias of poet-bloggers.

but then one needs no provenance to begin blogging. so add me to the list. I'm unsure if I possess the imagination & endurance to make this startling. if I bore too terribly e me.