31 May 2005

"music music music"

Richard Lopez passd an electronic baton to me & I'm afraid my answers reveal I'm not a "with it" guy.

the questions making the blog rounds are:

1) total number of music files on my computer

2) last cd bought
      Judy Henske "She Sang California"   Jamie Cullum "twentysomething"

3) song playing right now
      nothing. I've never conquerd the art of multi-tasking. so when I write I write & when I listen to music I listen to music.

4) 5 songs I listen to "a lot"
      "Vibrate" Rufus Wainwright
      "Ballad of Sweeney Todd" Lea DeLaria
      "Nature Boy" Peter Cincotti
      "I Love Men" Eartha Kitt
      "No Safe" Shimmerplanet

I also listen to a great deal of classical music & yes I admit it   Broadway cast albums. last opera I saw was Britten's "Paul Bunyan" & last stage musical   Guettel's "Floyd Collins." last concert I went to was by Loudon Wainwright III & next will be Bebel Gilberto.

& I must say I still get a thrill out of pulling out old vinyls & listening to Andrews Sisters & Al Hibbler & Judy Garland & Anita O'Day & Janis Joplin & Barbara Cook & the Mamas & the Papas.

30 May 2005

Memorial Day

it's impossible to get thru this day without concentrating on our current needless war & the disgusting commander-in-chief who trickd the nation into it.

may History be stern in its judgment of this man & his evil agenda.

29 May 2005

the sounds of silents

silent films were never silent.

in the grand movie palaces full orchestras often playd scores written specifically for films. other theaters had an organ. & even small towns employd a pianist.

last nite Santa Fe's wondrous Lensic Theater hostd a screening of Paul Leni's "The Man Who Laughs" (1928) with live accompaniment by BING! this local orchestra -- composd of 8 skilld musicians -- playd their own contemporary but fitting score to a large cheering audience. it was a delight.

Leni's next-to-last feature still thrills. Conrad Veidt is superb in the title role. this German actor -- who died just weeks before I was born -- had a remarkable career which stretchd from the silent classic "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" to '40s fave "Casablanca." if you don't know how to pronounce his surname just remember his p.r. team's campaign slogan: "Women fight -- for Conrad Veidt."

& Olga Baclanova -- best rememberd for her role in "Freaks" -- is amazing as the duchess who is erotically chargd by the ever-grinning leading man.

one funny note: there is a brave dog in the film. his name is Homo. I haven't read the Victor Hugo novel but I presume the film picks up that moniker from the source. but it's good to know that for a film of that period a Homo is a hero.

28 May 2005

river walk

the house I grew up in is small. with me back there wasn't room for Regina. so my parents' neighbor Betty Mulligan hostd her. Betty volunteers at the local historical society. Regina & I were taking her to lunch in Oberlin where we were eager to see the Jim Dine show at the Allen. before that Betty wantd to show off some of Elyria for my cousin. she drove us to the East Falls River Walk.

altho it's been open for nearly 2 years I hadn't seen the river walk before. a $600000 "revitalization" project   it was mostly supportd by a federal grant securd by young mayor Bill Grace. it boasts benches made of 100% recycld plastic.

Posted by Hello

27 May 2005


her mother & mine were sisters. we were both only children. as kids we were often mistaken for brother & sister. much later we unofficially adoptd each other as such.

Regina left Ohio & eventually became a prominent child psychologist at Harvard. she & her husband are world travellers who are always planning the next trip. eventually they plan to move to Santa Fe.

this week we lookd up some of her old homes & schools in Lorain where she grew up. our younger cousin Sal (whose father was brother to our mothers)still lives there. he drove us all over the map.

with Regina in front of Terminal Tower Posted by Hello

26 May 2005

a different sort of sunshine

I left record high temps in New Mexico for cold damp Ohio. but I was with family. & they creatd a different sort of sunshine.

my parents are a perpetual joy. cousin Regina flew in from Boston & joind cousin Sal & I for a romp around Cleveland & Lorain.

more after I catch my breath . . .

Regina & Sal at The Arcade in Cleveland Posted by Hello

21 May 2005

off to Ohio

to see the parents.

while I'm away here's another poem from Ohio Triangle. it's postd by Tom Montag as part of his series "Saturday's Poems".

20 May 2005

in my mind some things never change

in the fall of 1917 the Plymouth Theater opend on Broadway. in its early decades its stage held such luminaries as Nazimova   John Barrymore   Barbara Stanwyck   Lila Lee   Tallulah Bankhead   Mae West. it was at this same theater where I saw Alec Guiness play Dylan Thomas & Jane Lapotaire portray Edith Piaf.

a decade after the Plymouth opend   West 45th saw a new theater calld the Royale which wd host Ethel Waters & Eartha Kitt   James Dean & Laurence Olivier before I saw my first play there   "Night of the Iguana."

this month Plymouth & Royale were rechristend. both now carry names of producers.

for me it's sad. at least the theaters didn't go the way of the wrecking ball. but still I dislike these new names. ever since the Little Theater was given the name of the least lady of the American Theater I've been unable to call it anything but the Little. likewise with Theater DeLys. so I guess I'll show my age -- & proudly so -- & keep on referring to the Plymouth & the Royale.

19 May 2005

out take

the 1956 edition
of "Map of Movie Star Homes"
is tattoo'd on my chest
the lane where George Nader lives
trails off in my dark thicket

18 May 2005


over at Umbrella Jeff has a new poem which he illustrates with an Akuda.

this is the largest of several of his I have:

Posted by Hello

17 May 2005

old friends

I think I met Mary Ann Begland in the fall of 1966. the good times/bad times in between then & now are the stuff of novels. we haven't seen each other in some time but today's her birthday & I always call her on her birthday to catch up.

even when I don't consciously think abt her she's a part of my life. I have 2 pieces of hers on my walls. I bought this one from her in the summer of 1968:

"Isadora" Posted by Hello

it pleases me that I cd live with a work of art so long & not tire of it. & it's a lovely feeling to have things around the house that once belongd to people I care abt. every day I use dishes that were Julia Waida's. I have my father's old hand saw & quilts from Aunt Mary Yando & my grandfather's ancient radio & Algesa O'Sickey's lamp. I like that.

16 May 2005

hey Mr. Postman

I startd writing to people I didn't know when I was 10. first came writers. then movie stars. of course they weren't strangers to me because I knew their work. but I surely was a stranger to them. that I receivd so many replies was never a surprise to a pre-teen but feels quite remarkable to me now.

today with the ease of e's I've begun writing to people I don't know again. perhaps the nonchalance of electronic mail invites it. I know that I receive an increasing amount of mail from folks who have found my work online. I always try to answer promptly & honestly. recently I've written to some poets who have sites. perhaps they haven't answerd because they haven't seen my site or read my work. altho I've been publishing for more than 40 years I never expect anyone to know who I am.

I suspect the silence that has greetd my mail to them colors how I read their blogs. just as the richness of friendship enhances the blogs of those I know either face-to-face or via correspondence.

14 May 2005

a tip of the fedora to

Crag Hill
for pointing me to Ed Guthmann's major reporting on Thom Gunn


Ron Silliman
for introducing me to Landis Everson

13 May 2005

gauze groper

I've always enjoyd reading "Police Notes" in my ayem paper. they offer unexpectd peeps into the life of my community. sometimes the humor of the prose tickles me as well. I often wish I were a novelist so I cd use this goldmine.

today the paper elevatd what wd normally be a graf in "PN" to the front page with this headline:

Woman reports
groper wrapped
in gauze to police

Jason Auslander wrote the story. I've stolen/editd/rearrangd some of his lines:

as she was soaking
in a candlelit bathtub
a boozy man
head wrappd
in strips of gauze
pushd the door open
extinguishd the candles
with his hands

she cd see
tufts of hair
between gauze strips

he knelt
groping her
in the bathtub
then fled

12 May 2005


Maureen Owen's reading at the museum yesterday startd 5 minutes late.

the audience was me & 5 women.

one of the poems she read was from a series of 100. however the first she wrote (& the one she read) was #5.

11 May 2005

the baddest outlaw

Paul Metcalf told me I'd like Todd Moore & he was right. at Paul's nodding I startd a correspondence with Todd 20 years ago. we finally met in 1994 -- 2 months after I movd to New Mexico.

I don't keep up with such things but I don't think the academics have discoverd Todd yet. when he is "categorizd" it's as a post-Beat or that gangly grouping known as Outlaw Poets. whatever he is he's best known as the author of what's probably the longest poem in American literature. Todd began writing Dillinger in 1973 & he admits it's abt a quarter million words in length. & he's still not done with it.

Posted by Hello

Todd lives in Albuquerque. last nite he & wife Barbara came up for a reading at Collectd Works -- one of Santa Fe's independent bookstores. he read from Dillinger & the blood was still flowing from his pages. one piece he'd just finishd that afternoon.

I haven't read all of Dillinger but then no one has since Todd keeps working on it. from what I have read it's a bold ballsy work unlike any other. Todd admits he likes dealing with the dark side. last nite he read a line "black on black on black." I was startld. I'd just finishd writing one of my Hollywood poems with the line "white on white on white."

I wonder when Dillinger will finally end & who will publish such a hugh work & what the response will be. till then I'm happy to know the gunsel's troubador.

10 May 2005

overlapping lives

I was born in Monterey CA but took the cross-country train to Lorain OH at 2 weeks. Mom & I took up residence with my maternal grandfather. our house was in walking distance of Toni Morrison's. did we pass on the street?

my first visit to NYC was in july 1952. I was in the audience of a radio broadcast. the theater was near where James Dean lived. did we pass on the street?

11 years later I was at a Manhattan party. Frank O'Hara was there but I didn't know it till he left. had we lockd eyes?

I've always found such overlappings intriguing.

yesterday Jeff Wietor postd haunting photographs by Todd Hido. the short bio mentions he was born in Kent OH in 1968. I immediately lookd up more of Hido's work. then I dashd off an e to him. turns out Hido lived in Kent his first 18 years.

did we pass on the street?

09 May 2005

old clothes

in my closet is a corduroy vest I had in high school. I'm wearing it in a picture in my senior yearbook. I don't remember a time when I didn't have clothing favorites which I never wantd to wear out. there was a plaid shirt I had while going to Eastern Heights Junior High that I think my mother finally "liberatd" when it simply became too tawdry.

I still have difficulty parting with familiar items.

Posted by Hello

when & where I purchasd this Howdy Doody tee is no longer in my memory bank. but I've been wearing it for many years now. as I was putting it on this ayem I noticd some holes around the collar. I put it on anyway & wore it to the gym. then I bravely decid'd this wd be the final wearing. it must go.

perhaps I'll cut it up & use it for a mail art piece. but then I've already done something like that. there was a floral shirt from my hippie period. I remember Henry Steele Commager admiring it at some reception. I cut it up & used it for a series of collages I sent out for Valentines Day. do any of those survive? the only one I know of is with my correspondence to Ira Joel Haber in his papers at Kent State.

whatever.... this Howdy is history.

08 May 2005

glorious Piper

I've been in love with Piper Laurie since I was 8 or 9.

so you can imagine my joy when I was channel-chasing tonite & discoverd she was going to guest on an episode of a series calld "Cold Case."

she's 73 now. a bit plump. full of wrinkles. famous red hair mostly a memory. but there she was. the starlet who ate orchids before taking to the stage & television's Golden Age   who returnd to the screen in one brilliant performance after another. & tonite she wasn't afraid to be an old lady. & she wasn't afraid to demonstrate once again why she's one of the great stars in the history of television.

when will those Emmy people give Piper Laurie a lifetime achievement award? she's a national treasure.

06 May 2005

reunion roost

on 7 mar 79 Alfred Hitchcock & Tippi Hedren & I were in the same room.

all these years later Mark Young has brought us back together in the dedication of the latest in his Series Magritte.

I tip my fedora in thx. . .

05 May 2005

hair today &

this was me on my first trip to Europe in 1973.

Posted by Hello

& this is me 20 minutes ago.

since I startd going bald I've been cutting my own hair. Dimitri left a battery-operatd cutter which was perfect. but it broke. so yesterday I bought an electric one. this morning I broke open the package & gave it a try. welllllll   electric haircutters zoom. suddenly I lookd like Falconetti in the final frames of "Passion of Joan of Arc."

but I don't mind. there aren't many mirrors in my house. & for me the best part of getting old is letting go of vanity. I was never a beauty so it's easy. I remember how startld I was upon seeing my first age spot. now I'm a garden of spots & wrinkles & sags.

04 May 2005

Towle Road

there are other digests of gay news but I like to start my day with Andy Towle.

today I learnd more abt Ken Hutcherson   the biggest homophobe this side of the rodent pope   & abt baseball pro Joe Valentine being raisd by 2 mothers.

Andy's as good as that first cuppajoe.

03 May 2005

Ukrainian roots

as a boy the best parts of having a Ukrainian heritage:


& celebrating xmas twice. the "normal" one was at the end of dec but the orthodox one was celebratd at my grandparents' church & home at the beginning of jan.

this came back to mind just now after reading John Perreault's current blog entry. it begins with a walk around the neighborhood in which he lives. it's been many years since I've seen John but one of the last times was over pierogies at the Ukrainian Restaurant. so it's easy to picture him strolling there.

from the personal he drifts into the opening of the Ukrainian Museum & its Archipenko exhibition. the kind of writing that drew me to John's column in the Voice in another century.

I love the way that lives & experiences intersect.

02 May 2005

I remember Joe Brainard

over at his site my buddy Tom Beckett is on a Brainard bender.

I live every day with two small works by Joe B. in the bathroom is a gouache of a male torso I bought many years ago at the A Different Light bookstore in Silverlake (which no longer exists). & right beside me at I pound on these keys every day is this:

pansy Posted by Hello

here's the story: when the Kent State University Libraries was abt to throw out its card catalog I went thru all the cards in Special Collections. I pulld ones of living writers who I felt mite want to help a library. we sent the cards to the individual writers asking them to sign them. when they were returnd we slippd them into paperweights. at a Friends of the Libraries dinner we exhibitd them with an auction sheet.

novelist Alicia Metcalf Miller & her husband bought many of the Beats & displayd them in a guest bathroom. I bought this one as well as Sondheim's & a great one in which Ray Johnson signd his name backward. Samuel M. Steward wrote a line in Greek & X. J. Kennedy drew a picture of himself nude descending a staircase.

last I heard a great many of these priceless items were still in storage in Special Collections. I don't know how much they cost now but if you're interestd you mite call (330-672-2270) & see what's still available.

01 May 2005

odd day

went to town for a concert that was so bad I left at intermission.

came home to a call from my father informing me of the death of his final sibling  my last aunt.

temperature droppd & it may snow on this first nite of may.