31 July 2005

times change

for the first time in a while I went to a party yesterday. it was a potluck dinner/housewarming. it brought back memories of my Kent years when the house on Morris Rd was part hotel   part party center. any poet passing thru town knew he cd stay at my place. & social gatherings were frequent & often impromptu. once I'd just returnd from visiting my parents in Elyria for the day to discover the nite-blooming cereus was in spectacular blossom. so I calld up friends & voila: instant party.

in the past 5 or so years here it seems I've been aiming toward hermithood. as I grow older being social takes more work. my circle of friends in town is less than a handful.

today I'm beginning to clean house. next month marks a sort of return to my old role of host with more out-of-town guests than I've had in some time.

30 July 2005

the men behind "Ainadamar"

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this ayem I was off to the Lensic for a panel by the creative team behind SFO's Lorca opera which opens tonite.

composer Osvaldo Golijov seems a gentle quiet person on the outside but with seething passions running deep. he spoke of the layers of our minds.

librettist David Henry Hwang -- a sexy & funny man -- was attractd to Lorca because: "my art predicts my own life" as did the Spanaird's.

director Peter Sellars -- aging wunderkind with the electric hair -- drew enthusiastic applause when he condemnd the country's current political climate.

set designer Gronk who paintd the entire set himself describd his use of the imagery of seeds.

I don't see the piece for another 2 weeks but can't wait.

Hwang Posted by Picasa

29 July 2005

calld Dad

on his birthday.

he's quite the neighborhood charmer. so all his "girlfriends" are making a fuss. completely with Mom's approval.

28 July 2005

a perfect nite

it began with a delicious meal of halibut at one of the town's best restaurants. then out to that starry expanse under which is Santa Fe Opera. another brilliant Britten. this time "Peter Grimes" with a magnificent performance by Anthony Dean Griffey in the title role. he brings great voice & powerful acting to the part.

& who cd be luckier than me to hear Christine Brewer sing Britten 2 months in a row. her role here is less than hers in "Gloriana" but she brings as much stage presence & skill to it.

a special nod too to Judith Christin who once again creates an entire world with a supporting part. she has been a joy since I first began going to SFO.

27 July 2005

under the bay to Berkeley

the next day I met Kent Taylor at Civic Center & we took BART to North Berkeley.

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under the bay I hand'd him the Century Dimes & he gave them right back to me. easily the quickest transfer I've ever had. "I even pay my bills immediately" he laughd.

we were pickd up at the station by Jeff Maser. this amazing young man has establishd himself as one of the nation's premier booksellers. he has a stock in excess of 300000 volumes which soon I was wandering thru. it includes the holdings of Jim Lowell's legendary Asphodel.

thx to Jeff's 911 Camelia St broadsides this is becoming one of the important addresses in current American poetry Posted by Picasa

Jeff showd me a copy of Dec. '70:Ohio with the original mailing envelope which I'd addressd to Paul Mariah. quite a surprise.

the 3 of us took a great lunch break at a spot calld Jimmy Bean's. when we returnd we were joind by Jason Davis. his Verdant Press occupies space in Jeff's warehouse. Jason handsets broadsides & chapbooks which reprint d.a. levy & present new work by Richard Krech & Thurston Moore. he's also responsible for important checklists of such poets as Russell Atkins & r.j.s.

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also on this trip I was thrilld by hearing D. Travers Scott read from his new novel & by viewing "The Art of Richard Tuttle" at SFMOMA. & finally I saw an over-the-top performance by Patrick Michael Dukeman. some 20 years ago he was an outrageous theater student at Kent State. it was good to see that his flame still burns bright.

26 July 2005

got in late last nite... errrr early this ayem

the impetus for my visit to San Francisco was to view "Sporting Life: GLBT Athletics and Cultural Change from the 1960s to Today." the impressive exhibition was guest-curatd by old pal Jim Provenzano at the GLBT Historical Socity on Mission St.

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much new -- to me -- material. altho I was happy to see the only football card I own: Jerry Smith's.

after that Jim took me to SFPL to view "Out at the Library: Celebrating the James C. Hormel Gay & Lesbian Center." many familiar faces in this exhibition. when I came across the Robert Giard portrait of dear James Broughton I had to have Jim shoot me with James:

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20 July 2005

up up & away

to celebrate Tom Beckett's birthday
I'm flying to San Francisco this afternoon

back in a few

18 July 2005

my entertaining day

after yesterday morning's family calls & Melina-brushing I walkd to the college to see Nick Mangano's vibrant "Measure for Measure." during intermission Robert Nott remind'd me that we'd seen a production some summers ago at the other college in town. that one was so bad I'd totally forgotten I'd seen the play. but Mangano's modern dress staging is exciting theater from lights up till final fade.

from there I took a bus to town for dinner at Plaza Cafe. I walkd around   encountering a photo shoot at a local bar. then to the Lensic for the Santa Fe Jazz Festival. the performers were Tuck & Patti -- just weeks away from their 27th anniversary as a duo. early on Patti meltd me with "My Romance." abt midway she turnd the mic over to Tuck & exitd the stage. previously mute he suddenly blossomd as a deft comedian with his Wes Montgomery story. they are unique performers who create utter joy on stage.

back home I was determind to stay up late & watch the first screening of "The High and the Mighty" in decades. my boyhood memory of Jan Sterling's performance has always been strong. it was on American Movie Classics. when that channel began I was a regular viewer. they showd vintange films without interruption. but somewhere along the way its owners became greedy. they began to stop the film midway for a long commercial break. I stoppd watching. last nite the movie was interruptd abt a dozen minutes into it. I had no idea that AMC now is totally like network. as much as I wantd to see Sterling I simply cdn't watch her under such barbaric conditions. so I reluctantly turnd off AMC.

16 July 2005

Santa Fe Art Fair

I've purchasd work at this annual event before   but I never go with that intention. I feel an obligation to support emerging artists but don't have the purse to be able to do so with the panache I'd like.

yesterday I'd finishd a yum Thai lunch with a friend & had a few hours before Lee Friedlander's opening. so I went to the fair. at the booth of LA gallery DeSoto I encounterd some charming little paintings of chairs. I thot they'd be a great match for my friend Billy who collects both art & designer chairs. when I askd abt them it turnd out that the artist Kelly Reemtsen was there. we had a lovely chat.

around another corner was a booth for Albuquerque's New Grounds Print Workshop. the one piece that caught my eye was a photogravure calld "Solace."

I noticd a young man who I presumd workd at the booth noticing me looking at the piece. suddenly I realizd he was the subject of the work. so I began talking with him & learnd that he -- Rob Thalmann -- was the artist.

well yes. I walkd out of the place with the print under my arm.

15 July 2005

hell of a Bela

sometimes I wander yon & hither thru the ethers of the net like I used to do thru the shelves of Elyria Public Library when I was a kid. & sometimes I come up with the damnest stuff.

here are some old photos now circulating from a Passion Play of nearly a century ago in which JC was portrayd by the man who keeps Dracula alive:

14 July 2005

Terminal Tower

Mother begins her day by reading 2 newspapers. & she clips as she goes. when I visit I have to get up early to read thru the Plain Dealer & Chronicle-Telegram before she gets her scissors out.

I'm one of the lucky ones who receive regular mailings of her clippings. last week she gave me the recent ones she hadn't maild yet. one was abt Cleveland's celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Terminal Tower   my first skyscraper & still a favorite building.

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when I was a boy Terminal Tower was the second tallest building in the world. every time I went to Cleveland I lookd forward to gazing up at its elegance. in recent years a Cleveland building whose name I don't care to mention surpassd its 52 stories but in my mind Terminal Tower will always be Cleveland to me.

built in the late 1920s by the bachelor Van Sweringen brothers   the structure has been featurd in movies & famous photographs by Margaret Bourke-White who was once a tenant. on the nightstand beside my bed I keep this antique souvenir my parents found at a garage sale:

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13 July 2005

reaching for Harlow

Todd Moore dedicates The Dead Zone Trilogy to "The Duende, the movies, and my wife Barbara."

in the first poem of the trilogy -- which Moore claims concludes his epic Dillinger -- Jean Harlow speaks to John Dillinger who reaches out to her:

  hands get
  tangled up
  in the
  light n dark
  get alllllll
  mixed to
  gether so
  I cdn't

this seems to me a particularly important visual. anyone who reads Moore realizes the significance cinema plays as both source material & inspiration.

so we have multiple layers at work. there's Dillinger attempting to hold the unholdable   not being able to distinguish light from dark   confusing reality with fiction. but there's also the poet feeding off the movies.

any work as vast as Dillinger has got to function on several levels. I've long felt that one of those was as a paean to the movies. I even wonder if Moore's honing of his lines from sentence to word to syllable is almost a replication of physical film going thru a projector to cast its image.

I'm not done with Dillinger yet. he keeps pointing that gun at me.

12 July 2005

Blogoview question of the week

Charles Jensen asks his fellow poet/bloggers a weekly question. this one is which dead poet wd you most like to meet.

Charles names Frank O'Hara. my ship already passd in the nite with that great poet. so for my choice I'll go back a bit further to Hart Crane whose death came almost exactly 11 years before my birth.

I'm not sure if young poets read Crane much anymore. he doesn't seem to be talkd abt in the same way he was when I was a young poet. there is no denying his early influence on me.

* * *

not long after posting the above I went to the site of John Perreault to read the second of his Smithson pieces. what a surprise to find a photo of Hart Crane there...

11 July 2005


I'm not the kind of person who normally remembers my dreams. if perchance I wake mid-dream it may hover in my mind for a bit but often evaporates by the time I've brushd my teeth.

perhaps sleeping in my boyhood bedroom was magic. dreams were plentiful & rememberd. my first nite I dreamt I was visiting old friend Jean-Claude van Itallie. the next nite I was trying to write a poem. the initial line: "once a bird was caught by a line of poetry." every time I attemptd a second line I'd awaken or dream I'd awakend -- but soon wd be dreaming again abt trying to complete the poem.

on the third nite I was pitching a Calamity Jane script to a dubious Ellen DeGeneres.
the final nite's dream was abt a power struggle at a university library with cameos by everyone from my mother to Barry Goldwater.

as far as I know Aunt Sophie's trumpet vine in Mom & Dad's backyard had nothing to do with my dreaming but then... maybe it did. Posted by Picasa

10 July 2005

back from Elyria

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I can gauge my father's health by looking at his garden.

last year was tough. he was in a precarious state. & the garden lookd like hell. more weeds than plants. on this trip back I found Dad looking & feeling better than he has in some time. of course he's frail & now uses a cane. daily he copes with a multiplicity of insults to the body. but his spirit is inspiring. & he always looks forward. for his 87th birthday he requestd his first electric shaver & I was happy to comply.

& the garden is more handsome than ever. stately rows of tomatoes. perky peppers. cucumbers curling skyward.

I helpd him water   weed   rototill   hill potatoes   plant late peppers. one early evening as we waterd side-by-side he startd whistling. surprisingly to me the song was "3 Coins in the Fountain." that made me happier than I can convey.

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06 July 2005

abt to shuttle

to Albuquerque
to catch a flight to Houston
followd by another to Cleveland :

visiting my folks
for a few days

05 July 2005

04 July 2005

have a festive 4th

neighbor Rita & I went to Fort Marcy Park last nite for the inaugural Santa Fe Community Picnic. we enjoyd shrimp salad   b-b-q   cherry pie while listening to Los Lobos.

this morning an older tradition is taking place. Pancakes on the Plaza. I usually partake because it feels so wonderfully small-town. but because we went out last nite I stayd at home & fixd banana waffles. will spend part of the day dipping into Leaves of Grass on the 150th anniversary of its publication.

03 July 2005

thigh candy

movies generous in display of pulchritude are dubbd "eye candy." last nite I finally saw "Troy." when it was over I wrote a short poem calld "Brad Pitt's Thighs."

02 July 2005

a fardel of frustrations

attempt to reserve a particular b & b for a 2006 trip :
already bookd.

stop at Sherman-Williams to purchase exterior paint for touch-up :
can't match the color "buckskin" w/o bringing in a sample.

pause at bank :
too long a line to bother.

finally   success :
visit to Desert Desserts in hopes a cherry pie is available even tho I hadn't placd an order   & it was.

01 July 2005

out of the blue

I get an e from poet/actor Jack Ramey who I knew in Kent back in the '70s. he's bouncd around over the years. I remember in 1984 checking into The Royalton in NYC & who shd be working the desk but Jack. haven't seen him now in a dozen years.

he reports he's currently doing a Whitman performance which will play the poet's birthplace on Long Island on 17 july & NYPL the following day. he & his wife also are preparing a Whitman video.