31 August 2005

more disgust

some believe global warming is causd by man's greed & that global warming causd Katrina. so when this administration finally actd today what's the first thing they do: relax environmental protection standards. will Shrub never stop playing to his base?

speaking of his base   some whacko Christian group in Philadelphia is blaming Katrina on gays saying it's God's way to punish New Orleans for Southern Decadence.

my depression is getting worse by the hour.

blues for a nation without a leader

so where is he?

at least Clinton wd've pulld up his pants & gone on tv immediately. he wd've been out there leading the mobilization of relief. but our current chief executive is AWOL yet again. surely he has no soul.

the nation's first business is to deal with the tragedy in Louisiana & Mississippi. then let's impeach this son fo abitch for dereliction of duty.

blues for the Big Easy

there are now estimations that before dark arrives tonite
the entire city will be underwater.

30 August 2005

shame on you Mr. President

yesterday things didn't look so bad. but now we're seeing the severity of Katrina. it's times like these when the nation needs a strong & compassionate chief executive.

so what did our leader do today? he performd "business as usual"   giving another "this war is good speech" before a hand-pickd audience & comparing himself to FDR.

perhaps his wheelchair wd've kept that president from surveying the damage but I cd just see Eleanor inspecting firsthand on a flyover. this president continues to diminish his already shaky place in history   to embarrass the nation before the world   to insult those very people who electd him.

what a pity that Karl Rove is making him cut his vacation 2 days short because of some hurricane. already in his presidency he's spent an entire year on vacation on the farm. he shames the office.

hang on New Orleans

what seemd not so bad at this hour yesterday has turnd scary. apparently more levees are overflowing & the great French Quarter of literature & jazz & food & play is being flood'd.

29 August 2005

laissez les bons temps rouler

I need to stop watching tv news. last nite there were predictions of the demise of New Orleans   of "a disaster of biblical proportions." one "expert" even suggestd the death toll will exceed that of the Asian tsunami.

the very thought of no NO preventd sleep. & I got up at 5 to watch the hurricane approach the city. when it lookd like looters will do more damage than Mother Nature I took off for the gym.

28 August 2005

so many stories

yesterday I took in part of Santa Fe's inaugural short story festival. an all-day outdoor reading was too much for steady concentration. however 2 writers caught my ear: Demetria Martinez who makes irreverence an art & Cyrus Samii who turns the history of Iran into "a sad fairy tale."

in the evening actors took to the Lensic stage to read. best were the Brits: elegant Rosemary Harris reading Katharine Mansfield   energetic Henry Goodman tackling D. H. Lawrence   sexy Simon Templeman making merry with P. G. Wodehouse. & sitting near me were a couple of writers who have had luck with the short story  . Edna O'Brien & Joyce Carol Oates.

after such a spoken fiction glut I'm willing to wander my high desert storyless for a while.

Cyrus Samii reads as well as he looks. Posted by Picasa

27 August 2005

I'm a movie star
moving toward my key light

maybe not a star
maybe just a character actor
is Percy Helton less
a universe
than Cary Grant?

some days
I'm only Bess Flowers
you see
the back of my head
in a party scene

but others
I'm a porn star
zoom on caribou
gliding to globe

I'm a movie star
you can't
tell me I'm not

26 August 2005

his beauty shall be seen

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lives intersect
coasts collide

at raincoat today
San Francisco friend Jeff Wietor
finds inspiration from
NYC friend John Fischer

& I cdn't be happier

25 August 2005

a couple of painters

altho my name appears in the acknowledgments   I bet I'm the last one on the block to read Ron Padgett's Joe. I'm only a third of the way thru this sparkling memoir but I don't want to do anything else but read it.

& did you see that Levi Straus is coming out with a Warhol Factory X line of clothes? Andy's jeans will cost $250. that's more than I paid for his "Marilyn" back in 1969.

24 August 2005

discovering Cory

blogging has benefits. some time ago I wrote that after reading a few Karl Tierney poems I wantd more. a reader put me in touch with his literary executor Jim Cory who sent me more. it was a lovely & shocking discovery of work.

but that wasn't the end of my good luck. in writing to Jim I began to appreciate his talent as a poet. individual lines of his stick around long after first reading. for instance: "some jungles just have more jaguars than hummingbirds."

& then there are tasty poems one needs to return to again & again. "Feet" is an erotic marvel which concludes powerfully:

    Think of the lifetime of steps
    these walked
    to get here

so my experiment in blogging already has paid off. what a lucky guy I am.

23 August 2005

looking at pictures

Edward Field is putting together a website. altho it's still in progress   do drop in to gaze at his galleries. they're refreshingly casual. sort of like looking at a friend's scrapbooks.

22 August 2005

reading awaits

in 2 days I rec'd 3 snail mail parcels containing 8 books of poetry.

the smallest (in size) was toothless shuffling in slippers through the French Quarter. it's part of a series of collaborative texts from members of the Rock Paper Scissors collective. the cover is an original collage. it has the feel of the work coming out of Cleveland in the late '60s.

20 August 2005

Craig Eadie

he arr'd yesterday   bringing the sweetest house gift: the new DVD of "The High and the Mighty." we did a quick tour of town & Canyon Rd openings before an evening of Lorca.

this morning we were off early to farmers market. how lovely to see novelist Stanley Crawford back -- selling garlic again.

19 August 2005

Michael Chikiris (1941-2003)

40 years ago my roommate in the garret at 334 South Willow St in Kent was Michael Chikiris. altho I followd his career over the years we weren't personally in touch. I only learnd of his too-early death yesterday.

Mike was an intense young man. already a fine photographer. shortly after he mov'd in I went to a long exhilirating lecture by Buckminster Fuller. when I returnd I was completely engrossd in writing a poem in an attempt to capture the experience. Mike pickd up his omnipresent camera & shot a series of me writing. I believe one appeard in the university yearbook Chestnut Burr.

the only Chikiris photograph in my art collection is this portrait of our friend Cynthia Mayer:

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after graduation Mike became a staff photographer on the Pittsburgh Press. in the early '70s he shot 3D images of the Pittsburgh Steelers (inc Kent State's Jack Lambert) for View Master. at the same time he became a friend of & driver for Stan Brakhage while the filmmaker shot his Pittsburgh trilogy. Mike appears in some late Brakhage films & fatefully died the day after the filmmaker.

Mike remains well-known for his portraits of writers as various as Ginsberg & Updike & of experimental filmmakers such as Hollis Frampton & Jonas Mekas. however his nudes & other work have been increasingly collectable & are available online via several galleries.

18 August 2005

Marilyn forever

I knew the film reference books of James Robert Parish long before I accidentally met him in NYC in the fall of 1976.

Jim is generous to his friends. he sends me packets of clippings from time to time. the one that arrivd last week includ'd a chapter of the fascinating new bio of gay agent Henry Willson.

he also e's me online articles every morning. & 2 of today's center on Marilyn Monroe. one was the obit of her first husband James Dougherty. the other was abt the current exhibition of Marilyn-inspird photographs of Mary Ann Lynch.

like her '50s male counterpart James Dean   Marilyn seems to be ubiquitous. hardly a week goes by without their images appearing or their names being utterd.

15 August 2005

my houseguest

John Grimes grew up in Key West where he was Tennessee Williams' paperboy. many years later I heard him in the orchestra of Lake George Opera for a performance of "Summer and Smoke."

John is a world-class musician   currently with Boston Baroque. we've been catching up on synchronicities. which also means dealing with ghosts which is a juggle of sad & happy.

with prickly pear cactus juice at Rancho de Chimayo Posted by Picasa

14 August 2005

John Grimes

I met the tympanist 32 summers ago after he'd performd George Crumb's setting of Lorca poems on the Kent State campus. he'll be arriving in a few hours for what I believe is his first Santa Fe visit. & strangely it's the Lorca summer here. with the new opera & city-wide events abt the Spaniard.

13 August 2005

a nite at the opera

Barbara & Todd Moore came up from Albuquerque yesterday. after a pleasant repast at Zia Diner we went to the opera for a lecture in which Peter Sellars again spoke of opera as a collaborative art.

for me in that art form composer is auteur. if the music isn't there there's no life for the work.

Santa Fe Opera's premiere of "Aindamar" seems overproducd to me. Gronk's busy "set" (really just another mural)makes it difficult to focus on the performers. at only 75 minutes this one-act seems more a chamber piece to me & if I ever see it again I'd hope for fewer production values & more concentration on the music.

12 August 2005

Larry Smith just sent this to me

Attention Small Publishers,
Book Artists, Zinesters

During the month of October-November an Exhibit of
Modern Micro-Publishing will Hang Out at Mac's Backs
Books on Coventry
as part of
the 2005 Celebration
'Poet d.a. levy and the Late 1960's
Cleveland Cultural Scene'

If You Want Your "little magazine" To Be Included in the Exhibit,
Please Send to Mac's Backs c/o Bree, 1820 Coventry Road,
Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

Books/Chapbooks/Broadsides/Zines/Bag-o-zines May Remark Upon d.a. levy, Cleveland, Then or Now, the Culture of Publishing, or May By Any Contemporary, Published Work. All Works will be Held at Mac's After the Exhibit for the Publisher to Retrieve.

Send Now! all books must arrive no later than September 20th.

googling the dead

I find faces
once so familiar
I slept
in their shadows

11 August 2005


I had to delete comments on the Bel Geddes entry because some asshole postd spam there.

for something more gratifying: Kimberly Nichols is seeking xerox'd self-protraits for a grid project to be exhibitd next year. e-mail her (knichols@dc.rr.com) a 300 resolution image in jpg format.

Barbara Bel Geddes (1921-2005)

10 August 2005

& Mr. Como too

in some ways William Como was the successor to Daniel Blum. he didn't produce books but his magazines were as vital in their day.

as a young man Como studied dance & tried his hand at Hollywood. in the late '40s he became an office boy at Dance Magazine   working his way up to editor. in the late '60s he began After Dark   which was calld "a national magazine of entertainment." like Blum before him   Como rarely found a picture of a young man wearing very little that he didn't like. this may have been the first mainstream magazine aimd at a gay audience. I first subscribd in early 1969. thruout the following decade all my friends read it. when poems of mine appeard in its pages in 1976 I had more response than I did from any of the little mags I'd been in.

1978 Posted by Picasa

09 August 2005

thx again Mr. Blum

when I was 15 I wrote to Daniel Blum thanking him for his books. I'd discoverd them at Elyria Public Library & they opend up the histories of theater & film for me.

today Blum's books get short shrift from academics because they were heavier on illustration than text. but that's probably why so many fans of stage & screen found them irresistible.

& to my generation of gay men his books had a special significance. Blum had an eye for hot men. the less the costume the better the chances for an actor to be featurd in his pages. in A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen we're treatd to Doug Fairbanks' bare butt   Valentino's bulge   George O'Brien's chest. that book was pubishd when I was 10. 5 years later came A Pictorial History of the Talkies with its famous photos of John Payne in boxing trunks & Aldo Ray in a bathing suit.

lest one think Blum satisfies only my prurience allow me to note that his annuals -- Theater World & Screen World -- continue to be among my most-consultd reference works.

Blum has been dead for 42 years. I hope he got many letters like the one I wrote.

07 August 2005


I rarely read poetry criticism. it's hard enough to try to keep up with poetry. but I found a line I like from Roger Pao :

"Nick Carbo's Her Ahs and Ohs is like chocolate cheesecake."

06 August 2005

seeing double

Riva Yares Gallery is probably the best in town. its shows consistently are of quality. the current one   "Milton Avery: Connections Over Time"   is museum-worthy.

it consists of 48 pieces from 1920-1963. & it's strikingly hung. all the works are in pairs. for instance   "Still Life with Spoon" (c. 1929) is next to "Still Life with Bottles" (1944) which is a reworking of the earlier painting. not every pairing is that precise but each at least shares subject matter.

the paintings from the '50s & '60s are so sublime I wantd to sit on the gallery floor & simply feast. which is what I did a few years ago when Dennis Yares -- who runs the Santa Fe gallery -- mountd his Morris Louis show.

if you can't get here in the next 9 days to see this remarkable show it will travel a bit. in dec it'll be in Miami for Art Basel & then in feb it goes to Riva's Scottsdale gallery.

"Trees by Southern Sea" (1959) Posted by Picasa

05 August 2005

"Restoring Pasolini"

on his blog Doug Ireland posts a fuller version of his LA Weekly article on the murder of Pier Paolo Pasolini.

must reading.

04 August 2005

I miss Howard P. Vincent

perhaps because Jack & I mentiond him   Howard showd up in my dreams last nite.

I've already written abt the Melville scholar & one of my best teachers.

often I miss the dead. today I'm esp missing Howard.

03 August 2005

Jack's back

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it's been many a year since the readings at The Cellar on the Kent State campus. but pleasant memories of them came rushing back when Jack Ramey stoppd by for lunch with his lovely wife Nancy Rodgers.

fresh from his triumph reading Whitman at NYPL   Jack was paying his first visit to Santa Fe. as things seem to happen with folks of a certain age   the coversation often turnd to the past.

Jack's memory is much clearer than mine. The Cellar -- long gone -- was a black-box theater that opend in the bowels of the Music & Speech Building in 1964. the theater department used it most frequently & it was here that Dennis Deal producd his early musicals. monthly open readings were held there emcee'd by either Jake Leed or Mac Hassler. in 1965 d.a. levy joind us for a reading & the campus memorial to him was held there in late 1968.

it was endearing to share Jack's recollections of some of the readers at this nearly legendary venue:

Spud Boy (whose poems were often abt -- yup -- potatoes)

Patrick Cullie (who got great fun on playing a practical joke on the serious Howie Emmer)

Michael Glaser (who had a series of poems abt toilet paper he'd collectd on a trip to Europe)

01 August 2005

& some came naked

for the opening of its exhibition "The Naked Truth" Vienna's Leopold Museum gave free admission to those coming without habiliments.

can you imagine the uproar the biblebangers wd cause were such to happen here?