31 December 2005


allow me to end this year by thanking you for stopping by. there are now more than 20 million blogs out there. that you take the time to visit this one humbles me. many of you are friends. however there are some who drop by with regularity who I don't know. I wish each of you a year filld with love & joy.

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30 December 2005

"Brokeback Mountain"

it's less of a movie than I was expecting. & it's more of a movie than I was expecting.

altho I have serious issues with it   the film does have an extraordinary performance level.

29 December 2005

hit me with a pink gel

Backstage. Brothers & Sisters. Reno Sweeney. how well I recall the nites I hauntd such cabarets. then I longd to be in show biz. I fantasizd my own nite club act. I'd come out in a black tux with an endless white feather boa & sing a lowdown torchy arrangement of "Some Day My Prince Will Come."

28 December 2005

"think abt the guest list"

if you don't know the blog of Jack Kimball
check out his pants

Kennedy Center Honors

the only time I was in attendance was a dozen years ago. at the party afterward I had a lovely chat with Suzanne Farrell. so it was sweet to see her being honord in the telecast last nite.

the broadcast of this annual celebration of the performing arts invariably brings me to tears. last nite I startd to tear up when the magnificent Paul Newman honord Robert Redford & again at the end when Tina Turner's life was being reviewd. but the faucet turnd on full during the tribute to Julie Harris. she is one of the most beloved of stage stars with a long career. & she's gallantly fighting back from a stroke.

there weren't many cutaways to the president who seemd either bored or unaware of the importance of those being honord. but I got a tremendous chuckle when k.d. lang came out in drag to perform before perhaps the least compassionate commander-in-chief ever.

27 December 2005

welcome Ira Joel

this blog's newest reader is one of my dearest friends   Ira Joel Haber. soon we will have known each other for 35 years. he is a great artist & a great pal.

here we are in my last Kent home. the piece just visible in the back is one of his postcard works.

when I began this blog more than a year ago   I never "announcd" it to friends. I have some friends who don't know abt it & others who do but don't care to read it. whatever works.

anyway I'm happy to have Ira Joel looking in.

26 December 2005


I've been having an early morning e-exchange with my Texas penpal abt a possible connection between my fondness for leftovers & my penchant for hand-me-down clothes. I cd throw in that I've collectd used books for years & that I'm not above filching words from others in my writing. & I like having reminders of loved ones who are dead around me. I remember Julia Waida every time I use one of her pans or pots. I think abt Aunt Mary when I spread one of her quilts on my bed. I use Uncle John's copper lock from when he workd at US Steel in Lorain at the gym 3 times a week.

25 December 2005

listening to Jimmy Scott

neighbor Rita fears I'm heading toward hermithood. so she insistd I collaborate with her on dinner today. she just put the turkey in the oven. soon I'll begin: shrimp/brie appetizer   butternut squash with apricots & ginger   anchovy potatoes   salad of red cabbage / broccoli / carrot. I cheatd on sweetness & purchasd a chocolate cherry cake from Desert Desserts.

24 December 2005

other guy's clothes

"Ive always been partial to clothes with a history" I wrote in Postcard Memoirs.

& so today for the first time I'm wearing the Palm Springs tee that Carlos left in my room at Inn Exile. perhaps my fondness for wearing hand-me-downs comes from my boyhood. my parents always shoppd at garage sales (& still do). & I had one older male cousin some of whose things I'd inherit. there is mystery in stepping into clothes of another   intrigue in imagining where those clothes have been   what was done by the men while wearing them.

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23 December 2005

Henry Walker

when I left Kent more than 11 years ago   Henry gave me this watercolor as a farewell gift. it hangs in my bedroom as a reminder of both Ohio friends & the magic that is LA's train station.

I've just learnd that Henry now has a website.

"Union Station, Los Angeles" (1994) Posted by Picasa

22 December 2005


if you like smart cats (well has there ever been a dumb one?)   check out Shimmy. altho she lives in Chicago   she cast her vote in the Iraq election -- for Alice Cooper.

& she makes lists too.

21 December 2005

dark flower

my Texas penpal e'd to say yesterday's portrait -- esp the hair -- reminds him of Bride of Frankenstein.

the more I look at that picture I took of Kimberly the other nite the more haunting it gets. suddenly I knew one reason: in it she reminds me of Elizabeth Short.

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19 December 2005

this weekend

I escapd to where the sands are supposd to be warm.
they weren't.

what sun I saw was in the face of Kimberly Nichols.

14 December 2005

I can
not mention
a movie star
if I
want this
to be read
in 2101

we know
missd her
till the ache
turnd golden

so why
can't I
Lila Lee?

or touchwood?

if I cd
let my lips
Lila Lee

let her
raven bob
thru time

let her
last longer
than the
that burnd
her face
in my flesh

13 December 2005

everything old is new again

Eartha Kitt wearing only ermine poses before a frosty window & purrs "Santa Baby." she delivers probably the naughtiest lyric in any holiday tune: "come & trim my Xmas tree."

this scene is from "New Faces of 1952"   a film which basically preserves the Broadway show. among its writers was Melvin Brooks. it was his first film. & one of the sketches which I presume he helpd write is a parody of Truman Capote. this was over a half century ago. strange that 2 current screen hits are "Capote" & "The Producers."

12 December 2005


within a 24-hour period this site was visitd by readers in Finland   France   Australia   China   Canada   Iran.

"Short Vincent"

the newest poem in my collection-in-progress Ohio Triangle is curently "poem o' the week" at Deep Cleveland.

thx to Mark Kuhar for keeping the mimeo spirit alive.

another Myers credit

years before playing dummy to James Broughton's ventriloquist in "Jungle Girl" I appeard in another Richard Myers film -- "Akran" (1969).

here's a poem I wrote back in 1983 after seeing the film for the first time since it was originally made & shown:


the boy in the seat in front of me
sits behind me a young man

Jake & Mary's kids     grown too
live on two coasts

she in the back is dead
he in front     wives later     lost

in that bus up on the screen
I'm a bearded student riding toward love

but now alone in the dark
I approach 40 barefaced & wambly

11 December 2005

Internet Movie Database

so I did one last festival film. its star Ernie Hudson was there. he began his remarks afterward with "if you check my credits in IMDb..." it was the first time I'd heard anyone -- except friends -- refer to their own entry in the "earth's biggest movie database."

as a cinemaddict I use IMDb daily. those of us who do realize it isn't perfect. there are omissions & mistakes. for example   there is no listing for me. I realize my brief foray into extra work ("Santa Fe" 1997 & "Maniacts" 2001)hardly deserves it. but my supporting role in Richard Myers' "Jungle Girl" (1984) shd be there. in fact   Myers' entry is shockingly inadequate. compare it with the listing Canyon Cinema provides. yes Myers is a non-commercial filmmaker. however "Jungle Girl" premierd at Filmex & was reviewd by Sheila Benson in the LA Times.

given its faults   IMDb still remains a substantial resource. whenever I'm abt to watch an old unfamiliar feature I try to check it to alert me to look for certain uncreditd cast members. for instance   Gibson Gowland   star of "Greed"   16 years later sinks to the bit role of Posse Member in "The Ape."

& then the listologist in me appreciates the entries as lists. as early as 1973 I acknowledge the filmography as art form in Little Lists with my Joe LeSueur piece.

10 December 2005

be still my heart

tuckd in with holiday greetings in my snail mail was a postcard from Flood Editions announcing publication of the Thomas Meyer translation of Daode Jing.

the image of the translator is from a photo by Reuben Cox which is part of his River series. in it Tom is naked in a river shampooing his hair. it's a provocative pose. of course I immediately went to Cox's website to see if there is more of the photo & there is.

09 December 2005

Polish replacement

walkd to the college this morning for a festival panel on the state of filmmaking in Russia today. upon arriving I learnd that one of the directors cdn't leave Moscow & the panel was kaput. however there was a replacement: a panel on indepedent filmmaking with one of the best creative teams at work today -- the Polish twins.

I was immediately taken by Mark & Michael when I saw them in their haunting feature debut "Twin Falls Idaho." it was good to find them offscreen to be both articulate & attractive. I learnd they made that initial film for a half million & shot it in 17 days.

during the Q&A someone askd "I have a double question." Michael immediately quippd "that's all right. we're twins." after spending even such a small time with them one presumes that's the sort of quick wit with which they create their work.

Mark Posted by Picasa

Michael Posted by Picasa

08 December 2005

Santa Fe Film Festival

didn't purchase a pass this year. perhaps it's a sign of age but running from venue to venue in the cold doesn't appeal to me anymore.

so I've only seen 2 films. "English as a Second Language" is Dexter Delara's first feature. he's done commercials & shorts. altho I have some problems with his script I like his eye for color. & the film boasts a lead who has definite star potential. his name is Kuno Becker & I expect to hear more abt him as his career progresses.

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the 1971 doc "The American Dreamer" claims to have a running time of 90 minutes but it seems so much longer. it's abt Dennis Hopper during his drug years in Taos. to some it's an important document of the times. to others it's a bore.

size queen

in Charlotte Chandler's new book on Bette Davis the saucy actress remembers Howard Hughes: "Howard Huge he was not."

07 December 2005

"chili Willy?"

every time it gets this cold (an uncharacteristic 19 here this ayem) I can hear Anne Bancroft doing this line. it's from her Emmy-winning 1970 special "Annie: The Women in the Life of a Man." I remember nothing abt this show except the sequence written by Thomas Meehan which has become such a classic that less talentd performers continue to steal it.

Bancroft plays a woman by the name of Paula who's on the couch at her shrink's recounting a nitemare. she's at a cocktail party & must introduce Yma Sumac by first name to the other guests -- including Uta Hagen & Ida Lupino. along the way she asks Willy Brandt if he wants chili. that line isn't as famous as "Yma Uta" but it's stuck in my head. & it's cold enough now for me to hear the delicious Bancroft saying it yet again.

06 December 2005

recovery day

because I wasn't quite up to snuff I didn't go to the gym yesterday. I stayd home & did some scattershot reading. first up was a return to Jim Cory's 1994 interview with James Broughton ( American Writing 9 ). it's good to see a serious discussion of a body of work too often considerd lightweight.

then I pulld a forgotten figure from the shelves. during my student days everyone read Growing Up Absurd. its author Paul Goodman was considerd a major literary figure but I don't hear him mentiond much now. his startling book Five Years was the blog of its day. I took down his 1967 collection of poems Hawkweed. I didn't read straight thru but pickd around. altho I found some fine moments   the work seemd less exciting to me as poetry than I'd rememberd. my younthful attention to it may have been for its boldness of subject matter. I don't think it was usual for Random House to be publishing at that time graphic poems abt sex with hustlers.

my evening pattern is to watch a movie. last nite it was Raoul Walsh's delightful "Going Hollywood" (1933). the title derives from one of its songs which includes the line "out where they say 'let's be gay' I'm going Hollywood." the film's gayest moment was when absinthe-hungover Bing Crosby croons "Beautiful Girl" to an adoring Sterling Holloway.

05 December 2005


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it's easy to take a pet for grantd. but during my brief spell of unwellness the one constant was the purring of Melina. she seemd to know when to be with me & when it was best for me to moan alone. there is a sacredness abt communication with animals.

now if she'd only learn to make chicken soup...

04 December 2005

inside a paperclip

quick flu or food poisoning?
I don't know but an unpleasant 24 hours.
I'm so rarely ill that I'm not a patient patient.

off to bed (again) with hopes that tomorrow will be better.
sick all nite

03 December 2005

a grave matter

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this picture of Tony Luke Scott & me was taken at the columbarium at Hollywood Forever in sept 2004.

a few years ago Tony compild The Stars of Hollywood Forever. he now has a revisd edition available on CD Rom. it's a must for fans of old Hollywood or those who haunt cemeteries. Hollywood Forever is the final resting place of such greats as Valentino & Tyrone Power. those who know the history of filmdom scandals will recognize the names of other "guests" William Desmond Taylor & Virginia Rappe. it's a grand place to stroll. if you can't get to Hollywood then buy Tony's book & do yr strolling at yr leisure.

02 December 2005

happy birthday

Julie Harris turns 80 today.

few actresses have had the successes she has. a major Broadway star   she also was a legend in the "golden age" of tv drama & appeard in enough solid films to assure herself of a certain immortality on screen.

I see her everyday in this picture my friend Peter Burnell had her sign for me. it hangs in the guest bathroom:

together in Terence Rattigan's "In Praise of Love" (1974) Posted by Picasa

01 December 2005

"Carmen Miranda Forever"

that's the name of the exhibition that opend at Rio's Modern Art Museum this week. it features over 700 items relating to Brazil's greatest star who died 50 years ago.

when I'm in the dumps   there are 2 things I can do to perk up: watch an "I Love Lucy" episode or put on one of Carmen's movies.