31 December 2006

& so my melancholy year shuts down

I wrote a poem abt it but it's too bleak to share.

just in from more shoveling.

party tonite cancel'd.

but let me end 2006 on a sunny note:

my backyard Posted by Picasa

30 December 2006

Storm of '06


for the moment I'm still connectd to the internet but my e-mail isn't working. so I suppose you can leave a comment here if you need to be in touch.

the major highway -- which isn't far from my house -- is closd. there are no cars out on the roads.

& it's still snowing...

a mess

this storm -- which still isn't over -- has broken records in the state for the amount of snowfall.

29 December 2006

snowd in

I finishd my Greek salad & left Plaza Cafe. walkd around in the fog. magical. then to the Lensic for an evening of song with Jessica Boevers & other Broadway performers. by the time it was over there was a blizzard outside. I calld for a cab & was told the wait wd be HOURS. it wasn't quite that -- but long enuf. & the ride was excruciatingly dangerous. I had the poor driver leave me off a distance from my house because I knew he wdn't be able to manage the slope down to my street.

the walk was lovely. mostly pristine snow. I did some sweeping before coming inside. there was zero evidence of that sweeping when I awoke. the newsmen sd Santa Fe had six inches. not sure where they measurd but certainly not in my yard. I had to go around to my pines to release the heavy burden of white which threatend to break limbs.

everything's closd down here. I had no internet this ayem. I don't know how such things work. so when my local provider told me on the phone that the problem was with "routers" I had to respond "oh..." I finally got online just past noon.

my morning coffee in a mug from a Fort Lauderdale resort Posted by Picasa

27 December 2006

another friend gone

she was beautiful. stylish. & a good friend. Algesa's dinner parties were legendary in Ohio. she always brought together swift conversationalists over elegant meals.

she was a link to the past -- a model for William Sommer -- but totally in the present. she seemd to thrive on work. over the years she was a gallery director   a theatrical costume designer   a watercolorist   an interior designer   maker of rugs. & she was half of one of the art world's most glamorous couples. Algesa & Joseph O'Sickey. they always turnd heads.

I will miss her forever.

26 December 2006

Algesa O'Sickey (d. 2006)

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"Holiday Festival on Ice"

watching Brian Orser on this tv special remind'd me who really won that long-ago "battle of the Brians." & how satisfying to find that he remains an elegant skater & handsome man.

23 December 2006

"test your art savvy"

CNN.com has the simplest "quiz" going abt the current art scene. only 7 questions. & such easy ones.

only reason I mention it at all is that for one question among the answers given is Mark Bloch. I became aware of Mark when he was a student at Kent State University. in the summer of 1977 he did a piece calld Flaunt Jaunt. the next summer he invitd some of us to have breakfast at the site of Smithson's "Partially Buried Woodshed." he visitd me a couple of times after moving on to fame as a mail artist. Mark was important in documenting the life of one of my favorite artists Ray Johnson. & he was a friend of Carlo Pittore with whom I once had a correspondence.

every once in a while Mark & I are back in touch. that's always pleasant. & to find him as a possible answer on an internet quiz is a great hoot.

some good news for a change

found this on Health.com:

It sounds almost too good to be true, but preliminary research at West Virginia's Wheeling Jesuit University suggests chocolate may boost your memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain. Chocolate companies found comparable gains in similar research on healthy young women and on elderly people.

22 December 2006

their dance entrances

maybe it's those ghosts in Dickens. maybe it's those year-end lists of the famous who died. maybe it's the natural state of being for someone who began collecting obituaries & visiting cemeteries as a boy.

my mother begins her day not just by reading 2 newspapers but by starting that reading with the death notices. her son begins his day by turning on the computer & checking the obits in the NY Times & LA Times.

sometimes I miss a dead friend so much I ache. but the act of missing is an act of love.

so to the living friends I've disturbd by my earlier post today let me express thx for the hugs. & not to worry. my polka with the dead is happy. it reminds me how lucky I am to have been able to share at least some time with some extraordinary people.

remembering the dead

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one reason this time of year is always sadder than any other is because the dead want to visit. I think of Julia Waida preparing those sumptious dinners & Richard Martin calling me to giggle & T.R. Queen with his whacky gifts & Bernique Longley with her tearmaking jokes. all my aunts & most uncles are gone & now the cousins have begun to die. I live with the dead all the time but as each year ends I find myself alone at the end of a longer table.

21 December 2006

"Classic Comics"

Ron Silliman reports that he & Leslie Scalapino were "dedicated fans" of this series. makes me remember my boyhood. I wasn't a major comics fan but did like Wonder Woman. & of course   this set.

one of my pals from Garford School was Steve Walters. he lived around the corner & down a block on Cambridge. I recall that he was a real wheeler dealer & often talkd me into trading my Classics for some dross of his. by high school we ran with different crowds. I think he became a lawyer.

I no longer have a certain memory of any specific title in this series. but I do know they were a definite part of my early "reading."

20 December 2006

holy moly

I was christend in the orthodox church in Lorain but by the time we movd to Elyria I became a member of the Congregational Church because it was on the corner. as a youngster I had a tendency to become involvd. so I workd up way up in our local youth fellowship group   eventually editing the state newsletter.

at university I began reading eastern texts. anthropology & philosophy & history classes turnd me against organizd religions. over the decades I've developd quite the antipathy to churches & those whose who lead them.

most of the evil religions foster is too bleak to discuss. but I do have to chuckle sometimes. over the past few months in the neighboring state of Colorado -- where the fundamentalist loonies are rampant -- no less than 3 prominent pastors have left their pulpits because they preachd one thing on sunday & did the nasty on monday.

& in recent days there have been more chuckles. first we learn the rodent pope in his Prada pumps is backing formation of a Vatican football team. perhaps now the Episcopalians will turn their antigay venom to the boxing ring. & then this morning I read abt the fighting on Mt. Athos. yes   there are opposing camps of Greek Orthodox monks who are attacking each other with crowbars   sending 7 to hospital. apparently there are factions of the church who are attempting to play nice with the Catholic Church to the consternation of the other side.

19 December 2006

18 December 2006

on one

the green tea in my cup grew cold
& the cauliflower on my teapot turnd black
as I waitd in queue for permission
to return to you

I found a hair of yrs in the toe
of my Tangier slipper
on the way to the bank on the embankment
I thot I must be allowd to go home
so you can break in the slippers for me
like you sd you wd
the day they put me on the plane

I haven't traveld alone
in so long
I forgot how much
waiters hate to wait
on one


17 December 2006

of the season

abt a hundred years ago I was in junior high school (the term "middle school" had yet to be inventd). it was calld Eastern Heights. it's important to me because of a teacher who deserves her own statue. Martha Radachy had the audacity to supplement the curriculum with music & art & poetry. she opend doors for me.

but right now I'm remembering our xmas pageant. this was the year I had to sing a duet. I no longer remember the song but my partner was Jane Gottfried. my memory is that she was abt a foot taller than I was. I simply can't imagine myself small or that young. but I can remember the thrill of performing. I'd get immense stage freight but adored being in the spotlight.

15 December 2006

a bug?

perhaps a reason for yesterday's grouch quotient manifestd itself this morning. I woke up & felt so bad I went back to bed without even eating my oatmeal.

I promise not to post again till I feel less scroogish.

13 December 2006

a dog sings on Christopher St

tonite a musical will open off-Broadway. it's calld "Henry & Mudge" & will unspool at Theater De Lys. I know the theater has another name these days but I'm a cranky old fart & prefer the name I first knew.

the musical is based on a series of childrens books by Cynthia Rylant. we met nearly 20 years ago in Kent. she was taking classes in the library school & I was working in the university library's special collections department. eventually we attaind her papers. while the department was preparing the exhibition "Maggie & Mudge & May: The Books & Manuscripts of Cynthia Rylant" we learnd she'd won the Newbery Medal.

in Gildzen at 50 Cynthia wrote: "Alex is brave, handsome, charming, scary, and dear." there's a great deal "between the lines" there. I esp remember Cynthia at the party I threw to mark Carmen Miranda's 80th birthday. Tom Beckett was there too. & Mark Jamison wrote abt it: "I haven't seen so much fruit in one place since the March on Washington."

Theater De Lys is across Christopher St from one of the Village's oldest gay bars -- Ty's. in my drinking days I probably put in more hours at that bar than at that theater. I fondly recall being at Ty's with Ira Joel Haber. when we left we walkd across the street & spottd Joe Brainard in a restaurant. IJH introducd me & even tho I saw him around town a few times that was the only time I ever had a conversation with Brainard.

I don't remember if Cynthia ever met Ira Joel on his visits to Kent. but I love how life meanders & people intersect. I'd like to be able to be in NYC for the opening of "Henry & Mudge." during intermission I'd run to Ty's for a club soda.

12 December 2006

I keep trying

so after this morning's deletion of the garbld "Ely Park" on You Tube I spent the day working on my problems. I think some are solvd. for others I'm searching alternate avenues. here   for instance   is that same Elyria poem. both the picture & audio quality are weak but at least Yahoo Video has it in sync:

nothing's easy

I was so pleasd with the videos Roger shot that yesterday I purchasd an Olympus FE-200. altho it was daunting to get it going   I was able to shoot myself reading another poem. I lookd like shit but that has more to do with me than the camera. then came the hard part.

transfering the video from the camera into the world was more difficult than I can describe. & the lack of "instruction" offerd was bewildering. it took hours to finally have a product to present to You Tube.

I understand none of this but what Roger shot was an WMV file of decent size which was easy to load to You Tube. the software Olympus gave turnd my movie into an MOV file of bulk. it took forever to load to You Tube. & then when I sasw it there the sound was off. so my lips went one way while the words another. I went to bed in disgust at midnite. this morning I lookd at the disaster again & removd it.

11 December 2006


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Gary Bishop also had cameo appearances in Swimming & Alex in Movieland . he was a major object of desire for both sexes on the Kent State University campus in the '70s. he was a champion diver who lookd stunning in a speedo. I've been told he found his way to Hollywood where he became a stuntman.

10 December 2006

Day Project

in 1972 I wrote The Year Book which was publishd 2 years later by North Atlantic Books. always the prescient one   I knew that some day Tom Beckett wd ask us to record a day. so here's what I wrote on my 29th birthday:


1     up at 6   pee   open presents (The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara   The Films of Charlie Chaplin   Hedda and Louella   "American Pie"   "Jesus Christ Superstar") while listening to the news   shower   shave   brush teeth   feed cats

2     drive with Charles past Lake Rockwell   thru Brady Lake   into Kent   sit in student union for half hour   walk to tower following Gary Bishop at one point   unlock elevators   open up reading room

3     long letter to Ira   short ones to Fran McCullough & the Metcalfs   post card to Ned   xerox of Jake Falstaff's obit arrives in morning mail

4     stop at Glen Frank's office to sign open letter to Nixon condeming continuation of war & resumed bombing   no one there

5     lunch over Katie's Selectric   typing my Falstaff piece for Poetics

6     stop at Glen Frank's office again   still no one

7     buy a NY Times   mail Ira's letter   catch a bus back to tower   write to Tom who's moving from a trailer (space 86   1215 Las Vegas Blvd. N.) to a house (2112 Potosi)

8     prepare card copy for exhibition observing 40th anniversary of Hart Crane's suicide   catalog Aram Saroyan's letters to John Perreault

9     on homeward bus   read George McGovern's "My Stand" in the Times

10     pee   play "Jesus Christ Superstar"   eat Paul's cheese spread on Saltines   feed cats   hear Angela Davis' love letters to George Jackson on 6 o'clock news   leftovers for dinner

11     listen to "American Pie"   read O'Hara's "Second Avenue"   Crane's "Chaplinesque"   Whitman's "Recorders Ages Hence"   Keats' "The Eve of Saint Mark"   chapters 55-57 of Moby Dick

12     birthday call from parents   Charles' chcolate cheesecake   NBC primary winners: McGovern in Massachusetts   LBJ's vice-president in Pennsylvania   McGovern quotes Yeats in victory speech   brush teeth   pee   bed at 11:11

09 December 2006

more fest

actor/directors Robert Postrozny & James Anderson Posted by Picasa


there was a time when I'd attend a film festival & see up to 9 films a day for 3 or 4 days in a row. that's no longer so appealing to me. at this year's festival I have tix for 7 screenings over 4 days.

but it's still a thrill. how else can one see such a scrumptiously eccentric film as Khamdamov's "Vocal Parallels"? & tonite I saw my friend John Ericson in a moving role in a very short film "Birthday."

cinematographer David Blood Posted by Picasa

08 December 2006

"the big gaffer"

that's what Laszlo Kovacs calld the sun after a screening of "The King of Marvin Gardens." yes it's time for the Santa Fe Film Festival once again & Kovacs is here to pick up a lifetime achievement award.

Kovacs Posted by Picasa

07 December 2006


I try to be cool as I age & accept change. but sometimes it drives me bonkers.

this morning my computer announces to me that Internet Explorer 7 is available. so I dutifully download it. when I lookd at my new home page I cdn't find "My Favorites." now this list is my map to the internet universe. I began trembling with thots of how to reconstruct it. I swear there was no indication on the new home page that it still existd. then finally a new button appeard & I "found" it.

next on tap seems to be Blogger & Hello which is forcing me to make more uncomfortable changes. (& even as I type this I hear these small swooshes which I presume mean something in this new whatever. dear lord... it's a good thing I no longer drink.)


Jack Kimball

06 December 2006

who's out there?

in its first day my You Tube debut brought in over 200 viewers.

there are porn sites that have thousands clicking in each second. but   hey   this is just an old guy reading poems. so I'm thrilld.

04 December 2006

Mae Clarke

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I took this picture of her in 1989 in Beverly Hills. film buffs will forever remember her as the grapefruit dame (see my recent poem). she was sd to have been the model for Lorelei Lee in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." when they were girls   she & Barbara Stanwyck were co-stars on Broadway. at that time Missy believd Mae wd be the big star. but Stanwyck was still doing leads till shortly before her death while Clarke left the screen in bit parts.

for years I'd heard abt her performance in the first film version of "Waterloo Bridge"   directd by James Whale in 1931. I've never had access to a print till tonite when TCM broadcast the restored print. it shd be the film for which Mae Clarke is rememberd. she has one moment which is as beautiful a piece of screen acting as I've ever seen. she looks into a mirror   puts on a cloche   applies lipstick. simple as that. & yet it tells the character's entire story.

more mugs

Todd Moore has put up my poem to him at St. Vitus.

03 December 2006

the most famous swimming pool in Hollywood

reading that Tab Hunter met Tony Perkins beside that pool brought back so many memories. for a quarter of a century Chateau Marmont was my home when I vistd LA. everyone had heard the stories of Garbo swimming in this egg-shaped pool. & if I never saw a star of quite her magnitude   over the years I oggld a multitude of screen personalities of both sexes bulging out of their swimsuits. one early morning the only other person in the pool was Terence Stamp. & when he got out he droppd his trunks & towel'd off.

but my fondest memories of the Marmont pool are cavoting there with Alan Dalton. ah sweet Alan... we met when he was a waiter across Sunset Blvd at a cafe calld Oscar. he was a Brit   dancer-turnd-actor   another of Nureyev's countless boyfriends. his only memorable movie moment was in drag   beguiling Rasputin in "Nicholas & Alexandra." he knew everyone in the ex pat community. it was thru him that I met John Hurt & David Warner. I'll never forget being on the balcony of the penthouse & having Alan lean over to kiss my cheek & whisper "I want to sleep with you."

02 December 2006

taking a break

from serious reading by indulging in Tab Hunter Confidential which my old buddy Ira Joel sent. so far it's more of a hint-all than a tell-all. but I'm enjoying its breeziness.

the book's worth getting just for this picture of its subject with his onetime boyfriend Nureyev Posted by Picasa

01 December 2006


a while ago I wrote abt Wayland Flowers. yesterday on the way to the gym I wonderd if Flowers ever knew of Bruz Fletcher who cd've been an auntie to Madame. I can hear the great old broad singing Fletcher's double-entendre classic "My Doctor."

Fletcher was an important gay entertainer of the 1930s who committd suicide in 1941. altho he appeard in NY   he was probably best known for being the house star of Club Bali on the Sunset Strip. one of the legendary gay bars in Hollywood history   it attractd a mixd clientele (including some of the biggest movie stars of the day). Fletcher wrote novels & plays & songs. he was the mastermind behind the vaudeville acts of former silent screen stars Esther Ralston & Leatrice Joy. altho not all the facts of his life are known   it appears that his partner was set decorator Casey Roberts   a triple Oscar nominee. of particular fascination to me is that my old friend James Broughton seems to have had a fling with Roberts. James was a buddy of Jack Sowden   the last person to see Fletcher alive.

my recent interest in Fletcher was spurrd by Tyler Alpern   a multi-talentd man who deserves an entry of his own. Tyler continues to investigate the life & career of Fletcher. he's put together a website which gathers much of what we know abt this neglectd performer. & if you scroll all the way to the bottom you'll see my poem which is part of my Hollywood book.

30 November 2006

set to music

Nate Scheible is a young composer/musician in Cleveland who contactd me after reading February 03. he's working on a piece tentatively titld "This time next year you'll be oxidizing stone." he wonderd if I'd be interestd in collaborating.

first he sent me some of the "lyrics" he'd already written. I attemptd to write something that I felt fit. but after I actually heard his music I wrote some things based on childhood experiences in Lorain where my grandparents lived & Nate was born.

yesterday he sent me demos of 2 songs from the cycle using my words. it was quite emotional listening to my words as "heard" by another. I look forward to the final composition.

28 November 2006


that the rodent pope -- resplendent in designer coat & expensive shoes -- wd attempt to placate Muslims by visiting Attaturk's tomb. I'm sure the Greeks & Armenians who consider Attaturk a butcher are happy with that.

27 November 2006

bah humbug

had to mail a friend some books. the wait at the p.o. was 40 minutes. & it's not even dec yet.

26 November 2006


Lynne Cheney will have a cameo in the new Mel Gibson-Michael Richards movie.

25 November 2006


so it's a sunny saturday
& I'm reading Todd Moore
(Dillinger as a pre-Bogart Bogart)
& I'm drinking Moka Java
from the tan mug with blue lines
that got me thru Kent ayems
& I'm wondering how
the thing we drink from
shares a word meaning face

so I throw Moore on the floor
& get out my college Webster's
mug   n.   1. a heavy drinking cup
of earthenware ... formerly often ornamented
with a human face

& I remember Moore lining up
Cagney beside Boagart
& I can't think of Cagney
w/o thinking of grapefruit
Cagney was a thug with a mug
who pushd that grapefruit
into Mae Clarke's face
beautities had faces   thugs mugs
& I remember 58 years after that scene
seeing Mae Clarke in Beverly Hills
even as an old lady
she had a face

& I once saw Cagney
in that same place
even as an old man
he was a thug with a mug

Moore shoots words
it's a sunny saturday
& he hit me in the face
just like that grapefruit
except you can't wash off
what a word does

24 November 2006

gray friday

Iraq slips into civil war & the news programs open with video of people already in debt standing in line at 5 in the ayem waiting to shop. how ridiculous.

23 November 2006

Anita O'Day (1919-2006)

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we're still here

nestld among the advertising circulars in yesterday's mail was my copy of This Passing World. I'm a slow reader   esp with novels & I'm still reading Richard Balthazar's Divine Debauch. so I can't start Don Cauble's novel yet but I cdn't resist opening it. & there were quotations from Tom Kryss & Doug Blazek. & I suddenly become emotional.

back in the 60s when the poems of Kryss & Blazek & Cauble & Gildzen were appearing together in magazines I never imagind we'd be alive in the 21st century. but here we are. alive & still writing & publishing.

I'm not a holiday person. however on this one I give thx for my generation of poets   esp the ones who are still tapdancing in the mine fields.

22 November 2006

bus & truck is alive if not well

years ago most Broadway hits went on tour. the primary tours featurd either the original stars or big-name replacements & playd at least a week in major cities. for me that was the Hanna Theater in Cleveland. there was also something known as bus & truck companies. these playd for a nite or 2 in secondary cities with casts of those on their way up or down but never on top. for example   I saw "Butterflies Are Free" at Akron Civic Theater featuring Jan Sterling whose Hollywood star was dimming & John Spencer before he found tv stardom. somewhere along the way Broadway had fewer hits & much of the touring ceasd.

when I heard there was a bus & truck company coming to Santa Fe I immediately got a ticket. last nite's production was "Camelot." now this was the first musical I ever saw on Broadway. Kennedy was president & the show's star was Julie Andrews. so I wasn't expecting much this time. & that's what I got. it was a charmless production with a dull cast in K Mart costumes. imagine a paunchy Arthur without authority   a Lancelot lacking dash. the only sparkle came from Mollie Vogt-Welch as Guenevere. but as dreary as the experience was I'm pleasd that the tradition continues & I hope better companies will come to town.

20 November 2006

query to fellow bloggers

if you're on Blogspot are you switching to the new version? is it difficult? what will happen if we simply stay with the old version?


for many reasons I've decid'd not to get another.

but my life is not lacking in felines. I'm putting Melina's food & water bowls on the back portal & keeping them full. a trio of neighborhood cats are regulars. I know where they live. they'll talk to me thru the protection of a glass window but still scamper if I try to go outdoors to chat. I'm enjoying getting to learn the eccentricities of their movements.

19 November 2006

Pink Flamingo (1957-2006)

Roman Tymchyshyn sent me the obit of this 20th century icon.

the lawn ornament was "inventd" nearly a half century ago by Don Featherstone & was manufacturd by Union Products of Leominster MA. it originally sold for $2.75 but a few are available online for $50. the announcement that Union is no longer making pink flamingos no doubt will up that price.

18 November 2006

17 November 2006

"if I lay here"

for someone who reads (& writes)   the worst part of a gay resort is the nonstop music that's piped into public spaces.

that sd   let me add that last month while lolling at Inn Exile I was happy to hear what for me was a new song: Snow Patrol's "Chasing Cars." I'll always think of Palm Springs when I hear that song just as hearing "MacArthur Park" brings back Provincetown & "Theme from 'Shaft' " makes me think of Fire Island Pines.

16 November 2006


it was getting a bit gray here so I'm peroxiding things up a bit. Posted by Picasa

"This Passing World"

synchronicity is such a big part of my life I no longer become surprisd when it manifests itself.

on flights back from Miami a husband & wife were wearing t-shirts with this quotation from Philo of Alexandria: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." & then among the first e's that come thru upon my return is one from Don Cauble using the same quotation as part of his signature statement.

I've never met Cauble. back in the 60s Hugh Fox brought our poems together in his important but now-neglectd anthology The Living Underground. Cauble seemd to have disappeard. after I gave my copy of that book to Matthew Wascovich he really got into Cauble's work & "found" him in Portland. via Wasco I began corresponding with Cauble.

there are reasons we didn't hear from Cauble. altho he's writing poetry again he has just seen the publication of his first novel This Passing World. I won't say that the book provides some answers to his "disappearance." art is more than biography. however I suspect first novels tend to have roots in the biographies of their writers. I look forward to reading it.

15 November 2006

Patchen places

Larry Smith must have a special shelf in his closet for all the hats he wears. but don't expect to find a beret. Larry's a poet of the midwest who publishes other poets of the midwest & who honors the best of the midwest.

a while back he put on line a gallery of photos of d.a. levy's residences which so moved me I wrote a poem abt it. now he's done the same for Kenneth Patchen.

so let me find one of my old Ohio hats & tip it to Larry.

14 November 2006

old people at the opera are worse than children on a plane

they can't find their seats & simply sit in the wrong one. during the performance they talk & unwrap godknowswhat & drop their programs & let their cell phones ring & applaud in the wrong places & fall asleep.

if this is my future   I pass.

13 November 2006

a coin tossd in the air

heads: despondent in South Beach

volcano of bile scalds flesh. get out of bed. walking is unguent. to the ocean. if I fist a wave will I find calm. sun too hot. walk to strip of palms along Ocean Dr. across street a deco hotel. bars of blue beside lavender. white circles & green lines. I choke for air. I breathe so deep I feel my toes in my mouth.

tails: across the bay

art pulls us from the midden. opera calld me to Miami. the perfection of Mozart wd probably nourish on a deathbed. & Verdi when done with fire (& here it was literal) can make us soar (even when the lovers die in each other's arms).

07 November 2006

back to the future

in the 13 some years I've lived in New Mexico I've been voting on touch-screen machines. however since so many citizens now believe that President Worst Ever didn't actually win either of his last 2 elections   there's a cry for a paper trail. so this morning I took a step into the past & cast a paper ballot.

what was sad to me tho was that with the polls open for 2 hours only 54 others in my precinct had already voted. turnout is key to the Rove-Mehlman scenario to retain control.

06 November 2006

05 November 2006

You Tube

Bing Crosby / Bette Midler duet with me in the audience

David Hockney painting a BMW

Percy Helton is a Japanese tv commercial

Anita O'Day singing boogie in 1941

Kerouac reading from On the Road

John Curry skating 30 years ago

the alternate ending of "Rebel Without a Cause"

      I admit it. I've become an addict.

04 November 2006

70000 views of the history of LA

Bill Berger filld me in out a great resource. LA Public Library has made available online part of their historic image collection. tiptoeing thru is a joy.

1947 portrait of Betty Bersinger   the woman who discoverd the body of Elizabeth Short on Norton Ave

03 November 2006

white xmas

this is the man Rev. Haggard went to for a massage. that's all. he just had a massage.

Mike Jones Posted by Picasa

02 November 2006

love child of Freddie Mercury & Rufus Wainwright

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a great old broad

I suspect I first saw Wayland Flowers & his divine creation Madame on "Laugh In." the only time I saw them perform live was the summer of 1986 in Provincetown. it was one of those acts that had me in tears -- first from laughing & finally in its poignant farewell with a plea to love one another. 2 years later Flowers was dead at 48 & Madame was sd to have been buried with him.

I hadn't thot of them in a while & then as happens yesterday they came into my life twice. on a theater message board I read that Madame is on the verge of a comeback with a new man up her skirt. & in an interview with Jerry Torre -- the Marble Faun of "Grey Gardens" -- I learnd that he spent a summer in Provincetown with Flowers. I wonderd if that summer was 1986 & if he was in the room the nite I saw them.

01 November 2006

olfactory delites

for me autumn smells better than any other season.

& if that isn't enuf I just pickd the last of my Ohio basil.

my nostrils are in frenzy.

31 October 2006

how a death makes us remember

seeing the New York Times obit of critic Richard Gilman this morning made me recall bringing him to Kent State 22 years ago. I put together an academic conference to mark the 20th anniversary of the Open Theater. Kent was the logical place for such an event because we housd the company's papers -- as well as those of its director Joseph Chaikin & leading playwright Jean-Claude van Itallie.

I believe the panel discussions are all available on tape in the archives. I tend to remember the social events. a couple of gatherings at my house & a reception in Special Collections. my recollection of Gilman was of a tall man who was urbane but with a lively sense of humor.

that experience was important because it allowd company members to publically vent some differences that needed airing. I don't know for certain but expect that some true mending happend.

30 October 2006

thx Darryl

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my Gay Cam buddy Durl had some sweet things to say:

Luca picked me up around ten the next morning and we proceded to Palm Springs. We met Alex at the P.S. Art Museum on Thursday for his reading. I've known Alex for a few years now, but I've never seen him read his stuff out loud before. There was a good crowd of poets in the audience and the whole thing went down extremely well! Alex told the stories of when and why he wrote each poem and then spoke it.

Honestly, it was amazing. He's really very good at this. After the reading, we went to Desert Hot Springs, to the Beat Hotel for a reception. The little 50's 8 room hotel is amazing! It's interesting because it was the place where William Bourroughs and a lot of the beat poets wrote some of their works. The guy who restored the place to it's 50's glory was an assistant to Bourroughs during the last years of his life and he had the most incredible collection of books and other stuff, including some of Bourroughs paintings on the walls and a working "Dream Machine" (You will have to do your own research on that).

I mean, it was astonishing and wonderful to hang out in this historic place with a bunch of writers and poets and talk about William Bourroughs!

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29 October 2006

today is d.a. levy's birthday

Kon Petrochuk came to Special Collections in jan 1980 to see our levy materials for a film he was going to make. in june of the following year I went to Cleveland for the premiere of that movie "if i scratch, if i write."

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a quarter century later Kon has producd a revision of that work. watching it I was often overwhelmd. there was the cover of the levy issue of The Serif which I editd & quotes from the essay I askd Gary Snyder to write. there were interviews with my teacher Jacob Leed & my contemporaries Kent Taylor & Bob Carothers & Grace Butcher & Tony Walsh standing on the balconies of the Arcade. there were shots of mighty Terminal Tower & Lorain Ave Bridge. & was that me in the blur of footage of levy at Sun Gallery in Kent?

I can't be objective abt this documentary because I'm too close to it. but 25 years after seeing the first version I feel even more moved by the reworking of it. if you are a reader of levy or someone who loves Cleveland it's a film to see. it's easy to purchase the DVD.

28 October 2006

ups & downs

the books we publish go out into the world & have their own lives. I'm always delightd to find a book of mine in an important collection. some books seem to disappear   others are ubiquitous.

the 1971 portfolio Six Poems/Seven Prints which I editd for the Kent State University Libaries fetches more dinero than anything else with my name attachd. esp the 50 signd copies which market for something like $750.

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but today I found 25 Years: Special Collections at Kent State University listd online with the notation "Price: too low to display."