30 April 2006


the first issue of Mark Young's e-zine is up. I'm absolutely giddy to be in such fine company. it's the poetry equivalent of an all-star movie. altho I'm not sure if I'm John Barrymore in "Grand Hotel" or Marlene Dietrich in "Around in the World in 80 Days."

29 April 2006

overnite snow

Posted by Picasa

familiar faces

I'm not a fan of the scary movie. the only reason I watchd "Dead End" last nite was because I knew 2 of the cast members when they were young.

the film's star   Ray Wise   was a student at Kent State in the mid '60s. he was quite the campus matinee idol. I remember him in the musical "She Loves Me" & as Brick in "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." & when Jean-Claude van Itallie came to campus in 1968 Ray appeard in his "Interview." somewhere there's film of Jean-Claude & Ray with the other cast members traipsing thru the woods near the theater. Ray is probably best known for the David Lynch series "Twin Peaks."

Jimmie F. Skaggs only has a few lines at the very end of the film. he was two classes behind me at Elyria High School. I have few memories of him but do recall he was in the choir. I knew his buddy Bill Miller better. when Jimmie tourd in "Grease" he based his performance as Eugene on Bill. this film was his last.

27 April 2006

Cuppa won't kneel

every other shop on Bourbon St was hawking feather boas. so I bought a pink one for Cuppa Meringue. ever since she saw the picture Andy Towle postd of the pope in pink it's been her color of choice.

"didn't His Rodentness look fab? I mean   move over Molly Ringwald! I just wonder if his Prada pumps were pink too."

now don't get excitd by Cuppa's seeming infatuation with the pope. her only interest in him is as a fashionplate. religions make her nervous.

"I'm a member in good standing of The Church of Jan Sterling. you know: 'I don't pray. kneeling bags my nylons'."

26 April 2006

hearing history

Howard Zinn   that great hero of the left   was in town tonite. he intro'd readings from his anthology Voices of a People's History of the United States.

Kerry Washington reading Sojourner Truth's famous Akron speech
Lucille Clifton presenting Fanny Lou Hamer's testimony before the 1964 Democratic National Convention
Jane Fonda reading Cindy Sherman's "It's time the antiwar choir started singing"

the last got the most sustaind applause & hearing Fonda giving the anti-Bush speech brought back memories of some 35 years ago.

25 April 2006

reading in the sky

the other day Ray Ruiz suggestd I meet Otis Fennell. so on my last nite in NOLA I stoppd by FAB & intro'd myself. Otis showd me some of Ray's paintings. & I bought a couple of new books abt John Kennedy Toole. on yesterday's flights back I read Joel Fletcher's memoir of the novelist & his mother Ken & Thelma. it's a perfect example of remembrance & gossip blending into literary history.

23 April 2006

French Quarter Festival

the second-line parade inchd down Rampart & into Louis Armstrong Park. a glum Jesse Jackson arrivd with entourage. Mitch Landrieu walkd by   hugging every other potential voter. abt 45 minutes behind schedule Wynton Marsalis began conducting his new piece "Congo Square."

we were close to the stage but the intensity of sun sent us thru the crowd to under a tree. the music was spiritd but it was difficult to concentrate. yes   there were jerks on their cell phones. & as stiffling & close as it was there were superjerks smoking. so I'd have to listen again to comment at all intelligently abt the music. but as event it was lively & meaningful.

the joy of survival

yesterday I let neighbors Rita & Phil do the museum thing. I ambld over to Lion's Inn where Stuart kindly allowd me to take off my clothes & relax by the pool & adjacent garden.

later we three Santa Feans put on our glad rags & enjoyd a sumptious dinner at Galatoire's. this monument to good eating has been going on for nearly a century. we startd with crawfish bisque. Rita's entree was crab au gratin. Phil did something with shrimp & rice. I savord pompano. much walking separatd this from late-nite beignets & coffee at Cafe Du Monde.

22 April 2006

Big Easy

one only begins to comprehend the devastation of Katrina traveling from airport to Marigny. blue tarps over roofs. uprootd trees. markings on abandonnd homes. tent city.

but walking around the French Quarter which has always been dirty one wd never guess a hurricane happend.

however there is sadness in the voices of locals.

20 April 2006

those dark streets are everywhere

just after 9 last nite I heard an explosion. so I turnd on the news at 10. to my shock instead of learning anything abt the major noise there was live coverage from the apartments next door. a murder had been uncoverd.

still no details yet this morning.

19 April 2006

word arrows

Cuppa calld. I was sure she'd be telling me that Brooke Shields' husband did not eat the placenta. but no she was all thrilld by receiving a package from an anonymous admirer. contents: a squirrel thong. one hopes she wears it as a hat.


Posted by Picasa

many years ago I editd this magazine. I was surprisd to learn that this copy of vol 2   no 2/3 (1970) is being calld "an incredible publication" on ebay where its starting bid is $49.99. strangely I don't have a copy of this issue. I recall there were 2 states of the cover. for the "general" edition the Judy Garland silkscreen was on an envelope. but there was a limitd with the print on a silver folder.

altho we publishd a variety of styles   the magazine today is probably best rememberd for work by the outlaw poets d.a. levy   Doug Blazek   Richard Krech   Hugh Fox   Steve Osterlund.

18 April 2006

out of the past

Posted by Picasa

recently I was going thru some "stuff" & discoverd a small envelope. all that was in it was a single slide. I gave it to my friend Roger who has some device which converts slides into jpegs. & here it is.

that's me at 21. Garold Gardner took the slide on board the ocean liner Christoforo Colombo as it was dockd in Manhattan. time has robbd the image of detail & color but I'm amazd to see how I lookd so long ago.

17 April 2006


Cuppa Meringue pretends not to read poetry blogs. but she trippd herself up a couple of weeks ago when she told me "I'd rather wrestle Bill Allegrezza than a water buffalo." the only reason I bring this up is as prelude to yesterday's brunch.

every Easter Cuppa tries to outdo herself in the bonnet department. perhaps the most striking was a collection of Peeps in all available colors. she feels one can wear anything. "ever since Carmen Miranda dumpd that fruit basket on her head she gave each & every one of us permission to put anything we want on our heads." welllllllll   yesterday she had on a huge pink wig & carefully tuckd in was a Vicious Bunny thong with real daisies at the corners. turns out she's a major Allegrezza fan.

but more striking than even her headgear was this announcement over Constant Comment & hardboild eggs:

"I've inventd a new poetic form."


"it's calld the hair(na)ku."

I spit out a mouthful of tea.

"do you want to hear my first example?"

one never denies Cuppa her desires.

wig hurts
when I fart

I bit into another egg while attempting a response. rather than present a critique of her stab at poetry I sd "but Cuppa   it's abt a wig   not hair."

she zero'd her blue peepers at my baldness & sd "for some of us wigs are hair."

I tried to appease her by changing the subject to George Nader. she went along with me & didn't bring up poetry again. & when it was time to leave   she gave me her usual salutation: "I'd kiss you but I can't find my hair."

16 April 2006

a tradition

Posted by Picasa

in the communities in which I grew up families wd mark spring by taking pictures at a large concrete Easter basket in Lakeview Park in Lorain. a park employee by the name of David Shukait creatd the basket in either 1937 or 1941 (both dates are used in various historical sources).

the b&w picture is of me as a boy -- probably taken by Dad. the color one was taken last year by cousin Regina.

Posted by Picasa

15 April 2006

Sprague sprouts

the first visual I put up on this blog was a painting by my friend R.B. Sprague. he recently enterd the blogosphere. his blog may be unique. it offers a view into the process of painting by showing work as it progresses.

14 April 2006

sharing a cup with Cuppa

so in yesterday's mail I get this annoucement of a piano concert. & the program includes Villa Lobos. well I had to call Cuppa Meringue.

"are you psychic?"

"you bet. & I can see us gabbing over coffee. so haul that sagging butt of yrs over here."

as I was walking into her apartment (yes I have a key) Cuppa was pouring steaming Cinchona into her huge Carmen Miranda mugs. & thus began our yack session. now Cuppa has many interests so the conversation crossd more borders than a van load of illegals.

Cuppa is the least political person I know. but she follows her celebs & treats DC denizens with the same respect -- or lack thereof -- as Hollywood folk. she's equally disdainful of both parties & dismisses greenies as well-intentiond loonies. "my friend Mildred won't eat meat but has a closet full of Ferragammos. & last time I heard they weren't making them out of cardboard."

Cuppa is eternally fixatd on Condi Rice's coiffures. "I haven't seen hair that stiff since Ann Miller died." & she can't stand Hillary's lack of style. "with Jackie in the White House it was like Audrey Hepburn. but Mrs. Clinton dressd like Ellen DeGeneres. don't get me wrong. I adore Ellen's wit but I close my eyes when she comes out in those pants." Cuppa still talks abt Jackie as if she were alive. & the only time I ever saw her in black was when Oleg Cassini died recently. "Mourning is so slimming."

Cuppa's all excitd abt the generals revolt against Rumsfeld. "that man has an estate in Taos so I guess we're neighbors but I won't be bringing him a chocolate souffle when he returns. I don't mind arrogance when it accompanies competence." I think secretly that Cuppa has the hots for one of those dissenting generals.

I had to sit thru another of her harangues against that cult member who jumps on couches. she won't even speak his name & constantly e-mails Netflix to stop distributing his impossible movies. it was such a full afternoon I had to take a nap when I got home.

13 April 2006


over at his blog Charles Jensen announces that I'll be editing the Santa Fe/Albuquerque section of Locuspoint. submission deadline is 30 july.

silver dollars in bloom

Melina does her spring banking Posted by Picasa

12 April 2006

burning the glooms

whenever I begin to succomb to sadness I place a call to my favorite drag queen Cuppa Meringue. "she" refuses to be glum abt anything. "it causes wrinkles   hun."

when I mentiond the talk abt bird flu she sd "well you've always had a thing abt toucans. maybe it's time to embrace yr fear & buy a real one. you cd wear it to concerts. any Villa Lobos coming up?"

then I told her abt the poetry reading. Cuppa pretends to know nothing abt poetry but I know she's a closet reader. "when I want poetry I go to Craig's list. I read one last nite: 'eight hard. eat me.' now that's positively Audenesque. & eight/eat. isn't that divine? I mean half a rime is better than none."

by the time I got off the phone I had a smile on my face.

Richard Siken

Posted by Picasa

he wantd a chair. "poetry makes me dizzy. especially my own poetry" he sd. then he sat & opend a copy of Crush. he read with the same punch of that book. & during one poem when our eyes met I thot I'd fall to the floor.

11 April 2006

carpe diem indeed

I spent my time in Elyria with my parents. but one nite a cousin whooshd me off to a lecture by former surgeon general Antonia Novello at the community college. just what I need'd: it was the most depressing talk I've ever heard.

Novello spoke mostly abt bird flu. she stressd that right now it's strictly an avian disease. HOWEVER if it mutates to humans it'll cause a quick & devastating pandemic which cd kill 60 million worldwide in a matter of weeks. she's not predicting that it will mutate but if it does it cd come as soon as 8 months from now.

so let's all have one hell of a summer...

10 April 2006

getting old is a bitch

whoever coind the phrase "golden agers" shd be punchd in the puss. I believe we do experience "golden years" but usually we're out of them before we even realize they were golden. & all that's left is the terrible tin of the end.

04 April 2006

spring comes to Santa Fe

Posted by Picasa

the face of a friend

unless I'm at a film festival I don't watch movies in the morning. but today TCM was showing the 1934 version of "The Show Off." it's a minor film but the cast includes my old friend Lois Wilson. she'd playd the female lead in the silent production 8 years earlier. this time around she has 4th billing for a lackluster role but it was still a thrill to see her again. one of the great things abt film is how it captures a person & preserves part of them forever.

03 April 2006

how did that slip by?

after the gym this ayem I poppd into one of my neighborhood groceries. they play music in the store but it's usually so bland I pay no attention to it. however today I was quite surprisd to hear Jill Sobule singing "I Kissed a Girl."

01 April 2006

a spot of tea

when I was a rare book librarian whose collections were heavy with poetry I had some knowledge of little mags around the world. but these days I no longer have access. except -- that is -- on our grand international library   the internet.

a friend has e'd me abt an online digital archive of British poetry magazines. since summer of 2003   London's Poetry Library on the South Bank has been putting the contents of some of its periodicals online. currently the contents of 31 magazines are available.