30 June 2006

remembering a friend

I was "organizing" yesterday & came across a letter written nearly 9 years ago by Richard Martin. it was a shock because I left Richard's hundreds of letters with my papers at Kent State before moving here & after his death in 1999 at the age of 52 sent the remaining letters there. this one was never filed & got "lost." he wrote abt giving his last interview following the murder of Versace & going to see a movie: "I knew I wanted to affirm life in some basic way."

I began my correspondence with Richard in the summer of 1977 when he was editor of Arts. he was doing a Smithson issue & Nancy Holt suggestd to him that I write abt "Partially Buried Woodshed." we didn't meet till 1981 in Cleveland during a costume conference. he was representing FIT & I was helping set up the costume museum at KSU.

my admiration for him as art critic & scholar of fashion history was matchd by my delight in sharing our lives. we often wrote several letters a day to each other & on the phone we giggld like school girls. our attempt at romance never quite workd -- partly because of the distance between us & partly because being buddies seemd more permanent than being lovers.

I miss Richard. & when I saw his familiar writing of my name on that envelope yesterday I became teary. but I was lucky because I had as much time with him as I did.

with Richard in spring of 1990 in Kent

29 June 2006

Chatelaine update

Eileen fleshes out the saga of the blog that went pufffffffffft in the nite.

vanishing blogs

poet bloggers are abuzz this morning abt the disappearance of Eileen Tabios' blog.

as a former special collections librarian I wonder why some savvy person in that field doesn't make the blogs of poets a specialty. certainly there must be a way to preserve blogs for future study. it seems to me that the increase of poets who are blogging & the importance of what this is doing to the art will need to be examind. & if the documents themselves disappear how will this happen?

28 June 2006

Marsden Hartley

his Hart Crane painting currently is in Santa Fe.

his sauna painting is in Santa Fe.

I can't tell you what emotions came over me as I lookd again at these powerful paintings -- so personal to me -- right here in my town.

Hartley is important to me for many reasons. he died the year I was born. he lived in Cleveland & Provincetown & Santa Fe -- all touchstone cities for me. he knew Crane. & it goes on & on.

getting lost in the paintings I forgot abt Dad's decline. I forgot abt my own aging. I forgot abt the war & President Worst Ever. I forgot abt all the hate in the world. I was naked among other naked men in a safe place where there was no time.

27 June 2006

a bitch slap to come?

Cuppa never forgave Aaron Spelling for divorcing Carolyn Jones. but she's also a major fan of trash tv. & the schlockmeister producd more crappy tv than anyone in history. so she's contemplating throwing a "Dynasty" party in his memory. guests will have to come as their favorite character.

naturally La Meringue will be Crystal. she sort of looks slike Joan Collins. well Collins on the Potatot Diet (mashd potatoes for lunch   french fries for dinner   sweet potato pie before bed).

I haven't done drag since Susan Kirby's Halloween party when I was 12 but I was thinking maybe Barbara Stanwyck as Constance Colby?

I just pity whoever comes as Linda Evans. Cuppa's apartment building does have a pool & she's what I'd call formidable.

26 June 2006

in the movies

Calvin Lockhart in a pink turtleneck

another centennial

on Dad's last nite in hospital Mom & I were unwinding at the house before bed. she wantd a hot fudge sundae. I sd we didn't have sauce. she sd she still had a jar of C.C. Brown's hot fudge sauce I'd sent years ago squirreld away. when I pulld it out of its hiding place I saw on its sticker that C.C. Brown's began in 1906.

it was first locatd in downtown LA where Brown inventd the hot fudge sundae in 1922. it movd to 7007 Hollywood Blvd in 1929 & soon became the ice cream fountain of the stars. it was a fave of Joan Crawford & Kate Hepburn as well as a pair of my particular Hollywood icons Elizabeth Short & James Dean. I first went there abt 30 years ago. in mar 85 I was interviewd while pouring the famous sauce from its cruet onto the sundae by a USC student. I have no idea if that doc was ever finishd or still exists but wd love to see it. the place closed in 1996 but a smaller version opend a few years ago next to the new Schwab's in Hollywood. that experiment didn't last long. however the sauce is still made & can be purchasd online.

25 June 2006

I'm raw.

it's not going well.

I'm not yet ready to write abt the pain.

24 June 2006

I'm back after a harrowing experience. Dad had a minor stoke with some bad complications.

19 June 2006


before leaving for the airport I wish to express my appreciation to all who calld or wrote. the internet community is a real & vibrant one for me.

I don't have a laptop. if all goes well I'll be back thur nite & will report then.

18 June 2006


encouraging news as I pack. Dad's having a much better day today.

bittersweet Fathers Day

Dad's in hospital hookd up to a heart monitor. I'm flying to Ohio tomorrow.

here he is on one of last year's visits with his famous pancakes:

Posted by Picasa

17 June 2006

Cuppa Cakes

La Meringue droppd by to cheer me up. she brought a plate of faery cakes.

you see Cuppa went to the community theater production of "Midsummer Night's Dream." during intermission they sold "faery cakes" -- stale cupcakes with some glitter on top. Cuppa knew she cd do better. so she producd tasty cupcakes with mounds of frosting & a rainbow of sugary sparkles. when it comes to indulgence   nothing is too much for Miss Meringue.

the sugar mixd with Cuppa's spicey monolog abt amours past lightend my mood for the moment. like all of us she has her shortcomings but I know of no one who matches her devotion to old friends.
so deep
my guts ache

14 June 2006

tragic story

on the bus back from Marfa 4 years ago we stoppd in Hondo to visit Luis Jimenez in his studio. I was never fond of his work but found him to be personable.

the lead story in this morning's paper is his obituary. he was moving one of his large sculptures when it fell & killd him.

13 June 2006

of dicks & slippery lips

so my local paper runs an article abt the Institute of Phallology. this museum in Iceland features some well-hung examples. the biggest is 5' 2". that penis belongd to a sperm whale.

then I flippd thru Vanity Fair & there was an article exploring "the blowjob's emergence as the nation's signature sex act." next I opend Out & in the contributors notes was a stunning portrait of Mark Simpson revealing his pubes. next came GQ with a piece on Josh Lucas. the first photo was supposd to feature "the most quintessentially American shirt." what shirt? the shot focuses on his crotch.

finally I had to stop reading & take a cold shower.

12 June 2006


hands down. it's the best awards show. most entertaining. most emotional. one has a real sense of community.

yes it got off to a shaky start with a certain pop singer in search of his key. but what a joy to see someone I've admird for years -- Frances de la Tour -- win an award at the same time as someone I don't know at all but want to -- Beth Leavel.

I rarely sit thru all of Grammy. after last year's Oscars I may abandon that show. but I look forward to seeing who & what wins Tony even if I haven't seen the productions.

11 June 2006

somewhere over the rainbow it's my party

because yesterday was Judy Garland's birthday I presumd her new stamp wd be available. so I went to the p.o. only to find they didn't have it yet. on the walk back my mind was having one of its rambles. I recalld that Rainbow Vision   the gay retirement center a couple of blocks from my house   was having its grand opening. I wonderd if they'd consciously chosen Judy's birthday.

so I went to the opening. too many dreary speeches from the owner/operators & assembld pols courting the gay vote. the only stand-out was by Connie Kurtz of "Ruthie & Connie" fame. I returnd at nite for a concert by Lesley Gore who recently turnd 60. she sang a mix of her old hits & new tunes   opening the show with a song she wrote with Dean Pitchford on whom I once had a chrush.

Posted by Picasa

10 June 2006

a couple of stars shining brightly

30 years ago I saw Lily Tomlin perform live for the first time on the Kent State campus. it was also 30 years ago that I saw Meryl Streep perform live for the first time in one-acts by Tennessee Williams & Arthur Miller off-Broadway.

yesterday I saw them together in a movie for the first time. "A Prairie Home Companion" may not be Altman's greatest film but watching these two magnificent women perform together is such a joy that I had a grin every time they were on screen. one expects perfection from Streep but watch Tomlin carefully. she gives a performance of nuance & depth.

09 June 2006

full moon alert

what a surprise to receive an e-card this ayem celebrating Full Moon Day on sunday. the card was from Jacque DeCosmo & doubld as an announcement that on sunday she undertakes a dream trip to Italy to visit anchestral land.

altho I rarely see her I've known Jacque for a hundred years. she was one of Kent State's finest actresses. I remember her Big Mama opposite the Brick of Ray Wise. & she did a terrific Sister George as well.

she moved to Manhattan where she made her stage debut opposite Harvey Fierstein in a Shakespeare play. & she did extra work in the movies. I esp ecall her in "Paternity." the last time I saw Jacque she made her famous grape pie for Dennis Deal & me.

08 June 2006

bump on a blog

I try to post early in the day. however for the past 2 days Blogger has been down.

during the day I composd an entry in my head that flittd from the pale yellow blossoms of the prickly pear to the sweet taste of the strawberries I bought today. but not being able to get it down it scootd off.

07 June 2006

do you doodle?

Florin Firmita informs me that his friend Diane Zweig is doing a book on doodles & the art of doodling. if you do(odle)& want to know more   contact her at ZweigCD@comcast.net.

06 June 2006

happy anniversary

Santa Fe Opera celebrates its 50th season this summer. to kick things off today they offerd a lunchtime performance of Bizet's early one-act "Dr. Miracle." it's but a bit of froth. however a sweet way to begin.


as if to mark this hellish day President Worst Ever is flying to New Mexico.

05 June 2006

thx Steve

when I was a boy going to the movies with my best friend T.R. Queen we both had our fave stars. & mostly they were predictable. but even then I had a passion for "minor" characters. one of them was Leigh Snowden. the blonde first came to my attention when she wow'd the sailors at San Diego naval base on Jack Benny's holiday show in dec of 1954. she was 25 & I was 11. her career as Universal-International's answer to Mariyln only lastd abt 3 years. soon after marrying accordionist Dick Contino she traded soundstages for motherhood. she died in 1982. Contino lives in Las Vegas & performs from time to time. James Ellroy wrote a short book abt him.

the reason I bring this up is that Steve Tills has postd the picture he took of me with a poster of Leigh in "Hot Rod Rumble." it was the day Steve & I met. he's a golfer & wantd to see Firestone Country Club. as long as we were in Akron I suggestd visting Quaker Square. & in a shop there was the poster.

so now every time I see a Leigh Snowden movie I'll also think of Steve.

still dreaming

Cuppa calld in tears. she'd just seen the PBS special on the Mamas & the Papas. it's no secret that Cass Elliot is a role model for Cuppa Meringue. (maybe I never told you that my friend is a big girl.) she's liftd her idol's shortend mu-mu & go go boots as a signature look. & when Cuppa sang in clubs she did her own raspy cover of "Dream A Little Dream Of Me."

"let them argue abt whether Janis or Tina was the queen of rock 'n roll. Cass was the baroness & I'll never forget her voice" she sd between sobs.

few things infuriate Cuppa but just the mention of Cass & a certain sandwich & she'll throw things at you. "that's one urban legend that's so cruel."

Cuppa misses Cass & wishes she'd lived long enough for a Broadway career. "she was versatile enough to have done Dolly & maybe even Mrs. Lovett."

needless to say she's already made her pledge to PBS so she can get the complete career CD.

04 June 2006

film noir festival

James Darren Posted by Picasa

Eddie Muller & Richard Erdman Posted by Picasa

casting director Marvin Paige / director James O'Keefe / actor Justin Carl Posted by Picasa

03 June 2006

early summer in Palm Springs

it was 105 when I arrivd & on its way to 112 as I flew out today.

I had such a good time at the film noir festival last year I wantd to attend again. however Pet Nanny was to go on vacation during the weekend. since she's the only one to care for Melina when I'm away I presumd I cdn't take this one in. however I decid'd a couple of films was better than none. the best I saw was Anthony Mann's "T-Men" with brilliant photography by John Alton.

I also pickd up some news at the festival: Tab Hunter is in hospital for hernia surgery & Ann Savage is making her comeback in Guy Maddin's next film.