30 September 2006

writers & their felines

yesterday as part of my housecleaing tear I began dusting & airing out my film reference collection. as part of that I took my entire shelf of James Robert Parish titles outside.

just now I returnd from the opening screening of Southwest Gay & Lesbian Film Festival & found an e from Jim informing me of the death of his cat Purrfect.

& for the past few days Jim Cory has been nursing his cat Pops who I met on my summer visit to Philadelphia. hope things are going well there.

Fred's head

biography fascinates me. & I adore finding faces which keep reappearing over the years.

I never met Fred Herko but rememeber Jean-Claude van Itallie & others talk abt him. & then in the matter of 3 days he's emergd. first there's footage of him in Ric Burns' Warhol doc. then he's referencd in a Jerry Tallmer article.

as subject the dancer/choreographer pops up most memorably in the work of Diane DiPrima. but he also appears in writing by Jackson MacLow & Ray Johnson   Jack Marshall & Michael Smith.

29 September 2006

28 September 2006

a sweet site

now that I finally have dsl I'm enjoying the ability to see film clips. while googling tonite I discoverd Movietone Portraits. in a terribly short amount of time we see sketches which are often incisive & touching. there are beauties of both sexes (Ava Gardner & Stewart Granger). & unexpectd moments from some of my personal faves (Margaret Leighton & Eartha Kitt).

27 September 2006


it was summer of 1995. Sally Kemp calld to invite me to dinner. "there's someone I want you to meet." that someone was Bernique Longley & Sally's intuition that we'd like each other was correct.

Bernique was a painter who lived on Camino Monte Del Sol   next door to Laura Gilpin who had photographd her. she'd been in town long enough to have gone to parties at Witter Bynner's house & to know where all the skeletons were. she gave the most exquisite dinner parties & told some of the dirtiest -- & funniest -- stories I've heard.

but much too soon she was diagnosd with cancer. she calld a few of her closest friends to accompany her to hospital in feb of 1999. we all knew she'd never return home. I visitd her almost every morning   reading poetry to her & brushing her hair. Bernique was one of Santa Fe's legendary beauties & always lookd her best. she may not have had on some of her dazzling jewelry collection while in the hospital bed but she still lookd regal. in late mar I went off to Ohio to visit my parents. while there I got a call from Sidney Coates that Bernique had died. I lost one of my earliest & dearest friends in town.

today is Bernique's birthday. I miss her. altho best known as a painter   here is one of her little goddess pieces:

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26 September 2006

wake up citizens

Keith Olberman chewd out President Worst Ever's ass in his commentary on the Clinton/Wallace interview. if you missd it check it out on You Tube.

puckerd digits & dirty knees

we all have our own strategies for healing. this time I'm on a housecleaning bender. began with my bathroom & then bedroom & am slowly working my way thru the house. but in addition to cleaning I'm also rearranging. trying to give my surroundings a fresh spin.

24 September 2006

"Space & Time"

my thx to Mark Young for his note.

& to Rita for the flowers & Luca for the call & to all who have been so supportive.

picking up the pieces

shortly after I buried Melina the UPS man deliverd my dsl modem. yesterday when I returnd from farmers market I installd it. that trauma involvd clearing off my computer area. since I must get used to having a whole chair on which to sit   I sort of rearrangd things a bit.

& then when I was on the computer a bit ago the phone rang. it was Ira Joel Haber in Brooklyn. my first call while online. guess that officially makes me a multitasker.

23 September 2006

my appreciation

thx Shimmy.

& thank you for everyone who sent messages of condolence. I was esp touchd when Pet Nanny (actually 2 of them: Hope & Melissa) sent me a whole batch of beautiful pictures of her which I didn't even know existd. of course they made me start crying all over again but I'm thrilld to have them. here's a close-up of which even Norma Desmond wd be jealous.

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yes. I admit it. I cried myself to sleep. not having her cuddle beside me was overwhelming. & when I woke too early this morning & groggily wonderd why there was an absence of paw against my cheek the reality came accompanied by tears. but it wasn't till I stumbld into the bathroom & saw her box wasn't there that I broke out in sobs.

I need to tell a story abt yesterday. the photo in my post of us sharing the chair was taken in summer of 04 by Regina who came to enjoy Melina on her last few visits. the vet with her bag of lethal needles was supposd to arrive yesterday at noon. precisely at that moment the phone rang. it was Regina in Boston knowing that she had to call to ask abt Melina. similarly I receivd e's from David McDaniel in NYC & James Robert Parish in LA letting me know that without prompting from me they were getting thots abt Melina's welfare during what they didn't know were her last days of illness.

so this awful morning I'm going to shave & shower & head to farmers market. I can't stand to be here all alone.

my best friend

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the love an animal gives is pure.

I was lucky. Melina was my companion for 16 years. that's longer than either of my partners. when I first saw her at the pound in Ravenna she was but a wee ball of white fluff but immediately made it known that I was to take her home.

in all the stages of her life she was a beauty. & her intelligence was dazzling. we never had a problem communicating. she wd wake me almost every morning by jumping on the bed. she'd quietly extend a paw to brush against my face. was ever there such an alarm clock. during the day when I was at the computer she'd announce that I was to move over so she cd take her half of the chair & there she'd sit sphinx-like as I wrote. & evenings when I sprawld on the bed to watch old movies she'd either plop on my lap or stretch beside me.

for nearly 40 years cats have been an important part of my life. I cherish the memory of them all. but my dear Melina was with me longer than any. in her final moments I thankd her for giving me so much love & kissd her good-bye.

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19 September 2006

"Unprotected Texts"

what a thrill to receive my copy of Tom Beckett's selectd poems today. I know many of the poems but look forward to enjoying them again as well as reading ones that may be new to me.

what delights me even more than the pleasure I expect to get from this book is the fact that it exists. Tom deserves it. he's been diligent & intelligent & funny for so many years. & he's generous. so order yr copy now.

You show me mine.
I'll show you yours.

18 September 2006


some years ago the city of Akron was redoing a downtown park. to raise funds it sold bricks which one cd purchase to honor a family member. I no longer recall if it was for her birthday or Mothers Day but I got a brick for Mom because she was born in Akron.

a few years ago Santa Fe wantd to spruce up Cathedral Park & did the same kind of fundraiser. my friend Nancy Jane Cope purchasd a brick with my name on it as a Xmas gift.

& now all 3 of us have our own brick. Elyria has installd a veterans memorial around the old Civil War monument in Ely Park. 3 days ago Regina & I visitd Dad's brick.

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17 September 2006

85 envelopes

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on her birthday I placd Mom's rocking chair in the middle of the livingroom. I had plannd to place it under the magnolia tree I gave her for Mother's Day many years ago but it raind in the morning & the grass was wet.

I askd Mom to sit in her chair. then I made a circle around her from 85 envelopes she's sent me in the past 5 years.

11 September 2006

a morning reverie on yet another reverent morning

as someone reluctantly stumbling into senior citizenship I find it ever easier to fall into routines. part of my morning one is grinding beans & brewing coffee. I like the sound & smell that precedes the gift of taste.

this morning is sunny after an uncharacteristic gray week. so I felt revivd. I lockd the house   walkd across the arroyo bridge   waitd for school busses to halt so I cd cross Zia Rd. then I steppd into Blueberry & orderd coffee to go. I took the paper cup to our neighborhood park where I observd the sun strike the local sushi joint   where I watchd a woman walk her child on a leash thinking how civil that was.

I drank & watchd & took in air that seemd to make me young again. I wonderd how all those years cd've gone by so quickly. I wonderd how many I have left. but that almost didn't matter because I was so alive in the moment of sun & coffee & a kid on a leash. & when the coffee was gone I walkd back across Zia & past the dazzle of yellow at the sides of the middle school football field. I walkd across my little bridge & into my yard. I glancd at young trumpet vines that got their start in my parents' backyard & now were trying out another climate. I unlockd my door & walkd into my house & a smile broke across my face.

10 September 2006

Sasha on pommel

doing revisions on Alex in Movieland. had to take a break. put puter on hibernate & flippd on tv. & there he was.

I once followd men's gymnastics but it's been some time since I've watchd any. so to see Artemev perform was a revelation & an utter joy. he took the national championship & that's not all.

my poster redivivus

Ira Joel Haber surprisd me by doing a series based on my poster. here's one:

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08 September 2006

Marshall Field

I wd like to have been in Chicago today to say farewell.

the first time I shoppd there was the summer of 1960. I bought a volume of Daniel Blum's Screen World which I still consult.

07 September 2006

poster boy

the poster for next month's Palm Springs gig is a multiple collectible. the picture of me was taken by novelist Jim Provenzano.

it brings to mind a couple of special posters from the past. in 1977 the Akron Art Museum producd a day-long festival of the arts. I did a program on poetry collaborations. sharing the bill was a local band calld DEVO.

a more modest poster came out in 1981 for a reading at Walter's with my mentor & friend Jake Leed. the picture Nancy Brown took of us for the poster was in a park gym & remains a fave.

05 September 2006

a year later

when I was in NOLA in april I stoppd by FAB (Faubourg Marigny Arts & Books) to purchase a couple of volumes from Otis Fennell. his establishment on the corner of Frenchman & Chartres is the oldest gay bookstore in the south.

this morning my penpal Bob passd on the upsetting news that unless Otis can pay his rent this week he'll be closing his legendary shop. biz isn't. so if'n you're out to purchase something to read give him a call (504-947-3700).

04 September 2006

only in Hollywood

to finish off summer & mark the opening of Brian DePalma's movie   the gelato joint Scoops will be featuring a new flavor: Black Dahlia.

03 September 2006

the Reno experience

it startd well. Riverwalk is lovely. the art museum is exciting as architecture & had a fine exhibition. then came the National Automobile Museum which featured several oldies made in Cleveland as well as the Mercury James Dean drove in "Rebel Without a Cause." however the main part of The Biggest Little City in the World is a mess. there are signs of recovery but that looks some time away.

we were lucky to end the week well. near the art museum is an establishment calld Chocolate Bar. serving both drinks & desserts   it's attractively designd. our young waiter was attentive & easy on the eyes.

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02 September 2006

the week that was

the best part was celebrating friendship. to know -- & still like -- someone for 4 decades is a gift.

Billy & I stayd at a disappointing resort in Sparks. it was between the marina & Victorian Square. the town isn't much. it runs over into Reno which is rather bleak as well (altho it does have a lovely new art museum where he saw an exciting exhibition of chairs).

the side trips made the vacation. in Carson City we rode a steam engine train & heard a Kent State grad at the jazz festival. in Truckee we stoppd at 3 bakeries. in Virginia City we took pix of the wonderful old buildings. we meanderd around Squaw Valley & lookd deep into the blue of Lake Tahoe.

Mark Twain's ghost was everywhere. he wrote abt the lake. his brother had a handsome house in Carson City. & as a young man he was a journalist in Virginia City where this picture was taken:

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01 September 2006