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.