28 February 2007

a listmaker avoids making a list

Richard Lopez has taggd me again. this time it's the 10 most influential books which gave birth to our personal poetics. & again I demur.

in high school my notion of poetry was antique. I memorizd Shakespeare's sonnets. I found Keats & Byron to be standards to which we were to aspire. then came some discoveries. it gets a bit foggy now that I'm approaching the forgetful era of my life. I can no longer tell you when I read Leaves of Grass but it had to have put some step into my blue suede shoes. & since Sherwood Anderson once had a paint factory in my town I also read his Whitman knockoffs Mid American Chants. & the first major poetry reading I went to was by another who emulatd Whitman -- Carl Sandburg.

but probably the first book I read in high school of contemporary poetry that slappd my face was A Coney Island of the Mind. serious poets today don't seem to admit having ever read the book. but to me in my teens it was as important as Catcher in the Rye was as fiction.

in college I fell in love with Hart Crane & Marianne Moore. then came the summer of 1963. I went to NYC to become a student of Kenneth Koch for a couple of weeks. I discoverd Donald Allen's The New American Poetry 1945-1960. & so I began reading Ginsberg & O'Hara & Broughton & Williams & Snyder & Corso & Field. then early in 1965 I met d.a. levy.

by grad school I had to turn out a thesis in order to graduate. that last summer I threw together a truly awful piece of work on Robert Lowell. altho I haven't read him in some years his Life Studies was important to me then. I had more passion for O'Hara but Lowell was safer & I had a teaching fellowship to accept & had to churn out something quickly. it's such an embarrassment to me I don't even have a copy.

so those are some of the books & poets who matterd. somewhere along the way film & art became as important to my poetics as poetry. but then I'm not an intellectual & even tho I was involvd for years at a university I don't consider myself to have ever been an academic. no one reads me seriously so I haven't had to deal with discussing these matters. I just keep reading who I want to read & writing what I want to write.

27 February 2007

Bruce Bennett (1906-2007)

my copy

it may be unique.

on the verso of the front cover of ukanhavyrfuckincitibak I've written my last name & the date "jan. '68." this promptd its original publisher T. L. Kryss to write that it was "a pre-publication copy snatched from the jaws of industry by the 'Arab taxi camel driver'." I presume levy brought me this copy when he came to Kent that month.

& on the back cover is Allen Ginsberg's address in levy's handwriting.

this from Kryss

Tom passes on news from Russell Salamon:

I will reprint d.a. levy's UKANHAVYRFUCKINCITIBAK. by May 1, 2007.
It has been long out of print and the remaining copies are collector's items
which sell for from between $100 and $400, maybe more. New readers
must have access to this historic work.

. . .

There is so much history and good material in this book that it stands as a
document for freedom of thought and freedom of speech from the exciting
Sixties and the mimeograph revolution in Cleveland, Ohio. New readers
should have access to copies, but it should stay in its original form.

Russell's looking for patrons for the reprint. if you have some mad money you want to send him e-mail me & I'll forward his address.

26 February 2007


of html
I go outside

I see
daffodils in bloom

in I
gobble easter peeps

fricking winter
be declard dead

New Blogger

the problems have been fewer than I expectd.

however I can no longer post videos from You Tube. apparently it exports to Blogger accounts but not Google accounts.

24 February 2007


the sweetest birds came to the pond this morning. they lookd like sparrows except their tops were iridescent blue.

23 February 2007

peaks & valleys

it used to be manic-depression. I guess now it's calld bipolar. I don't think I'm bipolar. but boy do I have highs & lows.

the exhiliration of basically putting a book together in 4 days was extraordinary. but now I seem to be crashing. I feel so yucky I'm not sure I can push myself to the gym.


yr top 10 fave films. it's going around blogs like a virus. Richard Lopez gave it to me.

shit. I cd never limit my list to 10. besides it's always changing. I'd have to review what I mite think are my faves & try to rank them. which Hitchcock? which Wilder? I guess I cd do a list if I calld it "my 10 favorite films on such & such day."

a hundred years ago -- when I was in junior high............ well that shows you how old I am. there no longer is a junior high. it's now "middle school." anyway there was something calld slam books. they were usually one of those spiral notebooks with questions on either side of that dividing line. they were surreptitiously passd around during classes. I think I've written abt this somewhere. "favorite movie" was one of the questions. as I consider this tag business it seems to me to be the electronic version of a slam book.

21 February 2007


poetry blogs are agog with Elaine Equi. so let me add to it by offering her contribution to "Dossier: Political Poetry" in the new Court Green which just arrivd:


Terrorism has ruined
S&M for me.

Now it just seems
like watching
the news.

20 February 2007

hi ho hi ho

I don't remember when I workd so hard & was so thrilld. putting together the new book is like an anthropologist excavating. I've gone thru computer files as well as old-fashiond files in cabinets. I've checkd stacks of stuff hidden around the house & have had trouble getting to sleep because my mind was casting nets for more items. it's exhausting but exhilarating.

18 February 2007

hard work good work

got so excitd yesterday abt a new book I'm assembling that I put in a 14-hour work day. by the time I tore myself away from the computer my fingers were nearly numb & my eyes watery.

17 February 2007

a nite of leather pants & hot words

a week ago there was a reading of some of the poets in the anthology Queering Language at Bowery Poetry Club. I wasn't invitd. that makes me sad because from photos I've seen online it looks like it was an evening to remember. it also makes me sad because I missd gazing into the eyes of Filip Marinovich.

16 February 2007

box of memories

I've known Michael Brittain since he was a theater student at Kent State in another century. for a short time I was even his landlord. but that's another story.

for some years Michael has been a property master for a string of Hollywood television shows. he's doing some housecleaning & knowing that I'm a pack rat askd if I'd like some of his KSU memorabilia. yesterday a small box arrivd.

among theater programs & clippings & periodicals I found photos by Michael Chikiris & poems by Susan Lincoln . there was Ken Parks with a beard. &.... well it goes on & on.

& the good news is that another box of even older items is on its way.

15 February 2007

movieland directory

my friend of 30 years James Robert Parish -- who has written more books than anyone I know -- just told me abt a fascinating site for film buffs.

one can look up by name (I learnd that Lila Lee once rentd a bungalow at Garden of Allah) or place (the traffic jam in "Two Tars" was filmd on Centinella in Culver City).

14 February 2007

a valentine for my pen pal

many many years ago my mother had a pen pal in England. I recall her name was Kathleen & she lived in Sheffield. that was probably the reason that as a boy I took a pen pal. I no longer remember how I "found" her or what her name was. in fact I remember very little of that experience. however I do recall that in my first letter I askd if she lived in an igloo & when I discoverd she didn't I was disappointd.

over the years I've had many correspondences. but it wasn't till abt 8 years ago that I "found" another pen pal. I met Bob in a men's chat room calld MAB (Music Arts Books). I discoverd other fascinating men there -- several of whom I actually met -- but Bob is the one to whom I became closest. & we have yet to meet.

I can't tell you much abt him because he's a private person who doesn't trust the internet enuf to allow his face to be transmittd. but we've come to know each other so well that we share everything abt our lives. it's not uncommon for us to e each other a dozen times a day.

so on this Valentines Day I'm going public with something most private. I have a pen pal who means a great deal to me. & I want to thank him for caring enuf abt me to always be there to listen.

since I can't post his picture I'm offering one of the ones Izayah took of me at Bubbling Wells Ranch. you see Bob knows my fondness for wearing other people's clothes. so every once in a while he sends me some of his oldies. & here I am in an Old Navy shirt of his:

13 February 2007


the other day the topic on a message board I frequent was "Gay Books That Changed Your Life." at the end of my contribution was "the forgotten novels of Frederic Prokosch."

Tom -- my best friend in high school -- was passionate abt Prokosch's The Asiatics. so I had to read it. what discussions we two had abt that book. it was first publishd in 1935 when the Wisconsin-born author was in his 20s. the 1941 Readers Club addition had an intro by Carl Van Doren which began "Nowhere in Amerian literature is there another book quite like The Asiatics..." there must've been a paperback reprint in the late 50s. now I remember little abt the book except that it was sexy. in those days one read either Peyton Place (& we knew that novel so well we referrd to episodes by their page numbers) or the comic novels of Patrick Dennis for sex. D. H. Lawrence & Henry Miller then followd.

the other Prokosch novel that was important to me was The Missolonghi Manuscript. that was when I was still in the Byron orbit. looking at my bookshelves I see that I have the painter William Schock's copy of The Skies of Europe but like so many novels on my shelves I have yet to read it.

this morning I began the memoirs of Edward Field. in the third chapter he mentions the Oscar Williams anthology which includes portraits of the poets singling out "the beautiful ones, like Frederick Prokosch."

late in life Prokosch sufferd from revelations that he forgd literary pamphlets for profit & "inventd" parts of his memoirs. these days I doubt he has many readers. & I fear reading The Asiatics again for the same reason I hesitate rereading Catcher in the Rye. I respect its importance in my life at a certain moment.

the last time Prokosch came up was some years ago when fashion designer Shannon Rogers told me abt his long-ago romance with the novelist. he'd receivd a loving letter from him after a long silence. it was touching to look into Shannon's face & see there was still affection after so many years.

12 February 2007


so I'm trying to post a picture. this is me at the Viceroy in Palm Springs wearing an Ira Joel Haber shirt.
& now I'll attempt a link .


I knew it wd happen one of these days.

today was my day. I had to switch to the new Blogger. so I'm posting this as a test.

11 February 2007


there are 16 poems in the chapbook Super 8. Richard Lopez uses the word "light" 5 times in those poems & "lit" twice more.

the poems are abt many things. one of those things is the power of film. there can be no film without light.

the word first appears in the first poem:

weighted by the
splay of light

a simple explanation of how film works. but this is a book abt many things. another of those things is the weight of desire. "splay of light" incites play.

these poems force yr hand down yr pants. & no matter how familiar that journey it still ends with an explosion of light.

10 February 2007

09 February 2007

da news

who needs fiction when we've got:

an astronaut driving nonstop in diapers to harm a rival in a romantic triangle

Ted Haggard announcing he's straight again

a "journalist" trying to sell footage of paramedics working to resusitate Anna Nicole Smith

08 February 2007


hard to believe: I've known Henry Van Dyke since 1969.

I cd tell tales abt the novelist but the good news is that he is telling on himself. he's at work on his memoirs Cloudy Mirror. a sample   "Two Abortions"   appears in the current issue of Michigan Quarterly Review. reading it leaves me wanting more.

07 February 2007

more memorial

on his blog Izayah postd this picture of me with Michael Childers   the Hollywood photographer whose portraits of Steve as well as David Hockney will appear in Kimberly's memorial volume.

06 February 2007

01 February 2007