30 March 2007

speaking of Dirk

his nephew has put together a website covering his careers as actor & writer.

& here's a not-so-hot photo of me with Bogarde at a 1989 booksigning:

29 March 2007


a friend sent me this quotation by Noel Coward from Philip Hoare's 1995 bio:

Walking across Leicester Square with a friend, Coward saw advertised [Dirk] Bogarde's new film (in which he co-starred with Michael Redgrave): The Sea Shall Not Have Them. "I don't see why not," said Noel, "everyone else has."

28 March 2007

Keith Gordon

I was first aware of him as an actor. while still young he appeard in films of Bob Fosse & Brian DePalma. then he playd Jeff Miller in the telefilm "Kent State." but the film he's best known for was John Carpenter's "Christine."

5 years after that movie he made his directorial debut with "The Chocolate War." last nite he appeard at the college in a screening of that film. he likes to talk & gave full answers to all questions. altho he acts from time to time as a favor for a friend Gordon devotes his career energies to writing & directing. he also has a grounding in things outside the business which keep him sane during rough periods.

27 March 2007

Conrad Aiken (1889-1973)

toward the end of his entertaining memoirs Edward Field mentions Conrad Aiken in passing: "Aiken published many well-received books of poetry in his lifetime, and is now pretty much dismissed."

altho I was never passionate abt Aiken this simple sentence depressd me. I recall that during my student years his poem "Morning Song of Senlin" was often mentiond alongside a poem of his Harvard classmate T.S. Eliot -- "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock." & altho I never read his autobiographical novel Ushant I remember my belovd professor Howard Vincent enthusing abt its opening pages.

I saw Aiken once. it was at a small restaurant on Cape Cod in the summer of 1970. he was with his third wife Mary Hoover -- a painter best rememberd for her 1933 work "Cafe Fortune Teller." at one point I overheard the name Eliot mentiond but I was trying not to eavesdrop & have no idea if they were talking abt that Eliot.

some 90 years ago Aiken wrote a poem abt Cleopatra in her casket. the image of her remains -- gold rings pulld from her fingers by graverobbers -- almost fits Aiken. he was a mighty literary figure in his day but does anyone still read him?

I return to Howard Vincent. he once told me that literary history is like the stock market. he was a Melville scholar. we all know that after his death Melville was forgotten. his stock was worthless. that's hard to imagine today when he's so firmly part of the pantheon.

I'm not suggesting that Aiken shd be reconsiderd. I have no investment in his work. but I've always been fascinatd in the ups & downs of fame. one has only to look in the crowd scenes of many 40s films to find major stars of the silent era in fleeting glimpses.

but as depressd as Edward made me with that one sentence I'm also glad. it promptd me to put down his book & look up some Aiken poems for the first time in decades.

a poll to ponder

I'm one of too many bloggers who blather on abt politics without anything to back me up. I suspect I shd shut up & write only abt movies. however attacking President Worst Ever & Darth Cheney & the gang that can't stop shooting somehow soothes me when the sad state of the nation makes me moan.

but just now I've been looking into "Trends in Political Values & Core Attitudes: 1987-2007." this poll from the Pew Research Center has so much information in it. rather than ruminate endlessly abt it I'm simply offering it to you for consumption.

26 March 2007

went to the beach to bask

but it raind there for the first time in months.

returnd to the desert & my yard was wet & the breeze chilly.

when I got back from the gym this morning I plantd a few seeds in the still damp ground.

my apricot trees are abloom.

25 March 2007

another tradition gone

word from the west is that the Hollywood Christmas Parade is no longer.

began in 1928 the parade was producd for 20 years by Hollywood's honorary mayor Johnny Grant. the only time I saw it was in 2001 when Billy & I watchd Peter Fonda as grand marshall. for me the highlight of that parade was seeing director Richard Fleischer.

20 March 2007

cholla planting

when I moved here there was nothing but field between my house & St. Francis Drive -- a major artery into town. in 3 of the 4 seasons I'd delight in combing the field for small cacti & pines to transplant onto my property. I'm happy I did because when the land was being "prepared" for building men on machines flattend everything.

I think it's been at least 6 years since the unwantd apartments were built next door. in that time all I've plantd have been snips brought back from my parents in Ohio. so I was delightd the other day when Roger cleard some of his cactus & askd if I wantd them. we carefully brought 10 plants to my yard.

even with gloves & tongs I managd to leave one hand looking & feeling like a pin cushion. however if they take & enjoy the poor soil I have to offer it'll be worth it.

19 March 2007

"Dancing with the Hasbeens"

altho I watch little network tv it's tough to avoid the hype for this show. I admit I saw it once. yes I wantd to see Mario Lopez move. but I'm not fond of that genre of program.

& this season seems esp sad. everything is focusd on Mrs. McCartney's false leg. I suspect if it doesn't come off at some point the show will be considerd a failure. but when? if it comes off too early will anyone continue to watch?

I really don't care.

16 March 2007


I'm stunnd to learn I have a folder in Allen Ginsberg's papers at Stanford. I don't recall writing to him.

I do remember a 1970 letter I wrote to Jean-Claude van Itallie abt my encounter with Ginsberg at the COSMEP conference in Buffalo. funny stuff.

I suspect I may have invitd him to contribute to the d.a. levy issue of The Serif that I editd in 1971. but if I did he never answerd.

how delightful

now even conservative columnists have begun to beat up on President Worst Ever. Rich Lowry offers this today: "Bush has overrelied on a team of loyalists -- often from Texas -- who weren't always the best or the brightest."

15 March 2007


to touch
his flesh again


    tale begins
    at the beginning


    the fireplace
    our own heat


    laughter but
    that one time


    cactus bloom
    a garden refulgent


    over snow
    to pillow glow


    a kiss
    makes you fly


    our breaths
    on the whirligig

the poem
brings him back

14 March 2007

pollen superburst

so now the downside of all that moisture to hit New Mexico over winter.

yesterday I was doing some yardwork when I began to sneeze. I came inside but it kept up. by evening my poor nose lookd like that of W.C. Fields. & during the nite I awoke with sniffles.

13 March 2007

midnite in the garden of the dwarves

Scooter took the fall for Darth Cheney. now Sampson lunges at the petard engravd with the name of Gonzales. will no one in this administration stand tall?

General Pace

I never liked the guy. who can trust a man who preens in public with medals from chin to waist. he looks like a cartoon.

now we learn his neanderthal notions on homosexuality.

I'm so tired of bigots in power.

12 March 2007

spiritual cleansing

we need to invite the Mayans to DC to purify the White House.

help a poet

Frank Sherlock is recovering from a series of health crises. poets across the country are sending donations of cash & books to help with his overwhelming expenses.

among the organizers is Shanna Compton. click on the link to find out how you can help.

11 March 2007

"palls / balls"

sometimes I pull a book from the shelves & discover my past.

why wd I reach for Richard Kim's The Martyred this morning? I don't know. but written in red ink is an inscription from my old friend T. R. Queen noting that the novel is a gift for my 21st birthday. seeing his familiar scrawl is a touchstone to another time.

I don't remember ever reading the book but in the back is my own writing in pencil: 4 quotations from poetry. in addition to Ginsberg & Rilke (didn't all 21 year-olds of my generation venerate them?)are some lines from John Peale Bishop that have been long lost to me.

The question, lords & ladies, is
With what did Percy Shelley piss?

. . .

We ask & ask, till silence palls,
Did Percy Bysshe have any balls?

I have no recollection of reading Bishop who died the year after I was born. was it because he was a friend of Scott Fitzgerald who used him as a model for one of his characters? was it because I was an English major who was reading the Romantics & somehow stumbld upon this bit of frivolity? & as far as Bishop's sentiment I'm certain if I ever ponderd the genitals of the Romantics it wd've been Byron I'd be wondering abt.

I'm not sure what part of Byron was on my mind when this was taken in Missolonghi in the summer of 1992 but I am certain that I hadn't given thought to Bishop in many decades.

10 March 2007

no tears

I let my subscription to Premiere lapse after it named that Scientologist the third greatest movie star "of all time." so I'm not surprisd it's shutting down this month.

09 March 2007

Carolyn Jones triple treat

if you know me or my work you know I've been in love with Carolyn Jones since I was a boy. so it's a particular delight to see that Turner Classic Movies is honoring her tonite with a trio of her films. the one I particularly want to catch is "The Bachelor Party" from 1957. in this rarely seen film she's on screen for only 8 minutes but it's a performance film buffs have been talking abt for a half century.

07 March 2007

more memoirs

word is that in his new book Farley Granger stresses his bisexuality. while calling Leonard Bernstein a passionate lover he also claims to have had sex with Ava Gardner & Barbara Stanwyck.

06 March 2007

Scooter guilty

bet the Libby verdict is causing Darth Cheney's blood clot to pulse.

05 March 2007

04 March 2007

dear lord

did you hear the groans? the expletives?

yes I got a new machine. haven't had a scanner since my new computer faild to "accept" the old one. I live almost across the street from an Office Max & they're having a sale on an HP machine which scans & copies & prints. so I was brave & bought one. the installation causd the swearing but it's done & seems to be working. (altho I worry that I may have "undone" something vital.) the machine is a behemoth that consumes too much of my workspace but alas what can one do?

as a test here's my initial scan. it's a 1992 photo of me with Nancy & Paul Metcalf.

02 March 2007

old school

at 91 Elmer Schooley is probably the oldest practising artist in Santa Fe.

I went to his opening tonite.

01 March 2007

last nite

I did the final work on the book. my elation was so intense I cdn't sleep.