30 August 2007


Ira Joel sent me an e this ayem saying that Julius has already reopend. so let's hope that landmark doesn't share the fate of my comfortable theater district restaurants that were shutterd.

in the same mail James Robert Parish on the other coast informs me that the old Warners Brothers studios are being sold. I haven't set foot there in 30 years. it's been home to KTLA for some time but was where Al Jolson spoke those famous words in "The Jazz Singer." one presumes that even if it becomes condos -- the new Hollywood thing -- that the basic structure will remain.

29 August 2007


it's been years since I walkd thru its ancient door but I still felt sad when I just read on Towleroad that the most famous gay bar in NYC has been closed.

back in my drinking days it was a favorite spot when visiting the Village. locatd at West 10th & Waverly   it was a place one's feet took you to as if on automatic pilot. for abt a 15-year span from the end of the '60s thru the beginning of the '80s I drank my share of rum there & indulgd in what I remember as the best hamburger in Manhattan. I recall watching Edward Albee cruise there & seeing Rollerena skate by. I left the place with a couple of actors who became significant stories in my history.

my favorite Julius tale was unbelievably 30 years ago. it was the big blackout. David Meredith & I were in town for a few days. when the electricity went out the Village became more attractive than ever. I recall passing tiny restaurants which somehow stayd open & were filld with candles. people were friendly & kind & open in a way I've never ever experiencd there. at Julius it was so crowd'd that people took their drinks out into the street. I was sitting on the curb in front of the bar with my rum & coke when the lights came back on. at first all the guys cheerd. then we lookd at each other & groand: our magic time was over.

it's not clear if Julius will go on. one hopes so. but as I slip into antiquity I take nothing for grantd. so many magic times are mere memories now. of course there's a scene in the film of "The Boys in the Band" which will forever preserve how the bar lookd in 1970. one day I may need to see that to bring the details back. but there will always be a spot in my memory where the name of Julius will bring a smile to this old guy.

"I'm not gay"

sd the senator
cheek in

28 August 2007

from the archives

this image is from the 1965 Chestnut Burr. it shows Kent State University student government president Craig Stephens (in chair)with his cabinet. in addition to me are Fritz Aichele & Melody Wordsworth Figurski. I was communications secretary.

27 August 2007

over the weekend

the REAL news wasn't the resignation (finally) of Alberto Gonzales but the suicide attempt of Owen Wilson. for those of you who follow my work closely you'll recall he is one of the stars of my Body Parts.

26 August 2007

Life is Art

to bite
into blue-eye icing
of Montgomery Maxton's cupcake

that's a start

you can put anything you want
into yr mouth

tarnishd toy from China

lavender truffle

the whole potlatch

it's a choice

Heraclitus didn't
catch me
with my speedo down

I droppd it
when I saw
him coming

all things are in motion

you buy the popcorn

in the cosmology of Hollywood
Betty Grable gave Marilyn Monroe
a pedicure

pin up girl     (WW2)
passes crown to
blonde bombshell     (Korean "conflict")

what ideation?

I'm just
a poet

the Bare Chest Party
is also a potluck

so I chop purple cabbage
for coleslaw

knife doesn't hop

Fay Wray
's 100th birthday
is the day
after Mom's 86th

I'll be too busy
on Winckles St
to see "King Kong" again

trumpet vine
in my backyard
in Santa Fe
dug up
in my parents' backyard
in Elyria
from a start
in Aunt Sophie's backyard
in Caledonia

"phallic hymn"

don't be redundant

Scott Brady
Kirk Douglas
Farley Granger
Sterling Hayden
William Holden
Alan Ladd
Burt Lancaster
Guy Madison
Victor Mature
Robert Mitchum
George Montgomery
Cornel Wilde

I can quote
if I wanna

does the Ray Delgarito bracelet
Regina bought me
go with Bob Barnes' hand-me-down shirt

well it does
if I say so

how many times
must I strike you
with Jay Parsell's belt?

it comes down to this

in the volume of Blum's Screen World
I bought at Marshall Field's in Chicago
in the summer of 1960
there's a full-page photo
of Diane Varsi

she's smiling

I shave
my balls
for you
that's all
you have
to say

24 August 2007


after watching Marilyn Monroe's first film ("Dangerous Years")I leafd thru some of my Marilyn books. in the Christie's auction tome is a list of MM's library. one of the books was by Grace Paley. when I turnd on the computer & began to surf I discoverd Paley's obit.

22 August 2007

Miss Radachy

we all have a teacher who was important in our development. I've written before abt Martha Radachy. but as I age I honor her more & more. her enthusiasm for art & classical music & poetry went beyond any curriculum. & it was infectious. when I went thru that box of photos a week or so ago I found this one which I took of my sixth grade teacher outside Eastern Heights Junior High School. simply put -- she was one hell of a human being.

21 August 2007

Rosalind Russell Is My Aunt

of course she isn't
(rule of blood)
of course she is
(power of choice)

    *     *     *

I / we
learnd to dance
at the Rivoli

    *     *    

Betty Grable was my first poem

I askd George Nader to the prom

    *     *     *

in Hollywood
the dead don't die

an old movie
is a family reunion

    *     *     *

I don't remember
when Jim Kelly
took off his pants
for me

but Kay Francis
drops that towel

    *     *     *

"how many fricking Hollywood poems are you gonna write?"

"o shut up. James Lydon is on The Movie Channel."

life is a banquet

for gay men of my generation "Auntie Mame" is a canonical film.

I first saw it early in 1959 with my best friend T. R. Queen who was a Patrick Dennis fanatic. the last time I'd seen it was 1993 with my last partner. but like Camille Paglia who has seen it "countless times" I watchd again last nite.

part of its gay allure is its embrace of the outsider but its witty lines & sheer style are considerable elements. some queer theorists read Mame Dennis as an older gay man initiating a younger to the community. (strangely the last time I saw the Lawrence & Lee play Charles Busch playd the lead in drag.)

I also approach it as a cinephile. Rosalind Russell is radiant. her timing is brilliant & she looks smashing in those Orry-Kelly costumes. like every great comedienne she's able to make you laugh one moment & cry the next. & in support there's Forrest Tucker showing off what he's best rememberd for. also one appreciates the care given to the smallest of parts. in the play scene we find Margaret Dumont from the Marx Brothers pictures. & in a party none other than Gloria Holden who was "Dracula's Daughter." also on hand is Sam Harris -- the male equivalent of Bess Flowers. & yes... Cris Alexander who a few years after this movie wd take those glorious photographs for another Patrick Dennis novel Little Me.

it's always a surprise -- & a pleasure -- to come back to a favorite work from one's youth & find it remains vibrant.

at Rosalind Russell's grave (2002)

20 August 2007

mystery picture

when Regina was here we went thru a box of family photos. in the past few days I've been making scans of ones she doesn't have.

I pulld this one for myself because it's always intrigu'd me. I presume the lad is me but that's all I know. I suspect it was taken by a street photographer during an outing in Cleveland. I like the composition. I'm not in the center & I'm not looking into the lens. & of course the outfit is simply too too.

19 August 2007


in my morning mail James Robert Parish sent an article from the LA Times abt 2 new offerings highlighting the dancer. PBS will soon present a new doc & there's another bio forthcoming.

I saw Nureyev dance twice: in 1971 in Cleveland & in 1980 in NYC. at this remove in time I can't honestly appraise his skill but I do remember the thrill he creatd. there was a moment in Cleveland when we made eye contact. utterly electric.

in the community there was endless chat abt his offstage performances as well. nude photos were bootleggd. his screen portrayal of Valentino was popular for the flesh exposd rather than any thespic triumph. & this moment on "The Muppet Show" became a fave.

in the steam room with a pig

18 August 2007

rose of sharon

this trio began life outside the window of my boyhood bedroom. I dug them up & flew them back here because I enjoy having some of Elyria in my backyard. the soil isn't good & my approach to gardening is quite laissez-faire. so the growth of these shrubs has been slow. however I'm delightd to see that 2 of the 3 have blossoms this summer.

17 August 2007

Indian Market

the intersection of past & present has always had a strong pull on my imagination. so it was a thrill to observe Victoria Price introduce a master   Mike Bird-Romero   to an exciting young jewelrymaker   Pat Pruitt.

16 August 2007


channel-chasing before the noon news I happend on the show of ex-con Martha Stewart. her geuest   chef Bill Telepan   was making pierogies.

flashback to my childhood: Grandma Gildzen & my aunts making hundreds of them in the kitchen on Camden Ave in Lorain prior to Xmas dinner. those were stuffd with potato. sometimes with saurkraut. & Mom's favorite -- prune.

over the years I've had them in many places. Ukrainian Restaurant in NYC may have been closest to the family recipe. the spot with the most varities was easily Parma Piergoies -- a favorite of Bill Clinton.

Telepan used beet greens & cheese. & he servd them with harvest beets. lovely looking.

15 August 2007

from the archives

at the Bridge of Sighs with the rose mentiond in "Capodanno 1984   Venezia"

13 August 2007

the Chinese do some things right

that CEO who disgracd his country committd suicide.

here Karl Rove simply resignd.

the wild west

during the nite a mountain lion roamd the plaza. eventually it jumpd thru the window of a jewelry shop. a state wildlife officer was able to stun it. the animal was then transportd to a distant region for release.

oldtimers have told me that in the years before development mountain lions lived in Arroyo Chamisa.

12 August 2007

the boy who sd no

I didn't sleep with Tony Perkins because at that time I was with my first partner. the same thing happend with Allen Ginsberg. I was still in my 20s & totally vanilla. I'd never heard the word "polyamory" & even if I had cdn't wrap my emotions around it.

there was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet who spent a weekend with us in Twin Lakes. I had no idea he was hitting on me so it came as a major surprise when I heard that he went back to NYC & told everybody that I was a cock tease.

I suspect my memoirs wd be more salable had I tumbld with more celebrities. of course there were bed adventures with stars. maybe some day I'll write abt some of those. but in the faraway nites of my youth it was all abt romance. & if the spark wasn't there there simply was no fire.

11 August 2007

leafy circles

one weekend in mar 1971 I met Tony Perkins at a regional theater in Cincinnati. he wantd to sleep with me. I went on to a regional theater in Louisville where I saw Katharine Houghton in a Shaw play. at the time I was doing a series of prose poems which eventually became the book The Origin of Oregano. in one of the pieces   "Weekend"   there's this line: "...I grinned my Tony Perkins grin and you pouted your Katharine Houghton pout."

shortly after that Richard Grossinger wrote "Sex, Outer Space, Ziggy Stardust, and the Revolution." in his essay is the line: "Ziggy has all the mannerisms of the Kinks ("Everbody's a Star"), or the New York poets putting on Hollywood, Warhol's Marilyn, Alex Gildzen's Katharine Houghton."

that all came back to me last nite as I was watching "The Seeds of Evil." this modest horror film from 1975 was one of Katharine Houghton's few starring vehicles. her film career was hit or miss. unfortunately for her the main attraction of the film is her leading man. Joe Dallesandro was never accusd of acting but he had a powerful screen presence. director James H. Kay understood that when he gave Joe few lines of dialog & kept him shirtless thruout. he even has some nude scenes. the camera simply eats him up.

& as these things happen I saw the movie a week after the opera "Daphne." that work ends with the leading lady becoming a tree. at the end of the movie Dallesandro becomes a tree. & in between the dual tree transformations I wrote abt my personal arbophilia.

10 August 2007

my governor

what can I say abt Bill Richardson?

he was the only New Mexico politician I'd heard of when I lived in Ohio. I told him so the first time I went to one of his constituents meetings when he was my Congressman. & I was happy to vote for him as governor. sure he's overweight & a bit oily but he seemd to know how to get things done. & he's one of the few candidates running for president who has international problem-solving credentials.

but his campaign has turnd into a disaster. he was so bad on "Meet the Press" I had to turn if off. & on last nite's gay forum he was clearly uncomfortable. when he sd being gay is a choice he was lucky not to be boo'd off the stage.

everyone says Richardson's ego is immense. maybe that's why he's running. I always presumd he was really in the race for the second spot. now I think that may be beyond his grasp. but despite his gaffes I still think he'd make a great Secretary of State.

09 August 2007

a confession

it startd when I was a boy. I'm not sure I was a weird child. all children seem weird. but somewhere along the way I became an arbophile. we had some willows that divid'd our property from the neighbor's. I loved climbing those trees. & yes I really did write some of my first poems -- awful wannabe pastoral paeans -- in those trees.

my current love is an apricot tree in the front yard. my architect   Richard Martinez   gave me as a housewarming gift 5 or 6 striplings in pots which he'd grown from pits. the ones I plantd in the back yard all died. but both of those I plantd in front remain 13 years later. Nature did one of its numbers on these trees. they are near each other & have been given the same amount of care but one is much smaller than the other. the larger one now has my affection. I delight in standing beside it while shooting water from the hose up into its branches. it's a simply glorious feeling of being alive.

08 August 2007

lunch chez gildzen

the centerpiece was fresh wild caught king salmon filet toppd with Prairie Thyme peach habanero ambrosia bought at Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market.

the vegetable was harvest beets Greek-style. beets & garlic were grown by Stanley Crawford from whom I purchasd them at our farmers market. the 1998 aceto balsamic di Monticello is nearly the last of a prizd bottle purchasd a few years ago in Truth or Consequences.

finally California multiseed flatbread smeard with St. Andre cheese.

nickel & dime

when Regina & I did Canyon Rd we happend into a gallery which had scrumptious work by Johnny Swing. the piece I covedtd was his "Nickel Couch." it's unbelievably comfortable as well as elegant-looking. of course I had to place the Century Dimes on its inviting surface.

07 August 2007

more layers

Rufus is such a fan of "Grey Gardens" he wrote a song abt it which includes a clip of Little Edie from the soundtrack.

last nite the maker of that important documentary -- Albert Maysles -- sat not far from me to film the concert. here's a photo I took ( with bad lighting) of the entertainer in his fancy suit & the 81 year-old filmmaker.

Richard Myers introducd me to Maysles the year after "Grey Gardens" was releasd. in those days Dick often brought filmmakers to campus & I'd sneak into those classes to listen.

deja vu

it was august of 1967. the place was the Palace   once the nation's premiere vaudeville house. she came from the back of the theater & walkd down the aisle to the stage. the audience   full of more gay men than must've been on Fire Island that nite   went wild.

it was the only time I saw Judy Garland. she was electrifying.

40 years later. last nite Rufus Wainwright brought his tour to Santa Fe. he only did 3 numbers from his Judy tribute. but his channeling of her was amazing. if you haven't seen this tour I won't spoil his surprise. but if he comes to yr town   get a ticket.

04 August 2007



each act of the Tan Dun opera has a different theme with its accompanying sound. in addition to the musicians in the pit there are some on stage who become part of the action. & they perform with clear basins of water   with various kinds of paper   with stones. it's a magical experience.

02 August 2007


Laurent Pelly makes an enchantd romp of the Rameau. & in the title role -- one of the classic drag parts -- Jean-Paul Fouchecourt is memorable.

how splendid that an opera that premierd in 1745 is still eliciting cheers.

01 August 2007



so the marathon is

one opera down
("Cosi Fan Tutte" done as a 1950s sitcom)
3 to go.

5 hours sleep last nite.

off to Madrid for the morning...