30 December 2008

the way she was

that's how I'll remember Barbra Streisand. she was one of the most original performers of my generation. but watching her being honord at Kennedy Center was sad. & not just because she was sharing that balcony with President Worst Ever.

in clips we saw how great she was when she was young. I can still remember when I first saw her on obscure tv shows. then on Broadway in "Funny Girl." & those early tv specials. but can you remember the last time she matterd?

go ahead. take my gay card away. but what I found most moving on this year's Kennedy Center Honors was the tribute to The Who.

29 December 2008

Savage Canticles

how many times
has yr intention
been toward here
but a detour
took you there

how many detours
have brought change
to the narratives
that become history

unwritten code
bludgeons pigeons
in that park
where squatters

a nurse
shoots up
footlight glamour

portfolio of malice
spiders into
every century
sans invitation
or strategy

lost pastry chef
physique model
trimming roses

dance in Manhattan
or die in Winnipeg
yr life cradles
broken by bandits

each crumb
in redwood

26 December 2008

in the bustle

of a week with houseguests & more activity than usually comes my way I pause for a moment to note I'm touchd by the kind words from Tom Beckett on his blog.

I do find the internet helps me keep in touch with friends old & new much better than in incunabular times.

24 December 2008

21 December 2008

they're on their way

& I'm almost ready.


hopefully Regina & John will arrive here by noon after a harrowing travel day & unexpectd overnite in Dallas.

my office doubles as guestroom. so for the next week I won't have normal access to the computer. I'll post as able.

20 December 2008

ho ho o noooooooooooo

Regina just calld from Boston. she & her husband are stuck on their plane & will probably miss a Dallas connection.

remember Kenneth Starr?

that skatole is now a dean at ultraconservative Pepperdine. but he still finds time to defend Blackwater. & now Prop 8 supporters have hired him to help nullify all same-sex marriages in California.

wdn't surprise me to learn he goes to Rick Warren's church.

19 December 2008

a kick in the balls

I wd never have guessd the honeymoon wd be so short.

Obama's disastrous choice of Rick Warren to participate in the inauguration saddens me.

the presence of such a divisive person on the podium ruins what shd be an historic day.

18 December 2008


Betty Grable's birthday.

& the movie I watchd tonite featurd a video store which had a large cutout of Betty Grable in her famous pose.

broken lock

another item from my everyday life must be laid to rest.

for at least the past decade I've employd Uncle John's copper lock at the gym. it was his during his work life at US Steel in Lorain during the century just past. I've enjoyd its feel & look. but I discoverd it no longer locks. rather than fix it I think it's time to take up residencey in the antiques drawer. with thievery rampant in lockerrooms it's probably past time for its retirement.

& that clown keychain? I'm not at all into clowns but my parents brought that back from their only trip to Las Vegas. they stayd at Circus Circus which I see when I stay at Blue Moon.

15 December 2008

Regina sent me this

I'm presuming it was taken in early jan of 1975 because I'm reading Gerald Mast's The Comic Mind. I met Gerald in late dec of 1974 in NYC & visitd Regina in Boston right after.

I never had a copy of this. it's always an odd feeling to "discover" an image of yrself that you don't know. esp when it's such an old image.

14 December 2008

back in town

Jessica Lange lived in Santa Fe some 20 years ago. she returnd for a signing of her new book as a photographer. she's a warm & genuine person.

13 December 2008

greetings of the season

my friend Bob in Fort Worth used one of my photographs on his xmas card this year.

12 December 2008

Van Johnson (1916-2008)

I took these at Shrine Auditorium in 1987. above Johnson is cavorting with Arlene Dahl & unknown men. below he's fondling Treat Williams.

emotionally this

has been a turbulent year for me.

yesterday the kitchen was my attack point in this housecleaning project. & it turnd out to be overwhelming. altho I always am aware of what's there & their particular histories the act of holding items from the dead was stirring.

romertopf from Paul Metcalf
Aunt Mary's plate
pitcher made by Julia Waida
cookbooks from T. R. Queen & David Meredith
even errant Melina hairs

but the object I found most moving was something my father made.

it was the cold-air return for the hallway of my house in Kent. it's such a competent piece of craftsmanship that I brought it west with me. it sits on top of kitchen cabinets as a free-standing sculpture. but as I held it on my lap dusting each section with an old toothbrush I was brought nearly to tears. it's not simply that it's a lovely piece of work but it was done by my father for me. & to me it's a demonstration of love. Dad & I had some tense moments in our relationship. both stubborn men with strong opinions. but holding that object that he made for me I knew he loved me as much as I loved him.

11 December 2008

Bettie Page (1923-2008)

on Santa's lap

one of the reasons "A Christmas Story" is probably my favorite holiday movie is because it opens with a view of Higbee's in Cleveland in what's supposd to be the late '40s. that was the store & the period in which this photo was taken of me:

10 December 2008

the thief in me

I have 2 cedar chests. Mom's is full of my publications & under this long white table I use as a computer desk. the other was Julia Waida's & contains linens & other cloth items. it's in my great room   a divider between livingroom space & that of the dining area.

as part of my housecleaning I'm moving things around & changing "stuff." I wantd to trade cloths under the teak tray that holds marbles. the brown plaid one from Mom was to be put away while I pickd something fresh. of course the chest wdn't open. it has a lock which somehow lockd itself for the 1st time ever. & I have no key.

after 5 minutes of cursing (I'm still pissd off that a mini-crash of my computer resultd in my no longer being able to save cookies)I realizd I must put all those movies I've seen to work. so I thot for a moment. I went to a kitchen drawer & producd an ice pick. with cunning & guile & hopefully some grace as well I manipulatd that tool till the chest sprung open.

now I have a new Greek cloth to put under the teak tray & a sudden feeling of suavity.

09 December 2008

instead of giving xmas gifts this year

I've decid'd to buy myself the Senate seat in Illinois.

R.I. P. Polaroid

this is the last month Polaroid film is being made. who of my generation doesn't have fond memories of this process. I only have a handful of such photos -- including my earliest nude -- but always enjoyd making them.

the last time I posed for a set of Polaroids was 5 years ago when R. B. Sprague took this:

07 December 2008

must see

the festival's documentary award went to "No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos." it's essential viewing for anyone interestd in the history of cinema.

festival awards ceremony

Giancarlo Esposito

Joan Allen

James Cromwell

06 December 2008

from before memory

yesterday I went thru a box of old photos & came across this. I believe it's the 1st photo ever taken of me. I suspect I'm abt 2 months old. I'm in the arms of my godmother   the late Sophie Hause.

05 December 2008

Santa Fe Film Festival

one of the greatest cinematographers of all time Vilmos Zsigmond was at today's screening of "Torn from the Flag"   a powerful documentary abt the Hungarian Revolution. it includes footage he & the late Laszlo Kovacs
shot while they were still in film school.

04 December 2008

one last look

Phillip Caudillo sent me this picture from Thxgiving. we're on our way to what used to be calld Short Sands Beach.

03 December 2008

01 December 2008

back from the coast

Thxgiving at Rockaway Beach with a couple of Broadway veterans: Garold Gardner ("Most Happy Fella" & "Camelot")     Kenneth Carr ("No No Nanette" & "Seesaw").

Ken positions the Century Dimes at Lewis & Clark's saltworks.

on the beach

25 November 2008

10 turkeys

(excerpts from Alex in Movieland)

celebrates Thxgiving in Elyria with turkey with his parents     paternal grandparents     Sophie & Jim Hause     Ann & Harold Nolan & cousin Robert     followd by watching Evelyn Rudie play Eloise on “Playhouse 90”

fixes Thxgiving dinner in Twin Lakes for his parents
throws "leftovers" party next day with guests including Hazel Janicki & William Schock

feasts on Thxgiving dinner at Manhattan home of Peter Burnell & Gerald Mast

sees "The Life of Brian" with David Meredith in Pittsburgh on Thxgiving before joining Jon Carpenter for dinner at a terrible Chinese restaurant

shares Thxgiving lunch at Gumbo Shop in New Orleans with Ira Joel Haber

celebrates Thxgiving with his parents & Dimitri at Julia Waida's in Kent

watches Alice Ripley on Macy's Thxgiving Parade broadcast with his parents in Elyria before arrival of Sal & Frank Kovach     Sophie & Jim Hause for turkey dinner

observes Thxgiving in Santa Fe with a toast at Bernique Longley's followd by buffet at Arlene Stone's

enjoys Thxgiving dinner at Two Bunch Palms in Desert Hot Springs with Bill Berger

wears his Judy Henske t-shirt to walk on Short Sands Beach on Oregon coast with Garold Gardner on Thxgiving
reminisces abt T. R. Queen with Lloyd Pauze while the turkey roasts

23 November 2008

o nooooooooooooooooooo

I've just discoverd there's a blog calld "Alex in Movieland." that   of course   is the name of my epic masterwork.

the blogger is 22 y/o. since I've been working on my piece for a dozen years I guess I'm safe.

22 November 2008

new old quilt

yesterday UPS deliverd a large package from Ohio. Mom was getting a jump on the holidaze. there were many treasures but the centerpiece was this quilt:

I'm not conversant with the history & patterns of quilts but Mom told me this was an example of Ohio Star.

21 November 2008

Robert Drivas (1938-1986)

hard to believe that Bobby wd turn 70 today.

his career was primarily in the theater -- as both actor & director. however he had at least one great moment on film:

at the beginning of "The Illustrated Man" he walks naked into water. this was almost 40 years ago -- before every young actor was dropping trou on screen. it was one of those appearances that burnd into the psyche of gay men of my generation.

Bobby was a beautiful man   a complicated man   a dangerous man. I'll remember him forever.

19 November 2008

18 November 2008

before JK asks for equal time for Richard Harrison here's equal time for Richard Harrison

because this vintage portrait from Harrison's early modeling career turnd out so small   allow me to guide you to this fascinating multi-lingual doc on his career.

Harrison   BTW   has just been honord at the Damascus Film Festival.

speaking of Leigh Snowden

Steve Tills snappd me with this "Hot Rod Rumble" poster at Quaker Square in Akron 4 years ago.

17 November 2008

thx to Richard Lopez

from his blog:

i can draw no parallels in the arts of dining and the arts of living and poetics. tho there probably is since we only have this one life and mine is centered on family, poetry and well, i don't know, every obsession i own, which again somehow relates to poetry. for example, i was re-reading alex gildzen's book it's all a movie yesterday where alex in a poem cites leigh snowden then i see that kiss me deadly is scheduled for broadcast on turner classic movies. or that in another poem richard harrison makes an appearance while the night before last i watched a bit of challenge of the tiger which is the flick paired on the dvd with for your height only. and that is only a partial grazing of connections with alex's book and my own obsessions in movies of late.

my book of faces

pages fade
faces disappear

a nation of men

coast to coast
Clay Chancellor
in Manhattan
Gerald Vukas
in Beverly Hills

in another book
faces fled

15 November 2008


my friend Roger   I found this photo.

Jen Waller took it 13 months ago at R.B.'s opening in Seattle & postd it on Flickr. altho we're all rather dark   that's me on the left chatting with Roger & Michael McCafferty.

14 November 2008

& in another example of synchronicity

my local tv station reminds me this ayem that today is the anniversary of the 1st American printing of Melville's novel.

I wish

Paul Metcalf & Howard Vincent were alive for many reasons. but I certainly wd like to know their reactions to the news that Moby Dick is Barack Obama's favorite book.

13 November 2008

a Quillan moment from 1934


blame Tom Beckett. his recent blog entry abt mortality depositd gravel in my loafers. after all I'm a decade older than Tom. & these past few years have seen my wall of the dead get higher & higher.

I'm certain the reflective moments in yesterday's posts were spun from Tom's wool. the only good thing abt aging is an acuity of vision. I see things differently. the mistakes of youth are so clear now. & the importance -- or lack thereof -- of events & objects seems simple.

so at the gym this morning my outward grunts were matchd by inner cogitation abt Tom Beckett & Eddie Quillan & Djuna Barnes & how they all collide with Gildzen. I got to thinking abt this whole writing thing. I began writing when I was 10 or 11. I began publishing when I was in my teens. it's a big bibliography. but is any of it important. there are no monographs abt my work. no movie abt my life. it remains a struggle to publish some of my books. one of my late poems that I think is pretty good -- "there are men" -- causd a stranger to write me that it was a masturbatory reflection of an old queen. perhaps the years of no notice are better than that kind of reception.

I don't know where this is going so maybe I shd conclude before I fill the blogosphere with more bromides. I guess I want to tell Tom that every time I lay me down to sleep I don't expect to wake up. & when I do it's a joy. on the precipice of old age I'd rather see a movie than read any kind of criticism. I prefer a kiss to an award. & I'll keep on writing becasue that's what I do.

12 November 2008

when I was

in the Village a week or so ago I walkd past Patchin Place. of course I had to stop to gaze in at the apartment of Djuna Barnes. I haven't read her in some time. at this stage of my life I can look back & wonder if I was more enamourd of her life or her writing. she certainly was one of the great characters of American literature.

I don't hear much abt Barnes anymore. so it was a delight to learn that one of her short plays (written 82 years ago) is being revivd. "The Dove" is one of 8 plays that Theatre Rhinoceros of San Francisco is currently presenting as part of "100 Years of Queer Theater."

I have existd in several landscapes

one of the richest for me is Hollywood. I walk the streets whenever I'm able. & when I'm unable I walk the streets in their replication on screen.

the 1st movie I remember seeing is "The Wizard of Oz." many years after that initial screening I was there to hear Judy Garland sing "Over the Rainbow." I was there to see Margaret Hamilton on stage. I was there to walk the backlot of MGM where that cast had walkd. I ate in the Culver City hotel where the Munchkins lived. I walkd among the surviving Munchkins just last year. that movie & its endless ripples are as much a part of my life as any person or event.

I used to worry abt writing so much abt Hollywood. abt movies. abt "stars" so few now remember. but I remember & that's what I want to write abt. so I can put Eddie Quillan on a street corner. I can make Virginia Grey a cigaret girl in a posh nite club. I can declare Howard Wendell a moment. I live in the movies. & as I age I'm no less a fan than that boy who awkwardly offerd his autograph book to Denise Darcel in front of the Capitol Theater on Broad St in Elyria.

I'll stop writing abt Hollywood when they put dimes on my eyes.

11 November 2008

just for Jack

actually I spent a good deal of time last nite searching for the right photo of Scott Brady to post. I never found one "hot" enuf to match my long-ago lust for him.

(& I just now remember that Brady had a shower cameo here a few years ago.)

one of the joys

of the DVD glut is the availability of rare &/or forgotten material.

last nite I watchd one of my fave '50s hunks Scott Brady in 4 episodes of "Shotgun Slade." this modest western series featurd the brawny actor with a slew of fascinating guest stars & a boisterous score by Gerald Fried. 2 of the guests were of particular note to me. Donald Murphy   who like Fried calld Santa Fe home   was perhaps more model than actor but had some enjoyable screen time. William Roerick was primarily a stage actor. over the years I saw him several times   inc as leading man to such greats as Judith Anderson & Carolyn Jones. it was lovely to see them both in their primes. & of course great to see Brady. he was never a major star but had a long career in which he workd with pantheon directors. I saw him once -- the only time I went to the Oscars. he'd become a beefy character actor by then but the boy in me still did a quick swoon in memory of who we both had been.

09 November 2008

in my dreams

Paul Metcalf. last nite.

& then I rememberd that fri was his birthday.

08 November 2008

Obama bread

I resistd. but neighbor Rita insistd.

she gave me starter for a bread which she'd been given. apparently it's some sort of pass-it-on event which supposdly began at the Vatican. my disdain for religions was reason enuf to not take it. but my lack of skill at baking was another.

I was instructd to put the starter in a glass bowl. I used an outsize brandy snifter which once held M&Ms. I coverd it & waitd till I was instructd to stir with a wooden spoon. all of this was taking place during the election.

on the phone last nite Mom told me I must follow the complex & never-ending instructions completely or the bread wdn't work. this morning I lost patience & emptied the snifter several days before schedule.

the first bread is just out of my toaster oven & quite tasty. I didn't put in the ingredients I didn't have & add'd cranberries. I'm making a second loaf now which I'll give to Rita.

06 November 2008

more seminar

with Bill Coco & Jean-Claude

Ron Faber

with Ruth Maleczech

Jake Robards

my panel

Judith Malina   Mark Hall Amitin   Jean-Claude van Itallie   Barbara Vann   me   Randy Gener

05 November 2008


Regina sent me her NYC photos.

in front of Joyce Theater
w/ Ira Joel Haber

at Morgan Library
w/ Henry Van Dyke
(& the Century Dimes)

too excitd

to sleep last nite.

04 November 2008

Barack the President

can't stand

the wait.

so I'm going to the movies.

I didn't vote

early because I love the experience of standing in line to vote.

so you can imagine my chagrin when I arr'd at my polling place 45 minutes after it opend & found no line. zero. zip. nada. I felt so sad being deprivd of that to which I'd been so looking forward. I was the 27th person in my precinct to vote. I know there was a record early vote in Santa Fe but it still was disappointing not to be able to stand with my neighbors in this historic election.

& now that long nerve-wracking wait till the results. I take nothing for grantd so I'm worried.

02 November 2008

seminar on Jean-Claude

I can only imagine how he felt. it was such an outpouring of love. Ron Rand -- who runs The Soul of the American Actor & tours as Harold Clurman in a one-man show -- put the event together at CUNY. there were readings from Jean-Claude's major plays. the best were given by Ruth Maleczech as "Bag Lady" & Ron Faber as the hunter in "The Hunter & the Bird." later in the day a stellar cast was assembld for readings from his adaptations of Chekhov: Laila Robins   Roger Rees   Angelica Torn   Brian Murray   & the super-hot Jake Robards.

here Jean-Claude himself reads from "Light" with Rosemary Quinn:

there were also several panels. none of us got to talk much but it was important to me that I was part of this event. I've known Jean-Claude for 40 years & really wantd to participate in this tribute.

Regina was my documentarian for this event but she hasn't been able to forward her photos to me. I took very few. this one at the closing reception is of Jean-Claude with the legendary Judith Malina & her new assistant Brad Burgess (who has mesmerizing eyes):