17 February 2008

a difficult journey

I leave for Ohio in a bit. Dad undergoes brain surgery. this is a tough time for my family. for all of you who sent good wishes our thanks.

16 February 2008


flying to Ohio in the morning

the fall from grace of Bill Richardson

everyone in New Mexico knows his ego is as big as his waistline. but he's always been popular. however many citizens became disgruntld over the absences requird by his foolhardy run for the presidency.

when the governor returnd he set much too high of an agenda for the legislature who revoltd. when the session came to an end without his pet projects passd he held the kind of arrogant press conference we expect from the current president.

then there's the caucus fiasco which gave the state a black eye. however Richardson continues to support the Democratic boss who supervisd it.

it's no secret Richardson covets either the vice-presidency or the position of Secretary of State. his desire to be on the national stage is so great he has yet to endorse a presidential candidate. of course he wants to go with a winner but isn't sure which one that will be. the irony is that the longer he waits to endorse & campaign the less he'll be worth.

15 February 2008

once in a Chicago bookshop

I found a copy of The Year Book with a sticker on it that sd "Alex Gildzen / used poet."

14 February 2008

how embarrassing

not only did it take 9 days to count New Mexico's caucus ballots but -- if you believe the results -- Mrs Clinton won. the only good news is that it was so close she & Obama got abt the same amount of delegates.

I don't smoke but

I always take matchbooks from hotels & restaurants. I find them lovely souvenirs of my travels.

13 February 2008

revisiting "Brideshead Revisited"

2 things happend. I read in the current Vanity Fair that a film version of the Evelyn Waugh work is abt to be releasd. then Towleroad ran this video from the t-v series:

what a flood of memories. first the importance of that long-ago mini-series. & then may 1984. visiting Robert Peters tore out of his notebook a photo he'd taken from the tv screen of the bare butt scene of Anthony Andrews & Jeremy Irons & gave it to me. & then Nancy Birk threw a Brideshead dinner party.

that party was the last time in my life I got drunk. I won't go into the details now but obviously that was for me a momentous event & that it happend in conjunction with that t-v series is full of so many emotions.

12 February 2008

1st recording of "Howl" discoverd

Don Cauble just sent me this from today's The Oregonian. I'm on the run today & can't quite get a link made but it's an easy google to the full story

'Howl' tape gives Reed claim to first
Allen Ginsberg - The beat poet's recording is earlier by a month than a Berkeley reading

Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Gary Snyder and Allen Ginsberg hitchhiked to Portland in the winter of 1956. The two friends were poets, unknown outside the San Francisco area, and were on the front edge of the cultural movement that became known as the Beat Generation.
Snyder, who grew up in Portland and graduated from Reed College, brought Ginsberg to the Southeast Portland campus for a couple of readings. On Feb. 13, 1956, they read to about 20 people in the Anna Mann Cottage, and on Feb. 14, they gave another reading that was recorded on tape.
At both readings, Ginsberg read a version of "Howl," the long poem that made him famous when it was published a few months later.
(it continues...)

Lacy Bouffant Penis

I saw
this in an
subject line
I presumd Tom
was sending
me a poem
alas it
was only spam.

11 February 2008

laughing stock

yes. New Mexico is still counting Super Tuesday ballots.

the caucus was a disaster. so many more Democrats voted than expectd there weren't enuf ballots. some people wrote their choice on scraps of paper. others were turnd away. state party chief Brian Colon has apologizd but his resignation wd be more appropriate. no one who wants to vote shd ever be turnd away.

unfortunately Mrs Clinton has a slight lead in votes here but I suspect when it's all over the delegate split will be even. except for those pesky superdelegates. that's a party scandal on the national level.

09 February 2008

tempus keeps fugiting

in the opening scene of "Bernard and Doris" we see a middle-aged man playing the butler. the credits tell us his name is Peter Asher.

I saw Asher on the stage of the magnificent Akron Civic Theater in the summer of 1965. Dick Clark was touring his "Caravan of Stars." Asher was half of a Brit pop duo calld Peter & Gordon. both he & I were so much younger then.

also on the bill were the popular Shirelles. & Tom Jones swiveld those hips while crooning "What's New Pussycat."

another from IJH

          with Tobias

08 February 2008

from the archives

Ira Joel Haber recently uncoverd slides from his 1987 visit in Kent.

(thx   Roger   for transfering them from slides to computer images)

07 February 2008

house call

even with McAfee protection my computer got a bug so bad it took Computer Medic 3 & a half hours to cure.

06 February 2008

my computer's sick

so if I suddenly stop posting you'll know
it crashd.

super tuesday

my candidate showd he has national appeal & is able to stand up to the party machine. he's weakest with old women & hispanics. but even in my state -- which has some old women & a whole lot of hispanics -- he's finishing in a virtual tie.

on the other side it was a hoot to see Rev. Huckleberry dominate the south. sure proves the stereotype.

05 February 2008

Jonathan Goodman (1931-2008)

I didn't know the British true crime writer well but my interactions with him were always cordial. he was a friend of Al Borowitz & when the latter's collection came to Kent State in 1990 we did a major exhibition. Jonathan wrote the foreward to the exhibition catalog.

04 February 2008

"simple vocabulary"

my old buddy Tom Beckett posts a rare moment of autobiography. like Tom's poems it's humble while still packing a punch.

& it reminds me of just the opposite. early in my career an editor accusd me of using too much language. for me it's never a conscious choice. I write whatever needs to be written. I can't remember back to my 20s but I suspect when I wrote abt "the octogenarian nizam of Hyderabad" I was as taken by sounds & richness of wordage as by anything else.

& the 3 people who read me closely are aware that in the 45 years my poems have been popping up in print I'm as capable of low cal lines as language slumgullion.

03 February 2008

Miss Ohio of 1956

the comment on my last entry had me wondering what became of Roberta Palmer. all I rememberd was that the East Cleveland native had done p.r. for the local tv series "The Ohio Story" & appeard in the columns of the day for a romance with singer Tommy Leonetti.

what a surprise to discover that she married singer Frank Porretta -- perhaps best known for the 1970 film of "Song of Norway." they had 5 children   including Matthew Porretta who playd Will Scarlet in "Robin Hood: Men in Tights."

unfortunately she died last summer.

02 February 2008

on the hustings

I was 13 when I took this of veep candidate Estes Kefauver stumping at Euclid Beach Park.

while at Northwestern in summer of 1960 I photographd then veep Richard Nixon & family as they arrivd in Chicago for the Republican National Convention. in those distant days candidates drove around in open cars.

in the fall of that year I stood beside Jerry Haff as he took this of JFK riding thru Elyria.

this picture of Julie Brent shivering in line yesterday is on the front page of this morning's New Mexican. that green blob on the right is my back.

& if you look at this video I'm in that crowd. you won't be able to pick me out but I see myself clearly.


the feeling was somewhere between rock concert & tent revival meeting.

capacity at the community college gym was supposd to be 3000. somehow 3600 were shoehornd in. another 2000 remaind in the cold to listen to him on loudspeakers outside. I got there early & waitd near the front of the half-mile line for 2 hours but got a comfortable aisle seat.

when the candidate emergd the air was electric. Obama is centerd & clear & direct. he wants to change the mindset of the country & he needs our help. he wants to restore the dignity of a country the world disdains. he wants to bring battling factions together. he feels we are at a moment in history & invites us to join him in it.

after 7 years of greed & malfeasance from a pathetic administration one aches for a leader who inspires. I don't see that in the crankiness of old man McCain or the slick posings of Romney. I don't see that in the manufacturd product that is Mrs. Clinton.

01 February 2008

new chapbook

Bree is to Cleveland today what d.a. levy was 2 generations ago. she's a poet/artist who makes by hand chapbooks of the writers she likes. I'm honord to be joining that group.

the 9 poems in this little collection are of recent vintage & on the raw side (except   Jean   for a tender poem abt my late cat Melina).

cost of book & shipping is $6. Bree sez:
send check/money order/credit card number to
Green Panda Press
3174 Berkshire Rd.
Cleveland Heights
Ohio === 44118
or inquiry via email:greenpandapress@yahoo.com