31 January 2010


Lars Palm has publishd Tie One On in his online Ungovernable Press series. it's all one manuscript but appears here in 2 parts because of space limitations of his provider.

30 January 2010


last month on e-bay the winning bid on a copy of February 03 was a dime.


Rip Torn's arrest for trying to rob a bank while drunk seems more like a movie plot line than a newspaper story.

29 January 2010


I was 17 when I took this picture of Louis Armstrong at Ravinia

28 January 2010

J. D. Salinger (1919-2010)

I have to admit to not having read Salinger in decades. it was so important to me at one time I was afraid to reread Catcher. as a young writer I was under his spell when I wrote the short story "Accident" which I sent to the New Yorker . altho they didn't publish it I seem to recall I rec'd a personalizd rejection slip.

state of the onion

yes it was a thrill to hear the president mention Elyria in such an important speech. & this certainly is our best spoken president since Kennedy. but even tho he speaks so well one wonders what action he'll be able to achieve. part of the problem is the inability of that collection of dunces calld Congress to do their job. how difficult it was to watch the well-lacquerd Pelosi licking her lips like a Disney villainess while sitting beside Bobblehead Biden. & then there was that telling shot of Reid yawning.

but how lovely to see Obama scold the Supreme Court while the justices sat before him. maybe he has more backbone than his critics think.

27 January 2010

Jean Simmons (1929-2010)

while I was in Hollywood this beautiful actress died. she was a favorite of mine when I was a boy. a poem abt her is in "Sonny's Scrapbook" which originally appeard in Court Green & was collectd in It's All a Movie. & she remaind a favorite over the decades.

she appeard in so many classic films but probably my favorite performance of hers was in the lesser-known "Home Before Dark." I regret I was unable to see her on stage in "A Little Night Music" but with the help of the album I see her as Desiree in my mind.

her marriage to the swashbuckling Stewart Granger made them the Taylor/Burton of their day. (amusingly Simmons' affair with leading man Burton was years before Elizabeth's.) & of course her struggle with alcoholism simply made her closer to me.

26 January 2010

Obama in Elyria

while I was held hostage in my Coral Sands room by LA's torrential rains I watchd the president speak from my hometown. he was at the community college where Maggie Anderson & I read Sherwood Anderson's "Mid American Chants." he began by mentioning that Elyria mayor Bill Grace (who once proclaimd a Sherwood Anderson Day) had taken him to lunch at Smitty's -- one of Dad's hangouts.

my last publisher John Burroughs just notified me of this video he took of the presidential motorcade passing his house on Cleveland St. how odd to know that Obama went by the other end of Winckles St & past the Chinese restaurant where I used to get take-out for my folks & the funeral home where Dad was laid out.

the first half

of my long LA weekend was awful. relentless rain & cold. but then it cleard & I was able to see some friends.

but the real reason I went to LA was to see "The PeeWee Herman Show." I had tix for the day after Thxgiving at an intimate spot on Hollywood Blvd. but in process the show became too high tech for that space. when it was switchd to Club Nokia downtown the dates changd. so I had to fly in again just for the event.

& despite the crap weather when I arr'd it was worth the trip. Paul Reubens is a comedy master & his PeeWee creation indelible.

some of his fans became vocal over the venue/date change. to placate them Reubens gave the original ticket buyers unique access to him. after each performance he meets with them. I remember in the days of the tv series & Tim Burton films Reubens wd only appear in character. so it was at first stunning to see him come out in costume & be Paul Reubens. he answerd all questions & even left the stage to mingle with his excitd fans.

he sd that at first he dread'd doing the meet & greet but that as it's come along he now enjoys the experience. & he's quite humble & appreciative of the reception being given to the comeback of his most important character.

20 January 2010

tradition dictates paper as a gift for a 1st anniversary. the citizenry of Massachusetts gave the president such a humiliating defeat you cd call it a paper cut. except this one may bleed much longer than most.

one year isn't enuf time to reset the country after the terrible 8 of the previous regime. but I understand the frustration so many feel. we all expectd Obama to perform miracles & he hasn't.

I don't know where the country is going but this recent shift of the electorate back to the right is disturbing. part of the problem is the left seems to have lost its balls as well as attractive candidates.

19 January 2010

California sent

us its storms overnite. but on the way it turnd to snow. schools here closd. in the football field across the arroyo a father & son have rolld a snowball into a massive white boulder.

18 January 2010

early cinema

in 1975 I was keeping some notes on movies I was seeing at that time. for Edwin S. Porter's "The Great Train Robbery" (1903) I wrote:

Porter used 14 shots in a film lasting about 9 minutes. some half century later   Hitchcock constructed 70 camera setups for the 45 seconds of the shower scene in "Psycho."

17 January 2010

Sandow (1894)

Library of Congress has postd many of its early film holdings on You Tube. altho I've seen Fred Ott sneeze & Sandow flex what seems hundreds of times I never cease to marvel at these images.

16 January 2010


to Richard Lopez

(& for the record this is my 2000th post. can't believe it but I've been at this since 2004.)

15 January 2010

a 1977 collaboration

going thru files I uncoverd this poem. I was askd by Akron Art Institute (its pre-museum name) to be part of "Concept"   a day's activities which included a performance by a local band by the name of DEVO.

investigating collaborations of poets I wrote a line & sent it to Paul Metcalf asking him to write the next line & send it on till there were 10 lines by 10 poets.

here's the result:

she pulled from her packsack
a sixpack of mead, a wineskin of sack
the bricabrac of her life and a used valentine
"I donno," she said, "this perfect
ly sibilant tree that shades me
drinks up the moon with many a mouth
cries back at me" her numbers, lights
alarmed, spawn dark fires chewing
darkness, "your heat makes pink tongues brittle, voices
bald like an old brunette's heart."

Alex Gildzen
Paul Metcalf
Harry Lewis
Toby Olson
Janet Rodney
Nathaniel Tarn
Jerome Rothenberg
David Meltzer
Barbara Einzig
Alice Notley

12 January 2010

bad neighbors

on a morning walk I became so pissd off at the mess nearby apartment dwellers left in the arroyo that I returnd home. I got a large garbage bag & filld it with beer cans   cigaret packets & other refuse thrown into the arroyo by disgusting people.

11 January 2010

people with whom I've shared an elevator

Ginger Rogers
Robert DeNiro
Thelma Schoonmaker
Eudora Welty
Keanu Reeves
James Ellroy
Dan Rather
Betty Buckley
Peter Paige

10 January 2010

Gildzen in Worldcat

69 works in 76 publications in 1 language and 1,087 library holdings

12 libraries have copies of my 1st chapbook

09 January 2010

08 January 2010

a bird picture (for Mike Busam)

our unusual cold has brought many kinds of birds to my back portal this ayem. this has been the most exciting. not the best photo (taken thru glass) but when the bird flies it exhibits maddening patches of red.

Colin Coonsis stoppd by to measure me.

07 January 2010

"Making Circles"

Rinaldo Rasa has postd my e-book on Beats Supernova.

the spacing between pieces is off but I'm happy to have this work get more attention. it's important to me.

06 January 2010

Gary Brockette (1947-2010)

his film career was almost 40 years but he never became a household name. altho his credits coverd many positions he mostly workd as an assistant director. however to me his shining moment in film was as an actor. he was the rich kid who had the naked swimming party in "The Last Picture Show."

I searchd the net & was unable to uncover a photo of that scene which in its day was quite bold. so I went to my personal film reference library. this is the only photo I found. it wasn't of the best quality & by the time I made a scan it got even worse. but here is a hint of Gary Brockette & his quick moment in film history.

Tom & I at Garford

we're side by side in the middle of the 2nd row:

in an e-mail Tom wrote
It is hard to believe we used to step into those recessed windows while playing hide and seek. If I go back to writing the architecture column for the paper I will give a mention to Garford School. It was designed by Silsbee who came to the area to supervise the construction of buildings at Oberlin College (the Arch on the Square and Men's Building I believe.) for his father back in Chicago. His father was the first man to hire Frank Lloyd Wright. Silsbee supervised the building of Garford School in two phases. The basement and the first floor were built several years before the top floor. I have walked over to look at it several times but cannot see the seam.

05 January 2010


is a topic you seldom see in my writing because the game doesn't figure much in my life. living so close to Cleveland I grew up with the Indians & had a period in my boyhood when I actually followd the game. looking back I realize part of that was a crush on Al Rosen.

the photo below shows me playing the game at Eastern Heights during that short window of Indians fanhood. (the formidable woman was my teacher Mrs. Beck.)

the reason I mention the game is a book I'm reading. The Spitball Knuckleball Book is a well-researchd well-designd volume which will enthrall true fans of the sport. & its author is someone I've known for over 61 years. Tom Mahl & I were students at Garford Elementary School before we became neighbors. where my backyard end'd his began.

in my last chapbook is a poem calld "Tom Mahl Reminds Me." this video -- shot in front of what was Garford school -- lacks quality but here it is anyway.

04 January 2010

Jack Mulhall (1887-1979)

it's been sd he was one of J. C. Leyendecker's models for the Arrow Collar Man.

I met him once. it was 2 years before he died. I was at an event at the former Warner Brothers studio with a pair of his onetime leading ladies May McAvoy & Lois Wilson. May was especially thrilld to see him & gave him a big hug.

Mulhall made his film debut for D. W. Griffith in 1910. after a trio of Griffith pictures he did two for James Kirkwood (father of the novelist/playwright) before becoming a popular leading man of the silent era. he workd for Cecil B. DeMille   Frank Borzage   King Vidor. he did the first dual role in talkies & despite his charm startd sliding in the credits. today he's probably best rememberd for supporting roles in Flash Gordon & Buck Rogers features. but there's something admirable abt any movie career that lasts a half century.

last nite I saw Mulhall in a forgotten Poverty Row feature from 1932 calld "Love Bound." minor stuff. but he was the star. his fall to bit parts must've been difficult. but like so many silent era stars he did it with dignity.

03 January 2010

the mind...

not a Herod's oath that cannot change.

    Marianne Moore

02 January 2010

more laundry

cleaning house is a New Years Day tradition. so when I returnd from the gym I got into it. by nightfall I was tired & watchd a Lawrence Tierney DVD.

this morning I've been out of the loop. it's the second day of the year. no holiday. but because of yesterday it doesn't feel like a routine day either. some of my sadness is gone. beginning another year with more dead friends & family is always tough. but there's still an edge of anxiety abt what the year will bring.

so I kept my bathrobe on too long as I did some cleansering here   some organizing there. clearly no direction. not like me. I prefer pointing to where I want to go then going there.

I finally got dressd. I have some wee tasks to accomplish. maybe wee is plenty for a day that isn't a holiday.

01 January 2010


on NYE I'm in bed by 10. but neighbor Phil invitd me to a party at the former Magtag mansion. playing for the guests was Guitar Shorty.

it was a loud & lively evening.