26 February 2010

double standard

are those dumbass Canadian broadcasters who suggestd Johnny Weir take a gender test demanding same treatment for the cigar-smoking members of their country's women's hockey team?
one poem
before starting another
I told myself
so full
like blood
from my mouth

25 February 2010

rod in a towel

my poem "In the Beginning" begins
    Richard Barthelmess wearing a barrel
    Rod LaRocque a towel
    William Haines with his trousers down

I'm referring to images in Daniel Blum's A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen -- a volume as important to my development as any work of literature. & of that trio of images the most memorable is that of LaRocque.

Rod LaRocque had the sexy kind of name Henry Willson creatd. however the actor predates Willson & that's his real name. he had a significant career in silent films. with talkies he was leading man to Joan Crawford & Barbara Stanwyck in some of their earliest features before drifting into supporting roles. his career came to an end in the Capra classic "Meet John Doe."

this still is from "The Cruise of the Jasper B." I finally saw it at the 1979 Cinecon in NYC. but I had no clear memory of it so when I saw Grapevine Video had it on DVD I orderd a copy. it's a minor film with a silly script (partially written by a young Tay Garnett). the only cast member to challenge the star is the wonderful Snitz Edwards with his pliable face. but the film belongs to LaRocque who spends its entirity wearing as little as possible.

so after decades of that still in my mind it was thrilling to see it come to life again.

24 February 2010

in the air

on the day I discoverd 2 of the Century Dimes had gone AWOL Mark Young postd a poem for me. I didn't read it till days later. but I continue to be struck by the fact I somehow "pickd up" his long-distance thinking on 2 fronts. this isn't the first time this has happend to me but it certainly is one of the shinier examples.

to keep the synchronicity ball rolling.... last nite I was going thru the papers that accumulatd while I was away. I learnd that this weekend a trio of local performers will be doing an Andrews Sisters tribute show.

so hubba hubba Mark.

23 February 2010

TCD rock on film

& more

may 2005: Todd Moore decorates my brick in Cathedral Park with TCD

aug 2005: Jack Ramey celebrates Myrna Loy's centennial by placing TCD on her photo in Blum's A Pictorial History of the Talkies

oct 2008: with Henry Van Dyke at Morgan Dining Room
(photo by Regina Yando)

more of TCD

oct 2003: with Thurston Moore at Bowery Poetry Club

dec 2005: Kimberly Nichols wearing them as a necklace

feb 2009: in the furrows of "Dad's Last Garden"


apr 2000: with my parents

sept 2000: I place them on John Kennedy Toole's grave
(photo by David Meredith)

dec 2003: I place them on the fingers of filmmaker Brian Kamerzel
(photo by Florin Ion Firimita)

22 February 2010

big news from Palm Springs!

"every day a little death." that Sondheim song is on my mental playlist. never know when it'll surface.

over the weekend I experiencd another little death. I was at one of the pools at Inn Exile with the small plastic bag which contain the Century Dimes (TCD). in my writing I use little punctuation. & I can't remember using an excalmation point which gets such overuse it's lost its punch. but I'm forever thinking of new things to do with TCD. so my plan was to use them to form an exclamation point in the resort's steam room.

I automatically count the dimes when I remove them from the plastic bag. it's also my habit to count them before returning them. to my shock I discoverd but 8 of the coins.

immediately I returnd to their last outing. during a performance of "Pee Wee's Playhouse" they remaind in their bag in my pocket. following the show Paul Reubens did a q & a for special fans. I didn't imagine I'd be able to directly involve Reubens in my project & I was right. never a multi-tasker I concentratd on photographng Reubens but at the same time I did take out the dimes. the question is did I remove them from the bag? I truly can't recall. if I did then it's possible the missing coins were swept away by the Club Nokia janitor. if not I lost them even earlier.

after counting the remaining dimes enumerable times I calmd myself & allowd chance to work in the piece.

obviously TCD is suddenly at an end. the surviving 8 are now incomplete -- like seeing the Andrews Sisters on Broadway after LaVerne had died. I expectd to be finding things for TCD to do on my deathbed. but I won't live thru the whole century anyway so 2010 contains an important number for the piece. I'm at ease with the work's demise. it gives me a shove to finish Current Seas which opens with the work.

what to do with the survivors? the archivist in me won't allow them to disappear even if they lack the power of all 10. perhaps I'll commission a jewelry-maker to use them in a bracelet. or find a bookbinder who'll employ them in a limitd edition of TCD. that's a whole new project.

every day a little death... it's more than a song.

17 February 2010

Costmary Press

Dean Keller is one of the most important people in my life. he was responsible for my library career. I owe him more than I can say.

over the years Dean has producd a series of broadsides & other items under the imprint of Costmary Press. to celebrate 45 years of printing he's put out an anthology of 13 of the poems he has presentd. I'm happy to be in the company of Tom Kryss & legendary bookseller Jim Lowell.

16 February 2010

if it's Mardi Gras it's paczki time

here's a look at one of my favorite bakeries -- Kiedrowski's -- & one of the items for which they're famous.

15 February 2010

in town

for another concert yesterday who shd I happen to spot exiting Plaza Cafe but the wonderful Bibb & Foster:

14 February 2010

every Valentine's Day I think of

Mitzi Green
who was the first to sing "My Funny Valentine"

Tom Meyer
whose birthday it is

Marie Windsor
who sent an annual Valentine letter

13 February 2010

at the Lensic

    Eric Bibb

    Ruthie Foster

Olympic ache

I rarely eat junk food. but I knew last nite's opening ceremony from Vancouver wd require endurance. so for the first time in ages I bought Fritos & bean dip.

welllllllllllllllllll..... the show was so boring I overate. my poor body punishd me for such behavior by keeping me awake most of the nite with an upset stomach.

12 February 2010

a cinemaddict's dream

Percy Helton & Bess Flowers
in the same movie ("Call Me Madam")
on TCM last nite

              (art by Bill Berger)

11 February 2010

Bobby Hoy (1927-2010)

one of Hollywood's best stunt men
("A Star is Born "     "Spartacus"     "North by Northwest")

09 February 2010

Cleveland my Cleveland

the city of Terminal Tower has a new distinction. the website of Forbes Magazine lists it as #1 for bad winters   stating it takes "endurance" to survive the annual average of 60" of snow.

today Cleveland is on tap for another 6". while this towerless town now my home will have a quiet day before tomorrow's storm.

08 February 2010

the winter that won't quit

don't know whether to blame El Nino or Al Gore but I'm weary of this. today's storm is the first of 3 predictd to hit here just this week.

as a former Ohioan I still trekkd to the gym this ayem while neighbors were before their fireplaces. but for me spring can't come soon enuf.

06 February 2010

feeling special

during the week 2 of my oldest friends -- Ira Joel Haber & James Robert Parish -- both sent me goodie packages. they often gather obituaries of those they know I care abt & postcards & playbills   sometimes DVDs or magazines   & send them along. it always soothes my often wrinkld brow.

then today my newest friend Kevin McCollister sent a book he knew I'd like.

my thx to all of them.


The Arrow That is Hollywood Pierces the Soul That is Me for publication I cut the Evelyn Nesbit poem. I still like it. but I don't think it works in the final manuscript.

now the hard part. trying to find a publisher. altho I've been at this game for more than 40 years I'm not good at it. & right now I'm not sure where to go.


          climbing stairs
          of boardinghouse
          in Hollywood

the girl
   in the
        red velvet

          thinks back
          to the nite
          she snuck out
          on Stanford White
          to spend
          in the arms
          of John Barrymore

          for one moment
          she cd still
          smell him

Evelyn Nesbit

Stanford White

John Barrymore

02 February 2010


that word is so oily it slips off the page. we each have our own memory of the shenanigans of that profession. I suspect for me it was the freeing of O. J. Simpson from murder charges.

the latest yuck in the field comes from Rip Torn's lawyer. he claims the actor didn't intend to break into a bank at all. of course not. he was so drunk he smashd windows to enter his own home.