30 March 2010

TV Guide

James Robert Parish -- knowing of my friendship with silent screen star Lois Wilson -- brightend my morning by sending me a pdf of the 1st issue of TV Guide which featurd Lois & her good friend Gloria Swanson on the cover.

I can almost hear the trivia experts gasp. they say everyone knows that Desi Arnaz Jr. was on the 1st cover in 1953:

well it gets complicatd. yes that was the 1st national issue of TV Guide. however it began in NYC 5 years earlier with Lois & Gloria as the original cover girls. (price of that issue was a dime. today a copy is worth $3000.) also in 1948 there were similar regional publications in Chicago & Philadelphia. the 3 mergd to form the national publication.

for a year or so during my teens I sent the magazine's covers to its subjects asking for autographs. among my papers at Kent State are signd covers from Steve Allen & Bennett Cerf   Bob Hope & Ricky Nelson. & I kept one as a personal souvenir: Walt Disney.

28 March 2010

Death is one step away

the year after
Shorty & Ed
found gold there
in 1904
the town of Rhyolite
was establishd

by 1908
its popultion
was 10000

in 1910
the mines faild

in 1920
its population
was 20

in 2010
I walkd
its dirt roads

the fragment
of a bank
had the feel
of a Greek ruin

what I was told
was the whorehouse
stood breathless

at the cemetery
I left a penny
for the dead
then departd
with friends
for a big city

we laughd
over salads
then lookd
both ways
the street

27 March 2010

been crying

almost since I got here & I don't even gamble.

pollen is fierce. couple that with these winds.

26 March 2010

a good day

another fabulous breakfast at Hash House a Go Go with my buds Darryl & Gary. then we went to a ghost town near Death Valley. pix when I return.

25 March 2010


1st part of day at City Center. this 66-acre playground on the strip in Las Vegas isn't totally complete but enuf is open to get an idea of it. I'm not much of a shopper but it's a fun place.

23 March 2010

Cherie DeCastro (1922-2010)

I was 11 when "Teach Me Tonight" was a huge success & one of my favorites. the record was the only major hit by the DeCastro Sisters but fixd them forever in my memory bank.

the group began as a sort of Cuban version of the Andrews Sisters. they appeard in a Carmen Miranda movie & "Over the Santa Fe Trail" later making their mark as headliners in Las Vegas. but "Teach Me Tonight" is their legacy.

I can't find my 45 of the song but did dig out this picture from that time which I got from a Cleveland radio station.

Cherie -- who was once married to cowboy star Monte Hale -- was the last surviving sister of the trio.

22 March 2010

another day in DC

the noise of the crowd woke John Boehner. he rose from the tanning bed like Dracula from his coffin & lookd at the people. Boehner began to bellow abt deficits when one of the crowd spit on him. a look of shock came over his face. then he began to cry. Eric Cantor -- who happend to be nearby -- came running over. he cleand up the spit with his hanky then huggd Boehner. "faggots" the crowd began to yell.

Boehner & Cantor lookd at each other in horror & began to run. the darker of the two got out his phone & calld Mitch McConnell for help.

"the American people do not want me to take this call" McConnell sd & hung up.

he knew Michele Bachman had a home in the area & calld her. she answerd from the fallout shelter in her backyard. when Boehner askd for help she sd "but you told me to always say no."

"call Rush" Cantor told the man with the dark skin. Boehner punchd in that number. a woman answerd. "I'm sorry. Mr. Limbaugh is on his way to Costa Rica."

Mamie & me

what a wonderful surprise to find myself making a quick cameo (at 3:10) in this video.

20 March 2010

the teabaggers must feel proud

at today's demonstrations in DC they yelld the most despicable epithets at John Lewis & at Barney Frank.

19 March 2010

on the way back

from errands this ayem I saw large paw marks in mud along my arroyo. cd these be from the mountain lion? do I live dangerously while simply walking?

18 March 2010

some days

I'm full of so much but it won't filter into a poem. today is like that.

on the way home from the gym I walkd the street where a mountain lion was caught yesterday. online I followd Dan Choi chaining himself to a White House fence & being arrestd but when I watchd the evening news there was nothing abt that. I keep waiting for the NY Times to report on Todd Moore's death. I keep waiting for Republicans to say yes   for teabaggers to stop shouting   for the rodent pope to react to the video of that ancient Brazilian priest having sex with an altar boy.

my head is all over the place today. no idea lasts.

I think I'll settle down with a Joan Blondell DVD & a bag of M&Ms.

16 March 2010

like the old days

so much of what I publish is online that the appearance of a print magzine is rare.

from Tony Trigilio in today's mail came a copy of the new issue of Court Green. the dossier section is on the 1970s. not only does it include a hay(na)ku of mine but also "Two Poems Written in April, 1970" by my professor & friend Jacob Leed. & a reprint of "The Day the Audience Walked Out on Me, and Why." Denise Levertov wrote that poem after a phone call from me. I originally publishd it in the 1971 portfolio Six Poems / Seven Prints & reprintd it in the 1992 anthology A Gathering of Poets. my co-editor on that last project was Maggie Anderson who also has a poem in this section.

13 March 2010


something goofy is going on with my ISP & I'm currently unable to use mail.

more memories

Todd & Barbara (with Mark Weber) on their 1st visit to my house (july 1994)

Todd -- author of Dillinger -- with John Ericson -- who once playd Pretty Boy Floyd. at one of my xmas gatherings.

12 March 2010

my plan for today

was to see "Alice in Wonderland." then I got the phone call from Jason Moore with the terrible news abt his father. didn't feel like the movies.

however I rememberd at our last lunch Todd & I had a lively conversation abt Johnny Depp -- an actor we both admire. Todd loved the movies as much as I do. so I went.

Todd Moore (1937-2010)

as he appears in Tie One On

11 March 2010

10 March 2010

dream of a high school classmate appearing on the cover of a book is interruptd. it seems it's time to awake. I lift the shade & outside is snow. white draped on my backyard like the black mantilla on Lila Lee in one of my favorite movie stills. I struggle into clothes & leave the house. a few doors down Rita has shoveld her way free. her dog Cinco runs to meet me. I finish the small patch of driveway she left. inside I flip on the news. another young actor dead of an overdose. cereal & coffee. call to Mom who reports a beautiful day in Elyria.

I've made the decision to be lazy & not trek to the gym. instead I'll write checks for bills. the grocery store is near. they have a sale on strawberries. I think strawberries will keep my mind off a winter I want so badly to expire.

08 March 2010

neighborhood watch

spent the evening at city hall meeting with reps from local law enforcement

07 March 2010

Paul Metcalf (1917-1999)

someone needs to begin a biography of this important writer while the people who knew him are still alive.

to keep the flame aglow I've begun a fan page for him on Facebook.

06 March 2010

I used to be

the world's biggest awards junkie.

it startd when I was a kid. Mom let me take a nap after school so I cd stay up to watch Judy Garland win the Academy Award at the 1955 ceremony. she lost. that shd've told me something. but I was too young & didn't understand politics & commerce & the other things that shape awards. I was so young I thot they were abt art & talent.

in the ensuing decades I watchd every award show on tv. I went to the Tonys twice & the Grammys twice. & in 1981 I walkd the red carpet at Dorothy Chandler Pavillion & was there when Spacek & DeNiro took home the gold.

I can't pinpoint when I began to sour abt awards. I suspect it's all part of aging. we look deep & feel deeper. things that were important become less so. & things we take for grantd become precious.

along the way I had to wonder why the academy faild to give its best director statuette to Hitchcock or Altman   why the Pulitzer people bypassd Frank O'Hara   why the Nobel never went to Tennessee Williams.

I admit I still reluctantly tune in to several award broadcasts. am I looking for cheap entertainment or a return to my youth? for the most part they turn my stomach. even after I dismissd the Oscars as the crap they are I felt the Independent Spirit Awards had some integrity & a fun presentation. yesterday's broadcast was so dismal. a bunch of drunks in a room saying whatever tumbld from their caws.

yes I'll watch the Oscars tomorrow. it's like a train wreck. but the academy's decision to increase the best picture noms to 10 was such a blatant move to make more money. however one must reflect that these awards were inventd to boost box office. they have never been abt art or talent. just ask Judy Garland or Hitchcock or Altman.

& yes I'm getting older. awards in any field have no consequence for me anymore.

04 March 2010

another quiet day

nothing unusual happening.

another married politician who votes against gay issues bustd for DUI after leaving a gay bar.

the holier-than-thou Vatican involvd in a gay prostitution scandal.

hypocrisy lies heavy on the land. so it always has & so it always will be.

02 March 2010

got thru

the 2nd anniversary of Dad's death. then this morning I crossd the arroyo to the middle school to vote for mayor. leaving the school I saw a father dropping off his son. my mind went back decades & suddenly tears streamd down my face.

01 March 2010

excerpt from a 1976 letter to Tom Meyer


        The inevitable outcome of marriage is babies!
        Lewis Warsh (1969)

little Anne Byrd pissing on the Metcalfs' livingroom rug & later attacking Regan Bertolette

Paul pitching a softball to Clark Coolidge who slams it past Lewis Warsh

Peter Bertolette -- lost in a pair of Paul's trunks -- swimming in the pond across the road

Sheila Granda outremembering me by naming what Paul & Nancy & I had just finished for lunch that time we first met

Bernadette Mayer breastfeeding Marie

Cecily Coolidge wondering out loud why I'm teasing her & David [Meredith] later telling her two men at the party had fallen in love with her