30 April 2010

"The Eyes of Jack LaRue"

did any man
menace with
a look like his

Jack had
no need
for a gun

that look
& you knew
you were gone

29 April 2010

Bradbury Bldg

just discoverd this loving tribute to LA architecture & film..... & their intersection.

28 April 2010

"reading the lines of a young poet"

I am the old man
you fear becoming

but inside
we are the same age

we both have put on
clothes of another

both bled for love
wept at deaths

reading yr lines
I live my life over

27 April 2010

outside the festival but on the boulevard

Lin Yu Chun


on my birthday

with Tab Hunter

reading "Tony Curtis" while Tony Curtis (in white hat) signs autographs

festival guests

David Kamp & Peter Bogdanovich introduce "The Magnificent Ambersons"

Illeana Douglas introduces her grandfather's film "A Woman's Face"

more festival

Cheryl Crane & I discussd Frank O'Hara's "Lana Turner has collapsed!" in the historic Blossom Room

Jean-Paul Belmondo got one of the first planes out of France following the volcano mess so he cd introduce the new 50th anniversary print of "Breathless" at Grauman's Chinese Theater

26 April 2010

on Hollywood Blvd

Cher & Robert Osborne at festival's opening nite party at Kress

Carl Reiner at unveiling of Mel Brooks' star on Walk of Fame

TCM film festival

chatting with Juanita Moore for the first time in 51 years

Tony Curtis & friend

at a certain age

one must ignore birthdays or make them stunning. I vacilate between the two positions. but when I learnd Turner Classic Movies was throwing a film festival during the time of my natal day I made the decision to celebrate this time around.

headquarters for the festival was the Hollywood Roosevelt. altho I've visitd many times over the decades I hadn't been in residence there in 35 years. so that was a treat.

& the festival itself was one of the best. its host was the channel's gentlemanly interlocutor Robert Osborne.

25 April 2010

"Ghosts of the Roosevelt"

woke on my 67th birthday
at Hollywood Roosevelt
where the mirror Marilyn haunts
is in storage

the day I checkd in
I passd Montgomery Clift's room
but didn't hear his bugle

later I peekd into the bar
where Victor Killian had too many
the nite he was murderd

the ghosts here are many
Johnny Grant lived & died here
& Todd Moore was a guest
Elizabeth Short walkd thru the lobby
where elderly Mack Sennett
sat alone for hours
John Carlyle workd the front desk
& Eleanor Powell told tales
to a dinner of cinephiles
in the Blossom Room

I sit in the lobby
listening to water bubble up
in the fountain
wondering how soon
I too will be a ghost

20 April 2010


sometimes I'm so out of it...

I cdn't understand why some folks on Facebook were celebrating today. I had to look up 420 & learn abt the Waldos in the early '70s & the time of their meetings at the Pasteur statue.

o sure I smoked pot back in the day but as a non-smoker I found it unpleasant. I never really got high because it was just too difficult to hold that smoke down in my lungs. I did try hash brownies a couple of times & found that experience quite blissful.

19 April 2010

Allen Swift (1924-2010)

altho I saw him in an O'Neill play   Swift was best known as a voice actor. he gave voice to everyone from Eisenhower to Popeye -- even Santa Claus.

but he had a special moment in tv history. he was the voice of Mr. Bluster & other characters on "The Howdy Doody Show." & for abt a year he actually was Howdy's voice.

Swift's son is actor Lewis J. Stadlen.

here's a famous cartoon for which Swift did all the voices:

18 April 2010


is an activity which bores me so I don't do it with frequency.

but thinking is an activity which often riles me so that I need a replacement.

so for a short time today I crouchd in gravel to pick weeds from the drive. I tried to empty my mind while dirt collectd under my nails. it didn't last long.

16 April 2010

Joan Woodbury (1915-1989)

she was one of those minor actresses who always grabbd me. I think it was something abt her nose. tonite I saw her in one of her many forgotten pictures. she was as good as the script. but when she was on screen I cdn't keep my eyes off of her.

15 April 2010


to make up for yesterday

I adore garlic & when home eat at least a raw clove daily.

14 April 2010


how wonderful to learn that Julia Child had an aversion to cilantro too.

I love to eat & dislike few edibles. but cilantro has such an awful taste to me that it can destroy an entire meal. so I'm careful to ask if it's in certain ethnic dishes. & when I do encounter it -- like Julia -- I pick it out.

12 April 2010

Phil & Rita & I

Kevin O'Malley took this in front of Eliza Thompson House as we were waiting for a cab to the airport yesterday

the other Mercer

Mercer House became famous because of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. long before the Jim Williams tenure however it was the residence of General Hugh Mercer. but it was his great-grandson Johnny Mercer who is ubiquitous in Savannah today. this statute was erectd in Ellis Square last year for his centennial.

you knew I had to go here

the murder took place in the room you see behind me

08 April 2010

let's hear it for the flops

with the loss of Ted Hook's Backstage & Barrymore's I guess the only theater restaurant from my past that's still around is Joe Allen.

the wall on the restaurant side is a sort of Hall of Fame for Broadway flops. here is a display of the posters of those shows.

07 April 2010

what in the hell

is wrong with airlines?

on the heels of this carry-on fee comes news that an Irish airline is considering a fee to use the restrooms.

maybe we shd all pee in the aisles.

I've never

flown on Spirit Airlines & I hope I never will. they are going to charge for CARRY-ON luggage.

04 April 2010

"Morning Cantata"

train whistling past General Industries
wakes me in my boyhood bedroom

Dad’s snore is base line
clock’s metronome numbers my pulse

cars drone down Broad St
while I await twack of Plain Dealer on porch

I flail under sheets
hearing a morning long ago:

Mom hiding Disney figurines
around living room

& later telling her little boy
they were left by the Easter bunny

musics past & present
collide in my ears

till tears blotch wrinkles
under my eyes

time to get up   gas the gridle
for Dad to flip flapjacks

(reprintd from Elyria: Point A in "Ohio Triangle"
publishd by Crisis Chronicles Press in 2009)

03 April 2010

Easter cheese

I don't have the family recipe. but it's a favorite boyhood memory of that holiday.

Mom & Dad broke many eggs into a large pot to which they'd add milk & cinnamon. that's all the ingredients I remember. after it came to curdle the contains were pourd into a cheesecloth which was hung from a door handle overnite.

I no longer recall if it was the taste of the cheese or the experience of its making which was more important.

01 April 2010

national poetry month

& many folk out there writing a poem a day all month. I first did that 40 years ago & feel no need to try again.

but I do feel a need to write something abt poetry. I rarely do because it always sounds so presumptious. there are poets who proclaim & pontificate until I get a headache.

I suspose my avoidance of manifestos can be interpretd as shallowness. abt the only glorious thing abt aging is that I don't care much abt what people think. I've been at this poetry thing for such a long time I trust that what I'm doing is authentic.

I think I wantd to write something abt poetry because last week in Las Vegas I experiencd one of those rare rushes -- 3 poems in one nite. I felt so giddy I cdn't sleep.

what spring produces a poem? I honestly don't know. there are times when I've ploppd down before a pad & made myself write. some of those results were instant meals for the wastebasket. other times I'm walking to the gym & a poem begins. I allow it to go where it needs to go. that means that sometimes it's raw autobiography & sometimes fanciful fiction   pieces of rainbow or shards of beer bottles.

an early criticism of my work was that it hemorrhagd language. when young we tend to imitate those we admire -- whether wearing the jeans & red jacket of James Dean or pilfering the dictionary of Hart Crane. altho some of those word-heavy pieces from my beginnings make me wince I can't deny they're mine. today I tend to write a starker verse altho I admit that a word can still make me hard.

I've been writing poems for at least a half century & it's still a mystery to me. I appreciate the kind of rush I had last week & respect the occasional lull. I like some poems better than others. I don't have the hubris to believe I'm writing for a society or even a generation. I'm just me doing what I have to do.