30 September 2010

this is the pose that was in my head when I wrote "Tony Curtis."

I took this of the actor in front of the wax museum on Hollywood Blvd in april.

Tony Curtis (1925-2010)

here is the poem I read before the actor 5 months ago:


hairs on the arm
that holds a dagger
makes smooth chest unreal

he wears earrings
& a thick bracelet
on his bicep

this is a prince's pose
with a 42nd St

(publishd in It's All a Movie)

Curtis also appears in 2 poems in The Arrow That is Hollywood Pierces the Soul That is Me which needs to be publishd soon.

29 September 2010

Arthur Penn (1922-2010)

I took this of the director in Cleveland 20 years ago.

Michael Gizzi (1949-2010)

I took this of the poet in 1986 during a rehearsal of our friend Paul Metcalf's "The Players" in which he playd John Burroughs.

28 September 2010


my travels began at Cleveland Hopkins & finishd at Albuquerque Sunport.

today Jimmy Carter flew into Hopkins & was rushd to a nearby hospital while President Obama flew into the Sunport.

a few hours

after returning home I was off to dinner with Rita & Phil & Canuto. then we went to the Lensic together to hear Sharon Jones.

photography was forbidden during the show but during intermission I got this one of opening act Grace Potter.

27 September 2010


part of my whirlwind visit was back to campus to mark the 25th anniversary of Kent State University Museum. since I was acting curator during the museum's planning stage I wantd to be there.

other guests included Ann Rutherford who is known to film buffs as Scarlet O'Hara's sister & Andy Hardy's girlfriend

& TCM's Robert Osborne

quick trip to Ohio

for a family celebration of Mom's 89th birthday.

before I left this morning she askd me if I was putting her picture on the internet. so here we are with my cousin Regina.

24 September 2010


many years ago Mom had a penpal in England. her name was Kathleen. maybe that was why I decid'd as a child to have one. I no longer remember where I got the girl's contact material or just how we startd writing. I don't even recall her name or how long that correspondence lastd. she lived in Alaska & my first question to her was "do you live in an igloo?" she didn't.

more recently -- & more importantly -- I've had another penpal. we can't agree on exactly how long ago it was that we met in a chatroom but Bob & I have written each other almost daily for at least a decade.

yesterday we finally met face-to-face. I had such a good time & hope he did as well. I'm not sure why it took us so long to meet. perhaps each of us was afraid the other wdn't find us as scintillating in real time as online. but it was effortless. & when we sd goodbye it was as if we've known each other a dozen years. but then we have.

23 September 2010

nite visitors

noise woke me at 4:30. stumbld out of bed & saw on back portal a pair of raccoons. one scamperd off when I lit up the space. but the more persistent one kept on its task. it had been on the table on which I keep a plastic container full of dry food for Jonathan & other neighborhood felines. it had knockd the container from the table & was attempting to pry open the lid. I bangd on a glass door till it too left.

22 September 2010

on the anniversary of Melina's death

my year-old cellphone died

rec'd in snail mail a proclamation of love from a crazy lady

intense rain storm

dear friend undergoing tests.....

better not watch the evening news

internet as archives

was surprisd to find a "Taking My Turn" fan page on Facebook. & on it a clip of old friend Sheila Smith doing one of her numbers.

I've known Sheila for many years & have seen her in countless shows over that time. it's great to have this bit of her past so easily available.

here we are in Kent in 1990.

21 September 2010

Mama Grizzlies

I am not a misogynist but I must say I'm disgustd by how many hateful backward-thinking women are currently running for public office.

20 September 2010

as I waterd

my apricot tree this morning a hummingbird came to the edge of the spray for a tentative dance. after a few moments of play he went to a branch for a brief sit & then was off.

19 September 2010

remembering James Broughton

Stephen Silha is executive producer & co-director of the forthcoming "Big Joy." he stoppd by yesterday to talk abt the subject of his documentary.

18 September 2010

left out

in Denver I bought the new Sam Steward bio -- Secret Historian -- which I'm reading now.

sadly (for me) it omits his intro to my Postcard Memoirs from the bibliography. also missing is his contribution to Gildzen at 50. Sam's part of our correspondence is available to the public at Kent State but that gets no mention either.

on my only visit to his house Sam gave me this souvenir of his tenure as a tattoo artist.

16 September 2010

some days

I wonder if this really is the 21st century.

my morning starts with vitamin pills & juice after which I stumble toward the tv for the news. this morning it's tape of the Delaware loon proclaiming the evils of masturbation. then we see the queen of England lumbering beside the pope.

after my cereal I turn on the computer & check the obits to see who didn't make it thru the nite. then favorite blogs & other sites. I learn that today Anne Francis turns 80.

all right. I know not everyone who visits here is as addictd to cinema as I am. so if you are of a certain age & disposition you may not know or care who Anne Francis is. but I do. so I lift my coffee mug in her honor.

these days I suspect her best known film is "Forbidden Planet." she's also become somewhat of a tv cult figure for her short-lived series "Honey West."

her leading man in that show was my friend John Ericson. some years ago he introduced me to her at Riva Yares Gallery in town. they also appeard opposite each other in the classic film "Bad Day at Black Rock."

so while some queen grasping her expensive handbag walks alongside the rodent pope & the teabaggers protest they really aren't homophobic racists I'll check out Anne Francis on You Tube. soon my state will elect one of those lunatic ladies from the backward-looking Tea Party Express as our 1st female governor. maybe it doesn't matter. all politicians seem to end up as power-hungry crooks. perhaps it's time to give up on all the cable political panels & only watch old movies. Anne Francis will always be more important to me than Sarah Palin.

14 September 2010

13 September 2010

at Brown Palace

false advertising

just back from a weekend in Denver. I went for the King Tut exhibition. I'd missd previous incarnations of the show. it's theatrically presentd with Harrison Ford narrating the commentary. & there are exquisite pieces worth seeing.

however all the ads feature the most famous item from that treasure trove -- the boy king's gold funeral mask. & that piece is absent from this version of the traveling show.

09 September 2010

Nina Vale

Nina Vale

never heard of this actress before. but I just saw "Cornered" on TCM. she's quite intriguing. so I lookd her up in IMDB. says there she only made 3 films.

07 September 2010

a good read

at dinner the other nite Robert Nott gave me the sept issue of Playboy. it's been many a year since I've dippd into that magazine. but he had a reason. the once-celebratd Playboy Interview is with Paul Reubens.

in an age when celebrity interviews have become boringly predictable this one is the best I've read in some time. refreshingly honest. if you're a Pee-wee fan this is must reading.

05 September 2010

out of the past

John Reeves is bringing some of the old Shelly's publications to the internet.

among them: my Kencompotl pamphlet from 1979.

04 September 2010


I can go for weeks without remembering my dreams. then I'll wake up with one as bright as a penny found on the bike path.

I just woke from a dream in which I was playing a heavy in an Orson Welles film. the rotund Welles was a precise director but also was welcoming of collaboration. my scene was at the end of the film & was being shot on a stage. Welles stoppd filming mid-scene when he'd suddenly come up with a new idea.

the impetus for the dream must be something that happend yesterday. George Wallace askd me for a poem & the one I sent him was abt Welles from one of my books-in-progress.

02 September 2010

for GWTW buffs

Cammie King died yesterday. as a child she playd Bonnie Blue Butler in the 1939 classic.

to mark the 50th anniversary of the film some friends & I went to Cadiz -- birthplace of Clark Gable -- to attend a celebration of the movie. several of the cast memebrs were there. in this photo King on the right is being interviewd for a local tv station. that's me on the left. my friends & I spent more time with her cute son Matt who was beginning an acting career of his own.

01 September 2010

how we change

my last post got me thinking abt my experiences with autographs. I think the first celebrity I askd was film star Denise Darcel when I was 12. later that same year I also got the signatures of Keefe Brasselle & Duke Ellington when they visitd Elyria. & I remember being disappointd when Carl Sandburg refusd to sign.

early trips to Manhattan had me at stage doors. I waitd what seemd forever for Geraldine Page who expressd shock that I was still there.

I never considerd the psychology of autograph hunting & won't here. but like so many things in life its appeal simply went away. as someone who once held autographs in esteem it tickles me now when someone asks for mine. it doesn't happen with any regularity but sometimes at readings (which in themselves don't happen to me with regularity). it brings back so many memories.