31 July 2014

all abt love

tea brewd. cake on a plate. ready for my evening movie. & then sky turned dark & loud. when they say driving rain this was what they meant.

I went out to the back portal & calld for Kiddo. finally he came running to me   wet & shivering. I toweld him dry then sat on the lounge chair. I wrappd him in the towel & held his quivering body as thunder & lightning put on their show. I kept stroking him & talking. it was quite the ramble. I  even rememberd when I was a child in bed & Dad make up stories. I told Kiddo I didn't remember any of them but did recall that one was abt an elephant.

I cd see the ground filling with water & heard the river that the arroyo became. & I talkd. then -- after 45 minutes of intensity -- the storm was over. Kiddo got up & went to his bowl. then back to the chair where I took this:

as I start to get old & feel alone it's a gift to know that someone needs me. one small gray creature who comes & goes as he pleases but every once in a while needs me.

Elizabeth Short's 90th birthday

was the other day & some of us gatherd at Antebellum Gallery to remember her. Rick Castro servd tea & cake.  there was music & theater & I read some poems.

Billy & I made birthday cards:

& I brought the little clump of grass I took from her grave.

tea time

& so I had tea & cake with photographer Rick Castro.  & I gave him this small teapot & napkins from Mom's collection:

25 July 2014

new neighbor

I knew Chip Livingston as a poet first.  then as a Facebook friend. but this morning we actually met.  he'll be teaching this year at IAIA.

I felt an instant rapport. partly because we know so many of the same people. partly because he's simply an amiable gentleman.

as it turns out soon he & his dog Frida will be living within walking distance of me.

24 July 2014

feeling blue

a stressful day dealing with the (hopefully) final documents in the sale of my boyhood home.

another link to my past gone.

22 July 2014

from a travel journal

in 1983 I startd Wanderbuch. just now I was looking for something else & pulld down the first volume.  so much I wrote so long ago & so much already forgotten.

here's a quick observation written at a Rochester hotel in 1984:

… how strange to be staying at this hotel at the same time as Robert Duncan & Carol Channing.

20 July 2014

James Garner (1928-2014)

I know I liked him when I was a kid because in the album of movie star photos I collectd back then is this picture:

on the back I wrote the year Warner Brothers sent it to me -- 1958.

Garner was a terrific actor. he was equally at home with comedy & drama. I think his reputation is less than it shd be because he was one of those actors who didn't show off. he workd so hard at his craft that he made it look easy. we rarely catch him acting. 

19 July 2014

Otto Piene (1928-2014)

I met him when he came to Kent to teach in the summer of 1971. later that year I put together Six Poems / Seven Prints.  he contributed a drawing. the signd edition has become quite the collectible.

18 July 2014

today's hike

the group went to Tsankawi. for me it was a special visit.  the ashes of two of my dear friends -- the artists Bernique Longley & R.B. Sprague -- were scatterd there.

17 July 2014

Elaine Stritch (1925-2014)

I was at one of those all-star dinners David Gest used to throw in Beverly Hills. I was just standing there drinking in all the Hollywood history walking by. then pow…. a woman walkd right into me. without a word she kept on going. I lookd up & recognizd Elaine Stritch. someone later told me she heard Lizabeth Scott was there & was making a mad dash all over the place to find her.

out of curiosity

I did a Google search for "average weight of newborn."  altho it varies most sources put it at around 7 & a half pounds.  so I guess I was a bit big at 8 lbs 4 oz.

then I checkd my baby book again. it has me at 25 lbs by my first birthday.

I'm not good at judging ages so I don't know my age in this photo with Mom but I do look a bit chunky. 

16 July 2014

on the phone

with Mom this morning we were discussing my cousin Paula becoming a grandmother again. & the size of the baby.  Mom suddenly blurtd out how much I weighd when I was born.

after we hung up I trottd out my baby book to check.  she was only a few ounces off.  I was 8 lb 4 oz.

15 July 2014

sing out Louise

I have so many smart-ass replies to this news that I better just shut up.


these are plants I keep inside during winter. but my how they love summers outdoors. particularly this recent rain.

the cactus with the little bird thingey stuck in its planter began as a tiny cutting from a plant near the fireplace at Inn Exile in Palm Springs. it keeps growing & growing. I love it.

14 July 2014

snail mail

rare these days to get letters. but today I got 2!

one was from a poet friend who is moving to Ecuador.

the other from my former boss at the Kent State library Dean Keller.  I'd sent him the recent broadside printing of my Venice Cafe poem (which mentions him). he in turn sent a copy to William Heyen. in his response to Dean the poet wrote: "Thanks, too, for the Alex Gildzen poem/broadside which I like a lot, its complex apprehension of time, our great theme, which sets me dreaming…"


all right.  I know Tom Beckett is showing up here soon & I don't have anything new to post. maybe an old poem? naw. he'd see right thru that. or like Facebook: when you have nothing to say put up a cat picture. I think not.

damn……. well Tom I owe you one.

13 July 2014

"Sorrows of the River"

I am the question mark
on the comb of Dolores Del Rio
the alphabet broken
on the sharp rock of her bed
the spoon that collects her tears
she washs over me
changing my curve to serve

I ask for nothing more

12 July 2014

beat collection

who wd've imagined the library at Utah State University wd have a beat database??????

& that one of my books wd be included???????

11 July 2014

today's trivia

when this picture of me was taken in the dining hall at Hotel Del Coronado in 1996 I didn't know what I know today or the focus wd've been a bit different.

I just learnd that the chandeliers were designd by L. Frank Baum.  yes.  the man who wrote the Oz books.

10 July 2014

one enchantd evening

Rita & Phil & Canuto & I drove to Alameda last nite. we settled in at Farm & Table for an exquisite dinner. the restaurant borders its own garden.  so produce is fresh.  we began with kale & mushroom empanadas which were like eating bits of clouds.

my entree was chicken with polenta & beet greens. & for dessert we shared a divine trio.

then on to Sandia Casino. just as we got out of the car it startd to gently rain.  by the time we got into the amphitheater there was a downpour.  we quickly became soaked. of course the concert was delayed.  eventually we went into the casino to join the throng of wet grumblers.

the 8 o'clock concert didn't begin till 9:40.  Ringo Starr -- who turnd 74 just 2 days earlier -- literally bouncd onto the stage.  he seemd much more vigorous than the last time I saw his all-star band at this same venue. the only person onstage who out-danced him was Todd Rundgren who lookd like an old convict finally let outside.

it was definitely a nostalgia concert. a nite of crowd-pleasing chestnuts.  in fact the low point was when Ringo performd his newish song "Anthem" which is simply a bad song. for me the highlights were Richard Page singing "Kyrie" & Gregg Rolie belting "Black Magic Woman."

turnd into a longer nite than we expectd but despite that lengthy sit in wet pants it was many shades of wonderful.

06 July 2014

stepping back

this was taken over 5 years ago but some postings today on Facebook brought it back to mind:

04 July 2014

the woman in the flag

Reitta Goodman was the grandmother of my friend T.R. Queen. when I was an undergrad at Kent State she rentd the back apartment of a house on Main St. owned by Mildred & Cecil Bumphrey. when I first met her Stanley Krippner had an apartment next to her. in 1963 Stan & Reitta & I watchd the Oscars from her livingroom. I often went to her place for sunday meals.  we'd order pizza or she'd make her famous salmon salad. she liked me enough to give me a key & I'd go there sometimes when she was at work to be alone. & in 1965 when Jau Billera came to town to interview me for "Poetry Seminar" we taped it at Reitta's.

I don't have a photo of her from those years. but she was a fixture in town. her white hair was instantly recognizable. & people wd see her -- usually in a tailord suit -- walking to work. she was the cashier at Green's Menswear.

Tom flunkd out of Kent & returnd to Elyria where he got a factory job. & then he moved to Las Vegas where he lived for 37 years. here's a poem I wrote in 1965:


Your grandmother told me
about your departure.
She said she hoped the flight
would be an easy one.
And then she started crying.

Tears fell against her glasses
until she took them off.
She looked as if she drowned
a century ago.

When she dried her eyes
and put her glasses back on
I told her I hoped
you had an easy flight, too.

after Reitta retired she went to Elyria & wd visit my mother from time to time. it was raining when she was buried at Standing Rock. Tom's parents barely spoke with me but then neither of them really liked me. his brother Denny was the only family member with whom I had a real conversation. I hadn't brought an umbrella.  I got soakd.

the reason I'm posting this on the 4th of july is because sometimes I remember Reitta on that holiday. this is the reason:

it's the cover which Tom did for my 1978 book Three Stories (A22 in my bibliography).  the woman in the flag in the center of the piece is a young Reitta on the 4th.