31 December 2015

an old poem to end the old year


Tournedos a la Vivaldi leak blood
beside the theater "La Traviata" failed in
Orwell's year begins with Mumm's
& roses pinned with needles

from Taverna La Fenice thru lifting fog
old friends & new walk to Piazza San Marco
celebrants smash bottles & snake dance
where Doges once plotted blood

a balcony on il Canal Grande unveils
a view of San Giorgio Maggiore
& the first morning of a new year
while Britten's fond bells peel

the bag lady returns to her bench
to feed a cat the size of the Vatican
cappuccino & little cakes at Florian's
revive memories of nun veils

David recalls breakfasts before church
hearing Lydia the Story Mixer
make tales from trios of words
suggested by needling listeners

then he gathers canal water in a bottle
to take back to Leipzig & is off
but I remain a tourist
ready for another jewelbox church

last night's boutonniere falls apart
in sight of the Island of the Dead
(I will leave the leafless rose
on Pound's grave)

& at lunch the year's first blood
amid talk of Byron & Vigny
at Locanda Montin I break skin
trying to pry scampi giganti apart

from needle marks I suck liquid roses
creatures of water wreak revenge
but cool passions of the sea pale
when an actor hams Shakespeare in Italian

-- a gobbo in black leather gimps
across wounded boards
oblivious of the century
spreading blood like roses --

& so it begins one more time
pigeons pecking fog-sogged streamers
shards of prosecco bottles stuck
in boot heels & friends floating off 

while I still remember that New Year's
alone with not quite a lover
drenched in champagne & semen
ignoring the avalanche of time

30 December 2015

looking back

I try to watch Kennedy Center Honors every year. & of course it brings back memories of 1993 -- the only time I was there.

one of the honorees on last nite's broadcast was Cicely Tyson.  I took this of her at the one I attended.

among the presenters this year was John Kerry.  here he is in the lobby before the presentation 22 years ago.

the most loved performer on last nite's broadcast was Aretha Franklin. I shot this of her at KCH in 1993.

25 December 2015

ho ho ho

this was me in Palm Springs in 2004. I expectd to be living there now.

but life isn't always what we want it to be.

so let's get this year over with & march on......

24 December 2015

as if

this time of year isn't depressing enuf I turnd on tv to find out exactly when the storm will arrive & there's no reception.  so I startd laundry & the washer is making unfortunate sounds.

22 December 2015

a story

from back in the days when I socialized in Hollywood with regularity.

I was exiting an awards evening at the Beverly Hilton. the International Ballroom has a couple of tiers. I was stepping from one to another when the person in front of me stopped abruptly. that action put me so off my stride I began to fall backward.  luckily the person behind me saw what was happening & grabbd me so I wdn't fall.  I turnd to thank that person.  it was Johnny Mathis.

so yes I can truthfully say that once Johnny Mathis held me in his arms.

20 December 2015


as a grad student I lived in a trailer for 3 months. this envelope on which I've written my name & address is the only documentation I have of that brief interlude.

the trailer belongd to fellow student & future novelist G.J. Smullen.  he & his wife got a job running an off-campus apartment complex & had to live on premises.  so they rentd their trailer to me.

18 December 2015

part grinch

my feelings abt Xmas are complicated.  I'm not religious so that part of the holiday doesn't exist for me. & its commercialization can be repugnant.

but I do have pleasant memories of some holidays past.

already packd away is a box of Xmas "things." some are gifts. others from foreign travels. when I expect company I arrange them on the mantle of my fireplace.

other years this is the single item that comes out of storage.

Dad made the wreath with grapevines from the backyard on Winckles. Dug Funnell made the "joy."  for the past 2 decades I've put it in the window of the guest room.

17 December 2015

memory books

in the past month with my computer down I kept busy doing collages.  but I also put 2 of these together. they're already in new homes in different states.

16 December 2015

that shirt

graphics card

apparently this has been my culprit.  why it took so many visits to the shop to discover this I don't know.  but I got a new one at considerable cost.  so I'm hoping this keeps my machine going for a while.

24 November 2015

David Canary (1938-2015)

I knew him first because his brother John was a student at Kent where he playd the lead in Lawrence & Lee's Thoreau play.

I saw David in summer stock & later in supporting roles in Tennessee Williams' Broadway flop abt the Fitzgeralds.

but of course he was best known for playing twins on "All My Children." I was never a follower of soaps but that one at one time came on just because the local news at noon.  so I'd often see the end of an episode when I tuned in.

23 November 2015

no bites

on house. so off market for winter.

computer still white screen most of the time. & iPad doesn't always allow me to get mail.

add to the mix my not-that-old coffeemaker ended its life.

so even tho I'm not writing poems beside a pool as expectd I try to smile every day. & I'm making collages.

09 November 2015

"Incident on a Bridge"

in the early 60s the Plain Dealer had a small magazine supplement calld TV Week. & for a while there was a competion calld "You Are a Critic." in jan of 1962 I won $25 first prize for a review of the Cleveland episode of "Route 66."

I think my only copy of that review is with my papers at Kent. so I don't know what I wrote.

tonite I watchd that episode for the first time since its original viewing. it opens & closes with shots of my beloved Terminal Tower when it was the tallest building in the city. most of the rest is set either in the Flats or Russian Hill. it's wonderful to see Cleveland then. Stirling Silliphant's script has some moving moments. & the young Lois Smith is radiant.

19 October 2015

William Andrews (1928-2015)

my neighbor Phil's father died this morning.  I took this picture of Phil with his parents at his mother's booksigning on the plaza some years ago.

06 October 2015


computer still down
ipad unreliable

I'm packing for the move

will be withdrawing from here for a while

29 September 2015

24 September 2015

for sale

those who read me carefully know I expectd to die within the adobe walls of my dream house.

for many reasons that house has just gone on the market. soon I'll find a condo in Palm Springs.

I don't know how long this will take. but I've been preparing for months. the downsizing has been considerable.

this is exciting. this is scary.

23 September 2015

another crash

I guess my Apple is a Lemon.

in the past month it's workd only a couple of days. the techs put in a new OS but that doesn't cure it. for several reasons I don't want to purchase a new one just yet. so I fear I'll have to exist with only an ipad for a while.

21 September 2015

Jack Larson (1928-2015)

he lived with Jim Bridges in a lovely Frank Lloyd Wright house. I only visitd once but it was a time full of laughter & tales of their many memorable friends.

15 September 2015

among apricot blossoms

Andria Derstine is director of Allen Memorial Art Museum. when she came to my house to view my art collection she took this photo.

it's hard to see the work I'm holding but it's a charming Roberto Marquez watercolor.  & it's one of the pieces now at Oberlin.

14 September 2015

boyish jottings

nothing profound but consider my age. this was a bulletin from the Allen abt 60 years ago. it was among the ancillary printd material that accompanied the art to Oberlin.

13 September 2015

a gift

I've written before that my first museum was the Allen Memorial Art Museum on the campus of Oberlin College.  it was near my hometown & I loved visiting. it was where I purchased my first piece of art -- Jean Charlot's "Naval Skirmish."

recently I donated some 40 pieces from my art collection to the Allen & the Charlot was one of those. for me the circle is complete.

Elisa Wike Hurley took this picture of me with some of the work just before movers came to pack it all up & take it away.

besides Charlot the other artists whose work I gave the Allen are Richard Anuskiewicz   Leonard Baskin   Miguel Ortiz Berrocal   Joe Brainard   Emerson Burkhart   David Edward Byrd   Otto Dix   Howard Finster   Paul Flora   John Gill   Ira Joel Haber   Henry Halem   Keith Haring   Grace Hartigan   David Hockney   Jasper Johns   Alex Katz   R. B. Kitaj   Jasper Krabbe   Kirk Mangus   Roberto Marquez   Joan Miro   Mark Mothersbaugh   Joseph O'Sickey   Pablo Picasso   Otto Piene   Fairfield Porter   James Rosenquist   P. Craig Russell      Bert Stern   Arthut Yanoff.

11 September 2015

a footnote on Foghorn

reviewing piles of writings I found a note that claims George Winslow used the name Micajah Mott & appeard as an extra in "Bedazzled" & "Little Nicky" in 2000.

that name is an historical one but I find no reference to it being used in film credits. I suspect I made that note after talking with the man I took to be the former child star.

broken thing on bridge over arroyo

10 September 2015

John Perreault (1937-2015)

this is the John Perreault issue of The Serif which I editd. John publishd me in his one-shot mag Out of This World & I publishd him in A Little Anthology of Lists.  in 1979 Michael Milligan & I interviewd him for Dialogue.

the only photo I have of us together is this one Ira Joel Haber took. that's Marjorie Strider between us.

a bad apple?

for the 3rd time in 3 weeks I got my conputer back from the shop. 2 different technicians were unable to find out what's wrong. doesn't give me much confidence in the brand.

hoping it works for more than a couple of days.

06 September 2015


you can write a poem abt Morris Ankrum you can write a poem abt anything

27 August 2015

the intersection of cinema & literary histories

my friend Gary was able to sell some of my stuff on ebay.

inc this Michael Keaton Batman bank with cereal that Henry Van Dyke gave me years ago:

I'm back AGAIN

apparently I needed a new operating system.  don't even know what that is.

22 August 2015

here we go again

had my Mac back for a day before it wdn't boot again. neighbor Phil was going to take me back to Dotfoil today but unbelievably they're closed the entire weekend.

I'm pissd......

20 August 2015

Mae Clarke Day

so sez TCM . . . .

& once again here's the picture I took of her years ago in Beverly Hills

09 August 2015

08 August 2015

Agnar Mykle (1915-1994)

today is the centennial of one of Norway's best known novelists.

I confess that it's been so long since I read his Song of the Red Ruby that I don't remember it at all.  but I do recall having great regard for it while I was in high school.  perhaps not quite as much regard as I had for Prokosch's The Asiatics.  but they were both provocative works for a young man.

so when I think of him on this day I'm also thinking of the young me.

06 August 2015

05 August 2015

60 years ago

my friend Tom & I saw Marilyn in "There's No Business Like Show Business."

today is both Tom's birthday & Marilyn's death day.

so I'm remembering them both.

31 July 2015

remember this?

I realize there are those out there who never saw one of these. it was calld a catalog card. they were in drawers in libraries before there were computers.

today's organizing project turnd up a small cardboard box from OCLC addressd to Kent State's catalog department.  inside were all the cards for my collection. when the library gave up its card catalog someone must've saved my cards & given them to me. this is probably the first time in 20 years that I opend that little box. 

my first inclination was to pitch them.  but then I figured that the box is so small….. why not keep it.  I bet there aren't all that many old catalog cards left in the world.


as I continue going thru closets & drawers I found a little baggie of "stuff" with this note from Mom:

Dad and I are trying to get rid of junk.  Ha ha, my stuff he wants to throw out but not his.

29 July 2015

Joe Allen

in any big city restaurants come & go.  so it seems a big deal that this NYC favorite is celebrating its 50th year.

I startd going there in the 70s. in my drinking days I'd be alone at the bar.  but also meals over the decades with friends. the only regular I recall from the menu was the Caesar salad.  but it was a comfortable place. the waiters cd be the chorus from "Hello Dolly" (as no doubt some of them were over the years). I recall Jean-Pierre Aumont sitting by himself & Alfred Molina coming in from the rain.

I don't get to Manhattan much anymore.  but it's good to know that it's still there.

27 July 2015

Lee Harwood (1939-2015)

this is Lee in 1970 -- the year he &  Stuart Montgomery did an American tour.  they stayd with me in Twin Lakes.

at one time we were going to co-edit an anthology of lists.  but it never happened.