29 February 2016

Jerry Maren (1920-2016)

I took this at Hollywood Roosevelt in 2007 just before the last surviving Munchkins got a star on the Walk of Fame.

Maren is wearing a Lollipop Guild cap.


died on Leap Day.  so he's been gone for 8 years but today is only the second anniversary.

25 February 2016

Walter Kundzicz (1925-2016)

when I was growing up there was no internet & censorship was so severe full frontal photographs were illegal. I'm not sure how I found my way to the cigar store on the corner which also sold magazines. & I don't know why that store sold certain magazines to a kid.  but after I discoverd physique periodicals I was hookd.

even now with dicks sticking out at us from everywhere I have a fondness for those old photos of men in posing straps.  a few years ago I even wrote a long poem abt it.

I never knew the names of the photographers. if they did use a name it often was as fake as those of their models. Kundzicz was the man behind Champion Studios.

the young who click their crotches on phones & immediately send those photos everywhere may find this kind of image quaint.  but for men of my generation looking back is a powerful mix of nostalgia & desire.

22 February 2016

out of the past

August Highland publishd this introduction to my life as a writer more than a dozen yerars ago. somewhere along the way it disappeard.  but now it's back online.

21 February 2016

Robert Bertholf (1940-2016)

talk abt complicated relationships. Bob & I alternated between civility & combat. he regarded me as a lightweight & hated my poetry. he calld one of my books "a piece of shit."  at the time I certainly was pissd at him but over the years I came to admire him for at least telling me that to my face. however he remains a controversial figure who probably has more detractors than fans.

when he was abt to leave Kent State I tried to take the high road. I got Robert Duncan -- who he worshipped -- to give me a poem which I turnd into a splendid broadside as a farewell token. Bob seemd appreciative but then cdn't resist being Bob.  he askd me for the manuscript & all correspondence I had with Duncan. sorry Bob -- that's now in my papers at Kent.

this may be the only photo in which we share space.  I had a small party at my place in Twin Lakes at which I presentd him with the broadside. I'm over on the left. then my mentor Howard P. Vincent & poet Richard Blevins. Bob is in the hat.


I bitchd abt the severity of our winter I feel I shd say that last week we broke a record in the other direction.  it got to 70.

altho this unexpectd warm spell felt good it screwd up what are normal cycles.  so buds are beginning which means pollen which means allergies.

14 February 2016

I made this valentine for my parents 21 years ago.

the scene is Napoleon OH -- the town in which they were married.

12 February 2016

Alicia Metcalf Miller

I don't get a newspaper.  so I just learnd of her death this morning.

Alicia was a member of Kent State University's board of trustees who was a particular friend & supporter of Special Collections. in her foreward to 25 Years she wrote:

Kent's Special Collections, particularly in poetry, theater, and children's literature, reflects an unusual level of wisdom and taste.  Largely responsible for that are its two curators, Dean H. Keller (1968-83) and Alex Gildzen (1984-93).

For more than good caretakers, these two men have nudged, cajoled, even wrestled the collection into its current, very appealing shape. They have practiced sleight-of-hand, dogged willfulness, and charming persuasion, guided always by a clear-eyed vision of what Kent's Special Collections is and might be. Conquering obstacles that would have stymied fainter hearts, they have maintained that vision with considerable discernment. loyalty, and wit.

Alicia was also supportive of my move to Santa Fe where she & her husband Bill quickly establishd themselves as model citizens following their move from Chagrin Falls.

friendships ebb & tide. somewhere along the way Alicia & I stoppd seeing each other. but today I remember a time at her house when I was reading out loud to her adorable mother Maudwynn from Alicia's first novel. quietly Alicia approachd from somewhere & gave me a hug. the look in her eyes then is what I'm thinking of now.

08 February 2016

had he lived

James Dean wd be celebrating his 85th birthday today.

every year on his birthday I remember when I threw a party for his 50th. the invitation featured my poem "Autobiographical Fragment" with a portrait of the actor by Jim Provenzano.  I still have some copies hanging around.

however I also printed -- on special paper -- only 20 copies of just the poem & drawing. Jim & I signd the numberd copies.  it's item A26 in my bibliography. & even tho it isn't the fiction he became famous for I suspect it's the first item in Jim's biblio.

06 February 2016

happy birthday

a line from "Outlaw Dreams" :

I dreamt Mamie Van Doren made a recording of “The Century Dimes” while topless.

today the Atomic Blonde turns 85 & she's still posing naked.

here we are in Palm Springs a few years ago.

04 February 2016


I ever meet El Nino at a party I'll kick him in the balls