28 August 2018

Craig Stephens (1944-2018)

altho I haven't seen Craig in years news of his death shakes me.

he was a beautiful 20 year-old when I first got to know him. there was a period when we spent a great deal of time together.  endless discussions abt politics & life. on campus & in the bars of Kent. we even double-dated once.

I workd hard for his election as student body president at Kent State. & after he won I served in his cabinet as Secretary of Communications. I felt as close to him then as I did to anyone.

we all expectd greatness from Craig. to me he had that Kennedy vibe. as happens in life we went in different directions.  he got a law degree & served his community & state with distinction.

in whatever time I have left I will always remember him with affection.

26 August 2018

"Michael's Momentum"

sooooooooo...... a new series. & this is the background:

last month my friend of so many years Michael Pierce gave me my correspondence to him & other personal artifacts. he also askd if I'd like some items he's had for years -- knowing that from time to time I create collages & other oddities. 

so I had a dozen pre-stampd envelopes from I think the 1930s.

this morning I took a copy of the Blossom Center issue of the Kent State publication Momentum that I edited in summer of 1970 & cut out some images which I glued to the envelopes.

then I took some colord pens from a gift bag I recently won in Backstreet Art District's scavenger hunt. I scribbled happily. & here's what happend.

21 August 2018

12 August 2018

winning streak

the Eric Schwabel photo on the billboard is now showing up in other Spotlight 29 promotions. this is from the casino's website where it alternates with Brennan Mejia (aka Red Ranger) "riding" a slot machine.

11 August 2018

in & around San Diego

La Jolla  

with Robert Hansen

Estee Huff at Hotel Del Coronado

dessert at 1500 Ocean

05 August 2018

40 year old letter to Michael Pierce

      68 Jane st.
      22 nov 78

dear Michael --
I'm sitting before a small window in Jean-Claude's study which looks out at the twin towers of the World Trade Center. it's just past 5 & dark already so the towers are lit up. I arrived last nite & walked right into a problem. Jean-Claude's pipes are leaking so the people in the apartment below him shut off the water. you can imagine how lovely that is for me in this dirty city. o well   a plumber's supposed to come soon & the guy whose ceiling is stained with J-C's water said he thought it's all right to turn on the water for about 5 minutes once a day. so.... I'm clean right now from the quickest shower you can ever imagine. last nite after I got over the dis-ease of being waterless I went to Reno Sweeney's to see Gotham & this afternoon I caught John Curry's great ice show. he took a spill in the first dance but is till a fine artist & with all the tricky choreography I'm surprised he only fell once.  "Afternoon of the Faun" closes the show & is a beautiful piece in which Curry's at his best. my flight is United 803 & I leave LaGuardia at 4 pm monday the 27th. hope to see you at the airport around 5. if you don't greet me at the gate with flowers I'll walk down to the pick-up place downstairs & wait for you outside.


04 August 2018

old valentines

there were many special moments in my Ohio visit. one was at the home of painter Lainard Bush. our mutual friend Michael Pierce showd up with a handful of bundles. in them were correspondence & other things I'd sent him over the decades. he wantd me to have them back. that is a lovely & generous gift.

he brought so much I cdn't fit everything in the single bag I take when flying. so he ran off to mail them & they arrived in Palm Springs before I returnd.

among the trove were two handmade valentines. this one was part of a project from 1978. I used a favorite old shirt to make 15 valentines. the one I sent Michael is calld "Bananas are nothing but naughty things." the small figures are Piaf & Travolta. the major figure is our mutual friend Jeff Bixby in the play "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown."  the collage was in an envelope on which I'd typed: "Michael -- if you open this before tuesday   yr cock will fall off."

I remember the patternd shirt series well but have zero memory of the other valentine Michael returnd.  it apparently was made in 1982. I think the fabric is a panel from the pair of pants I'm wearing in my Jim Hinchee photo shoot. one of those is my author photo for The Avalanche of Time.

the piece has 8 squares. the first is a plastic packet containing what I presume is my hair. next is part of a post card of a forgotten motel. next a clipping of a rose. then a drawing of what cd be a heart?

the bottom row begins with a drawing of part of a circle. then a quotation from The Year Book. next what appears to be a trio of blood stains which I suspect are mine. finally a portrait of actress Lois Wilson.

when Michael gave it to me I simply didn't remember it & a week later still don't. unlike the 1978 series I suspect this is one of a kind. I'm so happy Michael saved this & everything else. & how special that he gave all of this back -- knowing how these touchstones to our past help me in my current work.

02 August 2018

seen by others

in my long life I've been lucky to have been photographd by some of the best:

Stathis Orphanos
Walter Chappell
Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
Jonathan Williams
Eric Schwabel
Michael Chikiris
Joel Singer
David Wallace Crotty
Bryan Ockert

now I can add Stephen Baumbach to the list. all this month his exhibition "Faces" is showing at his gallery in the Backstreet Art District.

I confess his high contrast b&w close-up was startling at first. I have no problems with wrinkles. we earn those. but age spots & all that are unnerving. however to be a good model you submit to a photographer who gets what he wants.

the portrait currently on Stephen's wall is all over social media. but here is one of the discards.

01 August 2018

"Key Lime Waffles"

      for Dianne Borsenik

in a smaller arcade
across Euclid
from The Arcade
friends meet
for breakfast

it’s almost a poem
but bite into citrus dough
strikes words

that make it so

"Ghosts of the Arcade"

        for John Burroughs

sitting under clock
in middle of bridge
in middle of mercantile center
Eisenmann & Smith built in 1890
I look in one direction
to bookstore Hart Crane hauntd
& in other to cigar counter

up there was the Asphodel
where Jim Lowell sold me
my first Jargon imprint
publishd by Jonathan Williams
& where d.a. levy brought
mimeograph manifestos

one day I too will be a ghost
waiting for someone
to sit under this clock
& say words written here