28 February 2021

Bob Barnes (1963-2021)

 we are warnd abt meeting people online. I'm lucky. abt a quarter century ago I became part of a group that met regularly in a chatroom. in the early years of our chatting I met several of these men & a couple became great friends.

one of them I first knew as Malibu Boy. he cd be wickedly funny. but he was also mysterious. it turnd out he wasn't a Californian at all but a Texan. & because of the sensitivity of his job with the US District Court he kept a low profile & forbade use of his image on social media.

soon we began e-mailing daily. Bob called me his "greatest penpal." eventually he visited me in Santa Fe & I him in Fort Worth. we trustd each other & shared secrets. & we laughd. boy did we laugh. like any deep friendship there cd be prickly moments but we workd them out.

besides being one of my best friends Bob was one of my biggest fans. his last e-mail to me began: The Khashoggi poem was excellent. he was over the moon with "Covid Valentine" & wonderd if anyone wd find one of the hearts & keep it. & over the years he became part of several of my pieces ("The 1943 Pennies" & "Torn Together" & "Butch Series" & "Book of Java"). every time he visitd we had to shop at Trina Turk. so he put at the top of our to-do list for that next visit my bench in front of the store.

Bob retired last year. his plan was to divide his time between Fort Worth & Palm Springs. on his last visit we lookd at rental properties. & he constantly checkd the market. just last week he mentiond a unit for sale in my complex. but then the pandemic...

the kettle was on when an unexpectd call came last nite. I wonderd why I had no e-mail from him all day. in shock I went to the guest room he loved. there waiting for his next visit was a little box. from it I removed the Lucy mug I purchased for him just before lockdown a year ago. I put a tea bag in it & filld it with hot water. Lucy & I sat at the patio where Bob & I had laughd. it was a beautiful nite. even tho there were tears on my face I felt a smile as I lookd up at the stars grateful to have had such a friendship in my life.

with Bob & his lifelong friend Lisa dining at Blue Bayou in Disneyland almost 2 years ago

26 February 2021


 on my morning walk this word jumpd into my head. as far as I can remember I've never uttered this word before. I haven't seen a film or read anything recently using the word. where did it come from? why did it pop out?

22 February 2021

I call the 3 palms

beside the pool

the Andrews Sisters 

their jive

is music

for my swim


I boogie

to their bugle

then flip over

& look up

at their shimmy

filling with the joy

that guides me

thru the day

19 February 2021

20th anniversary

congrats to Robert Hansen who has publishd some 2000 wee books in these 2 decades. he is a poetry hero.

03 February 2021

so do I

 on my morning walk I finishd a poem that's been rattling in my head.

after breakfast I was "organizing" piles & came across a Xerox of a journal I kept in 1968. in a summer entry written at Jean-Claude van Itallie's farm in the Berkshires I relate that after reading one of my poems Joe Chaikin told me "I hope you keep writing all your life."