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.


lei brought back from Hawaii (2004)

one of Dad's moth-damaged ties

26 July 2015


my discovery online of several photographs of Rudolph Valentino with a hermit in Palm Springs led me all over the place today.

the man with beard & guitar was William Pester. he was a nudist & local character who some think was the inspiration for the song "Nature Boy."

digging deeper I discoverd that shortly before he died Peter Wild publishd a bio of Pester.  I have a couple of connections to Wild. we share the same birthday (altho he was born 3 years before me). & we both had sweet little books publishd at the same time by Abraxas Press.

mine was my first book -- Into the Sea.  his was Three Nights in the Chiricahuas.

the reason I know they were publishd together is that at some point I was sent some extra covers by the press & they included the cover for Wild's book. they may have even been on the same page when the cover stock was printd.

I love knowing that both Valentino & Wild have Palm Springs connections.

Spanish Market

in 2001 Regina & I visitd Charlie Carrillo at his home. she bought a santo & I purchasd a candle box.  some time later I realizd my piece wasn't signd.

a couple of weeks ago I was in the check-out line with Charlie at our local grocery store. I mentiond the box & he sd I shd bring it by.

so I carefully carried the box on the bus to Spanish Market where Charlie finally put his signature to it.

24 July 2015


in sorting thru & dealing with both treasures & detritus of a long life I'm awash in the craziest of happy/sad feelings.

not long after posting a picture of things that haven't survived whole the mail came. first I opend an envelope which I'd sent to Josh Ronsen as part of my piece "Mathchless." he turnd the envelope over & re-addressd it to me.  & inside was the matchbook from a restaurant in Key West which I maild.  he wrote a little story on it.  it felt odd to have it back -- but lovely in that it has also become a separate work.

then I opend a larger padded envelope.  in it was a long letter from Mike Busam explaining the back stories for the 2 pieces he included. one is a publishd work calld "Universe" which comes from Mike's participation in International Pwoermd Writing Month.  it's witty & wise.

but Mike also sent along a copy of his new poem "Passing Glances (Hamilton, Ohio)."
it's a collation of 7 viewings of mostly musicians in his hometown between 2003 & this month.  but are they? the portraits cd be actual celebrity sightings. or they cd be people that the poet saw who remind him of celebrities. 

here is one of the segments:

Seen from Lane Library
reading room through windows
opposite fire place decorated
with Rookwood Pottery tiles bearded
Thelonious Monk
under trilby
inside long coat
navigating ice treacherous sidewalk
in front of Monkey Mutual
Aid Society 304 N 3rd St
Pauses to wave at passing car

precise language. vivid images. perfect line breaks.

o yes. & something else.  the poem is dedicated to me. I can't tell you how much that means.

so on a day which began by walking to the gym & ended with another mass shooting I felt connectd to who I am & was.  I felt that maybe some of what I've put out into the world has resonated with someone.