Monday, March 19, 2018


Here's poet/playwright/filmmaker Rachel E. Diken's plea for those who can help out (and thanks to all who have already contributed) in support of her documentary about me and my poetry:
"Help grow the audience! Please visit and SHARE the link, where anyone can view the reel, submit for roles, and donate funds.
Now you can also follow the journey on Twitter @ofcourseiamprod
Thanks for your part in bringing this film to life!"

Saturday, March 17, 2018


[here's a poem I wrote in the 1960s
first published in my book ROCKY DIES YELLOW
in 1974, and will be in my new lifelong collection:
ANOTHER WAY TO PLAY coming out April 24th:]


your grandfather being
alone lived in it loved
it & gave birth to another
felt his arms noticed the potato skin
he was hard & white & something to chew


He had a dream called him-in-America
where potatoes were roses

He carried one gnarled & petrified
to keep away arthritis

Where he lived if you dug too deep
the earth was white wet & hard

“With people there has been trouble
With the potato we have been happy”

(C) Michael Lally 1974, 2018

Friday, March 16, 2018


BLACK PANTHER is a total delight. Watching it on the big screen, I felt like I did the first time I saw STAR WARS when it first came out, or the first half of WONDER WOMAN. Unlike too many super hero films, BLACK PANTHER is never crudely juvenile a la immature boy humor etc.

It's well written (adapted I guess would be more correct, since the comic book hero already existed) by Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole. And perfectly directed by Coogler (who is now three for three with FRUITVALE STATION and CREED).

And anything with Lupita Nyong'o or Danai Gurira is worth seeing, in my experience. And they're at their most charming and appealing in their roles as heroic women. And the woman I saw it with, like most women I know, was very pleased at Michael B. Jordan's and Chadwick Boseman's presence in the film. (And Letitia Wright was a discovery for me, and yet another highlight of the movie.)

For my taste, there's nothing not to like about this movie, and much to enjoy. Can't wait for the sequel.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


My favorite thing about this photo is the old cars...this is my sister Joan, brother Robert, mom and dad and brother Buddy, with me and my sister Irene in front (our oldest brother is missing) outside Buddy's new in-laws' house, in Washington DC, where the reception was held (home-made food from his Italian mother-in-law and others)...I was the ring bearer...can't believe the rented tuxedos, typical ethnic working-class extravagance for special occasions...I think it was 1949...

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Proud of my grandchild Eli, seen here reading a petition (they got from at her school's student walkout to protest gun violence and lax gun laws today. One of many hundreds of such events around the country. Keep it up kids!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


I finally got to watch The Oscars, in three parts, spread out over two days, and it was a good enough show, I thought, with choices that were good enough. But it's not what my awards would have looked like.

For Best Picture The Lally would go to THE FLORIDA PROJECT, with GET OUT and A FANTASTIC WOMAN so close it would almost be a three-way tie. All three movies are to my mind the most original and unexpected films of 2017. And because they would be my best picture picks, their directors would be my best director picks as well: Sean Baker, Jordan Peele, and Sebastian Lelio.

And Best Original Screenplay would go to the same three flicks: so Baker and Chris Bergoch for THE FLORIDA PROJECT, Jordan Peele for GET OUT (the only category The Oscars agreed with me on), and Lelio and Gonzales Maza for A FANTSTIC WOMAN.

For Best Adapted Screenplay, The Lally goes to Destin Daniel Getton and Andrew Lanham for their adaptation of the novel by Jeannette Walls for THE GLASS CASTLE (in which Woody Harrelson gave the performance he should have been nominated for, as did Ella Anderson...).

And my choice for Best Actor In A Leading Role (I no longer think we should have separate categories for two genders, since I have felt since I was a boy, and written about since I was a young man, gender is a spectrum that includes a lot more than two of anything) is Brooklyn Prince, the child actor in THE FLORIDA PROJECT who gives a performance so stunning and original and nuanced and superior she should have had her own category.

Right behind her though is Bria Vinaite, who played her mother in THE FLORIDA PROJECT, and Daniela Vega in A FANTASTIC WOMAN, best actors of 2017. As for Best Supporting Actor, The Lally goes to Betty Gabriel, who gave the most challenging moments for her conflicted character such humanity she almost single-handedly created the horror/comedy/political commentary film GET OUT's most poignant scenes.

As for Best Editing and Best Cinematography, they both go to THE FLORIDA PROJECT. So there you have it kids. That's my professional and educated and obviously also subjective personal answer to the Oscar choices.

Monday, March 12, 2018


from The Scripture of The Golden Eternity:

"While looking for the light, you may suddenly be devoured by the darkness and find the true light."

"'s impossible to miss your reward."

from a letter to Don Allen, Fall 1957:

"I have been writing my heart out all my life..."

"I would like everybody in the world to tell his full life confession and tell it HIS OWN WAY and then we'd have something to read in our old age, instead of the hesitations and cavilings of 'men of letters' with blear faces who only alter words that the Angel brought them...."

from Vanity of Dolouz:

"...all life is but a skull bone and a rack of ribs through which we keep passing food and fuel just so's we can burn so furious (tho not so beautiful)..."

"If you don't say what you want, what's the sense of writing?"

"—who's going to come out and say that the mind of nature is intrinsically insane and vicious forever?

from Visions of Cody:

"(but I've known the world, it's all happened before, why do I kid myself with these artificial newnesses)"

"—I must write down books too, story-novels, and communicate to people instead of just appeasing my lone soul with a record of it—but this record is my joy."

"All you do is head straight for the grave, a face just covers a skull awhile. Stretch that skull-cover and smile."

"Time is the purest and cheapest form of doom."

from Visions of Gerard:

"My heart is where it belongs."

Sunday, March 11, 2018


The good thing about power outages is that friends who lose power come spend time at your place if your power is still on. The bad thing is that the CEOs make millions and millions while their corporate workers are overworked and underpaid.
If they took some of that CEO money, and/or part of the profits of the power companies, and hired more—and better paid and better trained—workers, and bought more and better equipment, the power would be back on much sooner...
...better yet, put the lines underground so that every snowfall doesn't cause the loss of power for entire neighborhoods for days, and in some case weeks in my part of the world...

Saturday, March 10, 2018


"People think it is easy to write simply. It is not. It is much easier to write in a way no one can understand."   —Alaa Al Aswany (in an interview with The New York Times 4/27/08)

Friday, March 9, 2018


Great multi-racial casting, the lead young female, Storm Reid, is an especially delightful discovery, as are Levi Miller and Deric McCabe. And Gugu Mbatha-Raw is always great, as are others, but the writing and directing are unfortunately underwhelming. And Oprah and Reese Witherspoon are misused, (though Mindy Kaling and Zack Galafianakis supply some much needed relief). Maybe the kids will love it. I didn't, though I wanted so much to.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


So, self promotion makes me uncomfortable and always has, I swear, but this is about Rachel E. Diken’s first attempt at making a movie that happens to be about me…it’s her film (otherwise I would have tried to control the footage of me to make me look and sound better) and it’s all her initiative and her go-fund-me campaign etc…

but I want to help her in her goal to complete this project and support her hard work (taught herself how to use the camera, the sound equipment, editing, etc.), so here's the link to the “sizzle reel”—as it’s sometimes called—for your enjoyment (hopefully) and the chance to be amused by my part in it…

Tuesday, March 6, 2018


I still haven't seen The Oscar awards ceremony, but the night before, during my Internet and cable blackout, I went with a friend to see A FANTASTIC WOMAN and was moved to tears by the artistry of the director (and co-screenwriter) Sebastion Lelio and the performance of the star, Daniela Vega. It instantly became one of my favorite movies ever, and definitely deserving of the Oscar it received for Best Foreign Movie.

Vega's performance was fearless and unique. There are few films that can show you something you haven't seen on screen before, as my favorites often do. A FANTASTIC WOMAN is one of them. As far as I know, it may be the first feature film with a transgender star whose character is in a loving, romantic, and passionate relationship.

The tears came from empathy for Vega's character's challenges in a world that can be so arbitrarily cruel to anyone who is different (unaware that we are all different, in our individual ways), and because the film evoked the sounds and sensations I experienced back in the early 1970s when I wore a dress in public and was part of a movement of "gay revolutionaries" who chose to use what we called then "gender bending"—mixing the outward signifiers of gender—to confront and confuse "straight" (or what is now called "cis") society (like gay men with beards in dresses, or in my case I wore mismatched clip on earrings and necklaces and lavender suede bell bottoms etc.).

And because I was aware as I watched A FANTASTIC WOMAN that my experience as a man who didn't grow up thinking or feeling or wishing I was a woman, or even having any feelings of being "gay," it was easier for me to be a hero (in my eyes) by joining a movement and participating in actions (including sexual) that I'd never done before, and challenging my once fellow "straight" men to try and stop me, than it was for those who grew up and constantly lived a life facing prejudice and misunderstanding and mistreatment etc...

And as I indicated earlier, there were also tears of appreciation for a great work of art and for the artists who created it, especially Daniela Vega. (Though everyone in the film was exceptional, including Francisco Reyes who plays Vega's character's lover).

Monday, March 5, 2018


my internet and cable have been down since friday's storm...concast message says to check their website for updates!...i'm checking in for the first time at a was sad to miss the oscars in real time, first time that's happened, I think, since my family got its first TV when I was seven or so...but otherwise its been very peaceful and I've been doing even more for weird messages from me....I almost never send fb messages...I've also been getting weird ones from some of you, as well as obviously phony email messages...I don't open any links unless I'm sure it's you all...I hate so many aspects of technology and was happy to be free of it mostly the past few days, but I also love the connections to so many friends and acquaintances I otherwise would never be in touch with, so here's to us, and feck the corporations that make the good things so bad sometimes....

Thursday, March 1, 2018


me and Caitlin shorty after she was born in our apartment in Iowa City, 1968
me holding Miles and the late Lee Lally holding Caitlin outside our "garden apartment" complex in Hyattsville, Maryland, 1970
same place another angle
Miles and Caitlin inside our Hyattsville MD apartment 1971
Caitlin and Miles after we moved to Santa Monica CA 1982-3
cheerleader Caitlin for Santa Monica High, 1985-6?
grandkid Donovan and his dad Miles, grandkid Eli on my lap next to Eli's mom Caitlin with my youngest, Flynn on her lap in Massachusetts c. 2012?
Flynn, me, Miles, Donovan, Hannah (Miles' partner), Caitlin, and Eli in the kitchen of my apartment in New Jersey February 2018