Sunday, September 16, 2018


I'll be reading from and signing ANOTHER WAY TO PLAY: Poems 1960-2017 this Friday, September 21st, at 5:30PM, at The Bookstore in Lenox Massachusetts.The word doesn't seem to have gotten out so if you know anyone who might be interested please let them know...thanks.

Saturday, September 15, 2018


My niece, who we called "Reenie" passed away suddenly from complications of her diabetes, at age 49. An unexpected and tragic death. My heart goes out to her boyfriend and her sister especially. My late sister Joan and brother-in-law Joe adopted Reenie when she was a baby. And I knew her for her entire life.

I'm grateful that I moved back to Jersey after forty years elsewhere, so that I could reconnect in a deeper way and spend more time with relatives and old friends. Reenie and I spoke regularly on the phone and I am so happy that in recent years she seemed happier than ever, especially with her relationship and life.

Her adopted mother, my sister, died at around the same age, 50, from complications of a lifetime battle with her childhood diabetes, diagnosed when she was seven at a time when that still meant a death sentence (the doctor told our parents they shouldn't expect her to live beyond her teenage years).

What a mystery that this beloved mother and daughter passed around the same age from the ramifications of the same disease despite their not sharing any DNA. There are ties stronger than "blood."

Friday, September 14, 2018


Today is my godson Nick Browne's 28th birthday. Here's a photo of us together last spring at my book party in NYC. He's a master chef who won the cooking show competition CHOPPED and now works at a unique little spot on Railroad Street in Great Barrington Massachusetts called Botanica, where I ate dinner tonight and was as surprised as the competing chefs on CHOPPED were when he won, or the judges were by the original combinations he comes up with for every dish, especially when limited by what he can use. If you're ever up there on a Thursday or Friday or Saturday night, make sure you check it out.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018


I Am From… By Eli “Deak” Hotaling I am from sun-damaged skin Freckles and straw hats From tractors and dirt And fresh tomatoes I am from music and Ridges of chosen family From barefoot and dancing I am from small streams Trees and overgrown lawns From concrete and brick And the pretty cityscapes of Jersey I am from rainbows and cheers From black and plaid Parades of people and glitter That takes forever to wash off I am from darkness And false words From tomboys and girlie-girls I am from music Loud, fast, and angry I am from brush strokes And pencil sketches From iron-on patches And D.I.Y videos I am from candles, incense And crystals charging under the full moon I am from black cats And “fight back” From “stand up” And “never back down” I am from marches and protests From outcasts and artists I am from speaking your mind And taking no crap.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018


Berry Berenson was a friend to me in my early years in Hollywood. She was married to the movie star Tony Perkins at the time and until his death in 1992. They seemed really loving to each other and I admired their relationship. And I admired her.

Though she was often noted more as Perkin's wife or as model/actress Marisa Berenson's sister, Berry was a wonderful actor in her own right (see REMEMBER MY NAME). But despite her fame-for-whatever-reason, at least around me she was always the least pretentious or self-centered person I ever met anywhere.

She came to a play I was in early on in L.A., the first L.A. run of Landford Wilson's BALM IN GILEAD, and after the performance stuck around to talk to me. One of the things she said to me that night was that she had only seen one other person in her life who had the kind of glow, I think that was the word she used, that I had, and that was Marilyn Monroe!

She was wonderful on screen and off, either in front of the camera or behind it (she was a great photographer), and I only wish, as I too often do with many friends, that I had made more of an effort to see her more often. Especially after I heard the news that she had been on one of the two planes that crashed into The World Trade Center towers on 9/11.

I knew some others who went down with the towers on that tragic day, like Father Mike Judge, but Berry is the one I think of most often. As I later wrote in a poem ("March 18, 2003"), she was:

"a woman who was kind to me when
she didn't need to be[...]
How many people have died
before you got the chance to tell them what you meant to?"

R.I.P. to all those we lost on that horrific day.

Monday, September 10, 2018


"We want to create a world in which love is more possible."  —Carl Ogelsby (1960s SDS leader)