Saturday, June 30, 2018


Here's the site to find the rally or march nearest you today, Saturday June 30th, for the FAMILIES BELONG TOGETHER protest.

Thursday, June 28, 2018


me and my old dear friend Marty Brandel
walking down my street a few months ago

Tuesday, June 26, 2018


This documentary about the late Fred Rogers—"Mister Rogers" to most of us—is the antidote to the bad news we've been inundated with. I saw it tonight in a theater on the big screen and highly recommend viewing it that way, so you can see deep into Mister Rogers' eyes and feel the depth of his compassion. Bring Kleenex.

Monday, June 25, 2018


OCEAN'S 8 isn't the "feminist" response to the OCEAN'S 11 franchise, but it is the female version of those earlier movies, containing many of the same tropes, just feminized, and even the convention of two top stars carrying the bulk of the action (the male versions being George Clooney and Brad Pitt, the female ones Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett) but supported by a cast so independently talented half or more of the pleasure of watching these flicks is the actors riffing through their roles with skill and charm.

In this case the cast is smaller (I assume intended to leave room for sequels 9 and 10) and the two leads not as familiarly cozy (it's almost impossible to not see Pitt and Clooney as actual mutually teasing buddies in real life, whether they are or not, a little more challenging with Bullock and Blanchett), but nonetheless the film worked for me as entertaining and fulfilling in the way of a familiar but favorite dessert. So I say enjoy.

[PS: the direction is smooth and the pacing well done, so credit to director Gay Ross and his editor, and the writing the same, so credit to Ross's co-screenwriter Olivia Milch (full disclosure, I've been around her off and on since she was a baby and was always impressed with her independent spirit and intelligence so not surprised)]

Saturday, June 23, 2018


I'll miss the Pride Parade in NYC tomorrow, but I was at the first one in Washington DC in 1972 after I had come out as "gay" for humane and political and historic reasons, since previously I'd always considered myself "straight" (though I always rejected labels and still think they are mostly problematic) after having had my first sexual and romantic relationships with men, including a part-time affair with a beautiful man named Greg Millard. I wrote this poem to him back then. He eventually died of AIDs, as did others I was lovers with (somehow it passed me by). By the late 1970s I had returned to being involved sexually and romantically with just women, but I am proud of all of my past relationships including with men and women both "cis" and "trans" as well as those who didn't label themselves or would now be considered "fluid" (as I considered myself now and then back in the day, but didn't have the word for it, I identified myself in my bio in one gay poetry anthology back then as "pansexual") and have since 1972 considered myself part of the "queer" community, even if some of that community doesn't see me that way.


For Greg Millard

your back, cocked hat, thick clothes for cold

the way you turned around to look again for
what? It wasn’t there last night
We were there, ‘it’ wasnt, why,      why not

The world is all around us, even at night, in bed
in each others arms
distilled & injected into the odor we leave on each others

backs & thighs, between the knots & shields of all we lay
down in the dark to pick up in the morning
I like your brown eyes when you talk
you know who you are, I like your knowing this
maybe that’s not enough

Let’s talk, go to plays, see each other sometimes just to
see each other
If we lie down in each others bodies again
let it be for the music we hold

not the music we might make

(C) 2018 Michael Lally in Another Way To Play

Friday, June 22, 2018


Last night the event at unnameable books in Brooklyn was totally satisfying, seeing dear old friends and making new ones, hearing good poetry, good music, and being surrounded by creative folks, my people. Great way to celebrate the summer solstice and recharge the soul and heart batteries for the continuing struggle to create a world where love is the choice.

Thursday, June 21, 2018


My cousin Pat Lally (later Pat Lally Freeman) was fourteen when I was born, so her face was already familiar to me when this high school graduation photo was taken. And though the last time I saw her she was in her eighties, it was that same warm smile she flashed, the one that always made me so happy to see as a boy, a young man, and then an old man.

Every time I saw her, my heart overflowed. She was a highly intelligent, independent, and grounded individual, and a terrific writer who shared a wonderful piece of autobiographical prose with me (and others) about ten or so years ago that clarified some of her part of our clan's story (and is now in my archives with a few letters from her). Like me, she was fascinated with our extended family's history, and remembered and researched more than most.

Though she will be missed by many, Pat made it to ninety and passed surrounded by loved ones. And she will always live in our hearts, as will her contagious smile.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018


Turns out the reading I'm taking part in at unnameable books isn't next Thursday but actually tomorrow, June 21st, with two other poets and a band on the bill, 8PM, 600 Vanderbilt Avenue (corner of St. Mark's) in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn...if you can make it I'd love to see some familiar faces...


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

sorrow song

for the eyes of the children,
the last to melt,
the last to vaporize,
for the lingering
eyes of the children, staring,
the eyes of the children of
of viet nam and johannesburg,
for the eyes of the children
of nagasaki,
for the eyes of the children
of middle passage,
for cherokee eyes, ethiopian eyes,
russian eyes, american eyes,
for all that remains of the children,
their eyes,
staring at us, amazed to see
the extraordinary evil in
ordinary men.

Lucille Clifton, "sorrow song" from Next: New Poems. Copyright © 1987 by Lucille Clifton. Reprinted with the permission of BOA Editions, Ltd.
Source: Next: New Poems (BOA Editions Ltd., 1987)

Monday, June 18, 2018


The documentary Rachel E. Diken is making about my life and poetry has run out of funds and needs an infusion of money to continue, here's how to help:

and here's her recent interview with Ethelbert Miller:

Sunday, June 17, 2018


I want to wish a happy day to all those who
never had or knew their fathers…or whose
fathers were unkind, or even cruel to them…
may your day be filled with love and affection

...and to those who parented the young and 
old alike who needed it and had no one else
to turn to, may your day be as happy as the
hearts of those who benefited from your love...

Friday, June 15, 2018


Went to the opening of Charles Mee's new play, FIRST LOVE, and was swept away by the experience. The direction by Kim Weild makes the abrupt transitions in this story of "first love" coming to two seniors easy and more subtle than the writing indicates, and the acting is worth the price of admission.

Michael O'Keefe—a dear friend for many decades whose acting on stage and screen I have been observing since he made his initial impact in THE GREAT SANTINI—has never been better, displaying so many emotional variations that his performance becomes a master class in the art of stage acting. Especially when matched by Angelina Fiordellsi, both of them out pacing each other in the bravery of their performances.

Taylor Harvey, making her New York stage debut after being cast from an open call, in what could have been a thankless mostly silent role of observing spirit, transcends the limitations of the role to add an essential element to counter balance the two-character heart of the play. Her stage presence is so ethereal, the aura her character casts seemed to add a glow to the stage when she was on it.

Some of the credit also definitely goes to the costumer Theresa Squire and the set creator Edward Pierce, whose work enhances the story with flourishes of wit and economy. And all this in the intimate confines of The Cherry Lane Theater. If you dig live stage productions and are any where near Manhattan between now and July 8th, this one's totally worth experiencing.  

Thursday, June 14, 2018


Doug Lang, Terence Winch, me in DC in the 1970s
Terence Winch, me, Doug Lang in DC in 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


In honor of the late Anthony Bourdain, I watched THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY last night for the first time. I skipped it when it came out because of the terrible title and my guess that Helen Mirren, despite her acting genius, was a bit miscast. The title is still uninviting, and Mirren is miscast yet she mostly pulls off the role of a brittle French matron.

But like many movies that feature food and cooking as the central metaphor, this flick is sensually satisfying in so many ways it was worth watching. Part of the pleasure was also the delicious leading man, Manish Doyal, and his romantic partner Charlotte Le Bon. Another was the great actor Om Puri, who not only held his own with Mirren but pretty much stole the film in terms of performances.

Despite a predictable and even contrived script (a Steven Knight adaptation), the pacing and story development work because of director Lasse Halstrom, who makes even the obvious appealing. Check it out if you've never seen it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


I remember reading many decades ago a study that was done about people who had jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge attempting suicide but somehow survived the fall and were rescued. As I remember it, every one admitted that as soon as their bodies left the bridge they regretted doing it. Most who jumped, of course, did not survive, so no knowing what they were thinking.

Monday, June 11, 2018


thanks to Bianca Scimmia for this photo of me reading from Another Way To Play at Politics and Prose in DC yesterday
 evening, great event (reading with Terence Winch) and great seeing so many old familiar faces from my DC days (1969-1975) and beyond....and thanks all for coming out...

Saturday, June 9, 2018


Though I didn't know who Kate Spade was when I heard of her suicide, many friends who only knew her from her public persona were devastated by it, or angry at her and devastated for the thirteen-year-old daughter she left behind. But I was surprisingly devastated when I learned Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide, even though I only knew him from his writings and his CNN show where he came across as a great embracer of life's pleasures and challenges.

Though they may have been part of the elite economically, I still see them as victims of the disastrous decline of the social environment caused in great part by the winner-takes-all form of "capitalism" that has turned our flawed democracy into a rancid oligarchic kleptocracy where human life is subservient to the relentless accumulation of useless wealth (useless except in the service of false pride and the illusion of control) for the one percent and soul-sucking despair for the rest of us.

Like victims of the opioid epidemic, or the suicide epidemic, anxiety and despondency are the legacy of the devaluation of human life caused by the drain-the-99%-of-all-financial-and-emotional-security-for-the-benefit-of-the-1% (even if some among that 1% fall prey to the same anxiety and despondency). The Resistance has to start, I believe, with not letting the bastards kill us—no matter what.


poets Terence Winch, me, and Doug Lang
June 7th, 2018
[photo by Sandra Rottmann
enhanced by Robert Zuckerman
who labeled the end product:
 "Don't Fuck with these Bastards"]

Thursday, June 7, 2018


Terence Winch and I sometime in the 1970s
(don't remember who took the photo)
we will be reading from our new books
this Sunday June 10th at 5PM
at the Politics & Prose bookstore
on Connecticut Avenue 
in Washington DC

Tuesday, June 5, 2018


Retweeted George Takei (@GeorgeTakei):
Trump disinvited Superbowl winning Philly Eagles to the White House over concerns some of the players had refused to come. In related news, Becky Sullivan won't go to the dance on Saturday if Shelley is showing up, even if she apologizes for what she said about her hair.

Sunday, June 3, 2018


For anyone who's in the Baltimore-DC area, I'm reading from my new book ANOTHER WAY TO PLAY, and Terence Winch from his, THE KNOWN UNIVERSE next Sunday, June 10th at 5PM at Politics & Prose in DC, more info here.