Thursday, July 30, 2020


me and John Carradine on the set of THE NESTING 1979
James Remar, me, and Bill Mosley on the set of WHITE FANG 1991
Peter Coyote and me on the set of DEADWOOD 2004

Wednesday, July 29, 2020


Internet spam was trying to tempt me into clicking on a link that purported to name the top movie and TV actors who are "jerks"...which prompted me to make this list of my top ten nicest actors I worked with on TV shows and movies (it's spur-of-the-moment, off-the-top-of-my-head, so apologies to those I left out, not intentional):

1. Jimmy Smits (worked with him twice, on L.A. Law where he was a star and I was guesting and he went out of his way to help me after he was already wrapped and could have been gone, and NYPD Blue where I could have contributed to his getting that job as a producer of the show called when they were looking for a replacement for David Caruso, who was causing trouble on set, and asked me who the nicest and easiest-to-work-with actor was and I instantly said Jimmy Smits, which I suspect others they asked agreed with)

2. Susan Dey (was equally generous to me on LA Law)

3. Tracy Nelson (on Father Dowling Mysteries, and despite health issues she was dealing with)

4. Tom Bosley (same show, accepted me like an old friend)

5. Angie Harmon (Law & Order, and whenever I ran into her afterwards, on a set where she was one of the few people who were nice to me)

 6. Catherine Bell (JAG, nice no matter what, including a scene shot beginning almost at dawn and going to evening in a cold warehouse on the high desert during which she was tied up and I was forcing mock alcohol down her throat, a consummate pro and nothing but nice to me)

7. Peter Coyote (Deadwood, instant friendship, with lots in common, on a sometimes difficult set he was always nice)

8. John Carradine (The Nesting, even in old age with health challenges he gave me his attention and support on and off camera)

9. James Remar (White Fang, gruff at times in the face of a difficult dynamic on set, he was nothing but nice to me when he didn't have to be)

10. Tom Cavanaugh (on an episode of Ed, I was fresh from a cancer operation which I did not reveal and had only a few lines but he singled me out saying he knew my poetry because his mother was a poet and a teacher (as I remember it, I think in Canada) and changed the way some others on set were basically ignoring my presence, and never said a word when I gave him a copy of my latest book and signed it to "Ed"!)

there are plenty more but these came to mind first...  

Monday, July 27, 2020

Saturday, July 25, 2020


I read the novel MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN when it came out and mentally cast the movie I thought it would be great as. The only actor Edward Norton cast that I would have is Alec Baldwin who's perfect as the fictionalized version of Robert Moses (full disclosure, Alec's a friend, and Bruce Willis, friend long ago, was well cast as the catalyst for the plot). The book was a satisfying read. What Edward Norton has turned it into as producer, screenplay adapter, director, and star is not, to me, quite as satisfying.

Partly due to some of the casting—e.g. the characters played by Willem Dafoe and Norton himself I see much differently than they're played. Norton is good, and what actor wouldn't want to play a deceptively brilliant and courageous detective with Tourette syndrome. My guess is most people, especially those who didn't read the book, will be fine with his portrayal. But as good as Dafoe can be, his performance felt forced and even phony to me in a few scenes, as did Bobby Cannavale's.

But any movie that has Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Michael Kenneth Williams in it is worth watching for me. So I'm glad I did.

Friday, July 24, 2020


I had a crush on Annie Ross the first time I heard her sing, on the first album she made with Jon Hendricks and Dave Lambert—Sing A Song Of Basie. And then in 1960 when I was 18 and a disc jockey at Saint Bonaventure's in upstate New York (before I got kicked out), I got to meet and interview her, though I was so starstruck I don't remember much, just how passionate I felt about her and her music.

The only other connection to her I have was the movie Pump Up The Volume. She had a role in it (she was an actress as well as a singer and songwriter), and some lines of a poem of mine ("The Healing") were used in the climactic speech by Christin Slater's character. She went through some hard times, but the music recordings and film and TV roles she left behind transcend all that. Happy she had such a long run.

Thursday, July 23, 2020


my dad with his arms around my mother up front (top)
and my dad behind my mother with her hand to her hair (bottom)
on the Jersey shore in the 1920s when they met and married
[click on image to enlarge and see the details better]

Wednesday, July 22, 2020


I like a good action flick, and one with the theme of how tedious and painful immortality might be seemed pretty intriguing. OLD GUARD has its moments, but was not as great as I was hoping. However there was a short scene where a male poetically explains the depths of his love for his lover, another male, both having spent centuries together and still madly in love, that was a first and I deeply appreciated it.

The other reason to watch this movie is the women. Charlize Theron is just amazing, her performance alone worth watching. But then there's Kiki Layne, glorious to watch in action. And Van Veronica Ngo is too little used but a thrill to see in her action scenes as well (and the coda implies we'll see more of her in the sequel).

Monday, July 20, 2020


I became a fan of the photographer Danny Lyon's work when he was just starting out, through the poet Lee Fisher after we met in 1960 (and married in 1964 when she chose to change her name to Lee Lally). And have been ever since. This article by him is a remembrance of his early photography activism with SNCC and other Civil Rights groups, including his friendship with John Lewis. Totally worth reading.

Thursday, July 16, 2020


me (the little guy) and three of my six siblings (only five at that time, the brother between me and my sisters having died as an infant) in front of our maternal grandmother's bungalow in Belmar NJ during WWII ( c. 1943 or 44)
(do I really have my left hand hooked into a pocket like a miniature tough guy already?) 

Friday, July 10, 2020

Thursday, July 9, 2020


me in 2002, post cancer operation, at my 60th birthday party, between two of my best, longtime, dear friends, poets Simon Pettet and Annabel Lee (in another best, longtime, dearest friend Karen Allen's back yard)

Monday, July 6, 2020


I just learned that one of the loves of my life has passed. Lora Somoza was also one of the most intelligent, most beautiful, most hilarious, and most unique humans I've ever known. We weren't "boyfriend and girlfriend" for very long and it was many years ago, but we never ceased reaffirming our love for each other and how much we missed being together every time we saw each other or spoke on the phone or connected through comments on Facebook and other communications. I loved her from the moment we met and always will, and as devastated as I am by the news I can't imagine the pain her father and mother, who she adored, must be going through. My condolences to them and all her family and friends and loves. God do we all miss you already and always will.

Thursday, July 2, 2020


I've posted this photo before but I love it so much here it is again. Taken during WWII which ended The Great Depression so folks looking flush despite the wartime rationing. Me in my mother's arms with two aunts to my left who also lived on our street. My mother's mother next to her then my two oldest brothers, one in the Army Air Corps, the other soon to join The Navy, next to them a great aunt and my father's immigrant Irish mother. Down front another brother and my father in the fedora with one of my sister's on his knee, two cousins beside her and another sister. So me and my five living siblings (another died as an infant) and my parents lived in this house and my maternal grandmother and that great aunt would soon be living with us too! The joint was always jumping.