Tuesday, September 29, 2020


"My soul hurts."—texted to Lawrence O'Donnell from a DC mother (who doesn't work in politics or for the government)

Monday, September 28, 2020


Now they say it's Sons Day. So here's me with my oldest son, Miles (he had to wear glasses up until about eleven after an early eye operation) c. late 1970s when I was a single parent living in NYC (probably taken by Rain Worthington), and me with my youngest, Flynn, in Jersey around 2003 (taken by Jamie Rose), and me with both of them a few years ago.


I always said Poetry saved my life. Because it did. When I was young and felt like the only outsider in a world of insiders, writing and reading poetry made me feel like there might be people who shared my feelings, even if it was just a love of language's possibilities. Eventually I recognized that lots of works of art, from movies to music, kept me going when overwhelmed by the unfairness of life and the world. Now more than ever I need the creative works that are antidotes to the hurt of these times, or at least a momentary respite. Tonight it was the latest episode of LOVECRAFT COUNTRY and the ways it expressed acknowledgment of the pain and evil of racism and projections of redressing the injustices and lack of power to change that through the power of consciousness raising awareness and personal and family magic. Fantasy based on real history and real pain and real human striving.   

Saturday, September 26, 2020


Found out yesterday was another of those made up commemorative days, this one for daughters, so here's me with my daughter Caitlin, my firstborn, in our Iowa City apartment shortly after she was born in February of 1968, and dancing with me over a half century later in 2019 in Maplewood New Jersey [latter photo by Jennifer Lally Fondots].

Wednesday, September 23, 2020


I understand today is "Bi Visibility Day" so here's an early declaration of my so-called "bi-sexuality" (I always objected to the idea of only two kinds of sexual/sensual preference and experience, everyone I was ever with was unique and so was each sexual/sensual occurrences). It's the first lines of my 1974 ten-page autobiographical list poem "My Life" (which can be found in my last collection, Another Way To Play: Poems 1960-2017). [the formatting on this blog wouldn't let me break the lines without big gaps between them]

"I ate everything they put in front of me/read everything they put before my eyes/shook my ass, cried over movie musicals/was a sissy and a thug, a punk and an/intellectual, a cocksucker and a mother/fucker, helped create two new people,/paid taxes, voted and served four years/and a few weeks in the United States Air/Force, was court martialed and tried/civilly, in jail and in college, kicked/out of college, boy scouts, altar boys/and one of the two gangs I belonged to,/I was suspended from grammar and high/schools, arrested at eleven the year I/had my first "real sex" with a woman/and with a boy, I waited nineteen years/to try it again with a male and was sorry/I waited so long, I waited two weeks to/try it again with a woman and was sorry/I waited so long [...]"


They're reporting that Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the first woman to lie in state at the capital in U.S. history. That history is almost 250 years, and she's the first. And somebody's worried that progressives are going too fast or pushing too hard for too much. No, I don't think so. She should be the fiftieth or hundredth or more.

Monday, September 21, 2020


I don't know if the attribution is valid, since it doesn't say where this prose first appeared, but it still is a good message:


Thursday, September 17, 2020


I've probably posted this 1943 photo of me and my siblings before. The oldest is in the middle back row, Tommy, later to become Father Campion, Franciscan friar, to his left Jimmy, we called Buddy, to his right William, we called by his middle name Robert, in front of him Joan, next to her Irene, known as Little Irene to distinguish her from our mother, known as Big Irene, and between her and me would have been John, who died as an infant before I was born. We had four cousins on one side of us, a family with ten kids on the other, and one with four across the street. Twenty-four kids in four houses. Thems was da days.

Monday, September 14, 2020


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Saturday, September 12, 2020



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, 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 (and those we continue to lose).

Thursday, September 10, 2020


A favorite photo of me and my two oldest (and at that time only) kids, Caitlin and Miles, in I believe New York's Kennedy Airport after flying in from L.A. and waiting to board a flight to Ireland, in the mid-1990s. They're both in their fifties now (as I was in this photo then). Life!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020



Caught this 1963 film on TCM last night (part of their fourteen week Tuesday night series on women directors over the last twelve decades) and discovered a new favorite film and director (Ana Mariscal, also a successful actress, writer, producer, etc.). EL CAMINO is a perfectly delightful and moving blend of the comic and the poignant, so artfully done I can't believe this wasn't on my radar before. TCM is my favorite channel or streaming site or whatever we call it these days. 

Monday, September 7, 2020

 I make a couple of cameo appearances in this terrific book and will be reading two short poems of mine that are in it at this event, please join me for this zoom event:

Thursday, September 3, 2020



Me and Kim, one of the loves of my life, c. 1990 in my booth at Largo in West Hollywood. I was preparing for the weekly poetry reading I ran with my Poetry In Motion partner Eve Brandstein, and Kim was helping. The day after the night I met her I told all my friends I'd met "my last wife" and meant it. We had some great times, got along well, loved each other, but something happened and the connection dimmed and we drifted apart. We kept in touch for a while, then lost touch, as too often happened in my life. But the memories are so sweet.