Tuesday, December 28, 2021


A dark comedy worth watching. Terrific cinematography and editing help make this doomsday scenario compellingly deadly serious and seriously funny at the same time. As does the acting. Jennifer Lawrence, Mark Rylance, Cate Blanchett, Meryl Streep, and everyone else in the cast are jammin'. And though I find Leonardo DiCaprio is sometimes miscast, he's perfect in this. If anyone is miscast, it's Timothee Chalamet, though he does a great job despite that. Once again director/writer Adam Mckay scores.  

Friday, December 24, 2021


Part of one of my many yet to be organized bookcases (photo by Hannah Bracken).
[click on photo to read]

Wednesday, December 22, 2021



Me in1968 (the year I ran for sheriff of Johnson County on The Peace and Freedom Party ticket) in front of my then family's (wife Lee and baby Caitlin) married-student-housing WWII surplus quonset hut at the U of Iowa, and me a month or so ago on the street where I now live in upstate NY with the neighbors' car and abode behind me...

Saturday, December 18, 2021



What I remember most about the LA writer Eve Babitz's presence are her smile and laughter. We hung out in 1980s LA and I can picture her sitting at my kitchen table, maybe wearing a broad brimmed hat or having just taken it off and throwing back her head and laughing at something I, or she, said, or tilting her head and smiling at me in a way that seemed to say, are you for real?

We came from very different class and ethnic and geographical and gender and cultural backgrounds and lots more differences, but we were close in age (both born in May, me in 1942, her '43) and shared an approach to writing that was sexually more honest than most of what was published before we came along. But she was much better at not taking herself, or anyone for that matter, too seriously.

Her books and her conversation exposed me to an LA I hadn't known about with an honesty and insight I found compelling, as I did her, even if we were so different. When we lost touch over the years, I missed her, still do.  

Wednesday, December 15, 2021


Among my r&b 45s as a 12-year-old in 1954 was this. Prescient then, history now.  

Sunday, December 12, 2021



Taffy, the golden retriever I now live with, admiring a painting by my daughter Caitlin. [photo by Hannah Bracken]

Thursday, December 9, 2021


Me c. 1978 at the only 9 to 5 job I ever had (quit after less than two years) at The Franklin Library where I designed and wrote their First Editions series newsletter (and other series readers' guides) including interviews with authors like William Saroyan, my favorite writer from my late teens to recently, 

I'm the one in the widest tie looking at Saroyan and his famous mustache instead of the camera. 

Thursday, December 2, 2021


Three years ago this month, me reading at Beyond Baroque In Venice CA, on a "national" tour for my last book, Another Way To Play: Poems 1960-2017. One of the top great poetry reading experiences of my life. [photo by Cheryl Bianchi]