Saturday, June 24, 2023


This photo of poet Robert Slater and me was taken on the porch of the commune I lived in in DC in 1972, not long after I "came out" (notice my color choices). I was having sexual and romantic relationships with men and women but rejected the "bi-" label as too limiting—my experience was that there are many more sexual and gender options than just two, and also the "bi-" designation would privilege me with the rewards of being "gay" without the penalties so much).

Slater was visiting from Kansas City where he lived and taught in a suburban community college. We'd been friends since we met at the U of Iowa in 1966 and bonded over music and literary taste and remained friends forever after. He was a minimalist in most things, his poetry, his conversation. Succinct and insightful in his comments on life, including mine.

I had taken him and his then wife Laresa to a party at a gay liberation commune called Greta Garbage the night before at which I had dressed partially in drag (we called it "gender-bending') and afterward kept him up for hours (Laresa had gone to bed) proselytizing about how everyone should experience what I was going through.

In 1972 you could be locked up for being gay, which was officially a mental illness and a crime. So my coming out led to many friends and family members cutting off all contact, As well as me losing my job teaching at Trinity, a Catholic women's college. Having behaved as a mostly manly tough guy up til then, my new behavior confused everyone, even me. But when I finally finished my diatribe, Slater stood up and said, "I'm glad our friendship transcends all this," and went to bed.

Condolences to his widow Maureen and to all who knew and loved him, may he rest in poetry.

Friday, June 23, 2023


My 75th birthday party, six years ago, with my oldest son Miles and (next to him) Sue Brennan and Jeanne Donohue, part of my other family.

Sunday, June 18, 2023


Favorite photo with me and my dad in it because of the tender way his left hand is touching my brother Robert, the troublemaker of the family at that time, and though out of frame his right hand seems to be touching me tenderly at a time just before I was to become the chief troublemaker. Plus I love that his long sleeve shirt is buttoned all the way up on a warm summer day down  the Jersey shore.