Wednesday, February 28, 2024


My firstborn child, Caitlin, arrived on this date in 1968. Here I am with her days later, still astounded by the miracle. 

Sunday, February 18, 2024



I played a lot of bad guys on TV in the 1980s and '90s. Here's one, a mob hit man on the witness stand in an episode of LA LAW. [Thanx to Sue Brennan for the photos.]

Wednesday, February 14, 2024



for Karen A. 

It was a gorgeous day to wander around Georgetown.

I didn’t. I got up early, “wrote” a “book,”

listened to some “classical” music like Liszt and Couperin,

Buchanan and Dylan, read about a marriage that 

by not being a real marriage at all turned out to be

a beautiful true marriage—what has “true”

got to do with “real” anyway—like today,

what has today got to do with me and you 

besides the way it makes me feel full

the way you can do, brings the good things

people say the country offers right here to the city

for a countryphobe like me, so I leave my music and words

and catch the street. Everyone’s out today!

Claudia! Ed! Terry! Henry! Ralph! I wish I was

as bright as the day, so after a while of being dazzled

I go home and take a shower with all the windows open

and I shave and jump around to the good sounds—

I remember to take the huge heart shaped box of candy,

I bought it for the kids, out of the bag and put it

somewhere where it won’t melt. I drink some milk

and eat some cheese, think about all the people

I should write a poem to for “Valentine’s Day,”

for “Washington’s Birthday,” for this wonderful weather

the world gives us despite our arrogance and

belligerence toward it, but I notice the time and

there is no time! Got to run, so I do, 

in some new shoes that hurt my toes, but the rest of

my clothes feel fine, and I know I am, on the street again

paying homage to the sun with my grin. I feel like

Ted Berrigan walking with my head held high, jaunty

like Hollywood English types, and a little mischievous too,

thinking about how I can do something fun and funny for you

like the sun is doing for me as I strut. There’s

my car! I haven’t seen it in almost 24 hours

so I throw it a kiss because I’m not a good owner

but I love it and that seems to keep something going.

I get in ready to cruise these canals to your veranda

or something Eddie Arnold and ’30s Hollywood like that,

only the corner of my eye catches the bank clock and

surprise! (Spencer Tracy in A Man’s Castle with

Loretta Young I think, swimming nude!) It’s 4:15 PM!

I can’t believe it! I go into Discount Books to look

for Terry to check. He’s not there but someone

I don’t know says “Hi Mike!” so I say “Hi. Do you know

what time it is?” and he looks at his watch and says

“Well, the government says it’s four twenty but

it’s really three twenty . . .” and some more words.

I don’t hear them thinking about you and ”true” and

“real” and wondering what he meant the “real” time

and what was “mine” . . . You should be there because

it’s almost 5:30 in my life, but in the bank’s and

the guy who knows my name it’s only 4:30 and somewhere

out in abstract city it’s “really” only 3:30. Maybe

that’s why it’s so warm. I back up, back home, back

to back Dylan charms me to the typewriter where

I write to you to kill the time and to say

“Wontchu be my valentine?” 

(C) 1974 Michael Lally

[written, under peak Frank O'Hara influence, to lifelong dearest friend Karen Allen (poet and novice actor I had fallen in love with in 1973) on Valentine's Day 1974 in Washington DC where you could then park overnight in our Dupont Circle neighborhood without fear of getting a ticket...] 

Saturday, February 10, 2024


Me at 19, with my buddy Murph during basic training in Texas in March 1962, two months before turning 20. [this photo is in my new book, SAY IT AGAIN (Beltway Editions)]

Sunday, February 4, 2024


Now available, my latest book, SAY IT AGAIN: An Autobiography In Sonnets (Beltway Editions). Been working on this since 1960, one way or another. This contains all of my location sonnets covering my first thirty years ("Volume 1, The Road Goes Away") focusing mainly on the 1960s. Some published before, most not or revised, now chronologically correct and meant to be read like any autobiography or memoir, A personal cultural, social, and political history of my  times. 

[The book cover photo is me at 29 in early 1972, taken by Len Randolph.]

Friday, February 2, 2024



One of my favorite authors. I usually don't post quotes when the source publication is not cited, but this definitely sounds like her.