Monday, June 29, 2015

king patchen

I'm reading Stephen King's essay book on film
Danse Macabre and here's how p.178 begins:
"And now this word from poet Kenneth Patchen.
It comes from his small clever book But Even So:

Come now,

my child,

if we were planning

to harm you, do you think

we'd be lurking here

beside the path 

in the very dark-

est part of 

the forest?"

Sunday, June 28, 2015

movie time

Just watched a documentary about Nina Simone,
What Happened, Miss Simone?


looks like Kansas this morning

Friday, June 26, 2015

cars and radios

Here's another short story from my next collection:


            Seventy years and he was still there. He couldn’t grow any older than high school. He held the hand of his girlfriend from then. She was a grandmother now. Bill Haley and the Comets turned into a slow Moonglows song, that dance that let him lead her across the floor. Bunting ribbons were taped to the dark ceiling, sparked by little shiny dots of revolving light.
There were white vans parked outside the gym. A photo would be taken for the newspaper the next day.
He repeated the grades over and over forever. Every summer vacation, about a month after school ended for the year, he would attend the class reunion looking for her. It was no longer surprising to see how the others had grown older while he stayed the same. And he found it was good for them too, to see him return the way he was, unchanging. He was like a living photograph from their days of cars and radios. He danced with Nan Palette all night and when it was over he led the old woman to her white van, idling by the curb outside. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

1993 dream

I'm putting together stories for my next publication.
Here's an old one, from my magazine PIE IN THE SKY #53:


In big wooden cages, the lions floated ashore. They broke out of the surf onto the sand, angry and looking for food. Their roars carried all the way from the sea up to the town. We turned from the cliff where we were watching. I held her hand tightly and we ran to look for shelter. The houses were all locked and boarded up except for one and we hurried towards the open door. Maybe we could hide down in the basement where the lions could scratch but couldn’t get in? We ran up the path, almost safe, when suddenly a family of Mexicans pushing a piano and moving out boxes and furniture blocked the doorway. They couldn’t understand our warnings, our hysterical shouting and pointing at the ocean.

10:55 A.M.
August 12, 1993

living without you

I love this Harry Nilsson album
Nilsson Sings Newman especially
that Living Without You song


For an exciting interview with
The Bellingham Herald see:

The Moonlite

My sequel to ROOSEVELT features a
Drive-In movie theater named The Moonlite.
Our town really had a Moonlite Drive-In
many moons ago. I wrote a poem about it
in my 2007 book, ANOTHER LIFE. 
At my imaginary Moonlite tonight,
there's an amazing double feature:
Village of the Damned (1960) and
the sequel, Children of the Damned (1963).
They will keep you thinking.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

hemingway's dog

Friday, June 12, 2015


I'm rereading Richard Brautigan's SO THE WIND
favorite books. I'm especially noticing the way
he moves time all around. The narrative keeps
getting swept back by memories. It catches up
and carries on then falls behind again.

russ morgan

In ROOSEVELT, the boy George goes
to the park where there's a band setting up.
The bandleader in my book, Morgan Russman
is of course based on Russ Morgan.
My grandmother told me stories of going
to see him. You can too:
That sound sounds so many moons ago.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

what's new?

I'm just starting to write a new book,  
I don't want to say too much about it yet.
Right now it's like looking at a wall of
stain glass window images I will connect.
Editing the draft of Roosevelt's sequel
so I can send it to Fred for illustrations.
Also getting the next book ready for
publication, a big collection of short stories.
That should be out in a couple months.

29th book pictures

These are the illustrations my son
Rustle made for my 29th book,
written in 2008 when he was 5.
The story & pictures originally appeared
in my publication, SUCH AND SUCH.
GOOD DEED RAIN will be printing it
later on this year, appearing in a big
collection of 8 detective novels.


2 more books

Still reading Bob Kaufman.
Jazz Jail and God: An Impressionistic Biography
and Golden Sardine. Lots of inspiration.


Sunday, June 7, 2015

king plug

On Friday, I started reading Stephen King's
new book, FINDERS KEEPERS. Hopefully
you've also read Shane Salerno's biography
of J.D. Salinger titled SALINGER by now:
Once I get started on a new King book I can't stop
and it's good to see the return of detective Kermit
William Hodges and I was also surprised to read
the name ROOSEVELT mentioned on page 90.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

pilgrims to elsewhere

I'm reading PILGRIMS TO ELSEWHERE to learn
more about poet Bob Kaufman who also plays a 
part in my sequel to ROOSEVELT. I like this passage 
from an essay in this book by Gregory Stephenson:
"Reading the work of Bob Kaufman (1925-1986)
one senses the urgent and relentless determination
of the poet to engage and put to rout the combined 
forces of Injustice and Destructiveness, Intertia 
and Illusion, and to unfurl above a liberated world
the banner of Beauty and Joy."

Friday, June 5, 2015

find roosevelt

Here's the map Fred drew
for the start of the book.
It also makes a good puzzle,
coloring page or board game!

reading tomorrow

Here's the original sketch Fred Sodt made
for our reading tomorrow at Village Books.
All Ages welcome, starts at 4. Enjoy


Thursday, June 4, 2015

June 4, 1968

Robert F. Kennedy in Los Angeles, California
June 4, 1968 from his last speech:

“If there is one clear lesson of this political year
it is that the people of this country wish to move away
from the policies which have led us to an endless war abroad
and to increasing unrest in our own country.” 

2 movies

Two good movies were on this morning
just as I got up for work, stumbling around
with a cup of green tea, JOHNNY ALLEGRO,
George Raft running from arrows on an
island, and NIGHTFALL.