Woody Allen commented on depression in all his films; the one I remember most went something like this; ‘I get depressed if one person is suffering in Africa.’

Remember those days; when all we had to concern ourselves with was:  Africa, a bit of Russia, and powerfully silent Cuba and China.  The Europeans loved us back then; we gave them something to laugh about.

I turn on the news intermittently during the day; and whatever activity had occupied me suddenly dissipated into bothersome dust.  Murder, beheadings, shootings, corruption, deception, fear and helplessness swept away the dust, and my consciousness wept.

Whether it is the unfathomable death of a woman who seemed immortal, the young  journalist beheaded on television,  the left and right parties swinging obscenities at  each other,  all soliciting a reality show of our government. My choice of sorrows is mounting.

Today is a cabaret of: weather, activity, and excitement as Fiesta Week begins in Santa Fe.
The city will converge on the Plaza for the performing arts, parades, musical improvisations, dance and Northern New Mexico  chow. Policeman will be stationed alongside the booths to protect us.  They look grouchy and irritable; but in my experience, the friendliest cops I’ve ever met. Try talking to a cop in Los Angeles.20140823_134608

The butter on the tortilla of  Santa Fe, is that our community events, processions, and traditional religious enactments are safe havens for  Spaniards,  Native Americans, the mixed,  the foreign and us Anglos. I can ask to be invited into any assemblage and chances are they will accept my presence.

The safety and care  of people depends on all of us. If I recognize a stoned drunk stumbling; I should take his hand to shelter. If an old woman needs help crossing the street: I should lead her. If  insults and arguments draw my attention; I should keep my eye on the situation. This is where my consciousness rises from dust and sorrow; to a strong wind of humanity.






Ralphie I served 1966–78

Ralphie I served 1966–78 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

THE SCREEN IN SANTA FE scheduled three showings of this Docudrama.

Huh? Sam ol boy lives in Santa Fe. I’ve had bar chats with him, everyone has, and he’s our mascot for independence, accessibility, and still a flush hand of rugged classic looks. Like he should be Ralph Lauren‘s model, not Ralphie.

I figured the theater would be packed so I brought earplugs.  I take my films too seriously, and refuse to be interrupted with slurping and munching.  Into the first scene; my concentration was so acute I would have protested if anyone said a word.  Beginning with the footage; unbelievable home-made movies and photographs. You will see Sam as a youngster on the ranch where he grew up in Central California, Sam leaving home and working his way through puberty.   Then we see that chiseled frame of masculine sensitivity as a young playwright in Greenwich Village where you meet Johnny Dark.  The dialog between the two men and the dramatization of their feelings about the  collected letters they exchanged over a forty-year period is something beyond a reality show.

It is as honest and genuine a continuum of conversation between two men that you’ve ever witnessed.  The subjects: their father’s, destiny, fate, women, writing, dogs, tragedy, and loss. Just to name a few. So if you wrap the cinematography around the humor, philosophy and ending that left me in tears, you have a masterpiece of film for the audience.

Yes, there is a dusting of emotions  on Jessica Lange.

I walked away feeling as if my life had not even begun. So much life squeezed into one man lead me to question my limits on adventuring. Several lines I recall in particular, to paraphrase Sam;

We can change our lives, our work, our wardrobes, our women, but we never really change. Our essence remains constant. I’ve always felt outside the whole thing, sometimes more than others. As a writer  you have to be selfish with your time. I’m always moving, going on the road, I didn’t know that was how my life was going to turn out, but it did.  

That kind of admission for a floundering but dedicated writer will last me a while.  On documentaries; they don’t get enough attention. I hope this film tears that fence down and let’s the HONEST-REAL-BULLS come through.



The panel of experts on appropriation and copyright of

images covered the recent case, Cariou vs Prince. I knew nothing about the case; but it

was a participation of audience and panel that really worked.  The humor on the panel did not

overcome, the man in the third row who was knitting.  Richard Prince, "Graduation" (2008) was widely cited throughout this case, and was one of the five pieces the Court withheld judgment on today (image via Fordham's IPLJ)

Today I saw a woman in her fifties walking past my house with a dog. She was wearing her apron.

Last week, my phone called Sam Shepard three times, instead of calling Stefanie.



[contact-form subject='[SMILEY%26#039;S DICE’][contact-field label="Name" type="name" required="1"/][contact-field label="Email" type="email" required="1"/][contact-field label="Website" type="url"/][contact-field label="Comment" type="textarea" required="1"/][/contact-form] I’m a creative nonfiction short story writer, and a  columnist on arts and lifestyle. I have never said one word about politics; I am not a debater, academic, or political science major.

As a writer I read the newspapers; Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Santa Fe New Mexico papers, where I live.  I watch all the news stations. I quit MSNBC, cause Chris Mathews made me hyperventilate.  I think Charles Krauthammer is the most knowledgeable and sustainable journalist of our time.

Do to an act of nature, lightening, I lost Cable for a month. This was when Syria broke. No one talked about it here, and I felt the communities disillusionment. When my service was repaired, I turned on the news.  I felt more insulted than the time a young boy told me my legs were hairy.  Who did you think you are kidding? You want us to watch both sides fisting each other like a street gang!  Please someone tell them, the Press, chill out a bit and stop turning the news into a talk show.  You talk to us as we were mutes.  The Government has evolved as false as who we see in the mirror.  If you are plain you see beautiful, if you are beautiful you see plain.  I see you government, and I am ashamed.

I haven’t read the papers since June. This Thursday I went to the bank to make a deposit to cover my negative, and I looked at the newspapers on the customer coffee table.Image, My eyes shut after two headlines. How much more can we take? I really have lost track of priorities.

Should I get a job because my writing remains unrecognized. I need a retirement guidance counselor. I don’t like the title of financial advisor; they sound too rigid. Should I respond to the dreadful vacillation of American Policy. How much more debating can they do? It’s like when I worked in corporate real estate.  The meetings I attended and had to present were progress reports on whether I was an effective employee. I don’t know how I lasted as long as I did; my act was good, and I impressed some of the boys, but communication was too formal to bring out honesty. Maybe that’s what has evaporated in our

government, or am I seeing it differently because I’ve aged into it slowly. I think it started when the cool shit act came about. Some artists have it,  Musicians, yea they got it, gangsta’s got it, but they always had it. Those of us who feigned cool acts, became feigned. Rambling now. Got to sweep fall leaves and

start editing 350 columns.

I’m listing to Nessun Dorma, and oil treating my hair. I was thinking how much I detest all this multitasking. I can now handle five projects at once; write, sweep mop the floor, water plants, contemplate resolutions to my finances, all the while feeling my nerves tighten, and even though I stretch four times a day; this crushing operatic play in life is overstrung.  I watch those Sandals vacation commercials and practically cry because how many of us haven’t had a vacation in years, or a chance to

play a round or golf or read More Magazine all the way through?



The throw of the dice this week lands on adventures in livingness; one day at a time. People with terminal illness, suffering from a shattered romance, a death of a friend, a natural disaster, always say the same thing; One day at a time.

Walking up Palace Avenue on a day spread with sunlight, and a continuum of power walkers, bikers and runners, passing by in whiffs of urgency, I took my time. I didn’t feel like flexing, just evaporating into the shadows, and the moving clouds. I walked by a little adobe, that once was a dump site for empty bottles, cartons, worn out furniture, and piles of wood. A year later, the yard is almost condominium clean. Just as I was passing the driveway, the little woman whom I’d seen walking up Palace with her bag of groceries, appeared like a gust of history in the driveway of her adobe casita. She wore her heavy blanket like coat and a bandanna on her head. Regardless of weather, she’s bundled up in the same woven Indian coat and long wool skirt. I stood next to her, a foot or so taller, and she unraveled history, without my prompting. She told me about the Martinez family, the Montoyas, and the Abeytas, all families she knew, all with streets named after them. Estelle asked me my name, and then took my hand in her weathered unyielding grip, ‘Oh I had an Aunt named Lucero, and we called her LouLou.’ She didn’t let go of my hand, and then she told me that the families, some names I’ve forgotten, bought homes on Palace in 1988 for $50,000, She shook her finger to demonstrate her point. ‘You know how many houses the Garcias bought? Five! Then they fixed them up and sold them.’

I could have stood there in the gravel driveway listening to Estelle all afternoon. She owns the oral history I love to record; but it is difficult to understand her, she talks with the speed of a southwest wind. We parted and I thought about the times in my life when the smallest of interactions elevates my spirit. In older people, who are not addicted to gadgets and distant intimacy, I’m reminded of how speed socializing has diminished the opportunity for a sidewalk chat.


Geronimo and fellow Apache Indian prisoners on...

Geronimo and fellow Apache Indian prisoners on their way to Florida by train (Photo credit: State Library and Archives of Florida)

I go to the market, and buy six  items.” Do you want a bag?” he asks? “No I’ll juggle them on my head.” At the bar at Geronimo, ‘ Do you live here,” from the man sitting next to me. Gibberish weather, and wine conversation,  then I ask what his wife does, he turns his back and talks to the woman on the other side of him.  Another night at Geronimo, a man ( high dollar Texan) buys me dinner because he thinks I’m so different.. We decide to go dancing at El Farol. I meet up with two humorous gay fellas on the porch, and while having a cigarette, the man exits and leaves without a word. At La Po, the waitress asks me, why I am staying here. I tell her because my house is rented. ” Oh, do you still own it?” she says. The front page of Pasatiempo event guide is a story, ” Are you paying too much for pot?”

A man walks up to my porch, ” Are you open?”  “No, but come in” I say and he walks around and tells me he dreamth about my red room, as the office of his character in his screenplay.

Wells Fargo is my favorite. As  soon as you walk in, a bank hostess, sings, “Welcome to Wells Fargo” and then I wait 20 minutes for a teller. After that, I spend another twenty minutes watching what the clerk is doing because they always put my business income in my personal account. La de da, if you want to live like it’s all a joke, move to Santa Fe. It will transform your rigidness into a loosely tied knot of learning how to adapt, as if you were in another country.

The plumber who is amiable fun-loving man, whose name is Tim gives me a ride to Wells Fargo so I can pay him cash. Tim lived here all his life, but he’s having trouble finding a pen, and a calendar to mark the next payment date, and then we pass Wells Fargo, and he says, is this it? I say Tim, it’s been here a long time, and he says, I got so many jobs I don’t know what’s newer than 1960.

The streets are narrow and filled with pot holes, so when a delivery truck can’t find a parking space, they pull up on the sidewalk, and over the years, the sidewalks have bubbles, cracks, and are worn down. It requires tightrope talent, and if you wear stacked heels, you’ll never make it to the corner. My heel got stuck between two bricks and I had a hellava time breaking free.