Miller Time

Better Than TV

UNITED STATES—I have it easy now as this memoir progresses: the diary picks up, following the finish of my screenplay. “The Persecuted” is on its way to my screenwriter friend who is a big shot now and fame and fortune is about to roll my way. January 30, 1990 makes mention of a Mr. Stokely Reed, a record producer,...

The Last Payphone (2)

UNITED STATES—"Hello," she called out. She was in front of another body shop not 30 yards away from the first, with its yard of wounded cars. They were wounded, but they were the best makes, and their owners demanded perfection. In contrast stood what had been a payphone on the corner. Danielle was old enough to remember, but for the...

Opinions

UNITED STATES—I used to be jealous of opinions because I was around people who were so fluent in opinions. I took it as a sign of their intelligence. They knew French fries were only good when eaten warm, or I should change my 666 phone prefix because the diabolical connotations may prevent some people from calling me. These things...

Last Man Sitting Still

UNITED STATES—The baristas gave their all and infused the place with their own personalities, actresses, dancers, mystics, animal trainers and even a 15-year-old from the hood, who later came back after college for another stint. Yevgen was the first manager, 18 years old, and future trader in classic sports cars. One of the baristas, Amy, besides being a dancer...

Arrival In Madrid

UNITED STATES—Finally, just after nine in the hot clear morning, the bus curled around the overpass to the housing development 50 kilometers north of Madrid, where I'd spent two wondrous days. It left Fernando free to go back to his chores and Carmen and I were off to the city, passing through a number of smaller cities and developments....

Oh Well

UNITED STATES—During one of the breaks at the Census Office, I’d go around the corner of Manchester and read the National Enquirer. One week it broke the news that Tony Perkins was dying of AIDS and the story mentioned that he had turned very devout, conspicuously attending church in Beverly Hills with his family. Part of what struck a chord...

Nostalgic

UNITED STATES—Lovely event at the library in Echo Park last Friday. The poet Patricio Maya gave the first of three Friday talks devoted to his poetic influences. The endearing Borges, the Whitmanesque Pablo Neruda were featured, and I got to read a couple translations, as well. So we left the event walking on a cloud, taking some pictures with the...

Almond Joy

UNITED STATES—“Just trying to help you guys,” Reed retorted to the manager who had squirreled him into a kitchen that from the looks of things would be lucky to get a C- health rating. “I’ve never seen so many people here. I tried to get research fresh and reliable, but the most I could find were some old dog-eared...

Kaminsky’s Tale

UNITED STATES—Peet Boggs, the film historian and schnorrer manqué, interviewed filmmaker Jules Kaminsky many times starting in the mid-70s. The two first met when Boggs had a part as a scrub pine in Kaminsky’s long-awaited masterpiece, “Masterpiece.”  In the lore of unfinished film, this work is a holy grail, occupying a place equaled perhaps only by Orson Welles’, “The...

Miriam

UNITED STATES—A striking invitation was sent out by Miriam, the girlfriend of Dave America who engineered the trip to Madrid to present our bilingual anthology, "80 mph." When we arrived at the literary bar in the Malasana neighborhood Thursday night, we were greeted by a mood different from that which met us at Tuesday night's story reading. The place...
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