Archives for posts with tag: Los Angeles Times

by John Gardiner

Thank you for not killing me in the metal-grilled cross-hairs
of your monstrous SUV as I crossed the street

cautiously, in full view, in daylight, in the crosswalk
where I thought I had a lawful right to be
and indeed once did in a different, slower world
when I could meander and even take a peek upward
at a trail of pelicans
or outward at a glorious pod of dolphins,
but now I must deal with the likes of you
as you fight for space, wrecking the world
with anger
and the awful weight of your toys.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  John Gardiner, a teacher at the Gifted Students Academy at UC Irvine, lives in Laguna Beach, California.

Editor’s Note: “Crossing the Street in Laguna Beach” by John Gardiner was a winning entry in the recent call for Op-Ed poetry by the Los Angeles Times. Check out more of the winning poems at

Photo: Trail of pelicans

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t try to do things. You must simply do things.” RAY BRADBURY

PHOTO: Cuddles the cat finds the perfect place to eye the occupants of a goldfish tank at its home in Simi Valley, California. CREDIT: Mel Melcon, Los Angeles Times, July 9, 1997, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


“I think having land and not ruining it is the most beautiful art that anybody could ever want.” ANDY WARHOL

PHOTO: “Ross Barnett Reservoir, Mississippi” by Troy Dalmasso. Congratulations to photographer Troy Dalmasso for the above photo’s selection as a Los Angeles Times Editor’s ChoiceSummer 2012.


 “Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” 


PHOTO: “Bacoli, Italy (Naples Province)” by Adam Allegro. Congratulations to photographer Adam Allegro for the above photo’s selection as a Los Angeles Times Editor’s Choice, Summer 2012.


During the final four years of his life, Henry Miller wrote more than 1,500 love letters (over 4,000 pages!) to his muse, a beautiful Native American actress named Brenda Venus. Originally published by Morrow in 1986 — six years after Miller’s death — the voluminous correspondence was edited into an approximately 200-page book, with commentary by Venus. When it came out, the book received rave reviews, including a sensitive, insightful analysis by Noel Young in the L.A. Times (2/2/1986). Here is an excerpt:

Henry Miller’s death in 1980 brought an end to one of the most extraordinary romances ever conceived, coming as it did from the impassioned mind of a man nearly 90, admittedly a physical ruin, and the good graces of a young actress, aptly named Brenda Venus, in the prime of her life. For Miller, it was love at first sight, kindling an ardor that kept him alive for four more years. He did what he did best — he wrote; and he laid it all on the line in more than 1,000 letters from which this volume is drawn.

An ordinary man, blind in one eye and partially paralyzed, might have taken to bed and wasted away, but not Henry Miller. Instead, he fell hopelessly, shamelessly in love and spilled it out in letters to his dear Brenda, wallowing in a euphoria that lasted to his end. He worked himself into a lather, at least on paper, and lived for those Thursday nights when she appeared at his door, took him by his arm and drove him to dinner at his favorite Japanese restaurant in the Hollywood Hills. One stormy night, to spare him hobbling through the puddles in the parking lot, she simply picked him up and carried him upstairs to the entrance. He accepted this with aplomb and a jaunty smile.”

Dear, Dear Brenda by Henry Miller (with text by Brenda Venus, edited by Gerald S. Sindell with an introduction by Lawrence Durell) is available at here.

Find out more about the fascinating Brenda Venus at her website,


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go.” DR. SEUSS

Photo by Richard Koci Hernandez, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

I just read a terrific article in the L.A. Times about master photographer Richard Koci Hernandez — find the entire article (with amazing photos) here. Koci lives and breathes photography — and it shows in his incandescent photographs. The most amazing part of the story, to me at least, is that these days Koci shoots exclusively on an iPhone!

In the L.A. Times article, Koci also explains how he selects quotations (such as the one from Dr. Seuss above) to accompany his photos.

I was intrigued by the idea of finding and attaching meaningful quotes as another element to my work. Cutting my teeth in journalism taught me that there is great synergy between words and pictures.  I’m always looking to the words of great men and women to inspire me in my daily life…I figured if the image doesn’t speak to you, then maybe the words will, and if I’m lucky, they’ll both complement each other and create something unique.”

For someone who loves photography (and marrying photos with quotations) as much as I do, Koci’s photographs are bread for the soul. Learn more about the multi-gifted Richard Koci Hernandez at his website.