Monday, August 27, 2007

Today was just not a good day. Carrying over from yesterday, I had a number of insults thrown at me from Ange Minko (sp?) of the infamous Harriet Blog (Poetry Foundation). Who knew that poets of some stance could be so mean and illogical.

Jeff and I saw a guy smoking crack on our street in the middle of the day.

Some ten year old thugs at the park relentlessly rode their bikes around me, calling me retard after I (stupidly) told them to watch their language in the children's park.

Mary Higgins died. This, of course, puts it all in perspective.

I like to say (cliche?) that when a poet dies a star goes out. I think the world needs as many poets as possible. & it really needed Mary. Mary was a poet, not nearly celebrated enough, who was relentlessly talented and interesting. More than that, she was kind. She was soft-spoken and always compassionate. She took her illness calmly and bravely. I remember how wonderful she was at the reading (two?) years ago at Columbia with Charles Bermstein. They were thrilled to have her; she was thrilled to be there. Mary did not take any successes for granted. Even though she was deserving always, she had no airs about her. She was always gracious and grateful to be in the poetry world.

Mary later told me that before reading she had been diagnosed as 'terminal' and decided to keep it private. She said that she later questioned her decision. But, she told me that she wanted the reading to go well and she didn't want to elicit pity. She had a wonderful time in New York. Even in our last conversation, she expressed gratitude to my dad for introducing her to the Language Poets. She told me numerous times that he had helped her find her true voice.

I loved Mary. There is no way a person could not. It is odd that her "friend," our mentor and friend Gene Frumkin died less than a year ago. All I know is there are two less lights in the high desert tonight.

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