Sunday, December 6, 2015

Steve Clark Dec16015

Walking another friend into the mystery

ANACORTES … I couldn’t fly out until two weeks after the news that death was imminent. Steve had been my outrageously mischievous roustabout writer friend in San Francisco during the wild Sixties & Seventies. My gumbah … By the time I arrived at his Fidalgo Island home, he was close. I took his hand as he lay weak in his living room bed. His filmy eyes and pale grimace (with his signature roguish mustache) revealed just a spark of what our friendship had meant to both of us. He spoke in whispers. I made out the first sentence. But the rest was unintelligible. I pretended to understand. Responded vaguely. And then I kissed his hand … Being with a friend in home hospice, as his family cares for him, like the invalid he is, is a beautiful thing. I watched as several of his many friends filed through, seeking that exuberant spirit that had left him, though its aura infuses our memories still. Our lives … Steve passed the day before Thanksgiving, surrounded by family. A few hours after I had taken a turn watching him, as he slept in a living room of fresh flowers and small birds pirouetting around the feeder outside the east window, where the sun warmed his dying face. Almost Thanksgiving, I was filled with great thanks for his presence in my life. And yet it was a deep sadness to see one so vibrant humbled in death’s throes … Dying is a paradox. Almost incomprehensible. And yet so ultimately human. As we all journey from the high hopes of birth, adolescence and (if we’re lucky) adulthood to the inevitable grip of our going. A long and yet brief journey, mimicking the universe we live in. Poetry of the light and the dark.

BUDADA … Got to attend a publication party recently for Uncompaghre Plateau hermit sage and Western Slope dean-of-poets Jack Mueller’s long-awaited manifesto, Budada – from Lithic Press of Fruita. The book’s a brilliant litany writ in alternating currents of unraveling paradox and spear-point wisdom, striking home. Mueller grinds the pure godseye bean of the Buddha with the sugar-coated literary ferment of Dada. And brews up the Real Jack of all aces, asses & assassins, Budada!

SHROOM ALERT … I got to spend most of my time in Washington State with my old friend and part-time Norwood resident Jim Rosenthal and his gentle poet wife Carol Anne Modena of Port Townsend … They have a stellar Farmer’s Market in PT where locally grown and wildcrafted mushrooms are sold. While our local season has long gone, theirs is just now wrapping up. So, I was able to purchase three unique edibles I’ve always wanted to try – the Cauliflower mushroom (Sparassis genus, probably radicata species), the Lion’s Mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus – known in some circles as the Pom Pom mushroom), and winter chanterelles (Craterellus tubaeformis, formerly Cantherellus, but recently changed after DNA analysis) … I cooked all three (separately) in butter. Attentive to each’s sauté. The result -- for five us at a PT dinner -- were three gourmet tidbits, each bursting with flavor, all tasty. Each mushroom had its champion. But I thought the Hericium sported a marvelously unique taste.

BERNALILLO … When I was down in New Mexico for Quivira’s annual meeting couple months back, I got to perform at the Range Café poetry series run by dedicated activist/organizer poet friend Bill Nevins of Albuquerque, who read in Telluride back in September … The grand old man of New Mexico performance poetry Larry Goodell of Placitas joined us, sprouting three new books of poetry from the fertile garden of his vast creative spirit … It was a diverse reading from what clearly was a strong community of poets, all welcoming each other’s work. Highly recommended.

CENTENNIAL … It’s just now a hundred years ago that Einstein solved the Orbit of Mercury Problem of Newtonian physics. He changed our world and how we see ourselves in the universe … Science News, my lay touchstone for the latest news on scientific concepts, did a great issue on it. If you want to delve into the mysteries of our space/time continuum, no better place than here <>.

POTPOURRI … Hiked the beautiful driftwood beach at Fort Flager where the state park campground looks across to the munitions loading crane at Indian Island Naval Magazine. Makes one realize the Pacific Rim edge of the Pacific Northwest is our first line of Asian defense … Took the half-hour Washington State ferry that cost money to use, instead of multiple free highways that took four hours to get to the same place. Seemed a fair trade.



His a high throne on
my refrigerator pantheon
since he moved off
to the San Juan Islands

as I had moved off
to the San Juan Mountains
& Goodgoddess! by John
I’ve missed him

my backwoods
badass buddy
Ace hiker. Lover
of soft curves &

everything wild. Earth
defender. One of
those great teachers
who made more than

a difference. Ecstatic
writer & storyteller
Mimic. Glummick.
Wisecracking jokester

Avid liver of what’s
given us to live
McRedeye sez,

isn’t that life enough?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know your thoughts