It's been a long and especially hot summer. Hard work and personal setbacks--but this cooled head has prevailed. I've watched people die in my life, but so many people have slipped into the Great Mystery this summer, people I knew personally, people I knew professionally--and people I didn't know at all.
It started earlier this month with the death of a good friend's other half, the father of her child--very sudden and way too young to exit. RIP Andre Botta, the Great Saint of the East to the West.
Scott Wannberg, the legendary poet of the Southern California variety followed soon after. Unfortunately, I had no personal connections with Mr. Wannberg, but there are many in my growing network of writers who did. I've been on a marathon reading of the work available online that he contributed to the world, as well as the blogs attesting to his genius and amazing warmth--a giant of the small press. He was indeed a genius. I plan on buying every book of his that I can, and of course you certainly should, too. His poetry is something so incredible and moving to savor--fiercely eloquent, exciting, poignant and brilliant. Man, I wished I had contacted him and told him so! I recently wrote an elegy for Warren Zevon, and lo and behold--an elegy for him from Scott Wannberg in plain sight here online that blew away my monster stanzas of meager interest into the eye of the staggering hurricane of his brief and heart stopping words. The best I can do is continue to read his work, and support the writers living who are just as wonderful. And work on an elegy for him. And work on my Zevon poem--Scott's was beyond anything to surpass, as is all of his work. RIP Scott Wannberg, a titan of written expression.
If that wasn't enough, Mr. Nobius Black, aka Matt Evelsizer, passed on. He was an incredibly charming and generous editor, publishing some of my earliest stutters as a poet on his literary weblog Calliope Nerve. We exchanged pleasantries regarding that occasion--a really nice guy. I told him how much I admired his prodigious output and my admiration for his work. He was gone three weeks after that exchange, even before my wee poem appeared in his publication. The best that can be done in the wake of his death is to support the small press, the literary underground. My thoughts go out to his family, his friends and his legion of fans. RIP, Matt.