in maple leaf dropping season.
Multiple organ failure
as the body cancels itself
and you Barry with it. You won’t
need a spleen where you're going.
“The imagined real place”
where there is no beer
& no nothing
to try & drink away.
You wanted to tell us something
something of your live off
potatoes genetics & prairie
ignorance of blunt men &
How now yr not consumed by age
but rage maybe —
a cancel culture casualty.
“You killed him! You killed him.
in your rancid prairie poncho,
hijo de puta!” we might say if we unleash
the Rexroth in us..
Another maple leaf falls
& you watch it writhe
& twist in the no October
Barry you were
just a boy
back then hearing
your dad’s drunk threat to
god damn house down”
& how what paternal words shape a
maple leaf’s descent. How death’s
no vale but a folding in space without wind.
Fred and love at 1 cent a mile
& Barry (you) as one other fall
No more Hemet winters
no more four day beer benders
just watch a master poet’s life
at it whizzes past your eyelids
better than you remembered it.
Trading 8ths in Calgary
w/ Joni Mitchell
(nee Anderson) in the room
the Depression Coffeehouse w/ her
capo & guitar.
Laughing at the Creeley
gig in PG, yes was you
got him there, you
who plopped poetry into the
pulp mills & sawdust,
log trucks & chokecherries
somehow not knowing
how your days’d end
in the ICU, heart, spleen,
liver, guts all with ENOUGH
of this bitter illusion.
In the unknown somewhere
we take the rain / our future
Without you dear truth teacher.
Dear canceled poet.
Larry said poetry: “is the mind
already in the afterlife.” Of course
you beat us there.
Paul E Nelson
Casa del Colibrí
Poet & interviewer Paul E.
Nelson is the son of a labor activist father and Cuban immigrant mother.
Born on Chicago’s west side in 1961, he’s lived in King County since 1988 where
he founded the Cascadia Poetics LAB & the Cascadia Poetry Festival. Since
1993, CPL has produced hundreds of poetry events & 700 hours of interview
programming with legendary poets, indigenous leaders & whole systems
activists. Paul’s books include Haibun de la Serna, A Time Before
Slaughter/Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia, American Prophets
(interviews 1994-2012), American Sentences, A Time Before
Slaughter and Organic in Cascadia: A Sequence of Energies. Co-Editor
of Cascadian Zen Volume I: bioregional writings on Cascadia here and Now,
Make It True: Poetry From Cascadia, 56 Days of August: Poetry
Postcards, Samthology: A Tribute to Sam Hamill, Make it True
meets Medusario (Spanish y English) he serves as Literary Executor for the
late poet Sam Hamill and lives in Rainier Beach, in the Cascadia bioregion’s
Cedar River watershed.
See at 2015 interview he did with Barry McKinnon here. See rob mclennan's obituary for McKinnon here.