Before every one of his monthly poetry readings at the Social Justice Center in Albany, N.Y. host poet, Dan Wilcox, reads a piece by a gone poet who could not be there with us. The list of gone poets seems to be growing exponentially of late as poet, professor, Harry Staley died over the Summer, as did Paul Pines, and most recently, Don Lev.
Dan sent me two short poems about our mutual friend Paul Pines which I will include below. Paul was a good friend, a prolific and insightful poet, an insightful memoirist, a devoted husband and father, a Jungian psychotherapist, and a bartender who owned a club, the Tin Angel, that Dan used to frequent when he lived in New York , a club famous for its jazz. Paul moved upstate over thirty years ago where he lived and worked and organized the annual, well regarded by all, Lake George Jazz Weekend.
To know Don Lev was to love him. One of his many books of poetry referred to Don as A Very Funny Fellow. This self-stylization was as good a summary of a man who was a garrulous, amusing, wise man with deep New York roots that transferred well to a more peaceful life upstate.
Every December Dan reads a poem written by Don’s wife Enid Dame , an emotional tribute, that never fails to move. The list of gone poets grows and we shall miss them all.
THE CONFUSION OF THE ATTIC
Reading about unemployed
Platonists in Paul Pine’s poetry
I wonder if my old copy of
the Modern Library Plato
is in the attic. But when I
ascend into the heat, I find only
plastic forms, odd extruders &
some dried up pieces of Play Doh.
for Paul Pines
In my dream
I tell someone
that a small
into the poems
is a portrait
of the poet, then
try to find it before
the dream fades.
Although Dan Wilcox once worked as a dishwasher & as a short-order cook, he has never driven a cab. For most of his career he worked as bureaucrat. Currently he organizes poetry events in Albany, NY & is an active member of Veterans For Peace. You can read his Blog at dwlcx.blogspot.com
Elegy for Don
He drove cabs in NYC
Wrote poems with his wife, Enid
Edited a small press mag called Home Planet News
Had a cameo as “the poet” in Putney Swope
Moved upstate after his wife died
Liked a glass or two or three of red wine
A fine meal
Mourned his wife for ten plus years
Don Lev was A Very Funny Fellow
As his book title said...
Another poet gone