Jul 042010

Memorial reading for Jack Myers last night. I spent 10 days with Jack, twice a year, for over a dozen years, but I didn’t know Jack as long as some faculty members (30-20 years), and Mark Cox was with him over the last days. It was lovely, sad, and poignant to be with his friends and hear his words and sit there leafing through my mind for my own memories. Among others: the Tang Night all-male faculty ritual Chinese buffet pig outs with Jack, Mark, Syd Lea, Walter Wetherell, Francois Camoin, and others; long evenings in Noble Hall dorm rooms with Jack and Mark sneaking cigars by the window and the vivid witty talk flowing; the night Jack talked about the Buddhist idea (I think I remember this right) of the little self that is the needy, compulsive, selfish side always tripping up the larger aspirations of the better self (I’ve thought about this a lot in life); the day he got me to start reading James Hillman, lending me his copy of one of the books; the crisp white shirts he often wore to readings; his scalpel like poems and pool-playing; and more. It was something, last night, hearing Jack’s poems and then Mark’s simple eloquent rehearsal of the last days of an old friend.


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