I've just learned that a favorite poet of mine, Dean Young, is in need of a heart transplant. I learned of Dean's work in 2002 when I bought this book, Skid (Pitt Poetry Series) and loved it. I've never met him in person or heard him read, but it's funny how you feel close to poets whose books you love.
Needing (and asking) for help can be tough to do, but his friend, poet Tony Hoagland (author of What Narcissism Means to Me and Donkey Gospel) wrote a heartfelt letter for Dean sharing what we can do to help if you'd like to know more: click on this link.
And then I learned of this blog, by Dean Young's nephew, Seth Pollins. Another touching letter and info on where to write Dean directly if you feel so inclined.
I don't have much to add to this, but just wanted to share the info with you if you haven't heard. And to share a poem by Dean Young, from the Poetry Foundation:
What will be served for our reception
in the devastation? Finger food, of course
and white wine, something printed on the napkins.
We were not children together
but we are now. Every bird knows
only two notes constantly rearranged.
That’s called forever so we wear pajamas
to the practice funeral, buckeroos
to the end. We make paper hats
of headlines and float them away.
My home made of smoke,
tiny spider made of punctuation,
my favorite poem is cinder
scratched into a sidewalk.
My friend’s becoming the simplest man,
he sees a lesson in everything,
in missing his train,
in his son hollering from the ﬁrst branch,
Dad, guess where I am.
I was with him for my ﬁrst magpies,
governmental and acting like hell.
And the new nickel
with Washington hard to recognize.
We’d driven by a Rabbit flattened
by an upset truck, jars of Miracle Whip
broken over the toll road in heavy snow.
We watched an old lady
eat a hot dog in a bun
with a knife and fork.
A few emeralds winged off
a fruit leaf.
What happens when your head splits open
and the bird flies out, its two notes deranged?
You got better, I got better,
wildflowers rimmed the crater,
glitter glitter glitter.
We knew someone whose father died
then we knew ourselves.
thief, a tombstone salesman.
All our vacations went to the sea
that breathed two times a day
without a machine.
We got in trouble with a raft
doing what we promised not to.
Further out to be brought further back.
There’s my friend in his squashed hat
trying to determine if a dot
is a living thing and do no harm.
He’s having trouble remembering street names
but there’s still plenty of Thoreau.
All that a human is made of is gold,
very very little gold.