Brian Doyle is dead.
My heart aches to hear such news.
Probably not as much as the hearts of his immediate family and those closest to him. Condolences and love to those he has left behind.
Portland author Brian Doyle left the planet recently at age 60.
I did not know him personally but I have read a few of his words in such beautiful books as Mink River, The Plover, The Thorny Grace of It. To open one his books was to be bathed, tickled and sung to with words. Words set up as complicated traps for the mind and heart, the lure: humor, the human condition observed-words bending like a gymnast.
I was first introduced to Brian Doyle in his book Mink River, it was not an instant love affair. His long descriptive sentences demanded me to get on board and breathe deep the world that he created and ride the waves of lush wordsmithery. This required attention. I was lazy. His words made me want to stop being lazy. I wanted to see how he would describe moving water or birds circling or a woman looking at a tree. His writing made me hungry.
Until next time, be well and write poetry in the medium of your choice for the living and the dead.
Poem for Brian Doyle
When poets die
italics slump with the heaviness of loss
while the empty page weights
until the empty page waits
for the pounce of a printer
for the scratch of a pencil
for the caress of pen
backs of business cards cry out
notebooks and notepads rock back and forth reciting prayers
When poets die
my heart craves their yarn
my tongue thirst for their cadence on my lips
my heart seeks that simple line that took 5 years
to tell the truth
When poets die, I cling to their arms and legs: