Saturday, March 12, 2005

Philip Lamantia

Philip died on March 10, 2005.

He was an incredible man, poet, and friend. I'll always recollect the times I spent in his presence listening to his fascinating stories spinning around the room. Philip, myself, Andrew Joron, Garrett Caples, and Jeff Clark (and sometimes a host of others!) spent many many hours talking, reading poems, drinking Philip's beloved pear cider--often not getting home until the wee hours. I think Garrett would often attend early morning mass with Philip, while the rest of us unbelievers would go home. The last time I saw him, on the corner of 24th and Fair Oaks Street in San Francisco, he hugged me goodbye (I was on the way to Thailand) and palmed me $50. "Here, I think you'll need this..." And I did! Sometime after I left Philip sunk back into one of his depressions and rarely left home, or spoke to anyone. The silent mystic with his books, poems, and cigarettes in his North Beach apartment. He was a poet-seer, the one on a quest for the marvelous, writing his poems in Tangier, Mexico, hiking about Europe; publishing here and there, avoiding the spotlight.

Last night Nan and I read several of his works and drank a bottle of Italian red wine in his memory.

Jeff has made a memorial to Philip here:


Post a Comment

<< Home