I am a frequent buyer at Value village. For more than 15 years I have been buying English and Japanese tea cups, records of progressive music and Americana , North European sweaters that today have become hipster Christmas uniforms, damask pochettes, unfinished clay and papier mache’ sculptures, African wooden masks, faded autographed paintings ( alas how many artists toss their faded canvas) and art books and old poetry books.
An history of Canadian painting, bios of musicians, vintage philosophy books, Canadian thinkers. Three books of poetry from the same publishing house interest me more that the rest of the books hastily thrown in the section literature. I am expecting to find my books soon or later at Value village. Somebody could have bought them and got rid of them.
A few weeks ago the publisher of Mansfield press told me that one of his poets called him, he was dying of cancer and asked him to publish his latest collection of poetry to be sold at his funeral.
One week ago he whispered to me that the poet was dead before the book could be published. I was crushed. I am always crushed by the news when people die of cancer. An artist has staged his funeral as his last installation. He just died two days ago.
When a poet dies I think always of Garcia Lorca. The death of a poet brings with itself a dark time, the turning off of a light in the room of human feelings.
An incommensurable loss for the people, for the nations.
A poet is dead! One wonders if the announcement is bouncing from window to window, from balcony to balcony, from bell to bell. Like when Lorca died.
Matt Santateresa is dead. His collection ” A beggar’s loom” was one of the three books sitting on the shelf of the second hand books at Value village. I bought Santateresa’s book and I started reading it.
And this time while reading his poems I ask myself questions that I don’t usually ask. Matt when did you write the first poem?
You can see how your poems talk about foreigness, how the poet is foreigner to his poems, to the narrative, to the style.
When did you write the first poem?
Why did you write a poem? Why writing?
The collection is solid. Matt Santateresa like all teachers likes words and the episodic history of characters.
I hope that poetry was of relief…of respite to your pain?