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September 29, 2013


Thanks, Doug. It's all your fault.

Poetry speaks to all of us in a special way. Jamie MacInnis poems are true and wonderful.

Thanks for this. For some reason I seem to recall her being close friends with Jane Bliss Nodlund, but I could be mixed up..

Thanks, Susie. But who is Jane Bliss Nodlund?

Thank u so much for this. I've always been so curious about her & what her poems were like. What a sweet surprise. L, Dana

Thanks, Dana. It's actually a nice surprise to me that you were even aware of her.

I'm joining the chorus. (Or should I be joining the choir?) This is a truly graceful piece, a lovely think. Was it Ezra Pound who said, "Art must make the difficult seem easy." That's what you do, Terence.

Bill: Same to you, only double, as my friend Will would say.

For those of us who knew Jamie Macinnis in San Francisco in the 1980s, she remains a star. Her style seemed effortless, and probably was. The telling remark, in a poem quoted here, about the damage drugs do to dreams, is an example of how simply such devastation can be described, and was understood by her. That she may still be alive is a wonder.

Thanks, Lewis, and thanks too for your book. I just got off the phone with the librarian at the Jamie A. MacInnis Memorial Library at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco, having called there wondering if somehow Jamie had wound up as a librarian. But it seems that "Jamie A. MacInnis" (also a poet) died in 2007 at ca. age 50, so they are not connected. How many SF poets named Jamie MacInnis could there be?

Thanks Terence for this excellent post and dialogue--there is jazz to spare and then some.

Lovely weave of words and pictures, Terry. Thanks as always.

Are you still there? Curious in San Rafaael

If you mean me---yes, I'm still around. I suspect Jamie is no longer with us.

Hi. I wonder if you know where to get a copy of Jamie's books? I never knew her, but know many people who knew her intimately, including her former sister in law. I love what I've read of hers and want to read more. Thanks.

I imagine that copies of "Practicing" must sometimes come available in the rare book marketplace. You'd just have to search Amazon, ABC books et al. Checking just now, I see that the Electronic Poetry Center does not seem to have the PDF of the book on the site. Too bad. Larry Fagin, who probably would have known where to look, has passed away since I put up this post. Sorry I can't be of more help.

She actually is! With us. Not with me. But alive, and in touch with folks.

I'm very happy to hear this. If you are in contact with her,
please tell her that I said hello.

I knew Jamie & her family well. she lived with me for a time & wrote my name in glitter & glue on an old family piece of furniture of ours which I still have & see every day.

Jane--- Thanks for your comment. When did you know Jamie, and do you know what eventually became of her?

Jamie & Her Daughter lived with me in my parents house in San Francisco at different times in the 1980's-90's. I loved her, a brilliant tragic figure. her daughter too. I believe Jamie has passed. I spent a lot of time with her & know much more than anyone should be privy to. so sad. I hate knowing what I will never be able to forget. seeing the pictures above brought me to tears. what a life she endured here on this spinning granite planet. I hope her spirit is at peace.

James---Thanks for this information. I've always regretted that Jamie seemed to have disappeared from the literary landscape. She was a really good poet. My friend David Beaudouin also emailed me today to say that he thinks he found a current location for her in Oakland. If she is still alive, it would be great if someone could contact her, do an interview, etc.

I 'll never forget Jamie's warm, communicate presence Jamie dedicated "Practicing" to me when I was living at the Piano Factory in Boston, a treasured book.

Thanks for your comment. 

Coming upon this ten years late and wondering what difference time has made. I knew Jamie and loved being in her presence, so focused on listening, so clear in responding. I once visited her brief apartment on 4th street and Ave A in NYC, in the late 70s. I remember standing in the bathroom, admiring, with her, the grand walk-in shower with glass door, with the one inch octagonal tiles so common to NY and in DiRoberti's cafe many of us frequented. Jamie was so preciously centered on the core of people and spoke to many of us in her poems one-on-one. Thank you for this.

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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

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