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December 03, 2020

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I love the poem, Terence (and may write a poem called "Terence and the Pirates"). Tim Dlugos was a wonderful poet, whose death was a great and tragic loss. He was also a very sweet guy and I have fond memories of meeting him and Donald Britton for drinks and dish.

Yes, lovely poem, Terence. Tim continues to make an indelible impression with his fine work, and it is always good to be reminded of the cherishable man himself. I can picture every scene in your poem--right and true.

And I know how fondly Tim and Donald both thought of you, David Lehman.
I'm so honored to be cited in this dream. I think Tim would have found "Bernardie" pretty funny. I remember one night telling Tim I couldn't possibly make a reputation as a writer because I have a ridiculous name, and Tim answered--almost gasping with pleasure--"But it's a **won**derful name . . . BERnerd Welt!"
I remember Tim getting me my first NYC reading (Ear Inn) and staying at his apartment on the top floor of Kenward Elmslie's house. I remember driving from New York to Calais VT in Tim's car, and writing a play together on the way. At the end of the weekend, we read it for Kenward and Joe Brainard in the gazebo of the Calais house. Tim introduced me to a lot of other people, too, because he knew *ev*erybody. He was so social that you could forget that he was scribbling away at new poems all the time. I reread him more than any other writer.

honored to be in any poem that includes Tim and Bernard, and any poem written by you Terence, so feeling like a very lucky guy though tinged with nostalgia for being with Tim in the still alive realm...one story about Tim, in around 1979 I got my only 9to5 gig (I only lasted under two years) and only office gig working for The Franklin Library editing and writing various ancillary lit to their "great books" etc. and felt so overwhelmed and high pressure to successfully do a job I thought I didn't know how to do I closed my (corner!) office door and called Tim to tell him I had chest pains and thought I was having a heart attack, he asked me to describe the symptoms and then said "Oh Michael, you're having a *PAN*ic at*TACK, I have them *ALL* the time, sometimes several in one *DAY*!" (adopted Bernie's, whoops Bernard's caps and asterisks there for Tim's word rhythms) He made me laugh and the attack was over. He was the most supportive friend you could have, but could also cut through your (my) crap with a quip or ingithful observation that was always, well mostly always, accurate and needed...

insightful

Thanks for "The Next Best Thing." For those of us who knew Tim-- even modestly knew him-- the poem's a rush of people and places that made DC an epicenter for poetry. Tim was one of the gifted ones to go, following Chasen Gaver, Essex Hemphill, and so many more. In his wry compassionate voice, Terence Winch puts history in its place, right smack within us.


Thanks, David. I'm glad you got to know Tim.


Thanks, Beth. Tim was a unique soul. I don't think most people live on so vividly as he has.

Yes---he was alive to everything. (What became of the play you wrote together?)

Thanks, Michael. I think my happiest Tim experience was when you and I, & Ed Cox and Tim hit the road for a reading tour in the early '70s. As I recall, we read in Philly & Boston. But we must have found someplace in New York to read as well. I remember the car broke down in some sketchy neighborhood, but we somehow managed to get it fixed and get ourselves out.


Grace---thanks so much for your comment.

Yes. Thanks for this, Terence. Also thanks for allowing me to revisit the poem by Tim that once broke my heart and then helped to heal it, as discussed in these very pages: https://blog.bestamericanpoetry.com/the_best_american_poetry/2008/08/this-is-the-int.html

Thanks so much for this, Moira. That is indeed a beautiful sonnet by Tim---
perfect, really.

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