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March 01, 2021

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Love this poem. Pocket dialing can be unexpected surprise.

"My Dad is gone / but still on the phone": I have a phone machine cassette recording of my mother leaving a long message for me. It is by no means a "butt dial," but a concerted reaching out not long after my dad died. She was feeling lonely and in distress. I called back not to assure her with my voice but to assure her by only listening, which is what she wanted most of all. I had no way of retaining that exchange except through the sharp prod of memory. If dementia is in the cards for me in the future, it will have one helluva fight with that most tenderly stubborn of memories. Some forms of expressed dolor deserve quiet preserving.

Thanks for posting this poem, Terence. And thanks to Chris Mason for composing it.

So grateful for this Chris Mason poem! And for The Tinklers at Folkal Point! (I just uncorrected "Thinklers for Tinklers -- not because it doesn't pertain.) Warm best, Joan R

Wonderful poem. REsonates with me deeply. I still have on my phone a message I texted Steve as he lay on what I soon learned was his death gurney. I mean I knew I couldn't speak or phone him, so I texted him to let him know I was there. Made perfect sense to me at the time. Thanks, Chris, for writing the poem. Also, thanks, Terry--you may not believe this, but I really didn't quite realize the extent of Chris' music career.

A wonderful poem of connection with folks we love both living and gone.


I'm glad you liked it. Chris is an old friend & one of my favorite poets.

Thanks, Earle, for sharing that.


Thanks for the comment, Joan.
The Thinklers--I love that name. May have to start another band.


Thanks, Clarinda. Chris is full of surprises.

chris mason has been one of my favorite poets since I first read him in the 1970s, and for me he never disappoints. Thank you for sharing this example of his unique genius, terence...


You're welcome, mo chara. And I share your take on Chris.

The always fabulous Chris Mason -- thank you again. Love and the Tinklers!

Eileen, Earle, Joan, Maureen, Michael, Clarinda, Terence, Diane,thank you for your kind words! It's really an honor to be on this site where so many great poets have appeared.

Chris Mason covers so much time and space. This poem reminds me of Ron Padgett's here recently: lots of use of space and breaks to well up feelings. Because it's 2021, I like to think that "We are proud of the/ young man you have become" was addressed to Chris' sister, and that Chris is now a little girl.
I'm really so grateful for Something Something Morning; it's an inspiration right now.

PS I have examined this photo carefully and am unable to find a pick anywhere in it. So much for the Pick of the Week, Best American Poetry.

Thanks you for the comment, Bernard.
(It's finger-picking of the week.)

Thank you Bernard, especially for the 2021 interpretation!

It's so wonderful to see Chris again. His hair still red. " We are proud of the young man Chris has become." For sure.

Great to hear from you, Grace! Congratulations on being named poet laureate of MD!

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