In a piece, a prose poem titled "The Library," Morton Marcus writes, "When I die I will be a book on a shelf in the library, and this notion doesn't bother me. I look forward to leaning against Melville and Montagine, and I can't wait to stand in the ranks..."
Saturday we attended Mort's Memorial at Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA, where he taught for 30 years... profound sense of loss, outpouring of emotion... An extraordinary event and extraordinary, too, was that sense of Mort as impressario, poet as magician... Mort with a magic flute... overseeing it all... it was as if Mort was hosting his own funeral and, following that, the wake... in the last weeks of his life, dying of renal cancer, dealing with the pain and the one or two good hours a day left to him he managed to function, he put together the program, invited the various speakers and performers (George Ow, Jr., Sandy Lydon, poet Joe Stroud, Kirby Wilkins... musician John Walther, artist James Aschbacher and writer Lisa Jensen, poets Gary Young and Stephen Kessler, Leonard Gardner and Jack Marshall, California Poet Laureate Al Young and Mark Ong, San Francisco author and book designer...).
The word _gravitas_ comes to mind, that, and bravery, facing one's death and preparing at the same time to mount a celebration. Yeah, Mort had more than the usual amount of vitality and appetite for life... an impressario, he knew how to make an entrance, and he knew how to make a departure.
Causes Robert Sward Supports
Audubon Society, National Geographic, "Green," the Environment, SPCA...