Last Friday, Tom died. He was a poet of critical intensity, alive to the possibilities of language. Given the man's intellectual courage, there was something beyond the pale about the work. He got the game too clearly and said so.
Billy Collins said he was a lyric imp. Well, I suppose. There should be no mistake, though: the play led to serious ends. The work mattered and, and times, bit with bright incisors.
I'd corresponded with Tom for a number of years. He was a dear friend and a mentor. I wish I'd had the chance to sit and talk with him in person. I can't overestimate the importance of his friendship. In writing, he'll remain the first reader in my mind.
All my love and thoughts are with Angelica, who shared life with Tom for fifty years.