Saturday, April 18, 2015

Fishtown Remembered

The last time I saw Tim McNulty was about ten years ago. He's the poet from Port Townsend...... We had dinner together at the El Jinete in Anacortes and we were both broke -- what I mean by broke is that I wanted to pay for his dinner, and he wanted to pay for my dinner, but neither one of us had enough money, so we split the check -- it was so sad. We just sat there staring at the check, unable to make the manly gesture of picking it up, then slowly removing our wallets and with embarrassment agreeing on a shared total plus tips for the service. So sad, the wages of poetry.

I haven't seen him since, although we are in email contact....

Fishtown --  begun by poets and finished by lawyers, founded in stillness, ending in drama.....

I have insisted all along that the end of Fishtown -- the end of anything worthwhile -- is as important as the beginning.

If there is no ending there is no beginning. The beginning of Fishtown was poetry of great clarity and stillness. The ending of Fishtown was a lawsuit, a civil trial, a raucous demonstration, a dramatic conflict, and a final crushing destruction of old bones and boards, and the eviction and exile of humble folks....The beginning  was the seed of all this. The escape from drama came round and became itself  the drama. It will always be a mystery.

A librarian at Western Washington University is making a collection of Fishtown writings. You can view it here.

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