Paul Pines
from an e-mail to the editor

Remembering Paul

There are probably many stories to recall about Paul. He was a colorful guy and liked to hang out with people who had some color of their own—more than a little puckish, more than a little mephistophelean—especially in the sense that Goethe referred to that quality: he moved faster than thought. Paul's was a quicksilver intelligence. It immediately took the impression of the physical facts of the environment and instantly found emotional equivalents.

When I met him I was recently back from Vietnam and discovering that I wanted nothing more than to simply write poems. He was both a model and an inspiration. His work had an energy and authenticity I found lacking in many others. Oddly enough, my other favorite poets at that time, and perhaps still, were Kelly and Bronk, but also Creeley, Olson and the Black Mountain jrs, like Dorn and Dawson, as well as Duncan and Leroi Jones and Frank O'Hara. Paul brought them all together under his wing. He was the glue that united such disparate voices. In that, he was like a jazz musician—the temperament that could include so many under the respectful shelter of the effort itself. 

Cabras and  Bunalbufar, A Brazier... [pages 35 and 43 in The Collected Poems] were early favorites of mine, in part, because ten years after Paul had returned from Spain, I fled there after coming back from the South China Sea and ended living in Soller, Mallorca, not far from where he settled on that island.  Before my first book of poems, Onion, from Mulch Press, I wanted Paul to write an introduction. He wrote one, but I wasn't happy with it. I asked him to write another and he did, but I thought it not splendid enough, although it was a genuine appreciation of my fledgling efforts. Years later, after he had died, I sat in my house on the Belizean coast and picked up his Journals in which I read what became a message to me from the great beyond:

Or what severances are offered?
what the doctors predict, what
the gods prescribe?
                                                 How can we
offer it all, Paul? how
ignore the earth movers  .  will
take it all down?

This from page 144 of his Journals, written 6/26/71.  I read these today and the message only deepens.