I can't wrap my head around death. I mean, I am in for it. Not my own death, but the fact that I love so many people. I keep falling for them. Maybe the people who annoy me are blessings because I will not get so all shook up at their passing. I am no Dhali Lama. Yesterday I was typing about the flowers and the Dhali Lama came up only I spelled it Dahlia. Maybe I am the Dahlia Lama. Better go plant.
So the reason I grow so sad is that David Lescht died yesterday at 64, an age that has a familiar ring to it.
He organized the Santa Fe Bandstand, free music and a big party on the Plaza all July and August. He also led a fabulous program called Outside In. Musicians went into prisons, detention centers, hospitals and nursing homes and raised the roof. My friend Alicia played accordion in nursing homes and though she's not the greatest singer, the elders got up and danced. They loved her. I had to call her in Vermont where she has moved and tell her of David's death.
I also found myself cruising through Cowgirl Hall of Fame where there was a gathering for David. First cruise, I didn't see anybody I knew. But second time an hour later, I ran into Abe and Dea and several other plaza dancers, regulars, old hippies, people who loved David. I didn't know him very well but liked him tremendously, and admired his work. We both got grants from Bread for the Journey one year, he let me ride into the plaza on a pedicab and bring a giant pencil and two other poets to perform, we talked in Trader Joe's. So, though only an acquaintance I am very sad. There should be different words for how well and how we know people. Friend, Lover, family, aren't enough. What about celebrities we love, artist who shake our world, people we only know when standing up and conversing in grocery stores, people we like more than they like us, out to lunch friends (that doesn't come out right), come over to the house friends, sleepover friends, friends who are like family because you can't get rid of them but might not have chosen them if you had it to do again friends, and best friends who you haven't spoken to in years but you let them keep that status.
Maybe after the PL is over I can make names for each category of friendship and be a real poet, and change the English Language. Now I am just left with a passel of occasional poems to wrestle down.
David Lescht, may he rest in rock and roll peace, bearded and beautiful, let the good times sadly roll.
May his programs live on.