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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Mike Tuggle

Mike Tuggle was a poet of the first caliber, and a marvelous, wonderful human being. He will be greatly missed. I had the honor of publishing Mike’s poem, “Dance of the Blind Pig” in the 2011 anthology, Continent of Light. Sadly, perhaps Mike’s poem is more relevant now than when it was written.

Dance of the Blind Pig

No thank you, Mr. Bomb,
we don’t need your help.
Our blind, headlong fecundity
has engineered it on its own—
      we’ll soon be gone.
And what of it?
Who do we think we are?
So many kinds have left
this earth before.
Who said we were entitled
to forevermore?

Ah, but we blind pigs can dance!
Ah, but we blind pigs can sing!
Ah, but we blind pigs can think!
     We blind pigs do everything!

For a little while.

One is always taking a great risk when publishing one of one’s own poems beside a poem by Mike Tuggle. However, in this case, I’ll risk suffering by comparision. I wrote this poem for, and not about, Mike (Anyone who knew Mike knows that!). And I realize now that I never got the chance to share it with him as I’d hoped to do.

La brisa del mar
(for Mike Tuggle)

He drove to the coast
and he walked along the beach
and among the rocks
and over the cliffs
and he looked out across the flat sea…

Later, he went to the restaurant
                on the bay.
She was there, waited on him,
            as he’d wished she might.
Their conversation was limited to
his order; he communicated
            his wishes clearly and succinctly.
            Her service was brisk and efficient.
The food was good; the view of the bay exquisite.
            As she handed him the bill,
            their hands touched, and he felt the jolt.
            He tipped her the fifteen percent
(something he rarely did)
and as he drove home, night swallowed the sea.

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