Archive for July 23rd, 2012

by lizard

Alden Van Buskirk died in 1961 at the age of 23 from a rare blood disease. His medical case was the focus of an article in the New England Journal of Medicine (August 31, 1961), titled “Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria: A Successful Imposter.”

Until a week ago I had never heard this poet’s name. Then I ran across an essay from the Poetry Foundation, titled “Death Will Be My Final Lover” and after reading it I immediately went to AbeBooks to see if I could find a copy of his posthumous book of poems, written during the last year of his life, title Lami.

Alden is seen as a sort of lost beat angel, dead before his time. Allen Ginsberg was even talked into writing an introductory note for Lami when it came out in 1965 (only 1,000 copies were published).

I’m always impressed at poetic talent when it appears at such a young age (thinking back to the material I was writing at the age of 23 makes me cringe).

When I got the book in the mail a few days ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then I read the first poem, and I thought, not bad for a 23 year old writing a half century ago.   Continue Reading »

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