Mirtha Michelle Castro Mármol, actress, artist, good friend and author of the poetry book "Letters, To The Men I Have Loved", sat down with me in 2014, one sunny Summer afternoon in L.A., for a glass of rosé at Jones on Third.
The best poets concede to uncertainty and are thereby able to write beyond the confines of knowing towards the ineffable, the sublime. It is in fashion for poets to proclaim this lack of surety, but a different game altogether to abandon the didactic and pitch pen-first into the void.
My friend was a person of value whom I foolishly discarded. I stopped at some point replying to her Christmas cards. I hope she didn't feel hurt, but likely she did. For her, I let "a friend is' become "a friend was."
"I'm not sure I would call it a progression so much as a deepening of consciousness throughout the books. Hopefully we have an increasing sense of truthfulness about ourselves as we grow older, and we grow strong enough to both own and share this."
In late December, my daughter Annie asked me how to repair a poorly-mounted drawing I'd made for her some dozen years ago. The drawing was my attempt to illustrate a favorite poem of ours, "Days," by the English poet Philip Larkin.
These days, I've come to believe that the value of suffering lies not in the artistic material it provides, but in the peace and clarity of vision its endurance affords. The poet Afaa Michael Weaver seems to lend evidence to this.
As both a ringmaster and a man, it is all at once awe-inspiring and humbling to look upon the enormity of a life such as Col. John Herriott's. A steep standard he has left, and it is well worth the ascent. In circus, we never say "goodbye," rather we say "see you down the road."