Robin Blaser and David Bromige both died recently, as well as David Carradine. Bromige and Blaser are writers I should read more of, tho I have taken lessons from both. Carradine is something different to me, but his death is affecting.
My real intro to Blaser was his excellent essay on Spicer, "The Practice of Outside", included in Black Swallow's edition of Collected Books. It is a great introduction to Spicer, perceptive and comprehensive. His poetry, which I finally delved into by way of Holy Forest, conspires to open into an excitement of language, from the vantage of a quiet perspective. Duncan and Spicer were louder compadres, so to speak, but Blaser's more minimalist style had character and strength.
Bromige was an odd one, with a good sine qua non factor. I think I first met Bromige by way of This 3, in which I was published, and it is my memory that Bromige was as well. So, someone Grenier knew, so I looked further in Bromige's direction. Tom Beckett, of course, dedicated an issue of The Difficulties to Bromige, etc. Bromige's Englishy humour and sliding skew of language is tough yet involving. He, and Blaser too, should be regarded more highly by the experts out there. That is, the landscape is wickedly varied, and interest should not rest in the first call manifestations of poetic assertion. The Poetics list flunked out for me by how limited and lame the readership seemed to be. Too may writers deserve better than that crack.
Carradine, well. Perfectly brewed Hollywood oddball, for sure. His father, I estimate, appeared in every movie ever made. I saw some upliftingly screwy horror movie in which Carradine makes an appearance. The director played along, and inserted a picture of John Carradine into the film, so that even after his death he was appearing in movies. Without filling in blanks or assumptions, the idea of hanging oneself in Bangkok just sounds too sad and horrible. And so I have writ my piece on recent deaths...