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Hold On

in memoriam Tom Clark

on front page of the Bolinas Hearsay News*
Tom, Angelica, and Juliet Clark
smile in grassy leisure
ful devout corage from the start
a picture of my children, likewise
happiness forever, a big storm
of brooding consequence
covered in wild morning glories
who were those people
I believed me to be, barefoot taking
trash to the curb while Hoa
packed for a trip, and Tom
called, complaining, buoyant
wanting to love or hold on to



*Duncan McNaughton called the night Tom died, but the news had already, as they say, gone viral. Donald Guravich sent Hoa and me the August 20, 2018, issue of the Bolinas Hearsay News with the famous picture of the Clarks. A young scholar on Twitter thought Tom had been mean to him. I saw that flash by. I read the NYTimes obit. There were good things and bad things to remember. I remember he was helpful, he was difficult. Tom possessed a vagabond spirit, and the common wounds of captivity in the demonic ruination that is America. He would vehemently dispute everything I write here. I do so because not to seems wrong, too.



Dale Smith

Dale Smith is a poet and teacher in Toronto, Ontario. He studied with Tom Clark from 1994-1996 in the New College of California Poetics Program.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2018

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