Tribute to Thomas Lux

I just learned that the poet, Thomas Lux died yesterday. I first learned about this lion from Faith, who was a student in his Sarah Lawrence University MFA program. We invited him to teach at Cranbrook. He was all outsized energy. The lines of his poems strutted like a Sonny Rollins solo. The man was fun. He pitted the poets against the fiction writers in softball tournaments. He yelled out the names of specific poets to make Faith swing harder: John Ashbery, James Merrill! In Detroit, he and John Skoyles took us to Tigers games in the old and new stadiums. At dinner, he pulled his chair up to the table and knocked his long mane out of his eyes. He fulfilled the David Lettermen requirement for success: he always arrived with a story. At Sarah Lawrence, he was allowed research assistants who would delve into science and history to pluck out details that delighted him: slugs, plague victims, and god particles became the topics of poems. At his readings, he was all readiness. He could be loud hitting those lines. He could be beseeching even when he wasn’t asking for something. He was protective. He knew to nurture. He marveled at misspellings-spray-painted-over-highway-overpasses. He cared about the condition of things. He cared about the street corners where we miss and meet each other. What a goddamn loss for the planet.

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