Tuesday, August 10, 2004


The impossibly unsophisticated media have descended on the staff of Prairie Lighta for appropriate ways to wind up the life of Don Justice so that the newspaper reader or the radio listener has a sense of his loss. The problem is that the media person tends to panic when we use so esoteric a word as ephemeral. This in turn makes us feel like snobs. What does it say about us that a poet as wise and accessable as Justice scares the hell out of the eyes and ears of out public communications industry. I told them he was a nice guy. They wanted to hear that. Jan could hardly talk about him without reference to his work and this just left their eyes crossed.

For anyone who doesn't already know this already, Donald Justice was our greatest 20th century poet after Wallace Stevens. He'll be read and loved by the(snobbish) few who hardly bought anything at all as long as there are people who hardly buy anything at all.


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