Monday, June 28, 2004

Carl Rakosi 1903-2004

John Tranter has passed on this sad news from Tom Devanney:

Poet Carl Rakosi died on Friday afternoon June 25 at the age of 100, after a series of strokes, in his home in San Francisco. He was with his family and they were reading Mark Twain and listening to music when he died.

Jen Hofer writes that Carl's last words, or nearly-last words were these:
'A hospice worker had come by in the morning to set things up with them and she was asking Carl if he knew what day it was (he didn't); or what month (he thought it was September); or what year (he didn't know); and then she asked him who the president is. He hesitated and Barbara (his daughter) was thinking that maybe he didn't know that either, but after a pause he said "Bush — that bastard!"'

You can read a poem by Carl (with a photo) in the very first issue of Jacket magazine, from 1997. Jacket will publish more material, including a conversation between Carl Rakosi and Tom Devanney, in Jacket 25.

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