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With Gratitude to Steve Kowit, 1938-2015

April 12, 2015


Steve Kowit—1938-2015

Today in meditation my monkey mind stuck to Steve Kowit, poet, mentor/teacher, and friend. Steve unbottled the poet in me. That me scribbled inconsistently since childhood on scraps of paper, notebooks, and computer 8” floppy disks that will never be found. I took at least two classes from him. In the first one, perhaps at San Diego Writer’s Ink (?), he delivered the prompt: “I don’t remember you.” I scribbled my doggerel and he laughed and asked me if he could post it in his on-line Serving House Journal. What an honor for an old lady, baby poet! Heady with this honor, I shared with everyone I knew as I must now do for you.

Here is the link to the Journal and the poem:

And You Were Just Some Guy

by Barbara Weeks Huntington

No, I don’t remember you
We were way too high
I was just a college kid
You were just some guy

Pressed together in the sand
No future and no past
Just the ocean kissing land
No need to make it last

I don’t wonder where you are today
And I won’t even try
The thrill was just my age, the times
And you were just some guy.


Steve was creative and compassionate. Since his death, many others have posted his poems and I have found some new favorites.

I attended another of Steve’s classes at the Mingei International Museum. The museum was celebrating the color blue and we wrote poems surrounded by water and sky, turquoise and sapphires. Steve encouraged me to enter a poem in a contest sponsored by the Mingei.  I had written that poem driving home from my first night in a another class (The Hugh C. Hyde Living Writers Series at San Diego State University). My first time taking a university course in anything related to English since my youth (I was a science major), was also the night of the blue moon. A handout I picked up on my way out the door referred to “The Unbearable Lightness of Being,” and as I floated to the parking lot, I realized the words described my current state. I drove home on the Interstate 8, giddy and in awe of the full moon above the hills ahead of me, grateful for the gift of being returned to the world of words and literature. My elation reminded me of another time when the 50’s 60’s band my late hubby and I formed in the 80’s scored a coup to play at the Blue Moon Saloon. The synchronicity of Blue Moons and euphoria converged in the poem I later read at the Mingei. Though my voice shook, my mentor, Steve, cheered me on.

Although it is posted elsewhere on my blog, for the sake of my homage to Steve, (and my lack of knowledge of how to link within the blog), I will post it again here:

Once in a Blue Moon
by Barbara Huntington

Once in the Blue Moon Saloon
I felt that unbearable lightness of being
Exactly that
The heaviness of years of just living

Our arrogant lead guitarist
wanted to know what I was on
I was on the moment, the music
Once, long ago, in the Blue Moon Saloon

Tonight, driving home, another blue moon
I feel that unbearable lightness of being
Exactly that
The heaviness of years of science

I know what I am on:

Words! Language! Poetry!

Tasting the wine I want more and more
I claim my genetic birthright

The music of words
Might happen once in a blue moon
But there will always be
Another blue moon

One Comment
  1. Don permalink

    Like the one about your Band = hadn’t known

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