From the James Tate Tribute


My partner Greg Purcell and I went to his house to interview him for a poetry podcast we used to do called Noslander. He and Greg bonded over liking the band Freakwater. I had an owl in my pocket and I showed it to him and he said it was cute. 

A story he related: John Ashbery had read at UMass and Jim met him for a drink at the Lord Jeffrey after this reading. They got on really well; when it was time to part ways Jim said something like, “Do you think I can write you a letter?” John came in closer and said, “Call me.” In telling us the story, Jim paused after the “Call me” line and smiled. When you don’t have to wait to be friends with someone, it makes you happy. 
I miss him, but I am happy for his life.

Ishmael Klein is the author of UNION!, Moving Day, and Consolation and Mirth, all published by Canarium Books. She is a founding member of the Connecticut River Valley Poets Theater (CRVPT) wherein she writes plays including: Drummer 41 and the Faust Remake: In A Word, Faust. A DVD compilation of her videos, Success Window, was released by Poor Claudia. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with her partner, the writer Greg C. Purcell.