He did it because he was always aware of what was good, of what he wanted, and he wasn’t shy to work just a little bit more to get exactly what he wanted. He had wicked amounts of faith in people. And it’s like his faith compelled them to be what they already were, to do what they could already do, but just hadn’t done yet. It’s almost like he saw the perfect, finished version of work, or of peoples’ thoughts, and he was always waiting for the other person to catch up, and he’d do whatever he could in his power to help them get there. It’s kind of incredible. I’ve never met anyone else as devoted to other peoples’ work. I’ve seen writers do this to themselves, but I’ve only ever seen Jake do this to other people. I think maybe that’s in part why he’s had such a huge impact on so many students and colleagues.To celebrate Jake today, I also read his poetry. I read and re-read. Read my friend's elegy for him that I have pinned up on the wall next to my desk. Re-read Jon Tribble's review of Jake's work in the LA Review of Books. Shared all of these things with my community.
Today I also went to a poetry reading. My firecracker of a friend from my time at Utah flew out for a Red Hen Press reading at the Armory Center for the Arts this evening, and after an afternoon of working on writing with my kids at 826la, I drove out to Pasadena to hear her read at an amazing event that also included a sting trio.