On Tom Weatherly, October 2014

Left: Tom Weatherly, ‘Thumbprint,’ 1971; right: John Ashbery, ‘Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror,’ 1977.

Tom Weatherly’s poetry seamlessly combines jazz-inflected improvisational tendencies and the cool minimalism of Pound and H.D. How can this be? Well, you had to know Tom to know the answer. He was always relaxed and funny in person, but you were somehow given to understand that this attitude was formed by darker and more serious forces. You always wanted to spend more time with him because of the ease with which it passed. I remember how disappointed I felt when I learned he had moved back to the south, and regretted not having seen him oftener than I did. Even so, he remains one of one’s most pleasant memories.