icon caret-left icon caret-right instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads question-circle facebook circle twitter circle linkedin circle instagram circle goodreads circle pinterest circle


Steve Carey

I've been scanning & typing a bunch of old works. This is one out of a handful of everything I've ever written that I still wouldn't change (except Woodlawn to Westwood Village). I still miss him.

A Wonderful Day

“loving them both so in a northern town”

Here is what happened on August 12:
      It rained. It rained so hard we thought we were in Seattle. It rained so hard it was scary.
      Are you sure you don’t want to go tomorrow instead? I asked. “Absolutely not!” Steve boomed. That generous baritone.
      Across Houston, through the Holland Tunnel, onto the Turnpike to the Garden State. Steve said, “Joe, pay attention. Bruce Springsteen has thrown many a quarter in this tollbooth. Bill Bradley too.”
      We talked about Steve’s “narrow escape” from last month’s heart attack: “Forty-three is too early to check out!” And to prove it: “I’m feeling randy! Which of you women would like to go first?” I’m waiting for Joe to grow up, I said. Marion laughed.
      We took exit 98 to Route 34 to a roundabout, where we collectively decided the ocean lay west. “I was thinking of Malibu,” Steve said when we got straightened out. “Wrong ocean, that’s all.”
      We found Spring Lake and hugged: Marion’s family all together for the first time in 8 years. Her sister made spaghetti. The Farriers were being very English around the table and it was Steve who put everyone at ease by announcing, “Colette, this is marvelous!” Steve’s remarks always the ones with exclamation points.
      We watched a Mr. Ed rerun. Some old guy waved an arm: I like him, I said. “You like guys with grand gestures. That’s why you cast me in your plays.” We laughed about Steve as Mayor Kroch in a bald wig in New York Is Missing.
      He claimed the dining room table. “This is where I will write this week.” Work outside, I said, you can be a nature poet. “No, I’ll be a New Jersey poet.” We talked about the Jersey poets like Ed Smith, who’d been in Steve’s workshop. “I threw a baseball line and Ed caught it. What a great poet.” We walked to the corner, past gardens. “There’ll be marigolds in my next poem.” He could be somewhere by being outside somewhere: an attachment to things through flowers. “I have a lot of new poems from our trip to Colorado. I threw the ball to my son. Father and son, playing catch. Sandy Koufax once said Joe’s pitching form was perfect.” Marion and another sister were deep in catch-up ahead of us. “This is is a historic moment, Nor-Nau!” Steve said. “You are privileged to see all the Farrier women together.” I felt privileged. “And doesn’t Marion have a great ass.”
      This is what happened on August 13: Steve had another heart attack and died.
      Buried at Woodlawn, near Marilyn Monroe: Steve Carey, Poet.

The Poetry Project Newsletter, Oct/Nov 1989
Be the first to comment