Thanks to the wonderful Paul Romero and Alice Quinn, New Yorkers all got to see and hear the great Jean Valentine the other night in Bryant Park and Mark Doty and Catherine Barnett read her poems with her and Timothy Liu actually recited them from memory. THAT especially -- reminding us what happens to poems when you take them into your body like that. Later, Tim told us about first reading Jean's poem "High School Boyfriend" on the back of American Poetry Review and I remembered when I saw that same issue in the back of Jean's basic Toyota maybe the same day Tim saw it because she had just gotten it in the mail and how I read it out loud as Jean and I were walking to a Quaker meeting house in Brooklyn and how "High School Boyfriend" is now a bridge in the time between Tim and Jean and Jean and me. And I'm remembering before American Poetry Review when Tim came to to New York to a reading we organized at the Brecht Forum -- it must have been 1989 -- to celebrate "Poets for Life: 76 Poets Respond to AIDS" and Jean and my roommate Frank Jump were there and Arnie Kantrowitz and Vito Russo were there and nobody else was there so we just passed the book around and read poems to each other and it was raining and Tim reminded us tonight that Jean had a rose that lit up -- did it actually light up? I don't remember the rose or the light, but I remember the rain, and I remember the basement and how sweet it was -- the circle of poetry and Vito Russo who was a hero of mine and here he was in the same room with all of us reading poetry and how I was thinking for the first time, maybe, that ordinary people read poetry and that maybe there was a parallel basement somewhere where other ordinary people were doing this very thing and one day they would connect. And I also remembered tonight that next hour how we all went out to the Cupping Room afterwards. A few years later, when "High School Boyfriend" came out, Jean and I were going to the Quaker meeting house to read poems from "Poets for Life" again and also some poems we had written to men with AIDS. And before the reading, Jean and I stopped on the landing and looked at the crescent moon -- sudden moon -- and she said it was shaped like that to keep luck from spilling out. I'm sure if I told her she said it, she'd say she never did. She often tells me that she can't remember if she really said something or if she dreamed it. And over the sea of so many years, Jean, now 80 and with those kind of eyes that storms come in, she's said things like that all the time -- sleepwalking kinds of things, if they weren't so imbued with such dazzlement -- things you say after you been looking at the sea for a long time -- awake for so long and practically mysteriously. She said to me once, walking home in Provincetown one summer night a long summer time ago before I was married and after she had been: everything's sad except what's real.