Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Simply, Mark (In memory of Mark Behr, 1963-2015)

Simply, Mark
In memory of Mark Behr (1963-2015)

You, my friend, were not simple.

You will remain ever
in the memories of multitudes,
in the strength and resilience
of bruised and battered bodies and souls
of the broken, but yet defiantly,
proudly, unapologetically, uncompromisingly

You will remain ever, also,
the memory of a living, breathing
Real Human Salve,
an active, inviting reprieve
from wounds,
some still festering,
others barely, imperfectly, healing,
an emollient for persistent,
(oft invisible)
unrelenting, aching, soreness, pain.
The physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual lesions
of still yet other multitudes
will remember you, too.

You, Mark,
as your very name indicates,
you remain.
You are left with us, even after you've left,
your Mark.

In spite of your death, in defiance of your death,
you remain
a living, breathing testimony
to a world that would, could, and often does
heal, forgive, absolve,
even if it also, far more often,
injures and wounds again.

You, Mark, who
even in death,
encourages us to hope, to believe,
to fight for this world,
to make ourselves unconditionally vulnerable to this world,
this disinclined to be kind world,
this disinclined to forgive world,
this antagonistic to alterity world,
this pathologically obsessed with individual self-interest world.

This fucked up world, that's what you would call it,
and you'd be right, but you wouldn't be finished with it.

You would continue to insist we fight
with the pen and the word
and the body and the spirit,
fight the kind of fight that might encourage others
to not only desire, but insist,
demand the world be better,
be more,

You would insist we
fight the fight we can only fight together.

Amandla Ngawethu!

You will remain forever
in traces of the events
that bear your mark
your idiosyncratic Mark,
Gloriously Defiant of simplicity.

You shamed (and indulged),
you ridiculed (and embraced),
at times gently,
at times viciously,
the simple.

And yet you never permitted it,
endorsed it,
encouraged it.
you never made of simplicity
your Mark,

Your never made it you, Mark.

That appeal to the "simply such"
was never something you would
something you might
so much less something you ought

How funny and strange?
(you would flash that dazzling smile and say)
How suffocating and miserable? and
in every instance at the same time
How liberating and empowering?
How paradoxically effective?

Nothing is
or was
or has ever been
or will ever be
simply such.

I learned that from you, Mark.

1 comment:

John McCumber said...

Thank you for this. Mark was a great guy and a wonderful writer, and this should not have happened.