David Bromige 1933-2009

Posted by Ken Edwards on Thursday, June 4, 2009 Under: writing
I'm just delving into my journal from 1994 now to help me recall one of several happy memories of David. I was visiting the US and he'd booked me to do a reading in a series he was curating at the Johnny Otis Café in Sebastopol, California (yes, it really was owned by the rhythm & blues singer of that name).

Kathleen Fraser drove me to Sonoma County, and Susan Gevirtz and Cydney Chadwick were there too, also Steve Tills. I stayed overnight in David and Cecelia's house and met young Margaret and her rabbit.

Next day David drove me to Bodega Bay, because I wanted to see where The Birds had been filmed. And it was exactly like it looked in the movie. David and I had an Anchor Steam beer near the sparkling blue water and talked about England, his birthplace. We talked about cricket as well as poetry. He said he followed English football on US TV - the hard core stuff, he said, not just the top teams but "West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield Wednesday". I wrote in my journal "But these conversations vanish like foam before they can be recollected."

Apparently he got work doing voiceovers on adverts because Americans thought he sounded English, although he sounded - well - Canadian to me.

Elsewhere on this site you will read of Reality Street's plans for David Bromige's Collected Poems. I had really hoped against hope David would live to see it, but it was never on, really.

A warm, funny man, an inspiration and a terrific poet. Here's an extract from A Cast of Tens (1994):

Won't the music swell
The moon fair on the channel
This empty cup mean emptiness no more
'I live by feeding the desire
to escape the present'
The soul be a raven and fly free
a lightly developed negative
unpredictable even for evil
X: 'You're in such a curious position'
- supine, décolleté

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Ken Edwards This blog is written by Ken Edwards, co-founder and editor/publisher of Reality Street, and it's mainly about the press. Ken's personal blog can now be found at http://www.kenedwardsonline.co.uk