(x-posted from the Poets’ Asylum page)

I have so many really good memories of Jack McCarthy. Being on a slam team with him, working through endless practices, and never being able to bear hearing him read Careful What You Ask For because it broke my heart over and over again. Or at the my kitchen table, where he had cut a poem into pieces, and was rearranging the lines to make it read better. Or holding my then two-year-old son on his knee and telling him, “Trot trot to Boston, trot trot to Lynne…” Or when I took him to work with me and he did a really great workshop with the teenage girls in recovery who had heard about him through his poem Drunks.

But I will always remember Jack best sock-footed, on stage at the Cantab. We will all miss him dearly.

His daughter, Kathleen, wrote this morning in Facebook:

Dear Friends,
My father passed away peacefully early this morning, his beloved Carol by his side. It’s fitting that he’s written the words that today bring me the most comfort. May they bring you comfort as well.
Love, Kathleen

It hurts
when love dies.
When love is deep,
it hurts deeply—
more deeply maybe than you thought
anything would ever hurt

But with time,
the spaces between the moments when it hurts
get longer,
the moments themselves become
less devastating,
till eventually you come to associate them
with a sad sweetness
that has as much in common
with love
as it does with grief.

I wish you long
spaces in between,
and may you carry into them
all of that sweetness,
and only enough sadness to attest
the risk that’s being taken
by everyone who loves you.

from “The Spaces Between” by Jack McCarthy

More of Jack’s work can be found on his website. You can order his most recent book, What I Saw from EM Press, here. Also, Spokenheard caught up with him recently, and you can listen to the interview here.