About Daniel

My MFA friends couldn’t stand Daniel.

Daniel was a poet, and he’d been Special Forces in Eastern Europe when the Army had nothing to do with Eastern Europe. He liked big girls. “We have enough too hard,” he told me. “I want soft.”

Daniel put the barrel of a .45 ACP in his mouth in a hotel room in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

I miss him.

7 thoughts on “About Daniel

  1. mike Post author

    I don’t know why his absence still strikes me so. Something about his being so earnest, and so disliked among those MFAs, and the things he’d had to do for the Army — they all intersect. Something about the weather, maybe: the last time I saw him was when we were having farewell beers together — him heading for New Mexico, me heading for Massachusetts — in a Pittsburgh bar, and the weather was hot and humid like it is now.

  2. mike Post author

    After some feedback, I edited the post a little: in its original form, it came across as confrontational, which wasn’t my intent.

    Anyway: this story, with its Kosovo Polje center, is one that Daniel helped me write, and some of the details are drawn from his experience.

  3. RageyOne

    Sorry to hear about your friend Daniel. Death is never easy and we tend to not understand. For some reason, Daniel didn’t want to be here on Earth anymore. It is up to us who are left to morun to remember, accept, and keep going on.

  4. michelle

    That sucks. That’s how I feel about some of the people I’ve lost: cut down in the middle of life and I’m stunned. Self-inflicted or a victim. I think the most offensive part of dealing with death is not understanding parts of the people we’re grieving for. They’re gone. That’s it. We’re here. That’s it.

    I miss people, too.

  5. mike Post author

    Dorothea, Joanna, RO, Michelle — thanks for the kind words.

    Michelle, you’re right on the mark about not understanding parts of the people we’re grieving for: recalling my occasional impatience with Daniel’s immense earnestness makes me sad, and it makes me sad as well to think — despite the fact that he was a good friend — how little I genuinely knew him. And, yeah, that awareness of one’s limited knowledge of somebody else is really what punches you in the gut.

    Some things to know about Daniel: he had straight brown hair and shockingly gorgeous pale blue eyes. He was part Cherokee, and that was really important to him. He’d had to do things for the Army that burned him up with guilt. He could be painfully earnest. He was a solid poet, more into the emotional and introspective stuff than the intellectual and formal stuff. And he was one of the most genuinely sweet people I’ve ever met.


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