Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dave Church: In Memory

On his blog, Ron Silliman is reporting the death of long-time small press poet Dave Church. The article Ron has linked to is an overview of Dave's career; I have no further details on Dave's passing.

Dave published a couple of works in Lillie over the years. Recently, we had corresponded back and forth over some poems he had sent, sparred a bit, actually, and we had come to a friendly understanding. Once you got past the gruff, he was a generous guy. He knew what he was about and made sure you did, too. I'll miss his straight shooting approach.


I think I'm mad
like I thought
my father was mad.

He used to float around the house at night
calling out for those long dead

I do the same thing now

only in reverse.
Dave Church
from Lilliput Review, #91 Sept. 1997


I'm off Buddha's eight-fold path.
No God's speak to me. Past a blur.
black -
ashes in mountain air.
Dave Church
from Lilliput Review, #129, March 2003


UPDATE: Ed Baker has sent along some along some additional information on Dave, which may be found on He evidently died behind the wheel of his taxicab on Thanksgiving.



Ed Baker said...

nothing wrong with being
'out of step' ... as,
nothing, much, happens in a

where Church was in Providence and in what he 'picked over' from his readings

from what I see/read.... well,

another fine discovery for me thanks.

Charles Gramlich said...

Sorry to hear of this, though I did not know his work. I like the samples given here, though.

Greg said...

i had only heard of him recently. his poem "in the backyard" was one of my favorite from the recent bear creek. he'll be missed.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Ed, you are welcome ...

Charles, there are a few more things on Dave out there on the net ... he was good people and a solid poet -

Greg, oh, yes, the bear creek poem, I'd forgotten. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

(for Dave Church)

I can’t even
the last poem
of yours
that I read.
No matter.
You have no
need of poetry now.
Slumped across
the dash
of your cab,
the meter still running,
the horn honking
into the still
night you left
the world
of words
to the rest of us
suckers who
know not our
destination yet
run up an enormous
fare we can
never hope
to pay.

-- Glenn W Cooper

Anonymous said...

A Great poet and man.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...


Thanks very much for the tribute to Dave ...

Daniel, it's been a long time. Thanks very much for the note, remembering Dave.

Hope all is well with you.


Ted said...

I drove a cab with Dave Church and knew him from the brief amount of time we spent in the office - usually I was coming in from the night shift and Dave would be coming in to work the graveyard shift!!! He gave me his small book called 'Hack Job' and I thought it was brilliant. Recently he gave me his cd that he recorded his poems to music but I could not burn the last couple of track due to the master copy being scratched - anyone wants a copy I will mail them for just the cost of the cd and postage.
As I no longer drive a cab I just found out today that he passed away - heard that on the evening that he died he was driving the cab and it broke down - he sat waiting for the office to send a mechanic and just passed away behind the wheel. Dave Rest in Peace my friend!!!
Ted (email:

Ted said...

After doing a search on Amazon I found Dave's copy of 'Hack Job' - probably the best $5.00 that you will spend on a book in my view. It offers Dave real experience of seeing the wacky world thru the windshield of a taxi.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Hey, Ted:

Many thanks for both your comments. I've sent along an email to you.

Dave seems to have touched folks in both life and poetry. That's not something every person or every poet can say.


Anonymous said...

Dave was a long time amigo. We met once in N.Y. at a read in Cherry Valley, near Ginsberg's farm. He was a great poet and looked like Hulk Hogan only small. He published a story of mine called The Magic Rabbit and got Brown Univ. to buy poems from me. I turned him onto some good European mags. When i decided to kill myself, he stayed in my corner. Most of all he was proud of and loved his children. I will miss him. Catfish McDaris

Ted said...

Don, I was wondering if you had a chance to read Dave Church's "Hack Job" yet?

Nice comments by Catfish!!!

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Catfish, thanks very much for the thoughts ... Dave touched those he connected with deeply - a stand up guy, if ever there was one ...

Ted, I'm shaking my head, somehow I just found Dave's chap at the bottom of a big pile after you nudged me - I will correct this neglect ..


Ted said...

Again I had the pleasure of meeting Dave when I worked for Checker Cab in Providence, RI for a couple of years.
Dave gave me his cd to which he reads his poems to music so that I could burn him a couple of additional copies (this was one month before his death). Anyone that wants to hear the voice behind all the poems is welcome to email me and I burn a copy for you.

Don, thanks for the note - hope you enjoy "Hack Job".

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Ted, thanks for the very generous offer ... It's a great cd - not sure how many will see these comments since they go back awhile but hopefully some will who search and think of Dave ...


Ed Baker said...

so.... what's your email

or better yet

mine is via my site...
so 2.3 million people won't ask...

all RS gotta do is pick-up post your offer and
then you will have a Knew Karear Disc Burner

Ted said...

Hi Ed,

I don't mind burning the cd's for free of charge but would appreciate if people cover the postage costs to mail it back to them.

Since you're the 1st to respond I will be happy to cover all costs myself.

My email is:

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Ed, legit fear, but not much chance that RS will pickup a two month old post ... especially since he linked to it first go round ...

It's a great cd ... thanks again Ted.


Anonymous said...

I went back to your original post and see that your email address is at the bottom

whoever said
"poets are smart"?

so I emailed you
secretly so,
mum's the word


Ted said...

Hi Ed,

I forgot that I listed it already - well anyway the offer still stands.

Thanks for your personal email and blog!!!

Thanks also to Don!!!