i.m. Michael Horovitz  (April 4th 1935 – July 7th 2021)


Covid couldn’t cancel him. Michael fell, as soldiers must, linking London,

After life’s joys and battles from his Notting Hill muse he’s moved on,

As nimbly as he had done  in youth and  after a last day with Vanessa,

Singing, enthusing, expounding and moving from the physically  frail,

To soul strong.  Michael fast breasted the tape of the British beatnik brigade

That begat Pete Brown, Bernard Kops, the Liverpool set and the Adrians

Henri and Mitchell. He blazed beside Corso and Ginsberg at the summit like

Albert Hall and his New Departures bound all, from Sir Paul M. to this moment.

Under him all names are collected, and ushered towards fresh horizons

Where the light between lines still enthrals. You can look at Wikipedia,

And the broadsheets to garner the narrow lines, facts and the fiction,

And learn of how from his studies at Oxford he moved from the mortarboard

To the moat that surrounds the precious Castle of care that houses the prize

Of all poets, the place where words become gemstones, lit by moons

Above Frankfurt and Soho,   and where on waves of jazz and love,

Each thought floats. German born, World War torn, Michael was made

For peace and profusion, he blew his simple sax like Bob Cobbing, uttering

Growls as verse vowels. He skittled words on the page that were as dextrous

As desire, and trim to the end trawled through towers of papers and books,

Mind uncowed. He was as sharp as the stones I have already touched on;

Diamond, pearl, ruby, quartz, glass and coal. His intelligence was incense

As was the subtle knife of his questions, his voice still retained the high

Flavour of his place of birth, his stare bold. In his later years all of his vim

And verve scorched through frailty. He was as light as the breeze which one

Felt at times could easily lift him up and sky place him, and yet at the same time

As substantial as the surrounding Earth and gold core. He seemed to contain

All who came, either in his wake, or beside him, from light verse

To logorhythmic line structures. The range  of his contribution is

Soundtrack and counter-cultural underscore. Above and below it,

For sure. As Rosen rose Michael’s rise was a Kaddish to me,

For the living. For as B.Kops  coped, M. curated, sowing poetry’s field

With fresh seeds. His support for what the poem could do and also be

Bred enchantment. And while he is now only present in pages.

We who worked with him and for whom he was reference and rhyme

Pause bereaved. But as we pick up our pens we think of him as all writers,

Blooding our ink, speaking,  singing. Michael Horovitz OBE, in this

Our dream nation, your Kingdom has come. No-one leaves.



                                                                             David Erdos July 8th 2021

Photo: Max Reeves





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One Response to MICHAEL AS MUSE

    1. Michael was a generous inclusionist. He encouraged young English poets to share his stage with invited American Beats. At the Arts Lab.I was pleased to read alongside Ted Joans while just 16. A walk with Michael in 1968 would, in passing, encounter such now celebrated friends and associates as Ron Geesin and Davy Graham. He seemed to know everyone – and they all seemed to live in Notting Hill. He would delight in airing his own brand of word-play on such a walk. I remember he would admonish the misled as ‘missle-d’ and the grievously misled as ‘psychedelinquents’,

      Comment by Bernard Saint on 11 July, 2021 at 4:05 pm

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