Mac Hammond's last appearance, a quasi-public one, was a year or so ago 
at Rita and Dick Lipsitz's summer place by Lake Ontario, when Kristen 
Prevallet was filming her version of the Ancient Mariner. It was late 
afternoon--a time I have been told when the light is polarized and great 
for photography.  A few of us in the geriatric set had been invited to 
stand as extras for the wedding scene, and Mac Hammond was to be the 
Ancient Mariner.  He had gone for a walk by the lake while everybody else 
up on the high green lawn was involved with the grace of Kristen's 
directing, and then at an unexpected pause, we all noticed Mac Hammond 
coming back from his walk, with that impressive bearing of his, formally 
dressed and with a huge white fedora, an imposing and calm figure of a 
well-fed Ancient Mariner, against a background of water, row-boat and 
illuminated clouds.
	He had a touch of magic:  how could anyone be so elegant and even 
grandiose, and yet immediately lovable? Or more simply, how could he look 
so elegant, given the clothes he would sometimes wear--wide and brightly 
colored suspenders over a dark shirt, or a vibrantly blue sweater,
	About forty years ago, Mac Hammond's name appeared in Esquire, at that 
time a glossy magazine for affluent males, a mixture of serious articles 
an full page four color cartoons of scantily clad women, a very mild 
version of what was to become Playboy. In one issue they featured a chart 
that set forth the structure of the Poetry Scene, that included Mac. 
He went on to publish in Poetry, Paris Review, and Northwest Review and 
he edited his own magazine Audit He was invited to the White House during 
the Carter administration; and for many years distributed a Valentine 
from Sherry Robbins' letter set press.
	But I mainly remember him as a friend, 
	We came to Buffalo just as the sixties were getting under way, a time of 
extraordinary activity, which prompted Mac to say at a department 
meeting:  "The English Department is the Yellow Submarine."
	The Beatles, (also Simon and Garfunkel's "The Seven O'clock News")  had 
given me the notion of having an Electronic Poetry Workshop, which was 
essentially to explore the use different channels.   For most people, it 
was a lot of fun for a while, and then they went on to other things, but 
Mac was the only one who came out with a book, Cold Turkey, that includes 
a vinyl record of multi-channel readings.  (Vinyl!)
	Mac always had an interest in movies, video, stereo--the media, as they 
say.  His Horse Opera evokes a western movie with Jack Palance; he helped 
found Squeaky Wheel, set his poems to videos. 
	On several occasions I had driven him to the hospital for radiation 
treatment. He was in pain, and as he said, he was "staring death in the 
	And then one day, he was able to move far more easily, and he told me 
that the pain was gone.  The radiation seemed to be working, and he had 
reasonable hopes of at least six months, and the loss of those months 
shocked us..
	In his papers, I found a penciled sentence:
	"I am afraid and I am not afraid of death."