Two odd men have set up house
On the hill above our Pure Land Shrine
They receive all gone as themselves
And call each other poet.
They attract our restless kids
With wine and endless talk
We work to keep our wives and families
They drink all night, immune like spirits.
Liddy has been gone just over a year. Here is part of an obituary:
Irish poet Liddy was 'classic Bohemian'
By Alan J. Borsuk of the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Nov. 11, 2008
"Hey, ho, Liddy don't go" - that was a line in the chorus of a song by
McTavish, a Milwaukee Irish music band, that paid tribute to James Liddy.
The song, from the 1990s, called Liddy "the king of the rovers." Mark
Shurilla, the band's leader, said the line about not going was referring to
the many nights Liddy, an internationally known poet, would hold court at
local pubs, telling stories, giving erudite discourses on history,
literature, politics or just about any other subject. When he got up to
leave, people pleaded with him to stay. Often, he would. ...
"He was like your ultimate Irish convivial spirit who would just love to
hang around with everybody," Shurilla said.
Jim Hazard, a Milwaukee poet and writer, called Liddy "a classic Bohemian."
Hazard said Liddy loved to be in a university classroom, working with
students, which he had done at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee since
1976. But he loved more to be in a saloon or restaurant where he could hold
forth and often get many others involved in the conversation.
Asked for key words to describe him, [the] list included: Irish, Catholic,
gay, beat. He was influenced by many great poets, from Walt Whitman to Allen
Ginsberg, and he knew more poets, both personally and professionally, than
anyone else ...
Liddy was born and raised in Ireland and was steeped in its literature and
culture. He moved to San Francisco and later Milwaukee to teach, write and
"He was sort of ecstatic about daily life," Hazard said. "Ordinary people,
ordinary places were wonderful."
Jim Chapson, Liddy's partner for more than 40 years, said Liddy greatly
valued the role he could play as a mentor to students.
As much as he lived a Bohemian lifestyle, he remained deeply involved in and
knowledgeable about the Roman Catholic Church, friends said.