Max'd Out

I believe his imagination must have been born fully formed, before he had a language for his gifts. I think he was an infant scholar, a child genius, a Brother from Another Planet...

"...For him, all of the synapses and fantasies, the humanity and spirit, were there just for the plucking.

For me, as his mentor, all I needed to learn in order to teach him was to stay one roller glide ahead of him, to oversee the geometries and the effulgences of his imagination, to help beckon and tease each right wire into each right plug."

Sometimes artists are born directly possessing their creative power, and their life becomes a measure of learning to contain it, control it.

So was the case with poet Max Ritvo, according to one of his M.F.A. professors at Columbia, the poet Lucie Brock-Broido. She wrote about him after his death, too young, from a cancer he'd been carrying since he was 15, in the New Yorker.