My first public performance of my poetry in New York City was at a trendy art gallery in the SoHo district, back in 1986. The place was packed, wall-to-wall, and the audience was enthusiastic. I was reading from my soon-to-be-published first book of poems, entitled “Notes of a Madman” which was an illustrated collection of mystical poetry from Pagan and Sufi traditions. The gallery owner, an enigmatic young man, was particularly obsessed with the poems and spiritual messages in the slender volume of verse, and he read the book over and over again. Some months after the reading I again called the gallery to say “hello” and another young man answered the phone, saying in a somber voice: “Didn’t you know? He passed away shortly after your reading.” He had died of AIDS.
That beautiful young man hung onto my verse in a time of deep personal transformation. I have never forgotten the awe and sense of responsibility I felt after that telephone conversation. Since then, I have always written and painted with the intent of inspiring creativity and transformation in humanity. And now that I have — myself — lived with the AIDS virus for twenty years it feels appropriate to inspire once again through writing about one of the greatest transformations Mankind can ever know. It does not matter what we die of … every Soul and Life Expression is precious, and to be celebrated.