I only met Michael McClure a few times but he was always nice to me. He was one of my favorite poets, and a bit of an influence on my own work, since I first encountered his poetry in 1960. Associated with The Beats he was part of the West Coast movement originally known as The San Francisco Renaissance (his book of poetry and prose, his and others, SCRATCHING THE BEAT SURFACE, is my favorite exploration of the whole Beat phenomenon). But he was an original, combining the influence of The Romantic poets, Antonin Artaud, his interest in and study of biology, and visionary experiences, into poems full of lyric wisdom and enthusiasm and imagination.
He played with typography (most of his lines are centered and of different lengths giving his poems organic shapes), making it difficult for me to quote any in entirety here, so I'll instead end with a small selection of the lines from his poems (with slashes indicating line breaks) that I felt compelled to underline over the decades I've been enjoying his work:
"My spirit is not trapped by love of fame / I am not hungry for death's attitudes." (from Star)
"You want to be like / The Big Boys. / Whoever they are!" (from September Blackberries)
"THE INVISIBLE EXTENSIONS OUTWARD ARE AS COMPLEX AS THE VISIBLE EXTENSIONS INWARD." (from September Blackberries)
"It's not easy because we / DIDN'T / ask to be here / or for beauty ..." (from September Blackberries)
"HEY YOU! / / Hey deer, I'm on fire! You are more / comfortable, / at some moments, because your spirit / has fewer swirls and your conscious body / / lives deeper back in time." (from Rebel Lions)