McClure, announcing himself at a famous beat reading, became a significant player in the San Francisco Renaissance. Conner was a schoolfriend in Kansas. He studied with Duncan, regarded Rexroth as a mentor, and was fictionalised by his good friend Kerouac. He wrote a poem for his correspondent Ashbery and performed with Waldman. An uncritical admirer of Mailer, their acquaintanceship spawned his provocative play ‘The Beard’. Dylan, a friend, gave him an autoharp. Crick said his understanding of science was deep for a poet. Brakhage, a lifelong comrade, was spooked by his black snake.