Billy - PLEASE READ
#1
Billy’s gone.
 
He passed away just a few hours ago. There are no words for what a tremendous loss this is, and the kind of hole he leaves in our lives and hearts. He’s truly one of a kind, cliché as that might sound. The most incredible, wonderful, amazing man I know.
 
Billy caught the poetry bug writing love sonnets to my mom. A little more than ten years ago, he put up this forum because he wanted there to be a place where poets like him could learn and grow through honest feedback, without the empty fawning and stuffiness and bullshit that he felt plagued other poetry sites he encountered… thus the Pig Pen was born. I wasn’t much of a poet myself but as his trusty sidekick I assisted Billy as he built this place up brick by virtual brick, and soon many, many wonderful likeminded writers joined him.
 
He’d been sleeping for days before he passed, but in his last moments of wakefulness, they said he described visions of the other side--- he said his whole life, all that’s happened good or bad, all his mistakes and choices, everything makes sense. He said he has lived through all the pages of his book that was written out for him, and at the end there are blank pages left in the book to be filled.
 
Let’s leave our messages to Billy in this thread. And keep those pens lifted, poets. There are pages and pages still to fill.
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#2
I didn't know billy except through the Pen. But even based on our limited interaction, there's no doubt that he was a marvelous individual.
It's good to know that he managed to achieve a sense of completion of some sort in his last few days. It's the best that we can hope for.
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#3
I've heard that sort of clarity before when my mother died, though not to that extent. There is some comfort in it, but the losses feel so overwhelming that you take what comfort you can find.

I will miss Billy. I won't miss him as much as his family, or those that knew him in real life, but I will still miss him. He built a good site here, a sort of irreverent workshop. I don't think it could have been built except by someone like him. It didn't feel like other sites. 

I want to say more, but I'm too twisted up at the moment. So, I'll say again I'll miss him. I liked and respected him, and I was glad to be a part of this thing he built.

God bless you, Billy. You were and continue to be loved.
The secret of poetry is cruelty.--Jon Anderson
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#4
Billy was a beautifully genuine chap—and genuinely beautiful. The last time we spoke I, with tongue in cheek, compared myself to Rimbaud—and he, quick as a whip and with his final words on this earth to me, said: "you're no Rimbaud" Big Grin Cheeky cunt Smile

“I'm not afraid of death because I don't believe in it. It's just getting out of one car, and into another.” 
                                                                                                                                  ― John Lennon.
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#5
I'm so sorry Addy. I don't really have words yet, so for now I will borrow some.

In the ulcerating silence perspective comes
the way it always does - for it's ransom
So randomly somebody calls
The phone rings and it brings Niagara Falls

at three o'clock in the morning
"You'd better be dying" and you were
So we talked about time and where it went
unremarkable events
and how one day took two days and they got spent.
How you'd continue, carefully, in degrees
trying to do one true beautiful thing


And your beautiful thing
It'd be
A beautiful thing
To see
That beautiful thing
Continuing



- Gord Downie
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#6
Aw, this is sad news, RIP Billy, even though I hardly knew him I thought that he was an extraordinary person for making this site, (I never knew who made it originally) but this is something terrible. My condolence's.
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#7
Someone should say it, and it certainly fits:

Quote:"Reader, if you would see his monument, look around you."


(Though Billy undoubtedly has other monuments than this site, as Christopher Wren has others beyond St. Paul's.)



Speaking for myself, I'm too new to have really got to know the gentleman, or  improve the site.  But it has certainly improved me, and many or all can say he same.

So, with gratitude, goodbye, Billy.
feedback award Non-practicing atheist
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#8
Ah shit
Peanut butter honey banana sandwiches
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#9
Sending love to Billys family and friends. Pigpen was a home when I needed it most, Billy has always been so encouraging in more ways than one. He even gave me feedback and encouraged me outside of the site with music support. Things are so rough right now, he was an amazing soul and inspiration to many people. I feel like I'm a better person and writer because of him and his site, I hope to give people the honest respect and feedback he showed us.
RIP Billy
Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.
--mark twain
Rob Cave
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#10
Billy and this site provided a safe haven during a time in my life when I needed it most. I don't think I ever told him what this place has meant to me. This site has been a joy and a refuge for me and it's Billy's presence in all the nooks and crannies that makes it such a special place. He was such a beautiful kind person, full of genuine goodwill and a sort of cheerful irreverence that always brightened my day. He is dearly loved and will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
The Soufflé isn’t the soufflé; the soufflé is the recipe. --Clara 
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#11
bye, billy. i lost one of my granddads around a month or so ago, and i suppose the grief i feel now for billy is in part a continuation of that---maybe it's something shared with those who are much closer to him. i always felt kinda chummy (though only deep inside) about his time spent in this country---
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#12
RIP Billy, I didn't know him outside of this site, but he had a huge influence on me as a poet. It was always an honor when he critiqued one of my poems and his good nature came through in his words. He will be missed.
Time is the best editor.
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#13
Oh no, such sad news, my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, I will miss my favourite Manc, who helped me shape my scribbles into something much more. I wish I had told him how much this site has meant to me. I will miss his boot in the groin approach. I will miss Billy

If your undies fer you've been smoking through em, don't peg em out
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#14
.
Thanks billy

.
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#15
Now about William. The man started being really nice to me the last few years. Leanne did the same. Serge did the same. Volaticus did the same.

More people have died who were on this site than will ever be worth thinking about.onte

Billy died out of nowhere. He died the worst way: unexpected. Dying is fine in contemporary society as long as you die accordingly. Contemporary society is called "contemporary" because somewhere 'contem'pt was made socially acceptable. But you know what? It's not acceptable. Until my dying day, death will not be acceptable. I am not through with billy, and therefore, billy is not dead.

Try arguing with me about such things, and in case you have no experience doing such, see what happens.
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#16
wtf is going on. RIP Billy. I came back just to check in and every time i come back someone else is dead.
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#17
(07-11-2020, 12:24 PM)Tiger the Lion Wrote:  I'm so sorry Addy. I don't really have words yet, so for now I will borrow some.

In the ulcerating silence perspective comes
the way it always does - for it's ransom
So randomly somebody calls
The phone rings and it brings Niagara Falls

at three o'clock in the morning
"You'd better be dying" and you were
So we talked about time and where it went
unremarkable events
and how one day took two days and they got spent.
How you'd continue, carefully, in degrees
trying to do one true beautiful thing


And your beautiful thing
It'd be
A beautiful thing
To see
That beautiful thing
Continuing



- Gord Downie

what an apt poem for billy
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#18
Good Lord!  Just checked in and saw this.  So sad.  Leanne and Billy were so much of what this site ever was.  Now both gone.  Mind blown.  Nothing more to say than RIP, good soul.
You can't hate me more than I hate myself.  I win.

"When the spirit of justice eloped on the wings
Of a quivering vibrato's bittersweet sting."

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#19
Billy & Leanne were badass.

This forum helped me graduate from a garbage teenage writer - I'm proud to say that I'm now a recycled adult writer, and those two played a key part in that.

This website is a special place, and Billy & Leanne were some of its pillars. Love, love, love.
"A hippopotamus is just a really cool opatamus."
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#20
Just noticed this thread. Been gone for a little while, had no idea about Billy's passing. It seems by the date that he passed around the same time as my grandfather (a certain virus is to blame). Funny enough, I was just thinking my grandfather, and that prompted me to sign on and read a bit. Then I found this.

I never wrote anything for my grandfather. Never posted a poem, paragraph, or social media tribute to eulogize him. I didn't want to pretend that he could hear me. I won't pretend to that Billy can hear me, but I am nevertheless grateful for the work he did to make a place for us here.

Hopefully we all continue to improve our writing and workshop endlessly in his honor.
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