Reinvention is my philosophy, if you want to call it that,” he says, looking out the window. “Imagination is the key to creating a life that is ever new.” Stanley turns his eyes to me. “We are each of us a changeling person,” he says. “We are not going to be the same decade after decade. Wisdom results from confronting not only one’s desires and capacities but also one’s limitations.” “The Layers,” one of Stanley’s best-loved poems, is his crystallization of this wisdom. I have walked through many lives, some of them my own, and I am not who I was, though some principle of being abides from which I struggle not to stray. When I look behind, as I am compelled to look before I can gather strength to proceed on my journey, I see the milestones dwindling toward the horizon and the slow fires trailing from the abandoned camp-sites, over which scavenger angels wheel on heavy wings. Oh, I have made myself a tribe out of my true affections, and my tribe is scattered! How shall the heart be reconciled to its feast of losses? In a rising wind the manic dust of my friends, those who fell along the way, bitterly stings my face. Yet I turn, I turn, exulting somewhat, with my will intact to go wherever I need to go, and every stone on the road is precious to me. In my darkest night, when the moon was covered and I roamed through wreckage, a nimbus-clouded voice directed me: “Live in the layers, not on the litter.” Though I lack the art to decipher it, no doubt the next chapter in my book of transformations is already written. I am not done with my changes.