Mark Allen Jensen
April 17, 1968 – June 8, 2021
But Jensen wouldn’t leave us in a churchy way… with organs and such. He would blast into heaven, on a pulse of sonic waves -- a power-chord face-off between Joe Strummer and the Edge, with head-banging vocals by the Robot Farts. Behind him, as he rose upward, Jensen would trail phantasmagoric, electric-rainbow memory beams – whisps of color and magic, directed back through the clouds, swirling right into the waters of Barton Springs Pool, creating a tiny whirlpool at its very center (Some predict the beams would confer health benefits on those who jump into the BSP and scream “We love Mark Jensen!”)
From Barton Springs, the phantasmagoric, electric-rainbow memory beams bounce outward, splitting into a thousand, thousand, thousand more -- ricocheting off fireflies, and rippling into the atmosphere with a glow… so anyone that knew Jensen could tap in.
And the beams would be powerful…
They’d swirl together images of a smiling giant, with a devilish side-eye, calves and forearms from the Marvel Universe, immovable in a mosh pit or in defense of those he loved. One part Lebowski, a dash of Rick Rubin, sprinkle in a little Princess Bride, a jigger of crazy dad, and a twist of irrepressible romantic.
Oh, you’d see all kinds of images…
There’d be visions of the Sherman-tank Watusi, a singular contribution to music culture only to be attempted in mirrored shades and a bandana, while biting lower lip, in mud-bound music festivals or a beer-soaked opera house.
There’d be the art Jensen mischievously disguised as advertising – a giant talking bee, a bartender poet, sock-puppet hoopsters, fairytale jungle-scapes nourished by waterfalls of cherry juice.
We’d see fantasy football smack-talk, friendships forged in iron, love-smush headlocks for Bowie the Labradane. And music treks with Maria and life-long arm-in-armers… concert deafness, laughter grenades… the nearness of necks… sparklers against velvet.
There’d be a moustache-twirling conspiracy with two 7-year-old boys – showing them how malleable and fun the world can be.
There’d be one hundred thousand beings happier for bobbing in Jensen’s wake. (Jensen always left a wake.) Friends, colleagues, acquaintances… strangers in strange lands. Musicians he believed in and fought for. Dogs he yanked out of the wrong cue.
And of course, there’d be all the worried people Jensen ever dismantled with a hug… each checking for broken ribs, flush with endorphins, loopy with grins they thought they’d outgrown, stripped of armor.
And there would be Jensen, aiming all of us like Roman candles, one at the other, to see what colors he could make. He mashed us all up over barbecues and bar tops, at dog runs and pool parties. Across time and space. He’d shout us into a new friendship in front of a Marshall amp. Or pull us by the wrist into orbit with someone new that we’d love… in that grip. Evil genius, that Jensen. (They say words were Jensen’s medium…but it was us.)
Each of these images pulsed through the memory beams, were all a part of Jensen’s very own, best-imagined story. How he built up his dreams… How he came into his own strength to chase them down…without ever abandoning the soft ways of a once-shy soul.
The beams would have an effect… they’d remind Jensen’s mom Phyllis how her sweetness and love had landed square and how grateful he was for that. They’d remind all of us what it means to be there for the people you love, without compromise. (A Jensen specialty.) They’d poke us into seeing the beauty in things first, or to revel in the wonder of every weird new person we meet on our respective journeys. And they’d likely enable previously impossible hugs, melting away all manner of estrangements. (Futurists suppose that once deciphered, the beams would convince an ambivalent Galactic Council that Earth was worthy of preservation.)
Finally, the beams would all converge in the place where Jensen found love… with Maria… the woman who took his breath away, who realized his dreams, who steadied and inspired him, and who gave Jensen the two beloved critters that multiplied that love by a gajillion, Wyatt and Waylon.
Now, because Jensen engineered these beams, they’d work two ways. So, Maria, Waylon and Wyatt (and actually any of us) could pulse messages back to Jensen… about the Robot Farts, or a giant crawdad, or the deliciousness of peas. They could send hugs made of light, hopes and plans, and possibly MP3s (as long as the music’s good.)
Jensen will hear… and he’ll respond. With random butterfly messengers, or in the smile of a stranger. He will conjure spit takes at the dog run. He’ll mysteriously synch up your playlist with the big beats in your life, or the scenery flying by your window. He’ll make you laugh from a deep place.
All this from far above, in a splendiferous cosmic pad with excellent acoustics and a comfy dog bed for Biggie, his beloved Boxer. It will feature a phantasmagoric, electric-rainbow memory beam generation station - with a view of the boys and Maria – coordinates for the Springs. Jensen will wear shorts and flip-flops. There will be creative summits between Johnny Cash, Sun Ra and Biggie Smalls. Jensen’s dad Bill will drop in, still encouraging beautiful things in his heart and his art. And Jensen would smile knowing that the memory of him meant something to those he left behind.
That’s how Jensen would want to leave… on a blast-wave of music, headed to a beautiful place, showering us with love.
Mark Jensen Born April 17, 1968. Died June 8, 2021. Mark was predeceased by his father Bill and leaves behind his wife Maria, his 7-year-old sons Waylon and Wyatt, his mom Phyllis, brother Doug, sister-in-law Dana and nephew Devyn. Along with countless best friends, cohorts and partners in crime who will miss him every day. We love you Mark Jensen.
In lieu of flowers a gofundme has been set up to benefit Maria and the boys. It will be used for their 529s and to support Friends of Barton Springs, Central Texas Food Bank, Austin Pets Alive and Health Alliance for Austin Musician (HAAM).
There will be a musical remembrance for Mark in Austin on August 28th @ The Far Out Lounge. Details and information on a NY remembrance to follow.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Mark Allen Jensen
June 21, 2021
I will always remember our 20 year high school reunion! You cracked me up ! I regret not doing it lol ! I’m smiling writing this ! We always had a great time ! Love you 😘 RIP
June 20, 2021
see you one of these days, Jens. ❤️
June 20, 2021
Our deepest sympathy. Our thoughts and heart are with you.
Tom Snavely and Karen Buher
June 12, 2021
Mark was a magical force. He showed up at my employer's place randomly one day to donate charitable funds with a big check and then asked how he could help with volunteers. From there, we got to work as community partners, and then as friends. I have fond memories of just hanging with Mark and shooting the breeze, enjoying food and drinks, music and the company of friends and good people. Mark loved life and did it well. He loved Maria and his boys deeply. And we loved Mark, too. I will miss and remember his presence and soul.
June 11, 2021
I have so many memories of Mark from his sports editor days in high school to him tricking me into thinking I had won the Publisher Clearing House when he worked for that ad agency to this year when he apologized for missing the deadline on my birthday. He was so kind, clever, smart and happy. His smile lit up the room and, at times, the sky. I feel as though a chunk of my heart is missing!!!