Tue, 18 May 2021

Homage to Lewis Warsh: So Long

02 May 2021, 10:28 GMT+10


saying goodbye is always one way to keep

the past from vanishing completely. you can

say it over and over again, while you still can.

what can be said anyway about how we were there, who

one was and how the days get made?

you can rehearse saying goodbye or

hello all morning in the mirror and

still be struck silent when the time comes

to head out the door and see your

way to wherever it is you're going.

so it goes, said so-and-so to someone else, on

the bus en route to the outskirts of town, just to

have something to say. what is it to fill

the airy space between with all sorts of ways to see

or say something to someone?

and who knows really how it goes outside the traces one

leaves on the vanishing road, the place where you

put the books to give away. there's no way out, or in for

that matter, outside the people you meet around the

way, their densities and laughter, their shrugs and

long inquisitive stares, as if the horizon could be

anywhere you see it.

someone passes across the window doing a wheelie on

a scooter while an apple grows cold and sweet in

the fridge and the wind blowing in from the sea shakes

the long fronds of a banana tree. who knows

what you will have wanted to say about that.

are poems the time where the living and

the dead confer? these little conscious rooms that

open between waking and sleep, that belong to

everyone and no one. or is it in names or the immediate

distance remembrance puts on the tip of your tongue like a

butterscotch candy, dreaming out loud on the page.

good thing it lasted while it's good i'd like to say to

you now and take care, so long, keep us posted.

Daniel Owen is the author of the poetry books Toot Sweet (United Artists, 2015) and Restaurant Samsara (Furniture Press, 2018). His translation from the Indonesian of Afrizal Malna's Document Shredding Museum was published in Australia in 2019 by Reading Sideways Press, and other translations (of work by Malna and Farhanah) have been published in various journals and magazines.

Homage to Lewis Warsh, who was a poet, a prose writer, and one of the founding professors of the MFA program in Creative Writing at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. Professor Warsh passed away on November 15, 2020. His students and friends honored his memory...writing.

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