The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2021

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MARCH 2021 Issue
Poetry A Tribute to Lewis Warsh


for Lewis

I said we started it

we founded it then

Angel Hair

that very night.
The Robert Duncan reading in Berkeley

The conference
Night we met

Robert Duncan commanded we make a magazine

You always said no, later, it was …. it was the car ride

In a car we founded it

How do you exactly found something in a car?

It showed the temper of our various minds

Talking in a car is a magazine I suppose

I wanted it to be falling in

Love was also this idea

That night we were falling in love and we would

Be really good together making something good

You never just fall in love with a person

And make love with them

That we make something that’s the whole point

That we are inside poetry and that Robert Duncan
Commanded this

I know he did

And he is a magus

Poetry was love for us

Poetry is mysterious

How could he not have cast a spell?

You were conversant in the most exciting poetry

And the gossip about Jack Spicer hating the Beats

He wouldn’t be part of the conference & then he died

Too young to think of a house,

What think when they are falling in love

There is no future

We are right now

What I liked was being in this crowd of poetry

Want to make together another reality now

(There would be babies with others

That’s making time enough, or no time for that)

A magazine is a paper window, also a car window

Keep opening the papery curtains or

Let the air in

And maybe you need a windshield wiper

And music and someone else driving

To make a magazine

A bedroom of strange bedfellows (Williams)

We were the next night somewhere on Nob Hill

A fancy part of town

You were kind and very beautiful, slender gentle body

I’d never been there but you had a story with the people in the apartment

Beautiful young men

I was a new tangle

I remember standing in front of a mirror

On lysergic acid going though all my lifetimes and especially this one

I had a vision of all the persons I knew and

How we had passed through some ancient anxieties but it was important

That we were all still together changing, how we looked, morphing

Something radically changing us, fast from infant

But we were all feeling urgent about knowing something

Together and doing something

What was it?

Why were we all looking up?

My vision was look up, all of it, the people I Ioved

My Frances

And you there too, my new friend

I needed an assignment for them because of Iove

I thought what an egomaniac

If I could just get one assignment from “up there”

From the quiet stars

I could take it on to help

Everyone take on each other for everything

They also wanted to make something together in the vision

That was what I was supposed to make, maybe it would work for everyone

What to do, thinking

And watched my face age and turn to dust. Poof!

That was the point that I disappear

It was a wandering day, did I carry / have that idea about

A magazine from the day before?

I can’t remember but I wanted to be around words

But I remembered struggling to get over the bridge to

Allen Ginsberg reading, the conference, it felt important

And we were stopping and sitting down and

Lost in the lines on our hands, and streetlamp light

And undulation….

Lines of undulation…galaxies

I felt very light and drawn to this fluid person next to me

We were poets we were going to be poets together

And make something syllables coming in the air

The street

That was a feminine plan

A path through parks and other places a wandering line, a femme plan

Manicured parts but action in a garden

And plants and trees, very luscious, soft, and when

They were not they

Were reminders of plant intensity

Vibrating, striking


Pushing you away, then embrace

Very animate plants

We, then erotic

If you sat with them you were with them, thinking with them

I didn’t know this city San Francisco at all but

It was many rays of light coming through a night

And sitting by water

Where could that have been

Like velvet

Sometimes a building looking up

Walking up hills, my insides are ribbons of light

Scent of jasmine I am thinking

And we couldn’t get over the bridge

And later I thought this was like karma,

This was action, this was where you learn about action

Whether or not you get across a bridge to hear

Allen Ginsberg for the first time is action or not

And when you don’t because you think it is important

And you think you missed it

Then it’s karma, it will come back to haunt you

Where you meant to fall in love, or a poetry reading

Fall in love

What we could do and did, what we didn’t couldn’t do

How far we could go years

Never let go


Anne Waldman

Anne Waldman is the author most recently of Trickster Feminism (Penguin), Sanctuary (Spuyten Duyvil) , co-translator of The Songs of the Sons & Daughter Of Buddha (Shambhala) and the album SCIAMACHY (Levy Gorvy).


The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2021

All Issues