The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2021

All Issues
MARCH 2021 Issue
Poetry A Tribute to Lewis Warsh


             in memory of Lewis Warsh

Lewis phrases those poems in
             straightforward complete sentence
served under common law
   unemphatically crafted by prosody
         delivered in nouveau-roman-ish diffident tones
      phrases abut uneasily a disquieting contiguity
   that by poem’s end virtually trembles with passion
         all events in his life are near and
          can rehashed
      nothing about his experience is resolved closed or immune
         to inner conflict
         follow him from an
anecdotal phrase to a pan of the camera
             from a self-deprecatory meditation to drole truism
       non-passive douceur
        yea unto genteel
        sequence so that each relocation pertains
   its simultaneity has purchase
      in others’ voices
   other’s bedrooms
         of his own

Had Enough
         in mourning Lewis Warsh

Been a long way to go for this of all nights
grief-wrapped salvos raised to the skies smoky
candle day to day fleet-foot reaper feeds the spark
unhappiness in record time I know the dance
it’s our lore
     no appeasement by shadow puppets Satyavati
and Vyaasa uncertainty and quandary underneath
hairy armor the might of a tumor à propos to
mongers their hate of love let them not know my
fondnesses lest they hate others to death
is dead a disease of anomalous mutation
its sureness on the day it decides I’ve had
enough friends they come close then they
return to matter they are speechless from
now on they don’t wait up


John Godfrey

John Godfrey wore Lewis Warsh’s deluxe midnight blue wool thigh-length winter overcoat 1970–72, while he was in California.


The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2021

All Issues