Monday, November 16, 2020



I first had contact with the poet (and novelist, publisher etc.) Lewis Warsh in the 1960s, but we became friends in the early 1970s when I was going through a (revolutionary at the time) personal and political transition to being "out" as "gay" and "queer" (though I was still attracted to and in relationships with women, it's a complicated tale) and was attracted to him.

I don't know if I ever said anything but I think he got that. He was "straight" but was always sweet to me in a way few, if any, so-called "straight" men were to me at the time. I appreciated that throughout the years that followed when I often "presented" as "straight" myself and confused others with my attempts to clarify that with my writing.

Whenever I saw him through the five decades that followed, I felt that sweetness and it made me happy. That's what I'm remembering and feeling on learning that he's passed. The last time we read together was at KGB in NYC with Dale Herd in 2015 (I think), and the last time I saw him was a few years ago and still felt that tenderness from and toward him.

He will be sorely missed by many, and my heart goes out to his children and many friends and fans.

Here's a poem of his that was in BOMB in 2013 (the lines should be closer together but I can't get them there:

Dark Side of Time

Time is the solution in which the living

and the dead confer—there’s no other place for us

or them and there’s no other place to be

(except where we are), putting our feet up

on the balcony and staring out at the empty

plain—where everything is invisible and everyone

has a name (the only way back is the way

you came), and once I played Odysseus

to her Penelope, way back when, and we stepped

from the bath in someone else’s house,

and once all the lights went out in the middle

of the night and we built a fire until the storm

abated, and later—it’s getting late in the day—

we’ll have caviar and champagne—at the edge

of the crater on the Sea of Dreams,

and look down to earth as if it was all one

and the same, and leave our footprints

for those who follow.

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