For Lewis Warsh
Lewis was so beautiful inside and out; you’d have to try really hard to be unhappy around him. Being near him I felt the bones of a soft, intense wild and growing world of people and places, friends in communion and creation, lifers in art. Imagine out of simply being born you can talk to people, live with them, share the world, and get to know some of them intimately for some form of eternity which focus makes possible. I may be wrong but I think everyone is gifted at least one language. And with a single language, a piece of paper, a pen or pencil, the ability to think and observe—with these somewhat simple privileges you may have acquired, one is free to use one’s hands et al. to write. And then how lucky to share something that did not exist in this peculiar form before it was created by you. It is magic
And doing just this I had the pleasure of being somewhere I really wanted to be for over 10 years, a period of time through which I felt that infinity. During the traverse of our Lewis Warsh led workshop taking place at The Poetry Project, at Be LaRoe’s beautiful loft throwing color onto the street by way of strings of
Lewis said in a very warm, serious way, and I’m happy always to remember him saying this, that one hopes to stay close to life somehow. So now what? I wonder about the symmetry taking place between deaths and births, how each person’s parting experience is different and how each may be similar. On many days I now name the people who have walked on and wonder in intricacy about where. Back to stars? Light? Is there an oblivion? Some form of heaven? Do we become trees? Forever relinquished to common dust? Will we return. Wherever, whatever, however it’s become ritual to me to know this chain of souls are there, and to realize this other experience in some way is a shared one. This budding roll call now includes lots of poets, musicians, and artists who dedicated themselves to the temporal and spiritual work of creating something that was not there before, sometimes out of next to nothing. It’s all like this odd necessary sea and we have been placed there somehow and somehow we meet and live for a time to say we have met, and done, and you have seen and heard me and I you.
MERRY FORTUNE is the author of Ghosts By Albert Ayler, Ghosts By Albert Ayler (Futurepoem books) and Deep Red Guild (Straw Gate Books).