The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2021

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MARCH 2021 Issue
Poetry A Tribute to Lewis Warsh


for and after Lewis Warsh

Clouds of a certain color become clouds of another, shades of gray knots of sparrows pass across on
their way home to roost

Consolation is always late in coming

You can drown your sorrows in bourbon or burgundy or chocolate milk

You can pick a name out of a hat, you never know whose it might be

At some point everyone you now know could have been someone else, but now you know them as
themselves, and you, for what it's worth, are you

What exceeds memory might haunt you forever, but there's no accounting for what you'll never

A pile of rocks on the concrete steps, the briny sea air of the arcades in Asbury Park

It was like looking through the keyhole of a vacant room

Maybe no one knows the fate of those who've come this way before

Maybe the whole world is filled with jam

There's always a last time and a first time for everything, and it could be anyone knocking at your
door for no reason

Reorganize the books on their shelves as if cleaning the cobwebs from the corners of your mind or
translating desire into a picture postcard someone once sent you

Put it in a frame and hang it on the wall above the piles of dirty laundry and scratched lotto tickets

If nothing else, the gaze of the ancestors will keep you in line

How being 8 was in the ocean, sky with no end overhead

One's name seems important to put at the top of the page

Get your facts straight first before you take another step closer

It might well be possible to know something about something, but how far are you willing to go if it

A strip of sand, a shovel and pail, the face of each passing stranger like someone you once knew

I used to know something about something, or so I thought, but now I spend my time learning the
difference between one and the other, in a sleepless stupor, the days getting shorter till the cows
come home

Step out from under the vinyl awning and into the August heat


Daniel Owen

Daniel Owen is a poet, translator, and editor.


The Brooklyn Rail

MARCH 2021

All Issues