Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, NOT TRANSHISTORICAL DEATH, OR AT LEAST NOT QUITE, by HAYDEN CARRUTH



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NOT TRANSHISTORICAL DEATH, OR AT LEAST NOT QUITE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Jim wright, who was a good poet and my friend, died two or three years ago
Subject(s): Wright, James (1927-1980); Poetry & Poets


Jim Wright, who was a good poet and my friend, died two or three years ago.
I was told at the time that we did not lose him.
I was told that memories of him would keep him in this world.
I don't remember who told me this, just that it was in the air, like the usual
fall-out from funerals.
I knew it was wrong.

Now I have begun to think how it was wrong.
I have begun to see that it was not only sentimental but simplistic.
I have examined Jim in my mind.
I remember him, but the memories are as dead as he is.
What is more important is how i see him now.
There, there in that extreme wide place, that emptiness.
He is near enough to be recognizable, but too far away to be reached by a cry or
a gesture.
He is wearing a light-weight, brightly colored shirt.
His trousers belong to a suit, but the coat has been discarded.
His belt is narrow and somehow stays straightly on his pot belly.
His shoes are thin and shiny.
I think he bought those shoes on his last journey to Europe.
He is walking away, slowly.
He is wandering, meandering.
Sometimes he makes a little circle.
Sometimes he pauses and looks to one side or the other.
Sometimes he looks down.
Occasionally he looks up.
He never looks back, at least not directly.
Although he recedes very gradually and becomes very gradually smaller, I
continue to see all the aspects of his face and figure clearly.
He is thinking about something and I know what.
It is not the place he now occupies in my life.
He cannot imagine that, only I can.
He is neither what he was (obviously), nor what he is (for I am quite sure I am
inventing that).
Is he Jim Wright? Is he not someone else?
Yes, he is Jim Wright. No, he is not someone else. Who else could he possibly
be?
When I die, he will arrive at where he is going. And I will set out after him.


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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