by Elizabeth Guthrie.
He had been all in black walking through the flower beds one after the other ~ what appeared to be an intent investigation ~ there was no one else around ~ it was my first time visiting campus at Naropa ~ I thought, “I want to be here.”
He was sitting in the audience ~ I looked for him at my readings ~ once with a furrowed brow ~ once, for a poem about Christopher Knowles, smiling and nodding ~ I felt I had done something worthy of his attention & relaxed inside ~
He was on a bench at a reading & I slid up to him on a bench and gabbed at him about poetry and archiving ~ I felt a deep resonance like a bowl being struck, was sure we’d been in dialogue, but when I tried to remember what he’s said, I could not recall any words, only facial expressions, thoughts, feelings ~ an emotional and psychological landscape that spoke volumes ~
He was a presence throughout my relationship with my partner, Andy & I ~ we often read his work, finding our way poetically, philosophically, humanly ~ lifting our spirits, answering questions by reading him aloud to each other…
He was in London in his last year and I was fortunate enough to hear him read at A Joyful Summit of Old Savages ~ a celebration ~ the reverence of the audience ~ it was joyful! It was what can be done with poetry ~ and he plucked the strings of time and language ~ he played the moment ~ he made us laugh and contemplate ~ his presence made space for us to be in and to be more in, in ~ and afterward he and Jane embraced me and called me family ~ I still feel the warmth of that embrace, that what can be done, having been done in him, in their embrace, from across the ocean ~ the expanse lifted ~ Thank you, Anselm ~ Safe journey and so much love ~