Avenue of Escape

Avenue of Escape strikes me as a book of curious solitude--perhaps solitudes—the very territory where writing takes place. This is a “progress of stories”—to adapt a famous phrase—from the child-writer to the writer-of-the-age-you-are. That the poem is not the world—that the poem is not the self—are clear foci, as if destiny were not inhabited, except by aphorisms and dispersed tales. It is a rending book, as if you had been torn out of it—words escape as from your ‘starling’s mouth.’”

—Robin Blaser

“In turn elegiac, discursive, ironic or deadpan, Lewis Warsh’s poems trip the real while revealing the incontrovertible logic of his lyric. What’s love got to do with it? Everything, for words and lovers are haunted by their absent objects in the same sublime way. Like a modern cross between Montaigne and Jabes, Warsh anatomizes this torment with the mastery and clarity of the possessed.”

—Chris Tysh

“An anxious romantic enters night. An erotic muralist paints breasts on a mirror. A student of architecture unveils a “new” New York in different seasons. A retired mechanic sees civilization sputter. All of these people are Lewis Warsh, incomparable scribe of late, late New York.”

—Andrei Codrescu


Avenue of Escape

1995, Long News Books

Paperback 95pp