“Despite that Lewis Warsh is most closely associated with the community of writers who met at St. Marks Church on the Bowery from the late 70’s through the 90’s, his influence has been felt nationally and internationally. He founded the signal United Artists Magazine and co-edited Angel Hair and United Artists, he curated reading series, he published books of poetry and prose, he became involved with translation through Wang Ping whose work he helped bring into lively English (and with whom he co-translated numerous Tibetan and Chinese poets). His own work is rammed with life, deceptively casual, and psychologically acute. He can swerve from irony to Eros or from prose passages to precisely enjambed lyric with improvisatory slacker-dexterity. With his keenly urban eye, he’s one of the terrific poets of New York. His newest book is Inseparable, (Granary Books, 2008).”

—Forrest Gander

“If you add one word to another,” Lewis Warsh writes, “it’s going to all make sense, eventually.” Much sense is made and pleasure given by a poet who has remained steady, melancholy, bemused and musical for many decades. I was especially moved by the poem about picking up the children from school. We are both ghost and matter now, everywhere we go.”

—Fanny Howe

“Gently insistent rhythms and startling line breaks work in counterpoint through these poems, knocking the tender up against the harsh as they wind through their own labyrinth, constantly encountering the political quotidian shot through with memories, observations, and lyric detours. Always agile, always unexpected, Lewis Warsh’s poems exemplify what good poetry must do—wander from the prescribed path and find its own way through the newly-unrecognizable world.”

—Cole Swensen

"Lewis Warsh stars as the hard-boiled detective on the trail of something ever-elusive but so distinct you can taste it (the words force themselves out of your own mouth.) The camera careens woozily across the obliterated line of the grand narrative, as Warsh delivers breathless internal polyphonies with the bullet-speed of Bogart and Bacall, the balancing act of Buster Keaton, Thomas Bernhard’s tell-it-like-it-is indictment and Sandra Bernhardt’s audacious grace. These poems, crackling with phantom rhymes and rhythms hidden just below the sentence-surface, become more than poems, the way “ideas are acts of love.” Warsh’s imperatives ('tell me something you never told anyone') and admissions ('no one answerable except me') are such acts. He leads us confidently, and confidentially, in an unspoken agreement to feel as much as we can stand without breaking into pieces. 'Who can sleep?'”

—Matvei Yankelevich


2008, Granary Books

Paperback 212pp