May 19, 2017
EVERY SYMPHONY IS A SUICIDE POSTPONED
- after Franz Wright
If you have an exit wound, you can be sure what struck you has passed clean through. If you’ve been hit once, you’re always being hit, but whatever is hurting you is always leaving you too. At some point, you’ll sit up and ask for water. Out of the woods, they say, but what prey animal wants a clearing? As we all know, ...
May 18, 2017
In early 1998, along with Tom Lux, Jonathan Galassi, and Bill Wadsworth, I served on a panel that was distributing money to independent poetry presses on behalf of the Academy of American Poets. One of the applications we reviewed was from Oberlin College Press, for a subvention to defray part of the cost of publishing Ill Lit, Franz’s first volume of selected poems. David Young, the press’s ...
May 17, 2017
Six-fingered pitchfork, god-speed;
I’ve got a field fallow & have you seen
my horses? They’re hungry.
Death is not a state. It is a property
like the smell of peaches on your
or my skin. The little book I wear
around my neck is gold-filled,
mostly brass. It takes an open palm
to lift the hay, the hair in sunlight.
The tremble of one ...
May 16, 2017
by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright
In the ninth month after Franz died, I was asked if I would like to contribute something to a memorial feature in his honor. I was faced with an immediate difficulty involving shared reality. To contribute, I went along with the premise. I slept on the couch for several weeks, facing the chair, the one still there for Franz, to coax out a few of the ...