John Casquarelli

All Poets Welcome

For Lewis Warsh

He calls me into his office, gives me
a copy of The Origin of the World and
Our Friends Will Pass Among You Silently.

I stare at his bookshelves, half-listening.
He smiles and I recognize it’s possible to
dream without sleeping. This must be how
a tiger feels when it becomes aware of its stripes.

On paper, growls are fragments, each stanza
a grain of dust in an hourglass. His gray sweater
includes threads of second generation
St. Mark’s Poetry Project Wednesday readings.

“Take my long poem workshop and read
the archived letters of New York School poets
at Fales Library. I’ll grant you access.”

The pen hums. Outside, Washington Square radiates
with skateboards and dancing lights at dusk.
One day, I’ll give these moments names, place them
in a Mason jar, and they will be inseparable.

John Casquarelli is the author of two full-length collections: On Equilibrium of Song (Overpass Books, 2011) and Lavender (Authorspress, 2014). He is a Lecturer in Academic Writing at Koç Üniversitesi in Istanbul and Managing Editor for Lethe. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies.