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Quack by Bill Kushner

On November 16, 2015 at the Poetry Project in NYC there was a memorial reading for Bill Kushner organized by Stacy Szymaszek, a beautiful tribute to a wonderful poet.

The readers were Stacy Szymaszek, Lewis Warsh, Phyllis Wat, Maggie Dubris, Lydia Cortes, Steve Spicehandler, Eddie Berrigan, Cliff Fyman, Noam Scheindlin, Ken “Angel” Davis, Anselm Berrigan, Lee Ann Brown, Dennis Moritz, KB Nemcosky, John Godfrey, Peter Bushyeager, Charlotte Carter, Barbara Henning, Elinor Nauen, and Tom Savage.

The end of Bill’s memorial was as good as the beginning. Below is my contribution. I wish I could show you the whole thing.


It’s only frustrating because we know what
It should be & it’s not. I went to a shrink
Once & he said maybe you’re better off not seeing
Beyond your nose. Maybe you’re better off kid
Digging your ditches writing your poems going home
For what are poems but these disturbances of silence
These disturbing glimpses of other forms of lives

As for instance, a duck has to make a connection
For whatever reason, with another duck. So what’s
The duck do? Quack. He goes Quack my name is
Donald & I’m lonely. Quack my name is Donald &
I’m going crazy. & beyond my lake’s the valley
& I Donald I see the mountains & the spacious skies
And beyond that this sexy silence. Quack I kiss you, silence.

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