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Lewis Warsh reads from Out of the Question: Selected Poems (1963 – 2003)

I like to read Lewis Warsh and I like to listen to him read. He pronounces his words well because he knows what they mean. In the spirit of listening, here is what I captured of him reading at the Poetry Project last autumn on my iPhone. I know this post is late, but it’s worth waiting for.

The poem I’ve added below is shorter than the poems he reads, which makes it a good place to begin because when I read him, I can also hear him; his language is not only memorable, but personal and meant for me, written for my ear. I am (you are) there.


If I turn into you
By force of habit, dint
Of luck, or just
Normally, as the occasion warrants
Not romantically, but because
Sitting through myself, I find
I’m thinking your thoughts, and you mine,
So it’s possible both to inhabit
The body that sleeps beside you
And the concise fragments of the person
You thought you were, part in-
decision, part desire, part heavenly
Love, or all these things
Scattered over the earth, like sparks.

Out of the Question: Selected Poems (1963 – 2003) is published by Station Hill. You can check them out here:


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