So we’re moving out of our apartment of 14 years on E. 4th St., and I’m already nostalgic for it. Yesterday, alone in my apartment during the day for the first time in — months? years? — a single ray of sun fell through the window in the kitchen. I had completely forgotten that the apartment does after all get some light for 20 minutes around midday.
I had already started writing my first commentary for Jacket2. But then I had to begin again.
Earlier today I learnt of the passing of a great poet and a friend: Arkadii Dragomoshchenko.
I discovered on the weekend that Arkadii was seriously unwell. As a result, I dedicated the launch party for my book A Common Strangeness that we held in Dunedin, New Zealand, on Monday to him. As part of the launch, the New Zealand poet Cilla McQueen read the first part of his long poem “A Nasturtium as Reality” alongside her own poem “Photon.” It was just the latest in a long line of cross-cultural encounters generated by Arkadii’s work.
By the time we got to the long, apologetic love poem Asphodel, That Greeny Flower in the Williams class, I was beginning to worry about the relatively short amount of time we had spent on the variable foot.
contemporary poetry insert: poem here insert: essay here call it: essay-poem insert: appropriated text call it: poetry insert: sound poem call it: wave score insert: visual poem call it: if sound could see claim: the text is dead just schrödinger: the text! insert: tired formatting like strikethrough fade: your erasures use: basic font variations insert: another footnote please instead please insert: some nu-sonnets inject: the bacterium!
It was with great sadness that I heard this heartbreaking news. From when I first met Arkadii in the 1980s, to his semester-long stay with his wife Xena in Buffalo in the early 1990s, to Susan, Felix and my visit to St. Petersburg in 2001, to his recent visit to New York and to Penn two years ago, I have felt a deep kinship with Arkadii, a poetic and personal affinity that goes beyond any national or linguistic borders. A great companion in life and poetry has left the earth but not the world.
ATD’s death was reported about three hours ago on Facebook by Aleksandr Skidan and Mikhail Iossel.