Poem for Henri Deluy by Douglas Messerli

Eric Giraud (left), Liliane Giraudon, Jean-Jacques Viton (May 24,1933–March 14, 2021), Susan Bee, me, Henri Deluy: Marseille, November 22, 2016.

Henry Deluy  (April 25, 1931–July 20, 2021)

Saddened to have lost the great poet, publisher, and literary organizer and friend, Henri Deluy. Here’s a poem I wrote “after” his writing in the Sun & Moon book, Carnal Love.
— Douglas Messerli

the silence no body had ever given
after Henri Deluy

I didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t maybe
shouldn’t know why
because the evidence was there,
the truth no longer needed
the draft of the secret
shared, something immobile
and stifling in the air. No,
it was not an ordinary day.
You began to laugh into a groan
because the truth was useless. If you knew
the truth you wouldn’t say that you knew
about the truth despite the persistent
trace of the evidence of not knowing
the secret that might or might not
have been shared that night, hung
out to dry cautious, precise, articulated
so slowly that you forgot what the evidence
of the ordinary day might have been
showing up on the tongue, the lip,
the hip at your disposal, the obligation
to attain clarity. No, it was all so perfectly
planned out, special, arranged that I didn’t,
couldn’t have any longer in the intense
glare of the everyday sun know where
or what was down or up or in or out or hung
to die like the imaginary proof of our having
been there, where the truth had become the lie.

Los Angeles, July 21, 2021