“Suspended” by Louis Daniel Brodsky

Several years ago, the great late poet and Faulkner scholar Louis Daniel Brodsky wrote this piece for me after some particularly intense and creative correspondence between us. He assured me that any published or unpublished work that he sent to me would be fair game for sharing. I’m deeply honored by his sentiments, and I miss him even more deeply. Thank you, L.D.

 

Suspended
For David Herrle


Nothing much escapes you,
Nothing much, that is, but escape itself —
A void where you’ve been colluding with time, your entire life.

How is it that everyone else who knows you,
Even those who don’t,
Know what you don’t: that escape is your only reason for being,

The great justification for your purblind existence,
In which each awakening is a disappearance
Into the cave that’s warm enough to support your fetal sleep,

Each sleep an awakening into the nowhere you’ve just vacated,
At the far end of the same changeless day
That sustains your obliviousness to the death you’ve been living?

Nothing much escapes you,
Nothing much, that is, but escape itself,
That womb in which you’re suspended in inescapable darkness.