Evening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics (Tribute to Tomaž Šalamun—Issue 50, February 2015)

Noah Eli Gordon
Dear Tomaž

Dear Tomaž,

You will never die. 

Don’t believe anyone on Earth. 

I’ve read your poems to others who have wept and wept after listening. 

I’ve read your poems to lovers who climbed immediately into bed with me. 

I’ve read your poems alone and been so filled with life I felt as though I right there grew several feet taller. 

I’ve read them and read them. I’ve read your poems to rooms full of students, to rooms full of poets, to the walls of my own room. 

And each time, each and every time, every single time, something happens, someone changes, something is charged anew, challenged, crushed and rebuilt, more sturdy and malleable, more full of all the things on the planet. 

Your poems orbit everyone, everywhere. 

In their singularity, they float up in the sky only to rain down multitudinous and ubiquitous, yet still rare. 

They hover in unison. 

They pulsate like a heart, like hundreds of tiny bird hearts all beating in tandem. 

They bind together all the poets of America, pulverize the European poets, sing to the African and Asian poets. 

They cover the dirt, the hills, the woods. 

If each had a body, they’d fill every chair on the planet. 

They make city after city in their image, in yours. 

You will never die Tomaž. The poets of the Earth won’t allow it. 

Again and again and again, we will prop you up on our backs and drag you from country to country, from city to city, from street to street, from room to room, from dust to dust. 

You who were born in a wheatfield snapping your fingers will continue forever to do so while the rest of us listen.