June 30, 2010

Technical Note

Due to the vagaries of Blogspot,
the posts were all changed to my name
when I took over the blog on Kit's death.

I only posted to this blog after her death;
all posts before February 4, 2010
were written by her. 

- HM

February 8, 2010

In Memory of Kit Carsson

It is not love, but loss 
Which moves us - love fears all change -
And loss proves us human, creative,
Because we create not out
_of our inner resources, but out
_of that which we know absent within us.

Rachel, I see you hugging tightly your happiness
A smile light as gloss on your lips  -
And the light in your eyes which I've always loved.
I love you enough to wish you well,
And I hereby announce my intention to lose you forever:

Goodbye, Rachel, goodbye, goodbye, good...

Editor's Note:  Kit Carsson wrote this, the last of her poems, 
in an unheated cabin in Wisconsin on New Year's Eve, 2009.
(Or at least so she dated it.  She could be given to dramatic
gestures.)  Five weeks later she was dead from a recurrence of
the cancer which she suspected but did not confirm, because of
her decision to forego any further treatment.  She was 43 at 
the time.

As one of her closest friends, she shared this website
with me.  She asked me not to publicize it as long as
Leah, her longtime companion, lives.  She left the decision
of whether to publish this last poem, and indeed whether to
keep the site up at all to me, as her "literary executor."

I have decided to publish this poem,  one of her loveliest
and most troubling, and to keep this site up as a gesture 
towards a legacy for a prolific but frustrated artist who 
died wondering if any of her work would survive her,
and had decided, no probably not.  

I may continue to post her work here if I find 
something in her journals or papers which I think 
appropriate to this site. 

This she gave me permission to do.

I think it would be best for everyone to consider
this site as a work of fiction, telling the story of 
a hopeless love, rather than a collection of poetry.  

Kit Carsson did not write these. as a poet writes -
with the perfection of the writing in mind. 

Instead they were meant to tell the story
of a heart as simply and with as much impact
as possible to another human heart.   That 
she never showed these posts to that one
particular human heart which meant most
to her is neither here nor there.

If there were some way to flip the posts so that the 
site read backward, I would do it.  You may 
want to take read them that way, reading the
oldest one first  and working your way back 
to her final posting, the poem above, 

It Is Loss, Not Love. 

-  HM

Leah, if you come across this site, please forgive Kit,
both for disappointing you and for publishing these
unvarnished fragments of her heart.  I truly believe
she published them to save her relationship with you.
On the other hand, you need not forgive me.  If
I never wished you any particular harm, I always 
valued Kit's art above her love to you; and in the end
I see that is - to the lover, at least - unforgivable.


February 6, 2010

Remembering Kit

I heard this song, and it made me miss Kit
as I think she would have loved this song.
The song only came out in the past few weeks,
but she'd already be singing it in some bar and
thinking of Rachel if she were more than a figment
of that part of the imagination we call memory:


"But that won't stop me crying,
No that won't stop me crying over you."


November 17, 2009

And In The Long Dark

A Love Song for One Not Expected to Return

And in the long dark of waiting,
Jacob sighed and asked Rachel,
Who wasn't there,
Would you miss me, Rachel,
More if I were dead,
And you knew it, than you do
Now when I'm alive and you don't?

November 8, 2009

How Was I Supposed to Know?


And on the day we said goodbye,
How was I to know that I
Would be left with a little ghost

to haunt me

I told you I wasn't sure I could live without you.
You got angry and demanded, "How can you say that?"
But now I'm afraid I may have turned out to be right.

Things I wish I'd done instead
Crowd me on the sidewalks of my mind

And the darkness comes to find me,
Second chances disappear.


September 14, 2009


Do you remember what I consider the Quiet Afternoon?
Your expectant air led me into saying true but
foolish things to you. I didn't know if you'd come back,
but you did; and we never spoke of such things again.

You were so gentle with me
When you let me know
You didn't love me;
You were even careful not to say,
I do not love you.


August 6, 2009


to my heart breaking
and taking
consolation therein.


July 12, 2009

Post Script from Italy

Come and study Italian with me,
And then I'll put to sea
All lesser concerns, and inscribe
These words - so accurate a depiction
Of the relationship of your eyes
To my heart - to you on a
Musical score which will touch your
Open heart:

Io parto, amati lumi,
rimirat'il dolor della partita
in queste fronte pallid'e smarrita.

Io parto, occhi sereni,
fra contanto martir non mi negate
un guardo, non d'amor, ma di pietate.

Io part', o stelle, o soli,
occhi numi del cor ch'in terr'adoro
io parto, io parto, ahi! non piĆ¹ part', io moro.

Sospir, tormenti e doglie
fidi compagni miei, querele e pianti,
venit', io parto, addio diletti e canti.

Addio rise, addio gioie,
addio candidi giorini e felici ore,
restate seco in compagna d'amore.

May 17, 2009

Final Posting: a technical note

A Technical Note

This is just to say,
Only a technical note really,
That as of today,
I am stopping posting:
No, my feelings have not changed,
Deepened maybe. A new photo,
Sepia-toned, breaks my heart again.
Everything I love in your face
Is in that photo, and you
Looked happy - God bless you, I hope you are -
Next to the note which says, "Gone whale watching!"
Oh, I hope you submerge together in a sea
Of happiness, and if I never see you again,
Still you will keep inspiring my Return in Italy
As Caterina Martinelli inspired her Claudia,
And, who knows, life transforms itself into
So many strange shapes, maybe there will be
A return for us.

In any case,
I am so thankful I did not
Die that day
.that day before I had tasted
.the full mystery of life and seen your face,
.the face I love,
.the love I carry.
Oh, I'll always carry the hope
You may think of me one more time.

Here's a final wish for you:


May 11, 2009

Trying to Forget You

You won't believe the hours
I've spent looking at your picture,
Trying to forget you.

Not the smartest thing, is it?
But it's all I can do,
So there it is.


May 7, 2009



You were a string player before
you became a singer, and this
song has nice strings. It's my
goodbye song to you:


If I'm lucky enough to die before
you, I can hope you'll someday know
how I feel about you. I do believe
life is a mystery, and love unlimits us;
but will you be surprised when my letters
arrive and you come upon these poems
and you realize about the Swedish
Girl letter, Papageno's Gift and Torna,
Torna and Love Songs for One
Not Expected to Return, that they were
all written for you, all my trying to make
sense of my love for you.

I bet you'll be astounded to know that
for me the mystery of my life and my work -
what is the difference for the true artist
really? - has all been tied up in you.

If I never said I loved you,
Now you know I tried,
Babe, now you know I tried.

I love you, Rachel. Goodbye.

May 6, 2009

Oh Rachel

Oh, Rachel,
I love you. I love you.
I love you. I love you,


Time to let you go.
am I able?

Goodbye, Rachel.

May 2, 2009

Nothing Tonight

Nothing tonight,
Nothing but missing you.
Death speaks,

"Let your words go and live in her
And you come and die in me,
For you will be more alive if your
Thoughts live where you desire to be,
Than if you keep living, knowing that
She never thinks of you."

April 26, 2009

Not Impossible, No

For some reason I can hear Mona Golabek,
the host of the Romantic Hours reading this
poem outloud. I hope I haven't unconsciously
plagiarized it, or at least the refrain.

If so my apologies to the poet, but what
can you expect when you capture another's
feelings so intimately.


It is not impossible;
It is possible
To fall in love with
Someone incapable of
Returning your love.

It is not impossible;
It is possible
For your love to
Grow despite her never
Returning your love.

It is not impossible;
It is possible
You will suffer and
Suffer intensely and
Learn then surely

It is not impossible;
It is possible
To love and suffer
Without her, yes, without
Her ever knowing.

It is not impossible,
No, not impossible at all;
It is possible

After all, to love,
Have your love grow
And yet remain alone.

It is not impossible,
No, not impossible at all;
It is possible, quite possible.


April 22, 2009

When the World Was Round

Rachel, when I come across something like this,
you're the only one I want to share it with.
So many times I wish I could share something
which has touched me - with you, only with you.
I am so alone:


You win some, you lose some
You only got two shots, so you take one
(what have you done)

'Cause everybody lies 'n' we're stuck in the middle
I think I liked it better when the world was round
There's too much information but not enough to go on
I think I liked it better when the world was round
And I don't think we deserve this
No I don't think we deserve this
I think I liked it better when the world was round

I love you so much, Rachel, will you ever know?


April 21, 2009

Rachel's Gaze

Oh how I miss the way
You used to listen to me.
You listened with your eyes,
In patience glistening brighter,
The quieter you grew.

Has anyone told you, your eyes
Shine more brightly when someone
Reaches the intelligence in you?

So unpretentious the line
Of your thought, and yet
No one comprehends as
Effortlessly as you how
Incomprehensible is beauty.

You were the only one
Who ever measured with
Your attention, how shallow
Were my words compared
To the depth of their source.

You forgave my shallow words,
Though you were alert and noticed,
And you always kept listening
As if I were worth hearing.

No one else listens to me
The same way.

April 19, 2009

Life Forgives

For the longest time I thought this song
was "Life forgives," and then I realized
Joey Ramone wrote it when he knew he
was going to die.

This is better than any other version
I can find on utbube in my druncken
state. Please play it now.


"So don't be sad, Rachel, don't be sad at all."

And please forgive me, Rachel, forgive me
I never would embarass you with my love if
I could help it. I only
spilled all this out on these pages, because I was
scared otherwise it would come out in some
other ultimately
hurtful way rather than here where
no one, even you probably, will ever see it.

April 18, 2009

loss, silence

All That Is Lost

My best boy chum, Hurt, is working on something
you might call concrete poetry, or you might call
conceptual art, but I kind of want to steal it for
tonight, just the words, not the color and impact.

Of course in the end, Rachel,
all that is lost

If he doesn't like it, I'll take it down. Consider
this just a pale, pale preview:


all that is lost
all that is
- - - - __lost
all that is

The Silent Island

I live on a silent island.

Oh, there are birds singing lovely melodies,
The sound of the water can be soothing,
But there are no human voices answering.

There is a noisy lei of islands nearby
With a beautiful but crabby neighbor,
But she has lost the capacity of
Human speech and speaks to our children
In sound strings neither they nor I understand.

My ears are full of noises
But my island is silent, because
No answer to my words ever comes.

Luckily my island is full of bottles,
And every day or so, I fill one
With a message and toss it into the water,
Hoping it will reach someone,
Someone who will take the time to read it.

Though I hope for no return in my silence.

April 14, 2009

Love In the Balance

I have felt there was a balance
In the world, necessary, yes,
Between pleasant and unpleasant,
Pleasurable and unpleasurable,
Life and death, joy and pain,
Comfort and rest.

When lucky in love
We should be grateful
To the miserable
Who make our love possible;
When unlucky,
We should feel useful
And know the happiness of the happy
Is built on our essential

So without you, I hope
To live in the gratitude
Of Happy Lovers!

April 12, 2009

Forgive me, Rachel

Forgive me, Rachel,
I thought I could live without you,
And perhaps I could live without you,
But how can I live
Without your smile,
without your infectious laugh,
so sudden and merry;
And how can I live
Without your waiting eyes,
Or without your hands,
so elegant, so carelessly perfect.

Without these things,
Can I live?
How can I live?
How can I live without you?
I do not know.


I Hear Music Up Above

I know I loved you too much
I'll go alone to get through.



April 11, 2009

Is Friendship Possible?

... I should refuse (to think of) you.

The cracked bells and washed-out horns
Blow into my face with scorn,
But it's not that way,
I wasn't born to lose you.



April 8, 2009

The Quiet Space

I was trapped by the quiet space
In which we looked at each other.

The moment tempted me to speak,

If I said too much, I said.
you've said a lot, you said.

You went away, and I thought you
Might never come back.
When you came back,

we never Spoke again in such a quiet space.

And then you went away again,
And now I live within a different quiet.

April 1, 2009

April's Fool

I am the April Fool,
Hoping still
You will say,
Come hear me sing,
Listen to me sing.

But I suspect you never will,
And like a magic trick
By Phil Goldstein's daughter,
You will disappear.

Must I say goodbye?
I should say goodbye, Rachel,
But I may be - forgive me - unable.


March 29, 2009

Rachel, After What I've Learned

Rachel, after what I've learned
I love you more than ever,
Though it feels as if time's running out.


March 28, 2009

Rachel, I Saw the Picture

Rachel, I saw the picture of you
and it was painful to look at.

For your hand is posed so elegantly,
it breaks my heart into painful pieces
which float inside, wounding and wounding.

Yes, I am preparing to forget you;
I even think I can forget your luminous eyes
Which so often surprised me with waiting,
But how can I forget the perfect elegance
Of your hand thoughtlessly posed.


March 22, 2009

April's Song

I've always understood the poet who loved Italian
When he spoke of the cruelty of the spring,
And it seems he is finally right,
The coming April will be the cruelest yet
When your mind glances over my name
And chooses to forget.

Yes, I am preparing to forget you,
When April proves as cruel
As the resistance I found in you
Proved fascinating to me.

Oh, Rachel, call me back with a song.

March 18, 2009

A Little Mean

Okay, Rachel, this link's a little mean
but it does catch how almost anything
can make me think of you. I'm hoping
you'll laugh at the part about "reading
a book."


March 15, 2009


I was all prepared to remember you,
To keep your images, your eyes,
Which again and again surprised me,
On the front pages of my book
Of memory, and think of you often,
And come to your concerts and perhaps
Even share coffee now and then.
I didn't pretend, these moments
Would mean as much to you as me,
Or that I could be your Richard Bonynge,
But I thought at least you'd enjoy
Having me at the edges of your life
Wishing you well, oh what the hell,
I won't go where I'm not wanted.
And I fear, no I see clear,
The moment is coming when I can't deny
That you don't care if I know
Whether you live or die.

Whatever may come, whatever may come,
You won't want it to be me - particularly.

And since I not only offered you everything,
I offered you anything you wanted from me,
I'll respect your indifference and try
To give you what you haven't asked:

I am preparing to forget you.

March 14, 2009


I can feel it closing in,
Inevitably now, no,
Not the losing of you,
No, that can't happen.

Some thing's that happen once
Just can't happen again.

I can feel it closer now,
Too painful by far, no
Not the losing of you,
No, it's not the losing

But the admitting to myself
There is nothing to lose.

March 8, 2009

And When the Time Comes to Say Goodbye

And when the time comes to say goodbye,
Will you even know I've left?
These memories and thoughts of you
Make me feel alive, but these, these
Precious movements of mind
May grow too clear and painful
In the silence

I can feel coming towards me.