I spent much of yesterday afternoon visiting a local attraction with a longtime friend. On Annadale Road, just before the turn off to the Kingston Bridge is the Poet’s Walk, a trail laid out through some Hudson Valley countryside leading down towards the river. While it’s not possible to get to the water’s edge (Amtrak runs along the shore), you can get pretty close. In all the years I’ve been up here, I’ve never walked it, so it was a treat to do so in the company of an actual poet, Carla Harryman. We met each other in San Francisco around twenty-two years ago, and over the years I’ve designed book covers for her, seen her collaborations with Philip and participated in conferences with her. She was one of the editors of the Kathy Acker book I wrote the essay for last year. This year we’re both teaching at Bard.
We never did find out exactly why it’s called Poet’s Walk, but the tramp took us through some picturesque spots and when we got to the furthermost point we talked in earnest about vanished ast scenes, and the struggle to construct meaningful communities of artistic support in the present climate. A couple of days ago she gave me a wonderful essay that she wrote as part of a new project that attempts to tackle some of these problems in serial book form.
Many of the encounters here are on the fly and while charged with excitement, they often end in a wistful desire for more to happen. This was one that didn’t.