Simon Howard's poetry entered my life thanks to Richard Barrett, in the heart of a 2013th summer. It has proven to be more dangerous than estimated (it hasn't finished yet). A newly written piece came from Simon in substitution of some of my personal favourites. Richard and I were searching for a text, appropriate for a project we had in mind. Very hard indeed to so easily retreat from my own obsessions, but voilà, it did happen as effortlessly as Simon seemed to tight walk between the malleability of his Sound and the impenetrable core that is sinking every single line of his. Let me translate one of these elbowed favourites for him:
I've been telling you: The doctor and the moribund, dead as much.
I've been telling you: The doctor and the moribund, gemischt.
in the hole's blooming like amphisprouts
their lips, fossils out of time some day
in the same bitter fountain, in the same verb.
Death is indigenous
no Reaper outside;
god is indigenous, alien not
and this means that the world reigns.
The thing is, shade and horrible loving to visibility, offer not.
(Nikos Karouzos, Faded Manuscript, my hasty translation)
The grounded intensity of Simon's poetry as I came to know more of it, its Being-Here-ness, was never threatened by our encounter on the most fake of all personality-plungers today: Facebook. On the contrary, I would go as far as to say that due to the almost daily (at times) virtual contact this medium would ensure, I came to experience his loss probably as vivid as I would if I had ever met him in person, an interesting finding indeed for all those preparing our digital graves.
In a village in Africa, dont remember which, they say that there are people whose death equals a library being burnt, such is their memory and experience reserve. Still in a state of shock from the news about Simon's loss, I keep thinking that. Even though I happened to get to know him as late as last summer, his work grabbed me and promised me such a library, such a reserve. I am missing him so much.
we were completely lost
we'd left our map on the bus
we asked a stranger/where are we/who
(Simon Howard, Wrecked)
Rest in peace, Stranger Simon.