ISSUE 17: MAY 2012

Andrew Levy
The First Time I Met Stacy

The first time I met Stacy was at an evening party at Jena Osman’s studio apartment at the Independence Plaza North towers in Tribeca, sometime in the mid-to-late eighties when IPN, other than some artist’s lofts, was the only full-time residential complex in Tribeca and Battery Park west of the highway didn’t exist. I remember being mesmerized by a large black garbage bag hovering in the air outside Jena’s windows; I believe her apartment was above the 30th floor. When Stacy appeared I was struck by her stylish figure, mostly in black, by the elegant sophistication of such a young person. The enduring image of Stacy that I hold in my mind from our first introduction to the present time is one of a person of exceptional intelligence, curiosity, grace, and someone who was always fashionably dressed! There was also something slightly awkward or self-conscious in her conversation, something she was struggling with. At Jena’s party Stacy continually twisted a pearl necklace around her fingers (I remember it as pearls though it may have been some other bright stone or beads). At one point the string of the necklace broke and the pearls scattered every which way across the parquet floor. Everyone went quickly to their hands and knees in an attempt to retrieve them.

Baa man bekesh Beauty becomes BELBEL bird and drab bird’s blind body breath burn clouds Co-Pilot CROW Cy Twombly dead death Disorganized Woman dissolve drab’s dream dress drip Emily Dickinson everything exhale existence eyes father ferns Feygele flesh flight Francesco Clemente Friar Dad Friar M E GENOCIDAL LOGIC gliding Hills BIRD Hopping Ibn Arabi illusion imagine inanimate inside invisible Jacob’s ladder jump khabare kiss Lips live looking MAMA or bird meaning mirror MOUTH ME)orbIRD movie never night numbered ochre odors once organs path pebbles penis penises perhaps Pilot Praline pretty PROLOGUE PROSTRATE WOMAN PYGMY repetition sacrifice slag Solace song speak streaming blood tell tent there’s thing thought tree turn Twakaltu ala Allah twin Umbria veil waiting what’s Whooping Woman wind wings Woman and bird Yiddish young birds1

I visited with Stacy and Chet many years ago in Paris. I was staying with Robert Kocik and Daria Fain (Stacy had introduced us to one another some years earlier at a Saturday afternoon reading at The Ear Inn), and one afternoon they arranged a time for me to read my poetry at their apartment. It was one of the most seriously attended readings I’d ever given. The audience consisted of Robert, Daria, Stacy and Chet. We sat around the kitchen table. Stacy’s questions were acute and open; she was one of the most honest people I’ve known.

From the early to mid-nineties, Stacy and I maintained a correspondence between Chicago, where I was completing a fellowship at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and Paris, where Stacy and Chet were dug in; Chet had a two “amazing” fellowships I forget where, and Stacy was looking forward to the publication of what would become her first full-length book of poetry, Kildare. My letters to Stacy were typewritten; I didn’t expect anyone except my brother Jeff to be able to decipher my scribble. Stacy always hand wrote her letters in a beautifully balanced and legible script. I have a number of her letters from that time. We wrote each other about everything that crossed our minds, just as we were attempting to put everything (even when we felt like doing nothing) into our poetry, all at once and on many levels. In the spring of 1993, we exchanged letters about dreams. On March 7, Stacy wrote: