Bob Schwartz

Month: July, 2016

Reading Obituaries Late

I picked up a year-old magazine and read the obituary of a writer I did not know had died.

It celebrated his talent and achievements, which I had occasionally enjoyed. I wasn’t a regular reader of his work, but I admired it.

There would be no newly-created work of his to read. To those who regularly read his work and who worked with him, it was a deep loss. For those who were still to discover his work, or like me had only dabbled in it, there was plenty of already published work to read, though we might or might not get around to it.

It would not have mattered had I read the obituary the week it was published instead of now. Maybe it would have come up in conversation at the time, but probably not. Maybe I would have noted it in something I wrote at the time, but also probably not.

He died about a year ago. Maybe I will go back and enjoy something he wrote, something I’d read before, or something I’d missed. We’ll see.



Our practices grow ragged
From disuse
Or irregularity.
Don’t fret.
There they are
Patient for our return.
Once a day
Once a year
Once in a lifetime.
Always ready and waiting.

Poem: A Flight of Stuff

A Flight of Stuff

Simple enough
Pack and go.
But what was this airport?
People I knew
And strangers
And strangers I knew.
Narrow passageways
And great halls.
Why was my stuff unpacked
And whose stuff was it anyway?
My companions had headed for the gate.
What time was the flight?
So many bags
So much to review and repack
Or leave behind.
This and this,
I remember this
But this, this,
What is it?
What does it do,
What would I ever had wanted with it?
Had the flight left?
Concerned but not panicked
A whisper of sadness.
The more I looked around
The more there was.
Where was that flight going anyway?
Why had they left me alone
Behind with this stuff?