For David L. Carpenter


I haven’t written much since David passed. I’ve wanted to, I’ve felt the words inside me, but when I sit down to get them out on a page the spring doesn’t produce. It’s like having an ache you can’t describe, pointing to a general spot near your chest and saying, “It’s somewhere around there.”

I wrote a poem once about David. The title of it was “David’s Life Is Poetry,” and it was terrible. I’m not a talented enough writer to capture the intricacies of David’s spirit, the way he’d ride his bike across the city, small flags flying behind him. David smiled the whole time I read it.

David always encouraged me. He was the rare soul who would actually laugh out loud at a poem; lines would catch his ear and he’d stop listening to think about them. During my last year at Penn, my favorite hour every week was meeting with David and Greg Djanikian to talk about writing.

I know he carried a lot around with him, and though he told me some things I always felt like he wrote and read to get more of it out. The most beautiful thing about David was his willingness to express himself, to put raw nerve to page.

He loved his sons and was proud of them. He loved you, Karen, and it was beautiful to hear him describe your blossoming relationship, to hear him talk every week about this beautiful dancer he’d met from New York, to hear what it sounded like to fall in love again.

We had plans to meet in a bar one Tuesday. He said he couldn’t make it because he was going to the hospital. He said very simply that they’d found lumps and that he wasn’t sure what to expect. He passed about a week later and I still haven’t really figured out how to deal with it. I miss him and I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for not going to see him and say goodbye. I thought I had more time…I thought David had more time.

This entry was posted in Late Night, Life In The Real World and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to For David L. Carpenter

  1. Makeda says:

    I never imagined that I would miss you so very much. In spite of everything you were always supportive, present, and there for me. I’m happy that you found the love you so longed for again in life. I’m sad that we are longing for your presence again. Please know that you are so very much missed and that you left an everlasting impression on everyone that had the pleasure of your attention.. I miss you… I love you…

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