Olsen on Sukenick

Lance Olsen wrote a touching memorial to Ron Sukenick, up now at the FC2 website:


I saw Ron for the last time one humid rainy Tuesday afternoon this past April in his Battery Park City apartment. What was strange was we both knew it was going to be the last time, and we both knew there were no social conventions to cover such a meeting. The unsettling result was that each of our declarative sentences seemed anything but. Each felt like it was carrying within itself three or four meanings curled up inside another three or four…

…Every once in a while Ron stopped talking and shifted in his electric wheelchair and looked out the window at the Hudson for a while and then shifted back and we would pick up our conversation again where we had left off.

I was drinking bourbon, Ron tea through a straw. It was clear he was having trouble swallowing, and clear he became very tired very quickly. After a little more than an hour, I realized I should probably go. It was hard knowing exactly what to say, how to navigate such an intricate, radiantly sad moment.


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