July 2004 / Volume Five / Issue Three / Online
Glenn W. Cooper
On Hearing of the
Death of Hubert Selby Jr.

Reading Hubert Selby
tonight as outside
it rains and rains –

a drowning, flooding
rain, hurling itself
against the windows,
cleansing the soul and
frightening  me a little,
just like Selby’s words.

I’m reading The Room
and the hell coming
out of that book is so
absolute and intense
that it makes me
wonder how any
one man could get it
all down so perfectly.

I remember Henry Miller
saying how he used to
dissect Knut Hamson’s
words, trying to discover
where the magic lived –
but he never could;
for the magic lived
between the words.

And so it is with
Selby; there is no
conceivable way
of making sense of
his maverick genius.

He is unfathomably
beautiful, like love,
death, sex, and
tonight’s pouring
rain.