It is with a heavy heart that I write to inform the Opossum community that Gerard Lambert, the poetry editor for the journal and my dear friend, passed away two days ago at the age of 42. Gerard and I became fast friends on the porch of the Sewanee dormitory in which we lived during the writing conference in 2018. His sharp wit and passion for poetry immediately drew me in and we spent long evenings talking about literature and music after everyone else was fast asleep. After just a few nights of getting to know him, I asked him to come onboard with the journal as an editor, knowing that his uniquely askew eye for art and life, as well as his deep knowledge of craft, would be an asset to our contributors and readers. Working with him for the past two years was one of the greatest gifts and privileges of my life, as was the deep and enriching friendship that developed between us as we both navigated difficult waters in our personal and creative lives. I will miss our regular phone calls, his kind, sweet voice, biting sarcasm, unbounded empathy, and unflinching propensity for hope. He will be mourned by his many friends and family members and his loss has deprived the world of one of the finest people I’ve ever known.
Gerard was a supremely talented poet, a former student of Chris Kennedy and Mary Karr at Syracuse, and his work will live on in places like Flying South, LEVELER, The Freshwater Review, SLANT, Bending Genres, and the Atlantic Quarterly Review. He was very excited to have recently created a professional website, with the help of his beloved brother, and you can find some of his published work there: https://gerardlambert.net .
Former Editor, OPOSSUM Magazine
For Gerard – From Rima
You had a tangle of feelings you ironed into crispness.
You pushed hard to get sharp edges.
You likely burned your fingers.
I was so involved in the business and the busy-ness of this and of that—
I confess I never read your poems until you were gone.
I wish I had told you how much I love your poems.
Publisher, OPOSSUM Magazine
This is the last poem Gerard published. From Bending Genres, February 4, 2020
The "I" Poem by Gerard Lambert The I is the one who drives down a two way highway in autumn. This is the future. The I is a member of the LGBTQALMNOP+ consortium. Guess which one. The I is the one I never see but other people do. Because he is different. The I must write he is disabled. Sees mirrors wherever he goes. People cannot stop watching the I. A jackknifed rig on the side of the road with bodies. The I wants people to stop watching him. The “I” stands for Incognito. People talk to the I. The I pretends to listen. Never remembers names. People respond to the I. However, never in the fashion he expects nor desires. You try to treat the I the same as you. But you are different. Just like the I. The I notices all your differences too. The I lies. Makes pies, hates to vacuum, fold clothes or floss. The I, like you, encpsulates things on social media platforms. Read: Consistently looking for crisis situations. Good natured guy looking for same. I abhor khaki pants, Southerners and endless circles of conversation on who you wish to be and why you’re not that way right now. The I has trouble with the “Interests” category. He makes up interesting Interests. The past is just far enough away. Simply an intersection. In person, the I is not who you expect. The I expects this. The I doesn’t want commitments either. The I waits for you to leave so he can walk away in peace. The I showed you a mirror. You did not like the accuracy. The I prefers the hope of the highway. A future neither welcome nor ignored.