Category Archives: October

Poems by Laurie Duggan

August 7th

Warm light through tall windows,
tin rooves bleached
under a pale sky,
verandah shadows.
It is the day of the Census
in which we get
to make our lives up
as though there were more
than atmosphere in the account.
Coffee, a newspaper
(the death of Christopher Skase
or should that read ‘death’
the tycoon cunningly
disguised as a funerary urn).
I read back over
poems written from memory
casting years of a life
in terms of events
and discover I’ve got
the situations wrong,
I’m out, in fact
two to three years
in one poem, between
recollection and historical event.
Should I alter the detail,
unravel what
false memory has set up?
or would this allow
too much weight to poems
as documents. The sixties
and seventies for my students
are a blur of seemingly
related events and styles
– for me they’re periodised
by year (except for this
mistake I’ve made in my poem)
so should it matter?
(should it matter to see Elvis
as sequinned from birth,
a product of Vegas, not
Tupelo: RCA Elvis,
not Sun Elvis?). This
is where duration
overrides chronological time,
the space it takes
to drink a cup of coffee
versus what goes down on paper
in parallel, but opening out;
language exiting
through lexical doorways,
living its diverse lives,
enveloping, dissolving even
the maker of mistakes,
his view of rooftops
tricks of light
over an inner suburb.
The very unsettledness
distills a great calm
as though after crawling
through ducts, one had
stepped out into
limitless space.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++August 2001

Difference and repetition

The sheet darkens
with added ink, lightens
when the contrast eases.
Enlarged, a comma
becomes a bent lake
on a map, diminished
an impurity in the paper.
From a distance a world
of ruled margins and neat
habitations, closer
it’s a mess, repeated over
and over, nearly
but not quite a replica,
a simple pattern with variations,
pier of small black crosses
invisible, almost, against
a sea of hyphens.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++January 2002

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October 27: Laurie Duggan and Patrick Pritchett

for the final All Small Caps reading

on Monday, October 27, 2014

at The Deja Brew Cafe & Pub, Wendell, MA

Doors open at 7:00 p.m.

Open mic starts at 7:30 p.m.

Sliding scale admission: $1 – $5

lauriedugganLaurie Duggan was born in in Melbourne, Australia in 1949 and was involved in the poetry worlds of that city and Sydney through the 1970s and 80s. In 2006 he moved to England an currently lives in Faversham, Kent.  He has published some twenty books of poems together with Ghost Nation, a work about imagined space.  His most recent volumes are The Epigrams of Martial (Pressed Wafer, Boston, 2010); The Pursuit of Happiness (Bristol, Shearsman, 2012); The Collected Blue Hills (Sydney, Puncher & Wattman, 2012) and Allotments (Shearsman, 2014).

Pritchett (2)Patrick Pritchett
 is Visiting Assistant Professor in English at Amherst College. His academic work focuses on poetry, disaster, and the messianic. Among his many publications are essays on Ezra Pound, George Oppen, Lorine Niedecker, Ronald Johnson, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Fanny Howe, Michael Palmer, and John Taggart. His books of poetry include Burn, Gnostic Frequencies, and Song X.

 

 

Maps

1

Heirs to a secret order
The trajectory from boulevard
to the towers poised on a hill
over the mall in Los Samanes

The white statue of Teresa de la Parra
in parque Los Caobos has a black
graffiti tag on its neck, tattoo curls

The city is a cubic puzzle
seen from the varying angles
of the imaginary mountain

Whose words intone or roam
The wind still associates itself
with ancient verbs that sound now

The bus loaded with passengers
slows up the hill in low gears

*

The image of the towers was being drawn on the sea.

*

In the Callejón de la Puñalada in Sabana Grande, there is a mural painted with an image
of Victor Valera Mora, and one with a verse by Ramón Palomares written huge across the
wall. Walking in Bellas Artes, the abandoned Viasa skyscraper with its boarded-up doors.

*

Rain open mind this evening of sound
Repetition of noises, taps the leaves

2

How to write a poem
A walk in the old (coastal) city
The sky-blue painted arches
on the tomb partly shaded
by the tree beside it,
dried leaves and flowers

Short bedside verses or maps
the page of clouds the day

  — Guillermo Parra

Poem

     Don't know a word
of their anthem but who really
cares, running full force down the stairs
and then tripping over the rug     balmy, scenic
refresher under lane five, unself critical
unfolded laundry, grass     like wet whiskey
and perspiration.
     Combing the swingset with my nephew
while looking out     over the dark a little
shaky at the top of the ladder
undeclared, take it all for granted
scared sacred, navigating fewer and fewer
social situations like a teenager choking
on the plastic bag of longing     got to be something
starting a cigarette for other peoples' people
in an elevator.
     Jerome, at the haunted hamburger spot
calling all that is good in everyone
said what, knows, feet in the dirt, sun in the clouds
Old Mill Avenue over the discount boot warehouse
climbing up the walls with a tray of cokes.
     Personal growth     around exposed pipes, a tornado under
young tee shirt, song for suffering singers
performing dangerous but not     unlawful rituals
in professional arcade night watching.   An empty office
at six in the fall, easily shamed and often forgot, the jurors
off courts, drunk in Home Depot, walk it off
braid within a braid within a pressure trust circle
in a darkened stadium wearing an Olympia hat,
soft as sirens     to sleep to.

           Laura Henriksen

Kid A

You will not write the honest
version of your life
So, the rain makes concert
after crickets and frogs
Among the double-loops
of time worn through
The arches of what boulevards
disintegrate hereafter
Kid A on the bus speakers
This sunlight, antique
Twenty seconds, a verse
Across the breadth of
what ill images held
My resort to symbolism
The mere sound of this
I walk alone for what
months and days merged
Those same streets
in downtown Caracas
that Ramos Sucre covered
at night to divert insomnia
In black on benches
or naming the corners
Translating and editing
the subway afternoon
A quick digest of what
flower minds my love
Be such sorrow as only I
know how to feed or draw
These situations exist
beside average forms
Magic dust debriefed
This night makes choral ice

          — Guillermo Parra

October 28: Laura Henriksen and Guillermo Parra

Last month’s Anniversary Festival is a tough act to follow, but there’s no better pair of featured readers to close to the 2013 season of All Small Caps than Laura Henriksen and Guillermo Parra. Join us on Monday, October 28, at the Deja Brew for our last reading of the calendar year.

Open mic: 7:30 p.m. start (Doors open at 7:00 p.m.)

Admission: Sliding scale $1 – $5

Featured Readers:

LauraHLaura Henriksen‘s poems have previously appeared in or are forthcoming form Clock, The Recluse, Big Bell, and Peaches and Bats.  She lives in Brooklyn.
GuillermoGuillermo Parra has published the translations José Antonio Ramos Sucre, Selected Works (University of New Orleans Press, 2012) and José Antonio Ramos Sucre, From the Livid Country (Auguste Press, 2012). Since 2003, he has written the blog Venepoetics, dedicated to the translation of Venezuelan and Latin American literature into English. As a poet, he is the author of Phantasmal Repeats (Petrichord Books, 2009) and Caracas Notebook (Cy Gist Press, 2006). He lives in Pittsburgh, PA where he works as a teacher.

Directions to the Deja Brew

Contact All Small Caps

CANCELLED: October 29 Reading

With regret (and with memories of last year’s October blizzard), we are cancelling the October 29th All Small Caps reading, due to the ominous forecast. We sincerely hope to be able to reschedule this month’s featured readers for a time later this season.

We hope everyone stays safe and sound for Sandy’s arrival, and please stay tuned to this blog and the All Small Caps Facebook page for updates about the return of ASC readings in the spring (March 2013).