Tag Archives: Laurie Duggan

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.