Monday, January 25, 2010

thoughts on LOC part 2

Perhaps (I hope) LOC will add some energy toward a future Darrell Gray Collected (or at least a selected, or reprints of a book or two). I know lots of poets who would appreciate his work--who,sadly, have never or barely read him.

Until then I think I'm going to (without permission) retype some of my favorites, at random:

A Tone Diverts The Summer

The lights are at risk in the unconscious effort
One thinks of their movement
As mutable tables are covered with tiny wings
In rooms reproduced on the hillside

A girl with the gaze of an angel
Today might not be invisible
When the lightning unfastens its silvery bone
And the moment becomes a system of docks and tears

The tables support an effort of mutable risks
The lights flow over the flesh
The wings reproduce a silence over the docks
As a bedroom appears in the morning

The Light Is Not Wrong

The night is not wrong
to have covered so simply

the one downcurving branch
so late in the evening


There comes the time
moving its house
the yard and the cat
that can't come back.

The dark was big. The car
went through,
And what they thought
they thought they knew--

the yard, the house,
the car, the cat.
Goodbye, goodbye. It
seemed so real.

These are from Something Swims Out, published by Blue Wind Press, with collages by
Tim Hildebrand and George Mattingly (the publisher). Beautiful book--hard to find.


  1. I think there's a typo in the second line. I would love to do a Darrell Collected but dont have the $5 grand (minimum) that it would take to print and no possibility of recouping any of it!!

  2. typo fixed--the hazards of retyping rather than scanning. But I love typing great poems--you get a nice feel.

    If I had the bucks I'd back you--maybe somebody, somewhere....


  3. like we used to say in the 80s, "While you're up, get me a grant..."

  4. Alastair: Bob and I got the Eigner done. Certainly someone can get their shit together to do Darrell's collected.

    My first experience with Darrell's work was a generous introductory selection published in Poetry (Chicago) Magazine way back in the late 1960's. About 10 pages of stuff. Absolutely top rate work, though a bit work-shoppy in its approach (Darrell was a student there at the time the poems were accepted).

    I got to know him some while he was in Iowa City in 1969 and 1970. He would come over to my place, or out to the farm we lived on one year. Emotionally, he was all fucked up, but brilliant in an eclectic kind of way, and quick with good takes and riffs on almost any subject that came up. The alcohol was one way he had of sublimating his loneliness and sexual frustration. I saw him towards the end one night at a Berkson-Greenwald reading in San Francisco--smashed out of his mind but benign and upbeat nevertheless. God knows how he got along. And then he was gone.