Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tim Dlugos, Powerless

I just finished Tim Dlugos' Powerless: Selected Poems 1973-1990. These are so lovely, sad, and masterful. His writing throughout is clear as a bell -- precise and gentle. His style is conversational for the most part, a bit meandering at times, but in a wonderfully delightful and sweet way. These poems convey so much. They are filled with nuanced emotions, longings, regrets, insights, and joys.

Most moving are the final series, which chronicles his AIDS years. They are written with great clarity, it seemed to me, and with heartfelt patience and gratitude. These are truly spectacular. They had me in tears.

I couldn't find lines to quote in and of themselves, because the beauty of his writing is more in the totality of each poem.  Here I will share the last stanza from an earlier work, "Day for Paul"

"'s me
five years ago. I am on the verge of a big breakthrough
accompanied by pain. I have not read anything by Proust,
Dostoevsky, Rimbaud, or Frank O'Hara. I have not had sex
with the people I love and need most. I have not yet learned
to identify the people I love and need most. But I have
dreams about people who move like you, who make me feel so
full that waking up becomes a major letdown, and I want to
sleep all day and all night if it will make me feel that good
again, take me to the place inside my body where I can feel
you  living all the time."

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