UPSTATE by Dugan Gilman


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Some of the titles of these poems suggest their themes. ""For My Wife, Because I Forgot To Get Her A Valentine,"" ""Greeting The First March Wind With A Hangover,"" ""The Wild Wood,"" ""The Home In Dead Weeds."" The guts of this collection seem very old-fashioned, though the outer layers are anything but. There are images of shopping centers, insurance men, ski resorts, Texaco stations, city dumps. Some startle and even make one cringe: ""throbbing like a bloodmobile,"" or ""We have reached that gelatinous edge where asphalt slops over the side of the flat earth, behind a body shop."" These are poems full of ragged metaphors and they are often too prosaic -- ""The ash of a cigarette would lean a long way down/ before falling, so immersed they'd be."" Mr. Gilman's voice bobs and twists and falls flat. Nothing Bright. Nothing Miraculous. But there are one or two or three effective lyrical pauses -- such as ""When the raw wind works its branches/ at the window, reaching for the cracks/ in the dark,/ the living room sits very still.

Pub Date: March 25th, 1971
Publisher: Wesleyan Univ. Press