Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poetry Wednesday: a Spot of Denise Duhamel

This is a visual poem by the poet Denise Duhamel. Denise is married to the poet Nick Carbo (whose cool poetry blog is here).

I met Denise at the Dodge Poetry Festival in 1998 and we developed a correspondence and what I would like to say is a distant friendship, although some may classify it more as an acquaintanceship.

A line from an e-mail I sent Denise after 9/11 appeared in her long poem "Love Which took Its Symmetry for Granted," in her last book Two and Two. She talks about the poem and her work in this interview here. I even get a shout-out in the acknowledgments(!).

I strongly recommend Denise's work to people looking for interesting poets. The above piece came in an e-mail to which I subscribe, and I have noticed from her husband Nick's blog that they both have been doing a lot of visual poetry recently. I still have in my office I poem I wrote in Sun Valley, California.
Entitled "August Ramblings on a Grease-stained Plate," it is, as the title would suggest, a poem written on a paper plate, composed clockwise, beginning on the outer edge and moving toward the center. Coincidentally, it was written fifteen years ago yesterday (August 14, 1992). Perhaps I will throw it up here in the weeks to come.

So, back to Denise, here is one of her poems, followed by links to where you can find others.


It is a complicated issue,
Barbie's signature trait of forgoing bra or panties,
whether she's out raking leaves or hostessing a formal party.
She rejects the tee shirt as an alternative
so this time it can't be solely political.
Ken wears his tux, unapologetically, without boxer shorts
underneath. Some speculate it has to do with titillation,
other's say it's because of their inadequate factory upbringing.
Without crotch moistness to ruin clothes, maybe the dolls
figure: Underwear? What's the point? Modest children
make do with Barbie's bikini and Ken's swimming trunks.
Modest adults prefer not to bring the matter up.

Denise's page on here.

An unoffical Denise Duhamel page.

Her book Smile! in full here.

A 2005 interview in Rock Salt Plum Review here (includes some poems).

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