Saturday, July 14, 2012

Aimless Reading: The S's Part 34 (Dale Smith)

American Rambler
Smith, Dale
American Rambler

Purchased at Talking Leaves…Books, sometime after 2006, according to the sticker on the back. I used to think this sticker indicated the date of purchase, but Jon Welch, proprietor of said bookstore(which I miss terribly, btw, because New Haven is a desert as far as bookstores are concerned, especially those that sell poetry), informed me that it indicates the date the book arrived in the store, in this case 09/06.

It must have been the first time Richard Owens brought Dale to Buffalo. I remember the reading less than I remember going out after there reading. We went to the Founding Father's pub and I remember talking late into the night and being struck by how different Dale's offline personality was from his online one.

I had only known Dale from a few somewhat testy exchanges on the Poetics list back in the nineties. His online personality was often combative, whereas the person sitting before me was warm and welcoming and a lot of fun to talk to.

I remember thinking this must be true of many people, that the personae we encounter online are images separated from the bodies they inhabit. Not completely, but just enough so that the inhibitions caused by physical proximity and its attendant social mores often lose their hold on the utterances we make.

I've come to like and admire both Dales over the years, and also the third one, exhibited below.

from American Rambler

cicadas called
in damp heat
to mate
the racket
alive in trees and
men smeared
fat into skin
to repel mosquitoes
breezeless August evenings

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