Dear Dispatches

It’s the end of the semester here in Albuquerque, & my oldest son will arrive by car from an all-night drive from San Diego with his wife & our grandson–Natalia, my youngest, is graduating from high school on Saturday & then we’re throwing a bash for them.  When the dust settles, I’ll contribute something to Dispatches.  I like the name. It implies something of the old WCW “news that stays news. I have a long piece called “Spruce Bark Text,” which I’ve never submitted–a lyrical serial poem–it’s 24 parts, mostly less than twenty-five lines each.  Sometime, we’ll have to talk Duncan–the editing of the HD Book is a truly huge scholarly service–I’d love to hear about it. Duncan has always struck me as Olson’s equal & after reading about half of the HD Book, his poetic sweep impresses me enormously.  It’s always struck me as amazing, but consistent with his character, that Duncan never wanted  to write something like The Cantos or Maximus, but more collagist and serial–that is, Duncan wasn’t really an empire builder. If you want all of Passages, you have to own a number of books. Deliberately, he avoided putting his long poems into one volume.  More than any other poet, Duncan shows me an alternative to poetry as commodity culture.

John Tritica