All posts tagged: Jay Aquinas Thompson

Winter & Spring 2024

Michael Bazzett, Vandana Khanna, Joan Kwon Glass, India Lena González, Natalie Shapero, Patrick Donnelly, Jennifer Perrine, Mag Gabbert, Anna Lena Phillips Bell, Kinsale Drake, Alicia Mountain, Derrick Austin, Jaswinder Bolina, Terese Svoboda, Prageeta Sharma, & more

Jay Aquinas Thompson: “Outrageous and Mundane Life” – Norman Dubie’s The Quotations of Bone

The Quotations of Bone Norman Dubie Copper Canyon, 2015 No one goes to a Norman Dubie poem for grace. Whether in his celebrated earlier work, rooted in historical monologue, or his poetry since the 90’s, evocative of a strange and flowing historical present, Dubie’s poems are characterized by hair-raising imagery, ponderous disjunction, and a proclivity for weighty philosophical questions. In one section of “The Fallen Bird of the Fields,” among the best poems in his twenty-ninth book, The Quotations of Bone, he collapses time around a family killed in a horrific car wreck:                                     …the smoke there since morning, a feint or slight off a coroner’s cigar—    his Cuban cologne over the father’s burst stomach with undigested painkillers there like glistening fish roe, row all your poor wooden boats gently away from me, this old woman crippled with a bitter affection for these lost broken-pottery cultures that dug this canal a thousand years before the early morning and the dead children singing—     here comes the sun— for their mother’s breakfast. The “fish roe” horror …