Here I Am, There You Are, Where Were We – Tom Disch

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Thomas M. Disch 1984

Poetry Book Society

When I read this book, my thoughts will appear in the comment stream below…

A book below that I produced a few weeks ago, and David Mathew asked whether it was inspired by Tom Disch, but then I had not even heard of the Disch book!
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20 thoughts on “Here I Am, There You Are, Where Were We – Tom Disch

  1. HERE I AM

    COAL MINERS

    The poet’s imagination “as it gnaws at the dark walls that surround me”, to be kept from the coal miners he praises, in case it is seen as condescension. A powerful poem, for me, about HAWLING, as I see it.
    In this our age now of global warming, and long before the Trumphenomenon, it seems ironic or natural common sense what evil these men — poeticised here by Disch no later than 1984 — voted for in 2016?

  2. PRAYER TO PLEASURE

    Eat chicken then keep the bones as a source fot stock. This book’s overall title comes again into play, as pleasure and oblivion are seen to be almost equivalent. Repetitions of oblivion as the vessels that are each ready to hold the next potentially empty-able pleasure?

  3. WAKING IN A STRANGE APARTMENT

    “Some people
    understand the way things work; the rest of us
    just float along and trust to luck”

    I know that feeling and also waking up where I already am, only to find a disease waking up within me…

  4. RIDDLES

    Although I talk of no one and
    Of nothing else but me and mine,
    I hope you will not understand
    Just who I am until the line
    Revealing all my taradiddle
    As the substance of (two words)

    The above is one example of a riddle in a poem entitled RIDDLES with six riddles by Tom Disch.
    What are the two words above giving the answer of what this particular riddle is about?

  5. THERE YOU ARE

    ODE ON THE SOURCE OF THE CLITUMNUS

    “But wasn’t the world always a mess —“

    “Every day the world
    Grows poorer as the population
    Soars. There doesn’t seem to be much time
    Until the likeliest holocaust prevails.”

    “We must praise the source of the Clitumnus.
    Not that you are beautiful, not at all —“

  6. AN DIE FERNE GELIEBTE

    “Oh loveliest of all the lives I’ve led,
    Let me be your alien again,…”

    Making the poem’s ‘narrator’ into a ruin, raped by the country of Italy itself. Thus, ruining the Temple of Clitumnus of the previous poem? Or leaving it in situ? To make it mine or yours?

  7. cc7db0b0-4365-49eb-9f28-f2b0fecd5c7fODE ON THE SOURCE OF THE FOUX

    “— not the light, not the air,
    Nor yet, ma foi,”

    FOUX source in France, fous as fools, or an Alpine town? This is a poem that flows well, sinks into the sump of my mind with ease and pleasure, but its meaning? A stoicism of thrift, and simply being who you are?

  8. YOU CAN OWN THIS PAINTING FOR $75

    “His wife became
    A lesbian. His salary’s inadequate,”

    A remarkable image-variegated, memory-haunted poem of an elephant in the room, a Dumbo in a tutu, possibly — a clown crying.

  9. WHEN YOUR HAND SHAKES, WHEN YOUR EYE’S MEAT

    Read this poem aloud and it truly lives. Whatever its meaning, it’s for me today’s perfect poem beyond anything Ginsberg or Ferlinghetti wrote.

  10. WHEN YOUR EYES MEET, WHEN YOUR HAND SHAKES

    An incantatory series of rhythmic ‘when’ lines that beg to be read aloud.

    “When you happen to meet a friend
    And it ends in dinner, when someone says,
    ‘You’re getting thinner’, and you know
    You’re not;”

  11. ODE ON THE DEATH OF PHILIP K. DICK

    “They are the honey ravens bring
    To feast the poet in the desert of his heart –
    Might-have-beens, imaginings, false starts.”

    This is a moving, substantial ode owed to PKD.
    Enabling his return…

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