Norman Dubie

The Arithmetic Teacher Living in Six Meticulous Fields of Sweet
August 23, 2016 Dubie Norman

The Arithmetic Teacher Living in Six Meticulous Fields of Sweet


I thought I heard outdoors

the rain dancing on the tin shed again. I think, maestro, not

more of that in the bargain…You know your sense of humor

is a slow pavane with figures

of Medieval honeycomb and raisins forbidding



The fifth field never really did exist

like carrion in a very high cupboard.

Another flimsy fold of brain that juxtaposes

Poughkeepsie to me drawing

a hot tub in Spokane…


They found my sister in the hospital

just this morning. Water in the river

visiting at her chin. Above her

pain-killing pills like speckled berries

on a heavy branch. Arms in the green water

conducting the last bassoon from the other side…


Now, dusk and a tea that’s clean.

I’m finally drawing a tub here

where, in sanctum, the larger fish are seen

swimming upstream.

Norman Dubie’s newest collection of poems, Robert Schumann is Mad Again, will be published by Copper Canyon Press in 2019. His previous collection, The Quotations of Bone (Copper Canyon Press, 2015), won the 2016 Griffin International Poetry Prize. His most recent book of aphorisms, Lumen de Lumine (Paper Press Books, 2017), will be available this fall. He lives and teaches in Tempe, AZ.