Stephen Dobyns

The gift of putting something down…
February 10, 2014 Dobyns Stephen

(The gift of putting something down…)


The gift of putting something down, he had yet to discover it–letting it slide from his grip. You’d think it would be easy; an opening of the fingers and the person, humiliation, failure would float away. Instead, he kept going over the details, the variations and possibilities; what would have happened if he had done this or that. And so the ill-fated event occurred not once but a thousand times. He recalled those occasions years earlier when he had tried to water-ski. There was always a moment after he fell when he hesitated to release the rope and was dragged roughly over the surface of the water. It was like that now. Let go, let go, he shouted to himself, as the hard surface of what he called his life pummeled and raked his skin.

Stephen Dobyns has published thirteen books of poems, twenty novels, two books of essays on poetry and a book of short stories (Eating Naked, Holt/Metropolitan, 2000). His most recent work is a book of essays, Next Word, Better Word, published by Palgrave, in April 2011. His fifth book, Black Dog, Red Dog, was a winner in the National Poetry Series. His sixth book, Cemetery Nights, received the Poetry Society of America’s Melville Cane Award in 1987. Two of his novels, Cold Dog Soup and The Two Deaths of Senora Puccini have been made into films and another novel is currently under option.