How thrilled I was to find an issue of Doones at an estate sale here in town. Wouldn’t you be? Doones is a fairly obscure poetry magazine, but a good one. Raymond DiPalma, a fairly well-known Language poet, published poetry as the magazine Doones and as Doones Press in the early 1970s. This issue, copyrighted 1970, includes, among other things, poetry by Robert Kelly, William Stafford, David Ignatow, James Welch, Tomas Transtromer (translated by Robert Bly), and collaborative work by James Tate and Bill Knott.
Doones covered a wider spectrum of poetical variety than many magazines from that era, mixing the Language Poets with other less easily grouped ones.
I love finding old literary magazines from this era; they’re always rich sources of interesting work. Consider this poem by James Tate and Bill Knott:
Ode to E. A. Poe
You wrote your last poem on the tracing-paper inside my womb,
the ink recoiled from your fingertips
and my head melted from your sextant
the ague of your housing project…
Now we are floating in the exile of your ground hugging kiss
memorizing the perhaps through the earthquake’s keyhole,
your temples pulse like the first plane from the conspiracy,
the raw lightbulb where we the poor jetsetters of a needle’s eye
telephone our faces to the look-alike-contest of love
which no one ever wins
except your acropolyptic ice-cracks.
The lake walks on us,
the whirlpool fingerprints us,
the wind poses us for the mug-shots of lava.
Can we rendezvous in the polevaulter’s cage of avalanches of madonnas
before my wedding to the odyssey of wound-tonal ballparks?
RSVP after the end of time
by pulling the flower-ripcord inside the fountain of head-on collisions
where an eclipse’s skeleton is born each time I aim my yesterday’s initials
Nietzsche was caught yesterday shaving a horse in Torino
Are you on my birth’s casualty list
or do we have nothing to talk about?
After the leaves fall from the marquee
the sky lighted by indirect birdcalls will exhume us
from the fire-tracks of the fun-machine
Do your stingrays coincide with the little place called The Willow?
Very nice (both the poem and the magazine).
I’m a fan of typewriters, and I love the cover art here, but I can’t find any information on the artist.
I have a fairly good-sized collection of literary magazines, and am always looking for more.Grade: A.