By Stephen Dunn
In his 16th assortment, Stephen Dunn maintains to convey his mind's eye and intelligence to what Wallace Stevens calls “the difficulties of the normal,” which after all pervade so much of our lives. The poem “Don’t Do That” opens with the strains: “It was once bring-your-own in case you sought after something / demanding, so I introduced Johnnie Walker crimson / besides a few resentment I’d held in / for a number of weeks.” In different poems, Dunn contemplates his personal mortality, echoing Yeats—“That is not any kingdom for previous males / cadenced every little thing I said”—only to find he’s joined their ranks. In “The author of Nudes” his speaker is looking for the body’s “grammar” yet tells his versions, “Don’t anticipate to work out your self as different / than I see you.” choked with grace, wit, humor, and masterful precision, the poems in Here and Now attest to the contradictions we are living with within the the following and now. Political and metaphysical, those striking poems remind us of the basic human comedy of having via every one day.
from "The condominium at the Hill"
. . . from out of the fog,
a huge, welcoming residence might emerge
made out of invention and surprise.
No issues with out principles! you'd shout,
and the doorways could open,
and the echoes may cascade down
to the valleys and the far off towns.