*The images in this specific piece are granted copyright: Public Domain, GNU Free Documentation Licenses, Fair Use Under The United States Copyright Law.
The other images are granted copyright permission by the copyright holder, which is identified beneath each photo.
**Some of the links will have to be copied and then posted in your search engine in order to pull up properly
*** The CRC Blog welcomes submissions from published and unpublished poets for BACKSTORY OF THE POEM series. Contact CRC Blog via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or personal Facebook messaging at https://www.facebook.com/car.cooper.7
***David Blair’s “For Dion in Belmont” is #271 in the never-ending series called BACKSTORY OF THE POEM where the Chris Rice Cooper Blog (CRC) focuses on one specific poem and how the poet wrote that specific poem. All BACKSTORY OF THE POEM links are at the end of this piece. (Below Left: David Blair in March of 2021. Copyright by David Blair)
For instance, there are three quatrains, only the poem ends with a quatrain. The first two stanzas function as an octet, and the last two stanzas are a single sentence, so they function as single unit, almost like a sestet, only seven lines. I thought about making it into a sonnet, but it felt right to resist the impulse, to let the poem go out of time within time, all its allusions, sitcoms and songs and forms, its overheard valences, like passing under the clock built into theatrical doorway to the ovens.
One of the best ways of using form is resist it particularly if you are using form as a way of expressing and finding emotion. Expressive formal technique is somewhat different than replicating pattern—which is how some people sensibly regard any kind of form—but actually form can mean shifting patterns, mutability, breaking, reassembling, departing, arriving, or whatever, according to the emotional content or message of a piece as we make or discover this as we go along. I like to make small changes to a number of poems every day, and over the months and years, the poems change in an unforced way.
What do you want readers of this poem to take from this poem? Primarily, I think of poems as modes of experience and processes rather than message machines, but I want readers to have a sense of life's amazing strangeness and that readers should have a sense of increased receptiveness to people, animals, plants, foods, feelings, places and things, and I want readers to have a sense that these experiences can be known personally and shared. (Above Right: The Rhyme Scheme of a Shakespearean Sonnet.)
Which part of the poem was the most emotional of you to write and why? I really was happy when I realized that the there was a shift in the sonic qualities in the second stanza and I had a groove on, like a good break going, and the rest of the poem would have a musical aspect. Generally, what I feel when I am writing is happiness. Even if I am writing about something terrible, there is a baseline of happiness to be using language and making images and all that, sometimes resisting the glooms that might be requiring some cathartic happiness or physicality.
Has this poem been published before? And if so where? A poem from Barbarian Seasons by David Blair, MadHat Books, 2020
For Dion in Belmont
The Napoleons got theatrical.
The bakery surrounded me with cakes
years after when I got along
with an invisible transistor
and getting called Hey-Boom-Boom-Washington, nice hat, ah, walk on.
Dull bronze eggs of peppermint-striped string dispensers hung on chains
level with a modish clock built into the paneling above an egress.
I saw snowy egrets by the dump on the edge of Pelham Bay Park. The hunt.
And in a dark night the bread-only bakery was open and windowless,
its doorframe full of bare bulbs, no fluorescence, and the crust
would rivulet into floury cracks,
the gush that swells and dissolves
with traces of peppery dust, fresh.
In the morning, the girls had nail extensions
with glue-on rhinestones on them like spaceships.
David Blair lives and works around Boston. Thomas Lux chose his first book of poetry, Ascension Days, for the Del Sol Poetry Prize in 2007. His second book, Friends with Dogs, was a Must-Read Selection for the Massachusetts Book Awards, and his third book, Arsonville, was published as part of the Green Rose Prize Series by New Issues Poetry & Prose. A graduate of Fordham University and the creative writing program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Blair has taught in the MFA Writing Program at the University of New Hampshire, and in the online master's degree program in creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University. MadHat Press published his new collection of poetry, Barbarian Seasons, in 2020. www.davidblairpoetry.com (Above Left: David Blair in March of 2021. Copyright by David Blair)
All of the Backstory of the Poem LIVE LINKS can be found at the VERY END of the below feature: