Poems © Nick Dupree


In A Bizarre World

In A Bizarre World was a short book of non-fiction poems created during Poetry Writing class Fall 2003, which was a legendary group of me / four other guys. Each poem employs colorful (at minimum) or severely surreal free verse to depict my weird window on the vivid and visceral college moments I collected, other formative experiences contemporaneous to 2003ish, poem-records of other pivotal memories prior and long-past. Truth is stranger than fiction: I didn’t make the stanzas strange enough to fully capture the true breadth of bizarritude of the reality grokked from my uniquely unusual perspective and recorded here, though I really tried.

Nearly all 10 of these poems appeared in The Motley, Spring Hill College’s annual archival literary magazine.

“February Girl” appears in Best. Mardi Gras Ball. EVER. with splashiest, most vigorously earthy detail and greatest impact in the 4th chapter, “February 22,” but is increasingly illusory. She strobe flickered and faded back into old-neighborhood NOLA.
February / Mobile Mardi Gras is when the old port city comes out of the chrysalis, transforming from chilly to colorful explosion of irrepressible, vibrant azaleas. A stealth MobileAL reference to re-birth.

For the first web-run of the set since 2006, i’ve re-ordered the poems for starker contrasts, and un-anonymized my subjects a bit, given the 12 years-time elapsed. The exact sequence/order of the story line, while not strictly chronological, is key; it develops and unfolds a true-to-life journal of sorts. If you can understand the changes in tone, style and content as the story progresses, you can understand a lot.
If all vivid, hyper-visual recordings of real life, even those in text, are considered akin to TV, this is like a poetry-reality-TV series in a way.

Larger themes of In A Bizarre World are riveting divine beauty in the supposedly mundane, womankind, emotional drives and the feels of early manhood, a much younger me trying to understand what things are in the quasi-adult setting, disability, death, depression, craving for any sort of girl-related-acceptance, the passions that spur re-birth. And more.
Hat tip to the late Mark O’Brien, the original vent-using free verse poet to tackle the sometimes thorny subject of being fully human, embodied, emotional, vigorously alive & fully attracted in the context of becoming whatever kind of disabled man you are (and, like me, Mark hung out with a Jesuit). Though my poems are unique and distinct, O’Brien’s an obvious influence. If a friend out there, part of phylum crippus west-coasticus, had not introduced me to Mark O’Brien‘s work around 1999, long before the excellent but flawed Hollywood (Fox Searchlight Pictures) movie version of some events of his life was made, my poems would be different or not exist.

I gave permission for the poem-account of my near death experience, chapter 3 “Awakened,” to be published in the Alabama Respiratory Care Association newsletter, and oddly enough, the like-newsletter for South Dakota RTs. People need to be reminded of the deeper human element in maintaining breath and life; we are not mechas. We feel, break, hurt, heal, and want.

/end of intro

 

  • 1. In A Night Lit Parking Lot
    • Written Oct. 15, 2003
    • About what I experienced/saw in Viragh Apts parking lot with SJ on Oct. 10, 2003
  • 2. The Girl In The Corner
    • Written Sept. 16, 2003, revised Oct. 7, Oct. 8 and Oct. 30, 2003
    • About an experience at SGA ’80s party Sept. 12, 2003
  • 3. Awakened
    • Written Oct. 3, 2003, revised Oct. 7, Oct. 8 and Nov. 26, 2003
    • About an out of body / near-death-experience in Sept. 1991
  • 4. February 22
    • Written Oct. 26, 2003, revised Oct. 30, 2003
    • About SHC Mardi Gras Ball, Feb. 22, 2003. Cherished the rite of passage; I turned 21 at midnight during the dance.
  • 5. Saturday Night Moon
    • Written Sept. 18, 2003, revised Oct. 7, 2003
    • Based on a beautiful view-nightscape from the wheelchair lift descending to our driveway March 2003, an experience that first inspired my painting Saturday Night Moon
  • 6. In The Alabama Senate
    • Written Nov. 3, 2003.
    • About Feb. 6, 2002 visit to the Senate Health Committee, Alabama Senate building: Montgomery, AL. Poem-recording of actual state Senate. Actual Alabama politicians.
  • 7. Her Hair
    • Written Sept. 20, 2003, about an experience Sept. 20, revised Oct. 7, 2003
  • 8. November Glare
    • Written Nov. 7, 2003, revised Nov. 8 and Nov. 18, 2003
    • About an experience on Nov. 7, 2003.
  • 9. In A Bizarre World
    • Written Nov. 15, 2003, revised Nov. 16, 17 and Nov. 18, 2003
    • About the entire experience of the Fall 2003 semester, in vividly trippy Magical Mystery Tour-type verses.
  • 10. The Last Friday
    • Written Nov. 21, 2003, revised Nov. 22 and Nov. 26, 2003
    • Epilogue. “The Last Friday” of full, regular schedule-classes of the Fall 2003 semester, Nov 21. My last fully successful semester…

 

 

Poem re: “seraphim girl” written January 2004ish was lost, probably deliberately. Not everything is ready for prime time.

 

  • 2008: Whirlwind
    • Written June 11, 2008.
    • About love, the feelings following June 6th partnering

Note: After a long drought, a love poem that is near-more a song than free verse. Instead of stark, brief, staccato lines, there’re big, bright rhymes and even some musical hooks. A subsequent unreleased 2015 work was similar, aside from being sad country singer lyrics.

To create new poems, the fuel of new experiences is a critical aide, the electricity of human connection and fresh neon emotions a live-wire, tripping the light fantastic…

—Nick

 

 

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