Customs

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Publisher: Georgia

Released Date: 1991

ISBN: 0820309664

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Joseph Duemer's poems observe life with the eye of a traveler, noticing the colors and motions that swirl to make our moments, watching for the instants of vision in which we can perceive the world's shape and beauty.

The poems in Customs are as alert to the everyday, to the familiar corners of life and memory, as they are to the unfamiliar sights of Morocco or a monastery above Florence. Duemer senses the unknown thoughts of barflies, their fingers wrapped around warm yellow beers, and of teenaged girls with rings of eyeshadow darkening thier looks:

They remind me of the slow movements
in Bach, of the stems, the sharp
slips of flowers rising
by the millions in commercial fields:
nothing will stop them.

The girls smoke extravagantly,
with broad gestures,
inhaling superior air and exhaling
signs of world-weariness.
Their cigarettes

are too long for their fingers, but this 
doesn't stop them 
they roll their eyes 
at poor us, an assortment 
of old regulars reading 
books and the afternoon 
papers. Such girls don't need us.
They make their own news.



From night baseball in the American West to the iridescent blue smell of an alleyway in Fes, from a stone-deaf dalmation on a wave-swept beach to thoughts of Delmore Schwartz and James Wright, these are poems that revel through life, that revel in life.

Author: Joseph Duemer

Publisher: Georgia

Released Date: 1991

ISBN: 0820309664

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