Friday, October 2, 2009

And The West Was Not So Far Away

Now Available From Des Hymnagistes Press

And The West Was Not So Far Away
Brad McDuffie

Des Hymnagistes Press
ISBN 978-0-9822693-2-9
$12 (plus $2 S&H)

To order please make check payable to "Brad McDuffie":
$12 (plus $2 S&H) and mail to:

Brad McDuffie
Nyack College
1 South Blvd
Nyack, NY 10960

from McDuffie's "A Meditation on my First Tour de France"

Our tour ends down the Rue Saint-Jacques.
We spend l’heure verte at the Dome,
and watch feux d’artifice over the Seine;
as the moon rises over Notre-Dame,
we raise our glasses to Lance.
On the last night we dine at L’Écurie
the owner brings us absinthe
he apologizes for the wait, welcomes
our platoon like the brothers he lost at Reims.
He raises his glass, looks you in the eye, salutes.

You’ve carried me into high country,
and I’ve fixed my eyes on the road ahead,
where the light steadies beyond the Panthéon,
seeing the place where everything begins.

Praise for McDuffie's And The West Was Not So Far Away:

Brad McDuffie's poems come from the source of all that is good. I haven't been moved by a book of poems in this way since Erin Rourke's Three Bullets and a Magic Bean. Eat these poems. Drink them. Live off of them for years in the wilderness. They are about moments of grace, moments of doubt, and--above all--moments of intense communion. Teach these poems to students! Bring them to courthouses! Pay parking tickets with these poems! Defy your elders, using only these poems as evidence of your right to do what you want! Write letters to your leaders and quote McDuffie! Believe me, children: poetry's gone to the shithouse. You want to help? You want to make a contribution? Buy McDuffie's book, and don't look back.
--Francis Eamon Boyle, author of Raised Hearts Hailing

McDuffie's poems are beautiful, straight, and true. I read so much poetry where the emotion--the real emotion--has been wrung out, but McDuffie knows how to keep it in and use it to its full potential. His poems work the middle ground between Townes Van Zandt and Robert Lowell, Jason Molina and Donald Junkins, Bob Dylan and H. R. Stoneback. At the beginning of one section, McDuffie quotes John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats: "But we are not as far west as you suppose we are," fully realizing the idea of the west that threads its way through these pages. Interestingly enough, The Mountain Goats have a new album out simultaneously with McDuffie's book. In "Ezekiel 7 and the Permanent Efficacy of Grace," Darnielle sings: "When I emerge I find my car like a cathedral in a dream of the future." This line gets at the overall feeling of McDuffie's book: Reading it, you feel like you're inside of something big, a cathedral maybe, a place where prayer and miracles still matter.
--William Boyle, University of Mississippi

Friday, September 25, 2009