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Friday, 30 September 2011

Edward Dorn: A Vague Love


Pocatello: photo by Julie Stokes, 8 January 2010


Bannock people, Idaho: photographer unknown, n.d.; image by Edulix, 4 July 2006

The Bannocks stand by the box.
They sway to the music.
A California truck driver
in with a load of pianos
shoots pool.

Their women
are not beautiful
they are not

but their eyes
have deep corridors in them
of brown hills of pain and
indecision and under every

is a question no man, not
even their own
can answer.

Where is the deer?
That is not the question.

tic tok, stop de clock.
sings Fats Domino.

We all stand swaying.
it's someone's turn to shoot.

Fats Domino singing "Blueberry Hill" on the Alan Freed Show, 1956: screenshot by Matthew Paul Argall, 29 March 2010


Home of Fats Domino, New Orleans (Marais Street side of building), with graffiti from the period after rumors surfaced that he had died in the post-Hurricane Katrina flooding. Later, it was reported that he had escaped with his life: photo by Infrogmation, January 2006

Edward Dorn (1929-1999): A Vague Love, from Geography (1968)

Fats Domino's Stop the Clock (Imperial 5875, b/w Did You Ever See a Dream Walking?) hit #103 on the national charts in September 1962


Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Oh, the Dorn is a true beauty, thanks, Tom, somehow dovetailing so nicely with all the autumn beauty I walked to work through (and with).


TC said...

That's a lovely thought, Don, especially for one who's (still.. or always?) in the dark.

Last week they told us autumn was here, next week -- they warn us in a series of "Special Weather Statements" (now hear this) -- we are to expect a chain of "winterlike storms".

Autumn, we hardly knew you.

Ed Baker said...

every time The Fat Man played The Keg
here in D.C.
we went down to see/hear him

Walking to New Orleans
I Found My Thrill On Blueberry Hill

I Knew An Old Lady from Houston
Ain't That A Shame

you knew he was The Best acause he wore
an huge white Stetson and a big smile...

"autumn" here too... all my neighbors in this 65 degree COLD are bundled up like it s December !

and non-stop ticker on the telly warning of "possible" freeze

best that I sit out on my back deck in my undies and read Edward Dorn's Hello, La Jolla and Hands Up!

on back of Hello, La Hoy-yuh Tom Robbins 'blurbs':

"Edward Dorn is a can opener in the supermarket of life."

I could say more however the sun is shining and this is a good chance for me
to climb my 70-years old
up on the roof and pour/spread a cpl gallons of roof sealant (tar)
and stop that damn 30 year old leak

before it snows next week and ruins my Dorn, et al, book collection

(no reply necessary as acknowledgement ONLY leads to fame and endless University Performance gigs ..

ad nausea-um

TC said...


Ah, the blacktar, branding tattoo of the defenseless leak victim. The stain lasts forever, even after the rain stops. This time we're told to "prepare for" 3 to 5 inches. Right.

By the by, in case it's not apparent, the Bannocks (of the present poem) are an indigenous tribe of Northern Paiutes of the Great Basin region. After the Bannock War of 1878 they moved -- or were moved, more like -- into the Fort Hall Res, near Pocatello, where they "merged" or were merged, with the Northern Shoshone people.

There are perhaps 5000 Bannocks left alive.

Along with exactly one Fats Domino.

vazambam (Vassilis Zambaras) said...

There has and one hopes there will always be one Fats--thanks for the Dorn piece and the photograph/story of the Bannocks, who weren't fortunate enough to be living on Blueberry Hill.

kent said...


Q. What's the only remedy for my disappointment at the Game One rainout last night?

A. ED from TC

(Thanks, Tom)

TC said...

The poem continues to move.

and under every

Where is the deer?

Traveling Wyoming with Ed in March 1979 it was apparent that bars with pool tables, Indians, truckers and jukeboxes made him feel at home. All his years of shifting about the West had seen to that.

In wild windswept wildcatter hangouts in places like Shoshone, Wyoming we shot pool.

He was never really comfortable in New York on his few visits of those early Western years.

In that he was not alone.

That feeling of the money laughing at you from the balcony, over a champagne glass..., never far away...

Anyhow here's to Detroit and Blueberry Hill.

Ed Baker said...

thanks for the continuationings ad
it adds so much to my net worth


I been to Pocatello I think it was then
what was Fats Wallers first name ?
Antwan ?

Marcia said...

So wonderful - the poignant "but their eyes/have deep corridors in them/of brown hills of pain..." set alongside Fats Domino's singing. -- The West and what it became -- reminds me of some of the joints in Ft. Pierre (the rough spot) across the river from the state capital. Thanks for bringing Ed Dorn to us again.

TC said...


How deep and long those corridors...


Antoine Dominique "Fats" Domino, Jr.