It was terribly sad to learn from Nell Nelson earlier this month that the poet Tom Duddy had died. His excellent pamphlet, The Small Hours, was published by HappenStance the year before my own. It was a mark of the man that when I asked him to sign my copy of his pamphlet, back in 2008, he wrote 'Thanks for asking!' at the top of his message. His poems everywhere convey his human intelligence, and I'd recommend them to anyone. HappenStance will be publishing more of his work, I know, and in the meantime, there's his website. He's a poet and a man worth remembering.
I post here, in his memory, the opening poem of The Small Hours, which feels apt, and captures something of his signature insight.
We're laughing already at the thought of someone
whose accent and mindset we have to a T.
And this is how the night will pass, since no-one
will have the heart to say how they are, exactly.
What I'm feeling tonight is not grief, exactly,
(since all those close to me are alive and well),
yet a feeling like grief is earthing me to the floor
in the darkness beneath the rollicking table.