brilliant poet003
Brilliant Poet Series Vol. 2:
Dale Going
Denise Newman

An appreciation
of Dale Going’s first book

I was sent from sea to earth. Transparency of water left
for madder and umber, sienna and ochre, burnt, raw, ash rose,
rose dust.

The sacredness of life on earth. Incantations to make the ordinary, luminous.

                                                    (rose madder, rose cender,
rose carthame, rose brown, ash rose, rose grey, rose d’altheae,

The poet begins at home (hers) naming, like ingesting. Through the book, we truly enter the place
of the poet.

rosedust, rose dorée, rose marie, rose mauve, rose nilsson,
rose nude, rose pink, rose plum, rose purple, rose red, rose
soirée, rose taupe, rose wine)

From “House Dreams” comes the question: Is life as simple as a detail? Is a detail ever simple?
The layering of one color upon another. Shapes to shapes: Relationships. Is life always relationships?

Immediately I made the bed in the yellow room. Washed dishes.
Measured the bed for a dust-ruffle. Two chintzes
for the pillows. Rose-patterned cotton,
soft as Liberty lawn, for dresses. Playing Strauss waltzes.

What matters is not ownership; that she can make birds come to her, yes like an equation:
X = bird, I x it.

All day in the hot sun garden, weeding and watering,
turning soil over, readying for seeds.

glassine or interleafing
between things closely set

Is the poem making for a better life? Is the home? One gets the feeling that for Going, the life
and the home, the poet and the poem are inseparable. This whole creating the exuberance which is everywhere.

I want it to be summer night oh it is
summer night, one of those rare for here

Become what the imagination desires…. or is it the reverse?

ones but I’m not near delirious enough
despite the fever what I want I mean

In any case… let the desire be transportive

roaming the streets for the smells of
love, the rich smells of summer nights,

and language, better than experience

is to be in love, for it to be
a summer night and I in love,

Hot, hot. In a long loose dress like Isadora, roses, poppies.
Pink lips, arms pink, hair wild with sweat.

In the foreground is the size of –
is the focus –
but in the background – in the peripheral –
in the sight of the birdseye –
The nimble path, frail obdurate erigeron.

The garden not wanting to be completed – not the point, flower by flower, the poem growing line by line, into, poem by poem. Serial poems. Each part a different shape, size, reason to live.

The poem or house that Dale built (Philip helped with the house). Words like furniture do not have set places: I was clothed in robes of roses, and should surprise to delight, slightly a door. A turquoise mirror reflecting nothing, turning its reflection inward…

smothered in roses, cendre and carthame, d’althaea and dorée,
nude and soirée

Perception as a device for making objects more themselves. Going is a poet of intense perception,
an imbuer, giver of life to things we didn’t even notice were dead.

like the swan with its hideous legs swimming     like a magician’s
feather flower     chinese lanterns on illumination night     sunset

When I say dream, what I mean is, think. When I say think
instead of dream, what I mean is, nothing new.

lighter than moss, stronger than oak, deeper than apple,
bluer than laurel, paler than myrtle, painted of seaweed jelly,
the salt thinness of skin. Can anything be clearer?

                                          Yet the light I recall when I dream
is the greeny blue green of the sea, greener than gentian,

Images stack up but do not clutter like the magic house, always a new door to open into… Or reverse motion where rooms are disappearing as one backs out of them, as in “Something About Absence.” The words revealed in “Passionate,” the first poem in the series, are then rearranged, deleted, and give the feeling of their titles: “Constructed,” “Narrative,” “Broken,” “Coda.” Each poem a memorial, the same one wearing down to the essential image and white.

                                          ,red shining


Will not accept as logical what’s not. Going is not “Confused” but language is.

the end in sight. I cannot understand why
you walk further or farther backward or backwards

Humor and delight in perception. To see rather than to recognize.

Successfully leaving learned ways of perceiving, forming the words and punctuation so we can see it is new, in Dale Going’s house – that exuberant universe.


About the Author
A connoisseur of brilliant poets because it is who, she believes, makes the most sense.