In .Seeing. the There There, David Alpaugh fuses comic and serious poetry to more than one-hundred color photographs, paintings and images that include a beached whale, a three-legged cat, a not-so-dry martini, a grief-stricken Jack-O-Lantern, John Donne's seductive flea, Schrödinger's enigmatic cat, Blake's Tyger, Duchamp's celebrated urinal, a ham sandwich, and a quite literally revolutionary sonnet—to cite just a 10 of this book's 89 visual poems that testify to Alpaugh's lack of interest in "poetry as usual." His original preoccupations and musings range from the irreverent to the meditative, and include people, society, nature, culture, philosophical thought experiments, and alternative universes—visible, theoretical, imagined. This is a unique book that offers readers verbal & visual delights, page after page.
are “about” works of art.
Keats’ “Ode to a Grecian
Urn” is “about” a vase
he saw in the British
Museum. Rilke’s “Archaic Torso of Apollo” is “about” the fragmentary statue mentioned in its title. Auden’s “Musée des
Beaux Arts” is “about”
a Brueghel painting
depicting the fall of
“About” has no agency
in the visual poem.
Where the art
is included with
and co-equal to
it would be
is neither "about"
the art, nor the art
"about" the text.
Fusing art with text
to the imagination.
—Praise foriSeeingiThe There There—
Seeingi The There There is compelling and wonderful, but how best to describe a book that combines a colorful picture with a poem on each page? There are gut-wrenching truths, accompanied by unexpected rhymes, puns, wit, and humor. Every time you turn a page, another visual and verbal surprise awaits you with titles and opening lines like these:
"Mayfly": "Here Today. Gone Today. No Tomorrow."; "Old Fogies": "Never tire of telling us/how thankful they are/to be born when they were/on the planet that was."; "Selfie": "Narcissus was the entreprenewer who tried to take one first."; "Trying to live in the moment?": "No one's ever that fast."; "Extreme Literary Makeovers": The Heart Is a Lonely Tweeter, Uncle Tom's Condo, Jude the Publicity Wonk"; "True Story": "The reality of fiction is ALL in your mind."
This is a one-of-a-kind book. You will want to own it, read it, savor it. It is simply amazing!
—Susan Terris, Poet / Editor—
David Alpaugh’s brilliance delights us once again in this remarkable collection that takes imagery and verse to a whole new level. As you time-travel through his poetic multiverse, you’ll discover whirling dervishes, a three-legged cat, a postcard from a volcano, a poppy apocalypse, a whiff of vermouth, Lt. Columbo at the Duke of Ferrara's wedding, the world's fluffiest bluebird, and the heaviest crow. There are intricate ironies and shades of truth that will entice your imagination both verbally and visually. With every turn of the page, there is a unique turn of phrase. iSeeingi the There There deserves a place on everyone’s nightstand—for it is truly, in the poet’s words, a messenger that “arrives and begs your attention.”
—Connie Post, author of Prime Meridian—
Seeingithe There There is a bright, wonderful book. David Alpaugh knows how to capture a rare poetic moment and create total delight. Each poem finds us in a sui generis universe: surprising rhymes surfing on fresh insight. Never have animated thoughts and choice images spent such quality time together!
—Marvin R. Hiemstra, Poet/Humorist—
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Alpaugh was born in New Jersey but has lived in the SF Bay Area long enough to be included in the Dana Gioia edited anthology, California Poetry from the Gold Rush to the Present, and to have been a finalist for Poet Laureate of California. Alpaugh holds degrees from Rutgers and from U.C. Berkeley, where he was a Woodrow Wilson and Ford Foundation Fellow. More than 400 of his poems have beeen published in journals and anthologies from Able Muse to Poetry to ZYZZYVA, and his essays on “Po-Biz” in Rattle, Poets & Writers Magazine, and The Chronicle of Higher Education have been widely discussed in print and online. David Alpaugh's collection of "double-title" poems, Spooky Action at a Distance, was published by Word Galaxy Press in 2020, and Red Hen Press reprinted his prize-winning Story Line Press book, Counterpoint, in 2021 in both hardbound and paperback editions. He has taught literature for many years at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Concord and poetry writing at the U.C. Berkeley Extension.