Robert Schumann Is Mad Again

Robert Schumann Is Mad Again

by Norman Dubie


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In his newest collection, Robert Schumann is Mad Again,Norman Dubie explores human suffering in a narrative unlimited by time and space. From the fields of a fallen Jerusalem, to the sci-fi prison of the Ukraine’s Crater Lviv, Dubie has crafted a kaleidoscope of reserved places and experiences throughout history. His ekphrastic work, a continual expansion of a legacy seeking to test “the limits of the lyric,” spirals across the boundaries of nonfiction and the surreal, the artistic and the scientific. Norman Dubie reconciles the violence of cobbled streets and abandoned houses with the mysterious hum of the arts, “singing to nearly/ everyone who will listen.” This collection pays homage to the voices of classic writers, artists, and scientists, where the likes of Francisco Goya, Paolo Uccello, and the collection’s namesake evaluate this unnerving world, suspended in balanced chaos. Simultaneously solemn and experimental, Dubie’s latest poems embrace his anxieties of aging and death, capturing a haunting sense of wonder that lingers like a cold touch and draws compassion for humanity’s future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781556595653
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publication date: 06/18/2019
Pages: 80
Sales rank: 1,222,895
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

The author of 26 collections, Dubie’s many honors include the Bess Hokin Prize from the Poetry Foundation and the PEN Center USA Literary Award for Poetry.

Read an Excerpt

Boston & Maine

The salt marsh at sunset, something of a carved rosewood landscape for an early 20th Century toy train set that’s left the mountain’s tunnel,
the smoke of the woodbox darkening everything in the heavy mix with steam, the mens’ faces of ivory washed in the ink. Leaving the mountain,
the eyes of the children in the sleeper opened again. The conductor chuckled. A horse in the mail carriage screamed.

This woke the station master who looked at his wife, saying,
it is the 2:11—3hrs late. She smiles, “Darling, I’m not sure that we’ve ever formally met?” He quickly removes his hand from her hair.
She wakes. The train edges under a water tower. The paper birds on the salt marsh are lifting into the night’s stars under the very soft rain.

Ghost Writer

The blue and white Cessna coughed out over the desert floor—
there is a blinking margin of starry night that’s canal water.
A clumsy coyote descends an old hill of garbage. Death is visiting my friends. No one is impressed any longer. Column inches of suns in the stagnant water. Death, in fact, is shy and clumsy—looking over its shoulder. The unscheduled slinking through a moon field of vulgar agave and crushed shell-life that is some millionaire’s lost airstrip. The wife inside is happy and undressing—she sips gin while the swamp cooler asks her to please finish that damn crossword puzzle in Wednesday’s newspaper: reticule.
anathemata. divan. hemorrhage. Her left hand releases a very fat string of pearls. She is just now sleeping in a chair.
Not another human for hundreds of miles. And it is surely a wonderful world. perpendicular. charlemagne. Light rain.
The cooling light from her husband’s fish tanks.

The Old Women at Urnekloster House

–for Dorothy

Heisenberg on his aunts’ ceiling counting the shut-ins. One giving names to individual tulip bulbs sighing with the fish bones and red potting soil on wet newsprint,
another, also mathematical,
obsessing on the current sum of pewter spoons and the third wrapping in wool a hot teapot her younger sister says is the color of marmalade custard.

The dog is larger than the rug he chooses to sleep on and he’s suffering from arthritis.
When he is finally dead the three women will drag him down the stairs on potato sacks they spent the morning sewing together as a burial sled.

(The blue clock beside the spring onions should know how long it took to arrive at the moment where suddenly it stops forever but without the usual importance.
However, physically its perfect enamel face is not self-conscious like cereal caught in the sergeant’s mustache if his mouth, still worse,
is a black hole and nursery of suns unbelievably adamant at the center of its universe.)

The fall from one step to the next releases methane from the dead dog and Heisenberg thinks this is all stacked like a model for reluctant space/time with a cold flat outcome for both the dog and the cosmos.

Table of Contents


The Old Women at Urnekloster House 5

In the Transfers of a Long Beard 7

The Kingdom 9

Tucson, Monday Love 10

Crater Lviv 11

Homage to St. Geraud 12

Caravaggio, Texas 13

A Third Scroll of Malachite 15

In the Choir Loft 17

Portrait of Donald Trump in a Purple Codpiece 19

Nimrod & the Flying Pig 20

Ode 23

A Week's Reading of the Newspaper 24


Robert Schumann Is Mad Again & 29

Dialogue of the One and Zero 30

The Elgar Enigma Repetitions,'33 31

Sokurov Thought the City Was Empty 33

Storm 35

Boston & Maine 36

An I.R.S. Official from Houston Visits the Blood on a Stone Stylus 37

Romance 39

The pilgrims above 40

Not A Spaghetti Minimalist's Sack / Of Writs And Chits, Not The Movie With A Dead Beard In It 41

Dementia 42


In an Exchange of Many Goodbyes to All That 45

Grasmere, N.H. 46

Vladimir N.'s Bestiary of Flashy Fiction 47

Trow Hill, Vermont 49

The Nine Solitary Plasters of a Comedy 50

Snowden in Hong Kong 55

Cloaked in Night, Rising in Radiant Orchard 56

Scion, circa TEN 62

Zone 64

The Convergence 65

La logique assassin 66


The Colophons of Solomon 69

Elegy for Brian Young 94

Delmore Schwartz Vigilant among Large-Headed Lilas 96

Spy 98

Goya's Cleaning Woman 100

Prophecy in Lieu of a Lien 101

Kathmandu 103

December 7, 2015 105

Two Eloping Disks with the Same Radius 107

Ghost Writer 108

About the Author 111

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