Friday, January 15, 2016












So this is a startling, sensual, harsh, frank book of poems by Jude Dillon, and it’s a pleasure to read, and uneasy too, for its truths and pains, universal and personal. There are lines that slit me open to swearing for my life, others that sexed me up, and pages that made me weep. This on one read through! Happy There In My Agony, it’s called. Proper review coming soon.
-Johnny Pigeau

















Sunday, January 10, 2016

     Jude Dillon, in Happy There In My Agony, invents a compelling new kind of noir.
And he does so with engaging and finely crafted poetry. To be sure, his poems offer noir’s definitive mean city streets, too much alcohol and nicotine, and attraction to the wrong love object with the resultant unsatisfactory encounters in bars and bedrooms. 

But Dillon, with his astute and unflinching eye, adds to the conventions of noir a steady awareness of the natural world as well: “one eye on the cigarette / the other on the snow.” Nature provides the poems’ protagonist with perspective, if not salvation or even consolation: “rain is falling / light years / from our explosions.”
    
 Dillon’s poetic noir is energized as well by his deft turns of phrase, a command of language that frequently charges the poems with a Tom-Waits-like humor that serves to prevent noirish angst from being overwhelming: in one poem the protagonist is “hoping for the weather to pick up / or the laundry.” The poet’s sharp observation of the lives he chronicles fuels the bon mots: “alcohol,” he notes in one poem, “makes the fond grow heartless.” Or his protagonist can remark with regard to a friend, “you’re shallow / all the way through.” The precision of observation can vivify the setting, too: The number 3 bus pulls out the plug of dawn.”
     
The milieu portrayed so convincingly in these poems functions as a metaphor for how, for most of us, the world does not meet our expectations. The poet is aware that a failed relationship fails both parties, not just the speaker: 
                                                               You come up short
                                                                looking for a wealthy version of me
                                                                in a catalogue
                                                                of unavailable products

In Dillon’s work, the sadnesses that arise from our inevitable failures to live up to our own goals and standards affect even the natural world: “the sun slides below the trees / giving up / on the scenery.” Yet Dillons’ people do find a kind of solace amid disappointments and setbacks: “ the sudden struggle from our clothes / the cushion of our bones / enough.” The days we endure may be “hard with shivers and / wondering.” 

But from such days also emerges art like Dillon’s  -art that, in capturing so exquisitely one strain of the “still, sad music of humanity” that William Wordsworth mentions, may just redeem the choices we make that shape our time alive.

-Tom Wayman.













My new book of poems is available now, at Shelf Life Books, in Calgary.
For slightly less than $20 Canadian; $18.95 plus tax.
Shipping is through Canada Post. If you are downtown drop in to
Shelf Life and browse around. Very exciting bookstore. Just
across the street from Boxwood Bistro and the park. 

Here is the blurb on the back of my book.

Happy There In My Agony, may be purchased at Shelf Life Books, in
Calgary. Place an order by phone for mail delivery at: 403-265-1033.
Or request the book via email:  contact@shelflifebooks.ca 
Find out more about this great bookstore at :  www.shelflifebooks.ca



















Friday, December 11, 2015











My poems and photographs are available for viewing at these internet locations

Photographs;   http://jdphoto2015.blogspot.ca/

Poems/Photographs;     http://pomesintheraw.blogspot.ca/
















Monday, November 9, 2015










My new book of poems is available now, at Shelf Life Books, in Calgary.
For slightly less than $20 Canadian; $18.95 plus tax.
Shipping is through Canada Post. If you are downtown drop in to
Shelf Life and browse around. Very exciting bookstore. Just
across the street from Boxwood Bistro and the park. 

Here is the blurb on the back of my book.

Happy There In My Agony, may be purchased at Shelf Life Books, in
Calgary. Place an order by phone for mail delivery at: 403-265-1033.
Or request the book via email:  contact@shelflifebooks.ca 
Find out more about this great bookstore at :  www.shelflifebooks.ca















Sunday, February 8, 2015





















                            The Street. A ghostly bit of footprint. It's the salt in the sidewalk and the snow
                             8th Avenue and 7th Street. Calgary, Alberta.

























Sunday, January 25, 2015









A splash of morning
without rain
the last of summer light
slipping south
lets in the dark
a tree fort
of childhood enemies

the afternoon grows short and chilly
the planet holds a roundness of logic
moves in with cooler tones
lifts a finger to stingy lips
bruises the feeling
we hunger for
drinking cold red wine in August
ready to disappear
after coffee and dessert

as police arrive in tight uniforms
under the rippling trees
an old woman leans in to address the curb
repeats every sentence ever spoken, all at once
a dog chases a candy wrapper into a drain
big trucks clear their throats, marauding on

an accordion player lingers
shyly ignites the blaze of autumn
inspires a sabbatical on my drinking career
thirty years of a bad thing
with the right woman for someone else

the light holds the grey in your eyes
let down on ropes to the floor of the world
you spill into my hands
and the sense of us
who dance without looking down

be as dark as you want to be
as a poet, find your own treacherous way
the wine goes thin and sour
the promise
you offer to the earth

your slender dark
shoulders against me
draws close
to the blue and necessary sky
the essence of arid make-believe
a note the blackbird carries to the languid waterways at dusk
by a bramble-shadowed stream
grey rock turning black, in a sudden field of snow

your distance I wonder at
holds tightly up against the music you didn't ask for
the first minute I see you
is the last minute I think about her
you leave a wine glass out, to collect the rain

your smile intact, after decades of bad weather
applauds the corkscrew
so I drink your wine
remember how you played the guitar
until wishing had enough

the best sex you never had gets you in trouble
stabs at the piano in the dark
lightning runs and stops 
at your feet 
the taste of winter on your breath

crossing the street to your house
you sway against me
but still, 
figures like you shape the music
blend colours without me

we do just fine
and yet
describe in detail, a hemisphere 
locked in snow