Alan Dugan Poems

Alan Dugan Poems,Alan Dugan was an American poet who published seven volumes of poetry over a forty year period from 1961-2001 and picked up countless honours and awards along the way. His poetry style was generally considered to be the down to earth, plain speaking type and one reviewer compared the language he used as being like that of “your typical bartender”.

No flowery prose or fanciful notions for Alan Dugan, but it was the kind of poetry that people would keep going back to. He wrote with consummate skill and was never afraid to criticise icons of American life through his clever use of irony.

Alan Dugan Poems

Alan Dugan Bio

His seventh volume of poetry was reviewed in the New York Times thus: 8da08bcebb37b0ec0a5f2505fe2aa549 Alan Dugan Poems Alan Dugan was born in February 1923 in the district of Brooklyn, New York City although he spent the early years of his life in Jamaica, Queens. His education was interrupted by a call up to the US Army Air Force in 1941 but he was able to resume his studies after the war.

He graduated from Mexico City College in 1949 with a Bachelors’ degree and then embarked on a period of employment with advertising agencies, publishing houses and even as a model maker for a medical supplies company. In his spare time he wrote poetry, based pretty much on what he saw around him in everyday New York life.

Alan Dugan Poems

“Untitled Poem”

Once, one of my students read a book we had.
She was doing a history assignment on
the decline and fall of the Roman Empire
and crying. When I asked her why
she said Because. All those people died.
I said that if you start to cry for the dead
You won’t have much time for anything else.
Besides, after all the city people were killed
or died off, because their cultures got too high,
the barbarians kept some peasants alive
for their food value. Some barbarian raped
some peasant woman who produced
a child who ultimately produced you
and me, so there is this family continuity,
so don’t cry, it’s obvious, look around!
This is the reason why we Americans
are a nation of peasants and barbarians,
Alan Dugan Poems
Alan Dugan Poems

Drunken Memories Of Anne Sexton

The first and last time I met
my ex-lover Anne Sexton was at
a protest poetry reading against
some anti-constitutional war in Asia
when some academic son of a bitch,
to test her reputation as a drunk,
gave her a beer glass full of wine
after our reading. She drank
it all down while staring me
full in the face and then said
“I don’t care what you think,
you know,” as if I was
her ex-what, husband, lover,
what? And just as I
was just about to say I
loved her, I was, what,
was, interrupted by my beautiful enemy
Galway Kinnell, who said to her
“Just as I was told, your eyes,
you have one blue, one green”
and there they were, the two
beautiful poets, staring at
each others’ beautiful eyes
as I drank the lees of her wine.
Alan Dugan Poems
Alan Dugan Poems


I know but will not tell
you, Aunt Irene, why there
are soap suds in the whiskey:
Uncle Robert had to have
A drink while shaving.
Alan Dugan Poems
Alan Dugan Poems


My mother never heard of Freud
and she decided as a little girl
that she would call her husband Dick
no matter what his first name was
and did. He called her Ditty. They
called me Bud, and our generic names
amused my analyst. That must, she said,
explain the crazy times I had in bed
and quoted Freud: “Life is pain.”
“What do women want?” and “My
prosthesis does not speak French.”

Alan Dugan Poems
Alan Dugan Poems

On a Seven-Day Diary

Oh I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate and talked and went to sleep.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
from work and ate and slept.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate and watched a show and slept.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate steak and went to sleep.
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
and ate and fucked and went to sleep.
Then it was Saturday, Saturday, Saturday!
Love must be the reason for the week!
We went shopping! I saw clouds!
The children explained everything!
I could talk about the main thing!
What did I drink on Saturday night
that lost the first, best half of Sunday?
The last half wasn’t worth this “word.”
Then I got up and went to work
and worked and came back home
from work and ate and went to sleep,
refreshed but tired by the weekend.
Alan Dugan Poems
Alan Dugan Poems

On Looking for Models

The trees in time
have something else to do
besides their treeing. What is it.
I’m a starving to death
man myself, and thirsty, thirsty
by their fountains but I cannot drink
their mud and sunlight to be whole.
I do not understand these presences
that drink for months
in the dirt, eat light,
and then fast dry in the cold.
They stand it out somehow,
and how, the Botanists will tell me.
It is the “something else” that bothers
me, so I often go back to the forests.
Alan Dugan Poems
Alan Dugan Poems

Swing Shift Blues

What is better than leaving a bar
in the middle of the afternoon
besides staying in it or not
having gone into it in the first place
because you had a decent woman to be with?
The air smells particularly fresh
after the stale beer and piss smells.
You can stare up at the whole sky:
it’s blue and white and does not
stare back at you like the bar mirror,
and there’s Whats-‘is-name coming out
right behind you saying, “I don’t
believe it, I don’t believe it: there
he is, staring up at the fucking sky
with his mouth open. Don’t
you realize, you stupid son of a bitch,
that it is a quarter to four
and we have to clock in in
fifteen minutes to go to work?”
So we go to work and do no work
and can even breathe in the Bull’s face
because he’s been into the other bar
that we don’t go to when he’s there.
Alan Dugan Poems
Alan Dugan Poems



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