Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added)
is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.
--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Seven Questions of Clare Dudman

I love these questions because they are all so nakedly Clare, Clare, Clare, and reveal her in the asking more than anyone could reveal in answering. But I will answer them all the same.

1. What can I fit in the space between the stars?

Swaths and of nothingness, cloth from invisible bolts.

2. What is the first thing you know that you saw?

White light trembling on water.

3. Can I really smell the rain?

As it seeds the ground and marries with earth.

4. When does white noise become dark?

When a demon breaks the blur into separate pieces.

5. Where did you leave your favourite dream?

In the air, flying.

6. How can I stop feeling the lashing of a tongue?

Walk in green leaves until the noise of a whip is only the wind in branches.

and 7. Why do some words stain with an indelible ink; while others leave no mark at all?

On writing
Some come from the ink jar of mastery, some are blood that will not be scrubbed away, and some were never really more than warm dissolving air.

On the soul considered as a piece of paper
News of the terrible error of one’s ways, news that is a streaming joyfulness, news of birth and death, and sometimes stray trivial news that comes to have meaning years later: indelible. The missed direction, the love unnoticed, the daily rout, and what seems (but is not) the common ruck of men and women passing on the street, talking into machines or to one another: no mark, unless a phrase should aspire to be stray trivial news that comes to have meaning years later.

About Clare
Clare Dudman’s questions and dreams and news about her own books and those of others can be found at http://keeperofthesnails.blogspot.com/. See more at http://www.claredudman.com/. And Clare in The Palace at 2:00 a.m.: here.

And read her books, too, won’t you? They, too, lead to questions and answers in the mind.

Photo credit: I saved this leafy labyrinth long ago and have no idea of the source. Tell me if you do.

14 comments:

  1. oh my gosh, I just did these today! how funny that it took us so long to get around to these. normally we are usually at the head of the pack!

    you can tell that you are a poet by your answers. you just dont need a whole bunch of words to say everything.

    I am glad I did not read yours before I did mine becaus eI think I would have been influenced to be less rambly, which I fear is a real characteristic of me.

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  2. Hey, Miss Susanna--

    Yesterday I saw you had flown by Clare's and wondered if you would do them. Be your rambly self! I'll go by later--have to go interview an organist.

    I was listening to Chanticleer the other day--some wonderful Australian composer--and thinking what a lucky break your friend Greg had...

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  3. Hello Ms. Box Elder of photographs and walks and poetry and Mr. Sculptor of Spaniels and Lovely Girls and Something Secret that he hasn't revealed--

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  4. Thank you for answering my questions so beautifully...I particularly
    like your answer to 6. And thank you for your very kind words about
    my blog.

    I wrote this (and more) in an email to you a few days ago but it just came bouncing back into my inbox - so I'm writing this here instead.

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  5. Phtp! Try again? You are in my address book, so it ought to come through...

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  6. Hey Marly,

    As you can see, I'm back. I've been ruminating for a bit, recovering a bit, and creating.

    I love the answers to your questions and I hope to pop on over to Clare's blog after a quick visit to susananna.

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  7. Donna, glad you have been keeping on the path over the mountain and not tumbling off too often into the slough of despond...

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  8. I keep finding more in these. :-)

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  9. Hi MB--

    Don't look too hard--you might come out the other side! Whatever that means...

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  10. I know Clare pretty well and I fully agree...these questions are totally utterly Clare!
    She has one amazing creative mind!

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  11. Yes, they are very Clare...

    Still thinking about that sketch with the lost Vivienne (Vivian?).

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  12. Great blog you got here. I'd like to read a bit more about that matter.
    By the way look at the design I've made myself Young escorts

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Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.