Introduction for D.A. Powell
By Kathy Lou Schultz
Packing up to move from San Francisco in the summer of 2000 I lost my will. Ready to lie permanently among the boxes, static, neither staying nor leaving. Inert. Yet an angel appears, Doug Powell, packing all my kitchen goods and whisking me away to lunch in JapanTown. I confirm what his readers suspect, you do want to take Tea, Lunch, or Cocktails with D.A. Powell. It is worth the trip.
D.A. Powell of the many awards: The Boston Review Poetry Contest, NEA Fellowship, Paul Engle Fellow, Pushcart Prize, and more. He gets around, this D.A. Powell. He means what he says.[dogs and boys can treat you like trash. and dogs do love trash]He’s damn funny. Bitingly witty. He knows the score.
he'll soak up your love
if you let him and leave you as dry as a cork. he'll punch out your guts
when a boy goes away: to another boy's arms. what else can you do
but lie down with the dogs. with the hounds with the curs. with the mutts (Cocktails, 14)
“life is a poor edit. clip cut and paste” (Tea, 19).
This life where cocktails may appear in “jello flavors” with “umbrellas in [a] tall glass” or as “a fistful of bloated tictacs,” life preserving medicines that cause the “burn in the bowels & the mouth” (Tea, 62).
D.A. Powell pays exquisite attention to the body: longing, pleasure, annoyances, and suffering. His honesty reveals compassion and integrity, never mere spectacle.
We are very fortunate to have him here today, and I am proud to welcome him to his first ever reading in Philadelphia.