blue and blue and blue

blue and blue and blue
Darren C. Demaree
Fernwood Press


blue and blue and blue conveys the overwhelming importance of having (every so often) a complete washing off of your desire for success. Heading to the sea or the ocean on a trip is a classic setting for such narratives because of the immense power and repetition of the water, something that can bring a life into starker focus. If you can find a way to be simple and loving and a part of community that takes care with each other in a pronounced humanistic way, then everything else is superfluous. This book was written to bring you back into that.

Is it the poet’s soul? Or every soul that wants to be formed for and baptized by the sea? Whatever the answer, Darren Demaree is such a soul, landlocked and longing, writing poetry as a “gut reaction” to unrequited need for language, like an ocean, to tide him under and take him away. Dare yourself to enter this blue and blue and blue, this “shuttle-/ shake to the eco-system,/ a dance almost/ & after a while/ of breathing.”

Kimberly Ann Priest, author of Slaughter the One Bird

Darren Demaree’s blue and blue and blue unfolds as the title does, suddenly and progressively, building one thing onto the next until we are saturated in blue, in the human condition, in the ego, in addiction recovery, in the small i of Demaree, which is a force so much like the ocean, the setting for these poems. Each small poem is just on the brink of bursting into this sea that moves back and forth in the rhythm of his lines, in their rejection of capitalization, and in their sparse punctuation. Demaree is a master at concentrated language that leaves space for the ephemeral. His voice is biblical and fragmented, reminiscent of the short dismantlings of Rae Armentrout and the soul searching and fracturing at the shoreline of Arnold’s “Dover Beach.” Each poem is a meditation that sets the mind spinning. In one poem, the speaker says, “i/ was so/ hoping/ to be baked/ into/ a world/ that would/ want to/ consume me.” These poems threaten to consume the reader. I am still consumed and feel, after reading, that I was “forced to eat/ the endless horizon.” blue and blue and blue is a masterpiece, both terrifying and comforting in all the ways poetry should be.

Sarah Moore Wagner, author of Swan Life

With short-syllabled lines that hint at an underlying need for control, these poems give us the ocean as a stage for a crisis of doubt and significance, for a speaker who watches a sunset and knows only that he has “nothing to do/ with the dawn.” The ocean in Demaree’s poems is curative, preservative, constant, indifferent, beautiful, wild, violent, and most of all, a mirror to the best and worst of humanity. In a world that wants us “to do/ grand things/ with a name,” these poems examine how we remain a part of a larger song, an “all-rhythm” that is older and deeper than our own lives.

Donna Vorreyer, author of To Everything There Is

Darren C. Demaree

is the recipient of an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award, the Louise Bogan Award from Trio House Press, and the Nancy Dew Taylor Award from Emrys Journal. blue and blue and blue is his twentieth full-length collection of poetry.


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