Susan Campbell, Doug Lang, Terence Winch. Cafe De Luxe, D.C., April 10, 2011
Today marks the 70th birthday of my good friend Doug Lang, who came to the U.S. by way of Wales (Swansea), Greece (Paros), and England (London) in 1973. Since his arrival he has been a major figure in Washington’s literary world, as poet, teacher, impresario, and mentor to many. He remains on the job as a beloved and popular professor at the Corcoran College of Art, where he has taught since 1976. He writes amazing poems that inspire his friends, who are usually the only ones who get to read them. That situation will be corrected when his large selected poems, called In the Works, comes out in the near future from Rod Smith’s Edge Books in DC. Yesterday, Doug and his friend Sandra Rottmann threw a party at the Cafe Deluxe, near the National Cathedral. Some people came from far—Diane Ward came in from L.A., Tom Mandel and Beth Joselow from Lewes, Delaware—and near (Andrea Wyatt and Lansing Sexton, Peter Inman & Tina Darragh, Rod Smith & Mel Nichols, Phyllis Rosenzweig & Alan Wallach, James Huckenpahler, Becky Levenson & R.T. Smith, Bernard Welt and Arthur Gary, Lee Haner & Carla Badaracco, Casey Smith & Laura Peterson, Tom & Linda Green, Kathryn Wichman, Pat Kolmer and Bo Stanley, Jesse & Francesca Winch, and Susan Campbell). Everyone had an excellent time. I delivered the toast, which was called "Doug Is Awesome," a sentiment shared by many.
l. to r.: Lee Haner (back to camera), Rod Smith, P. Inman, Tina Darragh, Mel Nichols, Carla Badaracco, Andrea Wyatt.
Doug has been writing a lot of experimental sonnets recently. Here’s one he emailed me a few weeks ago:
The Sinking Colony sonnet
I am tracing a skinny dribble of memory, playing into a zone of shimmering beauty.
THIS IS MY LIFE. She say my name, she say my name, she say my name, she say my
name. Today, now, today in this metropolis the women are dressed to keel in their
widebrimmed hats, their Manolo Blahniks, their Proenza Schoulers, their Paul Smiths,
their Collette Dinnigans. Their legs are short, their asses are huge, their teeth are
crooked, their lips are luscious, their hands are gnarly, their dogs are vicious, man.
They all dig LeanSpa with Acai. J'espère que je ne vous ai pas deranges. Don’t bogart
that joint my friend… and it’s 1, 2, 3, what’re we fighting for? Don’t ask me, I don’t
give a damn, next stop is Vietnam, and it’s 5, 6, 7, open up the pearly gates. Do you
think that anyone calls Bill Gates “Pearly”? I know who: Buddha ha-ha. In the
darkness of a stand of larches I use NLS Thera A 3mm and a mixture of Dianichi
sinking pellets. This has done wonders for my fronts. I also treat them with Tetra
Jumbo Krill. Penguin poo viewed from space reveals new Antarctic colony locations.
& Bob’s your uncle. I’ll never forget you. I'll never forget how we promised one day