Two Towns Over – poems – Darren C. Demaree

Two Towns Over
poems by Darren C. Demaree
Trio House Press, 2017

*Winner of the 2017 Louise Bogan Award


Nobody tosses
out the drugs

of the dead.
That’s not how
this works. – {from} Monroe Mills, Ohio

Darren C. Demaree, in his book Two Towns Over, blesses a cursed Ohio with a populace whose touch is fighting an infection.

I know this Ohio…I know what it’s like to step over the shadow of one’s ghost…to lay low so as to give death nothing to leap from. To jump rope in hell. Demaree points to places made for map that have instead gone on to shoulder nowhere, from bunk bed to basement, looking to be housed.

Each entry, each poem, is an abruption, an angry rendering of those hypnotic recognitions that ask the present for the past and the past for the present that there may be a future locating of the hiccup lost to the moan of exile.

The title alone howls a human proximity over the work’s body to which ash is the salt of context. What is the purpose of show and tell if it is merely a prop for cause and effect, and why dream if even those in the mirage are thirsty? Answer is an act, and the writing here allows inquiry its melancholy passage through the museums of the ahistoric and positions itself as a headlight in the gut of any cyclops livestreaming the ideas dangled below the drowned. There are churches, here, and drugs. But there is no here here. Eternity has left to play the long game and most congregate as an avoidance raised on erasure.

I grew up in Ohio on what I called with my brothers a farm but what was really the shell of a farm. No animals, and noiseless machines towering above the broken and statuesque. We would joke that we were the only farm boys in Ohio who couldn’t use their hands. All jokes are serious, and no one is alone.

To hold this book, with its odes to the corners of drug houses, its sweet wolves, and its towns skipped over by sameness, is to return the clay its handmade hope. And to realize, that to be correctly dead, one must have belongings.


review by Barton Smock


more info:


10 thoughts on “Two Towns Over – poems – Darren C. Demaree

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s