Sunday, July 2, 2017


"To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth." 

Raymond Carver stopped drinking June 2, 1977. Then he started his "miraculous second life" with Tess Gallagher, poet, essayist, novelist, and playwright.

The poem "Distress Sale" ( the story version is "Why Don't You Dance?") describes the front lawn sell-off of a family's belongings. It is one of Carver's end-of-the-line moments, one which "reduces us all" but can't be helped by any, least of all an alcoholic friend:
    ...Some one must show up at once to save them,
    to take everything off their hands right now,
    every trace of this life before
    this humiliation goes on any longer.
    Someone must do something.
    I reach for my wallet and that is how I understand it:
    I can't help anyone.
"Late Fragment," Carver's last-written lines, show him grateful for having found salvation in his last years with Tess Gallagher, though he knew that they too were over:
    And did you get what
    you wanted from this life, even so?
    I did.
    And what did you want?
    To call myself beloved, to feel myself
    beloved on the earth. 

Carver with Tess:

Image result for tess gallagher photo

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