AD is having trouble getting into the work of one of my teachers, Norman Dubie. I'm not even going to pretend to be objective. Dubie allowed me to take graduate level workshops while I was an undergraduate at Arizona State. He was the first poet who told me I was a poet. In our first meeting in his office, after I told him I'd bought a copy of one of his books, he gave me copies of all his books that he had on his shelves. Needless to say, I adore Dubie's work.
As a writer of color I responded to his monologues spoken by "slight" figues in history, like peasants. And I responded to the knowledge on display in his work. Science. Religion. History. Art. Philosophy. His poems made me work! But my favorite thing about Dubie is his amazing figurative language. Only Derek Walcott can match him. I'm often stunned into silence by Dubie's metaphors and similes.
"The cancer ate her like horse piss eats deep snow"
"The girl's breasts/are large and moved separately like twins/
handed from one serf to the next/ down to a river for baptism."
"The stars,/violent at their tea,/were the last children to learn the arithmetic/
"I wrote much later that the geese/broke from the shadows like handkerchiefs/
out of the sleeves of black dresses/at a burial."
Any poet that can write lines like those is okay in my book.