You Think of a Line and You Bang It Up

March 27, 2024
Artist News, Fellowship

Provincetown, MA 

“I want to write about the people in my life in a way that shows how beautiful and complex they are,” says poet David Hutcheson. He runs to his kitchen to grab some honey.

Poet David Hutcheson: “All I had to do was show up and listen.” (Photo by Pat Kearns)
It’s 13 minutes till midnight on Brewster Street in Provincetown, and Hutcheson is reading his new poem, “Top-Siders.” The poem is about fishing with his father and brother — eating “cold fried chicken for breakfast in the marina dark” as diesel fuel’s “little rainbows/ rippled in the slip.” About how, once dawn broke, his father “seemed even quieter, suddenly drunk.” About the way his father would sing the word darlin’. Hutcheson reads: “the same song/ in my mouth whenever I call the dogs.”

Poet David Hutcheson. Photo: Pat Kearns

Hutcheson’s father died two years ago from complications of alcohol abuse. “It’s something I’d seen coming for years but still couldn’t prepare myself for,” he says. “I started writing again the winter after my dad died. I hadn’t written poems since I quit drinking” — that was in 2019 — “and it was slow going at first. But by the summer I wrote a whole bunch, and it became easy. It was like there was nothing in my way anymore.”

Read the full article in The Provincetown Independent here

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