On “In That Place Down the Way From This Other Place” (#50)

The process of getting from Point A to Point Z can be twisted indeed.

Martin recommended a poem to John: Thomas Lux’s “The People of the Other Village”. John loved the poem. It became the very rough inspiration for “In That Place Down the Way From This Other Place,” the piece which ends Poets’ Guide to America. In the process of becoming, their poem transformed into something different in scope and intent. Instead of a meditation on two antagonistic communities, it became an exploration of the next world over from this one — perhaps another country, perhaps a parallel dimension, perhaps the afterlife — where things are more and less than they are in this world.

Prior to wrapping up Poets’ Guide to America, “In That Place Down the Way From This Other Place” will appear in the next issue of Arroyo Literary Review, a print-based annual publication of California State University, East Bay.

About poetsguide

A former altar boy and a former U.S. Army interrogator, respectively, John F. Buckley and Martin Ott were born and raised in Michigan, meeting each other at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor before separately migrating to California in the early 1990s to attend graduate schools, their friendship evolving into a writing collaboration – what they refer to as poetic volleyball. They both currently live in Southern California, John with his wife, Martin with his wife and two children. John teaches English composition at several local colleges, while Martin works as a marketing strategist for a global company. John still affects a strange piety; Martin still finds himself asking a lot of questions. Individually and together, their writing has appeared in over 150 periodicals and anthologies, garnering three Pushcart Prize nominations for Martin’s poems “India Ivy” and “When Bridges Fall” (available in his collection Children of Interrogation, which has been a finalist or semi-finalist in eighteen poetry prizes) and John’s “Poem for Christy’s Daughter” (available in his collection Kinks in the Hose). Martin has also optioned three screenplays. His chapbook Misery Loves was published on Red Dancefloor Press. John’s chapbook Breach Birth was published on Propaganda Press.
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