Lost e.e. cummings Poem Found in Cuckold’s Notes

Writing for The Awl, an intriguing, substantial-looking “New York City-based web concern” dedicated to exploring overlooked stories of interest, James Dempsey reported Wednesday that he has discovered a new poem by e.e. cummings among the notes of The Dial publisher Scofield Thayer, cumming’s friend, mentor, patron, and husband of the woman with whom cummings had an affair (hence the sensationalist title of this post). As Thayer’s biographer, Dempsey focuses largely on the publisher’s relationship with cummings and professional travails, but he goes on to discuss “(tonite,” a one-page poem perhaps notable for its repeated use of “the N-word,” which may explain why it has remained unpublished.


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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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