Monday, September 21, 2009

Northwest writers at work: Tess Gallager in Raymond Carver country By Jeff Baker, The Oregonian

Courtesy Tess Gallagher
Raymond Carver wrote a poem called "Gravy" about the years after he stopped drinking and met Tess Gallagher. "Don't weep for me," Carver wrote. "I'm a lucky man."

The mailbox still says Ray Carver and Tess Gallagher. His Mercedes-Benz sedan, the one he bought while wearing his bedroom slippers, is in the garage. His study is pretty much the way he left it in 1988, the typewriter in its place and the picture of Chekhov on the wall. The books on the shelves are the ones he wrote and the ones he put there himself.
But time has moved on at Ridge House, where Carver died 21 years ago. On an outside wall hangs a copy of a painting by Alfredo Arreguin, a portrait of Gallagher with the words to her poem "I Have Never Wanted to March" on it. It's faded from the sun and rain, but she's going to leave it up until the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are over. Two dogs jump and bark at the window until she comes to the door and silences them.
"Hashi! Peggy! That's enough now!"

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