The novel, Telémachus, is told by the son of a famous contemporary American poet and critic whose reputation is that of a foul-mouthed crank, untrustworthy, and yet approachable. The son, Bobby, remembers the summer when he was thirteen, when his parents allowed him to run wild on his own, to raise himself. His unnamed small town can easily be placed in the Pacific Northwest; it is a seaside town and a tourist mecca. Bobby, who has lived there most of his life, trained as an artist in Paris, where his parents brought him as a little boy. Much of the story takes place in the narrator’s childhood; in certain scenes the quality of memory gives parts of the story an atmosphere of ‘dream time’ or legend, even myth. Bobby, a painter of miniature landscapes, narrates his father’s story as it leads to one night in the summer; he also tells the story of his own life beyond that night. His father had returned to the town after a car accident when his passenger was killed. He’s become even more of an emotional cripple than he was prior to the death he caused. On that memorable night, Bobby, the thirteen-year-old, has a long talk with his father, who later drops acid and is stopped by the police. The story ends at dawn.
Michael Daley is the author of a book of essays, Way Out There (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2007), and several books of poems and translations. His most recent collection of poems is Born With (Dos Madres, 2020). He is a retired teacher, and the publisher of Empty Bowl.
Books by Michael Daley
Yes, Five Poems
The Corn Maiden
Horace: Eleven Odes
Way Out There: Lyrical Essays
Moonlight in the Redemptive Forest
Alter Mundus by Lucia Gazzino (tr MDaley)
Of a Feather
This Is How Good Your Are: New & Selected Poems