Doug Hoekstra

Book Review: Doug Hoekstra “Ten Seconds In-Between”


Doug Hoekstra — Ten Seconds In-Between

This book is a deeply thoughtful set of observational prose. Although Hoekstra is already notable as a musician and songwriter, he is clearly an intellectual and a poet as well.  

The sections:  “Out of Time,” “Pieces of Time,” “Time Found,” and “Time Lost,” should already convey a sense of what you are stepping into with this, it’s vignettes of mortality, the present, fatherhood, and other observations of the human condition all steeped in profundity and little moments of loss. 

It opens with a brief conversation about the prisoners who escaped Alcatraz and the banality contrasts to the overwhelming churning of the sea and the fate of the human beings who were prisoners in “Alcatraz.”

In “Gravitas” we are confronted with ideas of both Parmenides and Heraclitus — with the sense that everything changes, and nothing changes.  “Red-Tailed Hawk” identifies those moments when natural elements remind us of the meaning of life, and become all there is.  

There are snippets from trains and a Greyhound bus.  And throughout, so much significance and absurdity. 

In “Silently,” Hoekstra addresses poverty, Buster Keaton, and a homeless man’s hat. 

In “Performance Art,” we find the reasoning for the collection’s title: “You remember reading somewhere that psychologists say when people meet, they decide within 7 and 17 seconds whether or not they will like each other. You wonder about the 10 seconds in between.”

Doug Hoekstra has recorded some of the pieces in spoken word format as well, which are really delightful and available on his website.   All of these — his writings, spoken performances of the writings, and songs — are pieces of his very vulnerable glimpses behind the curtain of life, different loci on the same perspective on the elusive bittersweetness of all life’s passing ephemeral moments. 

Immerse yourself in a couple hours of depth and ethereal philosophical narrative scenes.  As he says in “Concessions”:  “Nothing is too absurd for reality.”

Grab a copy here:  Explore some of his music as well, as it’s another dimension of the same mind’s aesthetic form of expression.  

Read our interview of Doug Hoekstra, here: Interview: Doug Hoekstra on Books, Music, and Life too



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