Friday, February 12, 2016

Noir Outlaw Poetry From Zombie Logic Press

Mostly I'm comfortable publishing Outsider Poetry, Surrealism, and Dada at Zombie Logic Press and Zombie Logic Review because I have what i think is an innate grasp of those styles, but the next book from Zombie Logic Press, which is now imminent, The Blood Dark Sea, is a marvelous book of Outlaw Poetry in the movie noir style. It was written by Rockford poet Dennis Gulling, a writer I have known a long time and respect very much. I'm proud to own the press that will be making the first full-length collection of this mostly unknown writer available to the world. I say mostly unknown because Dennis Gulling is mysterious, even to me. I know we both published in the small presses in the late 80's and early 90's. I know we did poetry readings together at Cafe Esperanto and other places in Rockford, and I know he is thought of by many in the know, including Mas Tequila editor Richard Vargas, and co-founder of the Outlaw Poetry movement and his mentor Todd Moore, as the region's finest poet. The poems in Blood Dark Sea will bear this high praise out. 

Just this week I got a quote for the first press run of the book, and I think if I have the energy and don't encounter any setbacks with my ongoing dental work I may have it ready for the printer as early as late next week. I can't resist just laying down a little taste here as a teaser, but also to motivate me because I know it's time for people to see this book. This is an example of the crime noir Outlaw Poetry I'm talking about.

VEGAS

The ring on her finger
Felt like a noose around her neck
So she threw everything she had
Into 3 garbage bags
While he was at work
And stuffed them into the trunk
Of her ‘78 Bonneville
Took the $200 he had in a roll
In the back of his underwear drawer
Along with the .22 automatic
He never bothered to register
She drove the 96 miles to Vegas
To work the $200 into something solid
Sold the gun for $20
At a gas station along the way
To some fat guy in a pickup truck
Loaded with old barbed wire and rusty pipes
When she hit the Golden Nugget
She didn’t even stop to check in
Turned the whole bankroll into chips
And made a beeline for the blackjack table
Walked away about an hour later
With $30 and a lump in her stomach
As hard as her luck
Didn’t have anywhere else to go
But back home
He didn’t say anything 
When she walked through the door
He didn’t have to
She went into the bedroom
Curled up on the bed
And stared a hole in the wall

Artwork from The Blood Dark Sea by Jenny Mathews

     What amazes me about the poems in this book is how elegantly they delve into some really dark subject matter, but are never once prurient, or mean-spirited. There's humanity to these observations of people in some pretty awful situations. But there's also a sense of humor and no judgement. These things happen. The Blood Dark Sea is the kind of book where you can be glad they are happening to someone else, and a poet with a keen eye and flair for the subject matter is there to report back, so to speak. 

I hope you'll check back in a few weeks when it is available. Pin It
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