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My Psychic Dogs My Life

Joel Dailey

ISBN 978-1935084020

56 pages: $10.00

October, 2008



From the review by Kevin Killian:


I feel the New Orleans gris-gris emanating from this book like candyfloss, and I feel the magic of a true trickster substituting words and ideas like dice in a shell game, conjuring spells on the unprepared. You have to love a guy who will title a poem "Poetry Fro Dummies" (not "for" dummies, it's definitely "fro" as in "Afro") and then in italics, the dedication, "for Helen Vendler." Deep in Harvard Dame Helen is clutching her Frank Bidart and her Jorie Graham and wondering what the source of that heat on the back of her neck is.

Dailey is terrific with a little truncated line in which every word assumes an ominous importance, but he wins your heart when he lets it all out and the lines sail across the page as though blown by the winds of inspiration: "In my head I'm screaming at the top of my lungs 'Hide the porno!'" And sometimes he attains a "Behind the State Capitol" splendor with his mix of neoliberal balderdash, incremental recipe, advertising prattle, and plain speaking: in "Repetitive Motion Injury," thinking and feeling are distributed throughout the manmade world and no longer merely the property of humans. "Svelte apparatus long time no chub no hit list all jingoism/ Aside (see tragic ironing) epiglottal pushed aside tallboys/ Dustball all people the horizon," a language so strange one suspects the work of an acrostic terroritician. He is not a cynic, and yet he clears the range. He makes me feel like I'm wearing "pants/ Tight enough to block / A horse out from under the hoop."


Also by Joel Dailey, Lower 48.






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