198 pages: $15.00
What if someone decided to produce a television series about the scene at the Maple Leaf Bar in the late 70s and early 80s, complete with its rangy cast of carpenters, musicians, poets, painters, and general New Orleans ne’er-do-wells? John Stoss provides the answer in Whatever Passes for Love is Love, a collection of scripts as tragic, funny, unpredictable and ineluctable as their subject matter. In dialogue that, despite its gritty realism, often breaks into song, Stoss captures the essence of an artistic movement and the soul of a poet.
John Stoss was born in Kansas in 1940; he attended the University of Arkansas creative writing program but did not graduate. His first book poems was Finding the Broom (Lost Roads, 1977), the first book from Lost Roads publishers, started by the legendary Frank Stanford. In 1984 he published a novel, Machines Always Existed. He lived in New Orleans intermittently after graduate school, finally moving to California in the 90s, first to Carmel. He is now living in Salinas. He is a painter and singer-songwriter as well as poet, novelist and playwright. He is distinguished by an almost constant stream of creativity. He has lived and remains disconnected from conventional systems of support, reward and acknowledgment, owning nothing (most of his manuscripts are either lost or in possession of his close friend Ralph Adamo.) He has a dog and dreams a lot.