Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Blood Dark Sea Combines Outlaw and Outsider Poetry

Dennis Gulling writes a new kind of Outlaw Poetry. A poetry that combines elements of outlaw and Outsider poetry. Anti-authority, and outside the canons of the academy, but also not willing to adhere to the cliched rules of much outlaw writing, Gulling forges a third path that is unique and original in a genre not known for originality. Here are some poems from Gulling's first full-length book, The Blood Dark Sea, released by Zombie Logic Press in May.


He’d slice
The ears off each victim
And nail them
To the wall
Above his bed
So they could hear
His dreams talk


Her kiss
Was a red knife
In my dreams

            Illustration By Jenny Mathews of Rockford Illustrating


Burton was standing
In front of the tv
Drinking JD
When the bullet came
Through the window
Loretta spun around
When she heard
The bottle hit the floor
He went down
Like a rock
In front of the sofa
Died sitting upright
His useless eyes
Watching a woman on tv
Scream at something unseen
Her lips were moist & red
Her teeth white as bone

                          Tiny Drawing By Jenny Mathews 


The night Thompson’s 3rd wife
Left him she snapped his head
Back with a table lamp
That left two long scars
On his right cheek
They curved around each other
And looked like a pair
Of shiny lavender lips
A ghost mouth that only speaks
To the night according to him
When he’s drunk enough
He’ll put lipstick on it
And call it the kiss of death

Palmer’s wife
Put three bullets in him
But he managed
To walk down the alley
To Delgado’s place
He fell through the screen door
Into the kitchen where
Delgado was stirring something
On the stove
He curled up in a little ball
While Delgado screamed
And went pale
He called 911
And put Palmer’s head in his lap
And held a flask to his lips
Palmer tasted good whiskey
On his tongue
And he could hear sirens in the distance
He smiled a little
And what was left of his life
Leaked away
On the floor

Two days after
Manny Black testified
Against Mike O’Brien
For the Tandino shooting
Somebody unloaded
A shotgun into his guts
While he was walking
To his car behind
The Silver Dollar Pancake House
When Charlene
The night cook
Got to him
He was trying
To push in all the stuff
Coming out between his fingers

     These poems illustrate how deftly pulls off the almost impossible task of observing others without becoming implicated in their scenarios. There is no judgement in these poems. Sure, bad things are happening, but Gulling takes a steady approach to his descriptions, and always delivers a trademark twist of humor at the end. Shit happens, might as well make a poem out of it. The Blood Dark Sea is now available at Rockford poetry publisher Zombie Logic Press. It is part of editor Thomas L. Vaultonburg's Rock River Literary Series, an attempt to publish the best writers in Rockford and give their books a national spotlight. 

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