Michael Lally : MARCH 18, 2003
(Libellum, 2004; second printing 2005)
Cover by Alex Katz
March 18, 2003 — the day before the United States invaded Iraq, beginning a wasteful and destructive process that continues until today — was also the day of an anti-war poetry reading at Paula Cooper Gallery, for which Michael Lally wrote the poem in this book. In a series of considered questions, the poem uses vernacular and emotion to turn the tables on those who cause death and suffering. The poem is an indictment of the hypocrisy that runs through current American policies and a way of life that has gone badly astray. Lally achieves this tour-de-force in his inimitable style, which is by turns wry, sardonic, heartbreaking, and ultimately sees a way out. "...a powerful pouring forth of militant outrage against America's new policy of pre-emptive strike." — Jim Feast, Evergreen Review. "Lally is riffing at the psychological anti-center of contemporary American consciousness..." — Larry Sawyer, Rain Taxi.
Michael Lally was born in Orange NJ in 1942. He attended the University of Iowa Writers Workshop on the GI Bill in late 1960s. While there, he ran for sheriff of Johnson County, Iowa, on the Peace and Freedom ticket in 1968, coming in a solid second. He is the author of 27 books of poetry and memoirs. Awards include the 1972 92nd St. Y Poetry Center’s Discovery Award for The South Orange Sonnets; two National Endowment for the Arts Poetry Awards, in 1974 and 1981; the 1997 PEN Oakland Josephine Miles Award for Excellence in Literature for Can’t Be Wrong (Coffee House Press); and the 2000 American Book Award for It’s Not Nostalgia (Black Sparrow Press). As an actor, he appeared as “Sykes” in the film White Fang, the voice of “Sparks” in Ralph Bakshi’s Cool World, an artist witness on NYPD Blue, a psychotic detective on JAG, and the crusty Cavalry Captain on Deadwood. As a script doctor/screenwriter, he wrote narration for Drugstore Cowboy and co-wrote with director Ate de Jong the screenplay for Fogbound, winner of “Best Feature Film” at the 2003 Thessalaski International Film Festival.
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