Shout Outs: GLORY HOLE | THE HOT TUB [by Amy Lawless]
I recently read a really awesome split book by Dan Hoy and Jon Leon called "GLORY HOLE | THE HOT TUB," published by Mal-O-Mar.
The book is a beautiful square, pleasing to hold with simple (how you say....?) colored line art on each side for each author's half of the book. Think of a 45 rpm record, but each side is a hit, and each side is by a different artist. Lennon/McCartney if you will, only these two guys don't have to write in the same house with the other guy's wife hanging around caterwauling..... Though that would be kind of a fun experiment... But I digress.
Most poets' egos would not allow them to split a book. The man may want it but the ego wouldn't allow it, but these two poets are above that. Hell they're in their own worlds. Jon Leon's work reminded me of Frederick Seidel's masterpiece "Ooga Booga" (which you have to read if you haven't already) in the best of ways. No, it didn't cop Seidel's vibe. No it didn't steal Seidel's essence, but it served me with such a high MPH of personality and West Coast-ery, I lost my breath half way in. Leon lives in California. No, not that one! The one in the Carolinas. Get it, McFly? It's called LIVING IN CALIFORNIA IN YOUR MIND.
And no, I'm not high. But I wish I were.
Here's a piece from "The Hot Tub" that explicates my point, daddy. Lazy as I am, I chose the one aptly titled "CALIFORNIA":
I'm standing on the corner of Martin and McDowell. I pinch my crotch as a limo rolls past. A bank of fluorescent lights accentuates the whole thing. In my head I'm rolling back the years. I go into a vacant building that's empty, pop some batteries into my Walkman, and dance myself to tears. When I walk outside there's a train. I get on it.
See? This guy literally can be anywhere in the world and he's in California. Masterful.
Flip this bitch over and it's just as good! A glory hole is when a guy is in a bathroom and there's a hole in the stall and he..... Oh [blushing], you know that already. Dan Hoy is the guy who came up with the phrase "hate on life" and you've been following his work since 2004. I know that's a lot to take in, so just think about that over the weekend. Dan is intensely best friends with personae poems. The personae of Dan Hoy. I thought there was a difference between the narrator in his poems and Dan Hoy the man, until I became friends with him and realized how intensely honest these poems are. Dan's poems will make you STOP hating on life, and that's the point. Here's the titular poem from his debut book.
I eat steak every day because it's them or me. The masterpiece is the frame I hang around my neck and shove my face in. I wake up like the night is impossible. My name in lights and the arms of the jerk I feel the most. Every time I think This is a blast and completely fucked.
If you want to know more (which you do), these two poets interviewed each other (WHO DOES THAT?) on a blog. Read it here.