Friday, April 22, 2016

Buy The Blood Dark Sea, a Book Of Outlaw Poetry By Dennis Gulling

Book number three in the Rock River Literary series is now available from Zombie Logic Press, and it is The Blood Dark Sea by Outlaw Poet Dennis Gulling. Dennis Gulling is a small press veteran who edited Crawlspace from 1980-1989, read with Outlaw Poetry founder Todd Moore on their “World Tour,” and is so elusive he could be standing next to you right now and you wouldn’t even know it. But all that's about to change, as Zombie Logic Press, a poetry publisher based in Rockford, has published Gulling's first full-length collection of poetry, The Blood Dark Sea. A student of, and later protege of Todd Moore, a long-time Belvidere English teacher credited with establishing the Outlaw Poetry movement, Gulling is an unassuming figure you might see at poetry readings, concerts, plays, and any sort of cultural event going on in Rockford and never recognize him. That's the way he likes it. But that quiet, unassuming veneer is belied by the bombastic nature of the 100 pages of poems in The Blood Dark Sea.

In The Blood Dark Sea we have one hundred stories of small timers finding themselves in bad places at the wrong time, but entertainingly so. Their misfortune is definitely the reader's gain, as the German concept of schadenfreude is raised to an art form by this poet and his keen observation and detailing of the worst moment's in other peoples' lives. But it's not simply prurient gaping at lowlife and bad decisions, there are no judgments here.Gulling delivers his poems like short, unexpected bursts of gunfire in an idyllic suburban afternoon. There is truth in the lives of these people. A truth that is ever bit as honest as the corrupt lives of bankers, movie stars, and politicians, but what these people do not enjoy is the safety net of knowing their actions will be condoned, forgiven, or expunged from the record by a team of lawyers. They must accept swift and brutal justice without flinching or making excuses. And in an almost noble way, they do.

She drove all night
To stand at the edge
Of the continent
Looked back over her shoulder
At nothing But thinking there Must be someone there Felt the weight Of all that gas station money In her pockets And the sharp sting Where a bullet Grazed her neck Gulls cried above her head As she held her hand Against the setting sun Her knees buckled Into the sand Cold blue water Washing all around her And she laughed softly Knowing her life Could never get any better than this

He came to With the car on fire She stood outside laughing Waving a gas can over her head He blistered both hands Getting the door open Hit the ground With everything burning Too busy trying To stamp out the flames To notice the bullet She put in his ass

She drove around all night With his headless corpse In the seat beside her The head in a grocery bag On his lap Every now and then She’d pull off the road Take the head out of the bag And remind him again Just why he was being punished


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