by Todd Moore. 54 pages. Phony Lid Books, PO Box 29066, Los Angeles, California 90029. 2002.
Book Review by Michael Basinski
Todd Moore’s work at its perfection weaves various strands of poetic possibility.Dillinger’s Thompson is no exception but to perfection. Engaging the clich’ of penis as gun, Moore reinvents it via levels of metaphor, philosophy, psychology and the manipulation of language until that tired metaphor is striped and shaken and reinvented at its very root. The essential, primal truth notion of sex and death as one so merge within the poem with violence and object as to be seamless. And mesh also seamless with the American sense of ourselves as living via our objects, or being objects that define us as beings. Our objects kill. We kill but we love our objects and sex, which is the thing behind all of our consuming preoccupations. All these possibilities are here in the poem. And of course writing is sex and is love and Moore writes, “let love be/ come a machine gun only/ I can ride some nights/. And that is the perfect metaphor for sex as writing and recall that the Thomason is AKA a Chicago Typewriter. And fuckin is also an act of life and is also a horrible act. The word fuck in its origins depicts a terrible violent action. Fucking words then. And in this melding and merging the sex - as in gender - of Dillinger and his partner Billie - their selves are inconsequential - they both as one entity beyond the flesh via the bridge of bullets which are words merge into one fast fucking entity - one cannot be without the other - there is no just one being fucked: both are fucked by the essential engaging of this both ordinary and everyday but most abstract and complex sexual existence that is simply there as you and I are here human beings. And I am come away afraid and in awe at the power of poetry and that is what then Moore has here presented.