11 May 2005

the baddest outlaw

Paul Metcalf told me I'd like Todd Moore & he was right. at Paul's nodding I startd a correspondence with Todd 20 years ago. we finally met in 1994 -- 2 months after I movd to New Mexico.

I don't keep up with such things but I don't think the academics have discoverd Todd yet. when he is "categorizd" it's as a post-Beat or that gangly grouping known as Outlaw Poets. whatever he is he's best known as the author of what's probably the longest poem in American literature. Todd began writing Dillinger in 1973 & he admits it's abt a quarter million words in length. & he's still not done with it.

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Todd lives in Albuquerque. last nite he & wife Barbara came up for a reading at Collectd Works -- one of Santa Fe's independent bookstores. he read from Dillinger & the blood was still flowing from his pages. one piece he'd just finishd that afternoon.

I haven't read all of Dillinger but then no one has since Todd keeps working on it. from what I have read it's a bold ballsy work unlike any other. Todd admits he likes dealing with the dark side. last nite he read a line "black on black on black." I was startld. I'd just finishd writing one of my Hollywood poems with the line "white on white on white."

I wonder when Dillinger will finally end & who will publish such a hugh work & what the response will be. till then I'm happy to know the gunsel's troubador.

1 comment:

richard lopez said...

I didn't know Todd Moore until a friend who studied under Gerald Locklin at Long Beach State turned me onto him a couple of years ago. I've not read a whole lot of Moore, but what I have read stirrs the blood. and yes, I agree that he is unclassifiable, at least the categories I've found him in, such as being in the Outlaw Bible anthology a few years ago, or as a kind of post-Bukowski poet, just doesn't fit. and as for synchronicity in writing, I've found it often the case when I'm doing something some other writer is doing something similar. which I think is very cool, and reinforces my belief that perhaps I'm wired into something larger than myself, which I hope is indeed the case.