January 2006 | Published Monthly

Review: Mike Boyle's Laundromat Suite
reviewed by Matthew Dickens

Laundromat Suite, a 13-piece chapbook from Pennsylvania poet Mike Boyle, seems to concern its softgreen self w/ explaining for tha rest ov us exactly how it is to be Pennsylvania poet Mike Boyle. It does succeed.

first you starve /then /you preach/ to the dead

w/ these lines from "Poetry 101," Boyle begins to introduce us to a world true poets must understand. This world awaits outside tha barrooms, cafes, classrooms, and, yes, cliches where haunt tha social audiences that only know you came from somewhere else and now you're here so what's tha matter?

He deals w/ the abuse, the addiction, and tha sheer observatory terror that can grow to be so mundane and systematic as to influence and inspire artists/poets/rock musicians to the extent at which they begin to abuse, become addicted to, and inspire tha very terror they observe. Mike even has it make sense.

"Saturday night special" reveals pieces ov rough characters drawn into tha sympathies ov their own sensitivities and how we might know when told ov our guilty associations. An aquaintance gives speaker a gun. Speaker enjoys tha weapon, briefly breaking irritating silence, making bullet holes grow in trees. Gun becomes blanket ov security for speaker running drugs. Speaker, starving, trades gun for junk and a five-spot. The other end ov tha bargain later reports "that thing was/ talkin/ uptown/ last night".

Street scenes are choreographed in language-style overstepping poetry-prose boundaries Mike Boyle does not see exist. Legendary corpses fill improvised beds alive w/ him on binges one hopes will make him both legendary and alive on siesta through thick and thin romantic visions ov death. Depression is realized, not in glory but acceptance, and played w/ tha rest ov tha cards in hand. Drugs become hobbies and roadtrip excuses and means ov demise and escape. Friends turn into headlines and family to phone calls. Everything is relative, and all is separated. Every voice is different saying every word tha same and you have to read tha next line to be sure.

Buy Laundromat Suite from Rank Stranger Press


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