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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pioneer Outsider Poet Crad Kilodney

There are few stories in the strange saga that is the history of small press poetry than a man named Crad Kilodney. Nobody is really named Crad Kilodney you might say. And you'd be right. Crad Kilodney was actually a pen name for American born Toronto writer Lou Trifon. There's not much chance I'd be writing about Crad Kilodney if one day circa 1990 I hadn't gone to my mailbox and found the book Lightning Struck My Dick in a package someone had sent to me. I seem to remember it was Hold the Pickle editor Richard Seffron, but sadly I have learned through internet research that Richard died in the early 1990's. The small press era of poetry was a strange time because you really didn't know much, if anythiong, about the poets you were reading. You couldn't look up their pictures on the internet. You couldn't friend them on Facebook and hear their political or religious rants, so all you really had to go on was the writing itself. What the hell is one supposed to think about a writer who titles a book Lightning Struck My Dick? For me I thought it was just about the funniest thing I ever saw and tried to show it to others who didn't think it was the funniest thing they ever saw. Twenty-five years later I still assert that they were wrong.

Lightning Struck My Dick, published by Crad Kilodney in 1980, is still the funniest title of a book in the history of humanity. I'm not even sure there is a close second.

I'm not going to publish anything here from the book because I don't have any right to do that, and almost certainly you won't be able to find a copy at a reasonable price, but I think if you look hard enough you might find a place to read some of it on the internet. As for my copy, decades of floods, evictions, middle of the night moves, thefts, and just plain losing things has decimated my small press library. I don't even really have the heart to start collecting again. Also, I was unable to even find a copy for sale on the internet. As for Kilodney, he died of cancer in 2014 after retiring from writing for the most part in the 1990's. I can really identify with that, especially after he went to jail for trying to sell his own work on the streets of Toronto. His harassment didn't rise to the level of what the city of Cleveland did to da levy, but he definitely encountered resistance to his self-published work.

Another way I really identify with Kilodney is how he says he was inspired less by great literature than by the thousands of slush pile manuscripts he encountered while working at various vanity publishing houses and in book warehouses. 99.9% of all poetry is bad poetry, so if one can get a tatse for that one has a limitless supply to be entertained by. Like Zombie Logic Press, Kilodney established Charnel House to publish his own work, and put out 32 books between 1978 and 1985, including Mental Cases, Pork College, and the aforementioned Lightning Struck My Dick.

This is Crad Kilodney. In my opinion a pioneer of Outsider Poetry. You can learn more about him here



Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Whether Saluting, Drowning, or Waving, You'll Look Great In This Fall Jacket

One of the great American Dada artists Bradly Lastname sent me this in the mail and instructed me to use it on Outsider Poetry. I thought to myself about the Stevie Smith poem and it occurreed to me no one would like this more than Bub the Zombie.

Is Bub the Zombie drowning, waving, or saluting?

Not Waving but Drowning

Nobody heard him, the dead man,   
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought   
And not waving but drowning.

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he’s dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,   
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always   
(Still the dead one lay moaning)   
I was much too far out all my life   
And not waving but drowning.
-Stevie Smith

I'd prefer to think Bub is waving because he's in generally a rather pleasant fellow for an Undead America, however I'm not sure what effect drowning would actually have on Bub's disposition. 

It's certainly not unheard of for zombies to be found underwater biting sharks or groping  the breasts of a Swedish volleyball team...