David Lohrey

David Lohrey - Poet, Author, Playwright.


—short stories


—a one-act play

—an interview with the author

“That was my first lesson as a male prostitute. Prostitutes don’t own things. There’s only a rental agreement, no contract. One needs to get serious.”

America is a nation in decline; that much is obvious. At what point did America go from splitting the atom to smashing statues, from Southern hospitality to apathetic vulgarity, from conquest and victory to dysfunction and defeat? There’s a lot of ruin in a nation, and the best observer of that ruin is a man who’s spent his life watching the buildings fall down.

Bluff City is a collection of over 40 of David Lohrey’s best short stories, poems, and more. Drawing on his Southern upbringing, background as a teacher, and life as an expat, Lohrey cuts through the white noise of American culture with trenchant observations and dark wit on everything from Elvis groupies to inner-city schools to Japanese porn theaters and more.

Machiavelli’s Backyard


“We are radical practitioners of right thinking,

determined to destroy Western Civilization. We

must step back to move forward: first go the arts

and the Decorations, then the courts, the laws

and institutions. By the time we’re through,

they’ll be nothing left but vaginal jelly

and sawed-off shotguns.”

Some of these poems are prosaic, some disturbing, some out-and-out hilarious: I like the dark sardonic tone and exquisite vernacular of gallows humor that popped right off the page. David Lohrey commands an arresting, hard-won deadpan syntax entirely his own. He can be biting, toothy, sardonic and often ambiguous. I love the casual acerbic tone. He makes me think of “Dover Beach” and Jonathan Swift. He is a deadly serious (and skilled) poet, who happens also to be a very funny man. Charles Bukowski comes to mind. It is a poetry of outrage, a poetry of sadness, and a poetry of laughter. Reading “Machiavelli’s Backyard” is like being invited to a garden party in a Walmart parking lot.

Available at Amazon.com,  Amazon.com.uk, and the Book Depository
Paperback, 106 pages/Published September 1st 2017 by Sudden Denouement Publishing


David Lohrey is from Memphis, where he grew up, and now lives in Tokyo, where he teaches and writes for local travel magazines. He graduated from UC Berkeley.

Recent poetry can be found in  All the Sins, Trouvaille Review, and Open Arts Forum . Additional poems have appeared in  Terror House Magazine, Expat Press, and Modern Literature. His fiction can be read in Dodging the Rain, Storgy, Literally Stories, and Terror House Magazine.

David’s The Other Is Oneself, a study of 20th-century literature, was published in 2016, while his first collection of poetry, Machiavelli’s Backyard, was released in September 2017. He is a member of the Sudden Denouement Collective.

Collected writings, musings, and poetry


David Lohrey’s new book Machiavelli’s Backyard from Sudden Denouement Publishing.

Other work:

The Other Is Oneself: Postcolonial Identity in a Century of War: 20th Century African and American Writers Respond to Survival and Genocide (Paperback)


Available on Amazon.com: Visit page or read excerpt on PDF.