“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.
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.
His poetry can be found in Otoliths, the Cardiff Review, Southword Literary Journal, and Tuck. In the US, recent poems have appeared in New Orleans Review, Obsidian, and Apogee Journal. His fiction can be read in Storgy, Literally Stories, and Terror House.
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.
The Other Is Oneself: Postcolonial Identity in a Century of War: 20th Century African and American Writers Respond to Survival and Genocide (Paperback)