Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Insert No. 4

Michael Lally

I had not seen either of Michael's two Black Sparrow books when I did the post on him. Now I have them both, and I want to recomend them. It's Not Nostalgia (1999) is a perfect place to begin reading his work. It has two great introductory pieces of autobiography, "The South Orange Sonnets" and "Memoirs of a Revolutionary," a really excellent choice of work from Michael's DC period, 1970-1975, and from his New York period, 1975-1982. The DC section contains "The Swing Era", "My Life" and "Oomaloom," the New York section has "In the Mood," and there is just a whole lot of Michael's greatest writing. Besides, how can you not dig a book that begins with a quote from Sidney Bechet? It Takes One To Know One (2001) is packed with prime Michael, too. Here's one:

Sonnet for My 33rd

Brigitte Bardot
Abbot & Costello
Hound Dog
The Dickey Bird Song
The Girl Can't Help It
T.S. Eliot
Cassius Clay
Thelonious Sphere Monk
On the Waterfront
Pope John XXIII
Ezra Pound
Clifford Brown

Together, these two books serve as an ideal Michael Lally primer.

In my post on Michael I neglected to credit George Mattingly of Blue Wind Press for Rocky Dies Yellow, while crediting other publishers.

The self-portrait of Miles & Michael Lally above was included in the Burt Britton collection, Self Portrait (Random House, 1976).

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