Pasatiempo - - In Other Words -

Small-press saint In a Septem­ber 1997 in­ter­view with Lum­mox Press’ RD Arm­strong, Todd Moore — out­law poet and un­abashed cel­e­brant of the vi­o­lent Amer­i­can-icon fever dream known as John Dillinger — is quoted as say­ing, “What it comes down to for me is I want my work to stand for some­thing. I want to write a poem that will make the top of your head roll into your soup.”

Be­sides hav­ing nu­mer­ous col­lec­tions of his work pub­lished, Moore, who spent many years ex­am­in­ing the dark un­der­belly of life on the streets while liv­ing in Al­bu­querque, has had his writ­ing an­thol­o­gized in The Out­law Bi­ble of Amer­i­can Po­etry and Drink­ing With Bukowski. His long-form po­etry se­ries, Dillinger, is con­sid­ered by many crit­ics and writ­ers to be an Amer­i­can clas­sic. Moore died ear­lier this year, and at 7 p.m. Satur­day, July 31, friends and fel­low writ­ers gather at the Ger­ald Peters Gallery (1011 Paseo de Per­alta, 954-5757) to pay trib­ute to the small-press saint who had an in­sa­tiable ap­petite for the bit­ter­sweet nec­tar of noir. To quote Moore, from his es­say “Dillinger, Out­laws, Writ­ing, and Murder,” “I have heard it said that there is a dif­fer­ence be­tween the out­law and the out­law poet and that dif­fer­ence is the ac­tual com­mis­sion of a crime. And, that prob­a­bly is true most of the time. But there are odd mo­ments when the dif­fer­ence … can be less than the width of a sin­gle strand of hu­man hair. … The rit­ual of writ­ing is the dreamt per­for­mance of murder and the rit­ual of murder is where all po­etry comes from.”

— Rob DeWalt

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