I am slowly learning there are persons for whom poetry has no glamour. One reason the news seems so fantastical to me is Del Ray Cross. I met Del in 2001, at a reading he’d organized in a Financial District pizza shop to celebrate 2 years and 10 issues of SHAMPOO, one of the earliest online poetry journals—online anythings—I was ever aware of. The magazine calls its contributors “SHAMPOO Stars,” and that night there was a summer skyfull of them lined up to take the mike. Somewhere in the mystical process of watching names turn into persons, and books into voices, and poems into windows on a flesh-and-blood social world of friendships and parties and pizza and gossipy hazards, I resolved to be lurker no longer and step into the light. I introduced myself to Del, bought a copy of Cinema Yosemite, and promptly discovered inside another fresh world where streetlamps resemble lit ants and “Eating spinach makes my teeth squeak.”
The adventure’s continued with books like Lub Luffly—best title for a book of poems, ever—and Ein frishes Trugbild (A Fresh Mirage), which lets the Germans in on the fun of Del’s poetics of ludicrous constructs, where the pleasure of being a recording mind moving through sexy urban time is glamour enough for us all. Lubs and Lufflies, please welcome Del Ray Cross.
4 hours ago