More than the Alley

What better friend is there than one who gives you the perfect book recommendation just when you need one? That’s exactly what Harry Calhoun is doing for us today, kiddies. So here you go, his review of More than the Alley, a book of poems by Doug Draime. I hope you enjoy!

A REVIEW of Doug Draime’s More than the Alley
by Harry Calhoun

Doug Draime’s bio in this book says that he has been a presence in the underground literary movement since the late 1960s. This book establishes both his continued vitality in underground poetry and his undeniable ability to turn out visceral, gritty and glaringly real verse.

The back-story of Doug’s book is almost as interesting as the book itself. In a Bukowski-esque hard-luck story, Draime submitted multiple book manuscripts over the years, had them accepted, and then had them fall through for various reasons. In his own words to this reviewer, “Since the early 80s I’ve had eleven full-length, selected poem collections that have gone belly up. That has to be a record, I would think. Actually, one publisher died, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t know whether to put a feather in my hat or rock out to this almost overwhelming, anti-climatic sensation I’m feeling (of having More than the Alley come to fruition.)”

So for all of you poets out there who are whining or just digging in and hoping, take heart. I know how I felt when, after a long fallow period in my career, one of my first submissions of twelve poems were all summarily dismissed. We’re talking not twelve poems here, but almost twelve books, folks! So More than the Alley must feel like a deep sigh of relief for Doug Draime. Was it worth it? Only Doug can answer that personally, but from a reviewer’s standpoint: A resounding yes.
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