Saturday, March 29, 2008



Don’t say a word by F.A. Nettelbeck
(Blue Press, 2008)

Police Cruisers were parked protectively
near corpse of poet laureate tossed
from highway overpass.

F.A. Nettelbeck isn’t fucking around. The grounds of his poetry may not be fashionable, easy going, or none too pretty, but neither is the man himself. If you believe you know what living is, best take a look at Nettelbeck’s work. If you feel as if you can match it and not disregard it as beneath you, or worse, a wrong turn, maybe you’re worth something. There are no excuses in poetry any more than in life. You either live it out or don’t.
Keep Drinking

this cheap Australian chardonnay on
ice is better than running out of gas in
Long Beach or hearing those anti-
shoplifting buzzers going off right
before you gotta start running
again it’s like that no pussy in
three years and now you’re back
at the clinic sitting with this chick
who’s as dull as her Goodwill panties
makes you want to light yourself on
fire and jump on Jesus if you ever
got the chance to see him I mean a
final wish situation like calling talk
radio on a flophouse hallway phone
and ultimately not having nothing to say
no idea where you’re going with it next
as you stare dumbfounded at the wall
where someone has scribbled
This isn’t so bad

Blue Press has issued this most recent chapbook of poems. There is nothing shocking in this book. This is a man’s life, deny it if you will. He continues on. Nothing is ever going to change the facts of Nettelbeck’s existence. He is. Here are the poems accepted or not. Frustrated but eternally defiant, Nettelbeck continues, by turns inspiring, insulting, complimenting, ever at wonder before it all. He’s a prophet of sorts and a continual loud mouth.

There are no excuses. Nettelbeck writes poems.
Long Gone Daddy

inside the origami
of an antique
Phillips 66 map

changing color in
the beatnik dusk
the blue line

of a highway that
no longer exists
collapses like a

vein in a roadside
rest room stall now
slated for demolition


Patrick James Dunagan lives in San Francisco and works at the library of USF. Recent reviews have appeared in Artvoice (Buffalo), St. Mark's Poetry Project Newsletter, and Jacket. Poems recently appeared in Cannibal and One Less Magazine.

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