The Throne of the Third Heaven of The Nations Millennium General Assembly – Denis Johnson

Though more well-known for his fiction, Denis Johnson’s poetry is just as stunning. There is something almost holy about this collection that keeps me coming back for more.

Valleyspeak – Cait Weiss Orcutt

Cait Weiss Orcutt’s poems are more than an elegant description of life in the suburbs outside of Los Angeles in the 90’s. They invite you to inhabit a unique time and place, an emotional landscape that is both visceral, and profoundly moving.

Love is a Dog From Hell – Charles Bukowski

Love him or hate him, but you can’t deny the man had talent. I’ve gone through about four copies of this collection (lost in moves, given away to friends, or simply worn down to dust in my hands) and I’m likely to go through several more, because they’re just that good.

The Dream Songs – John Berryman

Like Joyce’s Ulysses or Pound’s Cantos, John Berryman’s masterwork is a difficult, bewildering tome. The rewards in store for those with the patience to unlock its terrible beauty, are immeasurable.

Poetry Comes Out Of My Mouth – Mario Santiago

The Mexican poet, Mario Santiago Papasquiaro, was primarily known through his friendship to the writer Roberto Bolaño, who fictionalized him in the novel “The Savage Detectives,” as the character of Ulises Lima. Papasquiaro’s book of poems (or, perhaps it is better to call them “anti-poems”) are cries of rage, full of bitter rhapsodies that strike out from the page like lightning.

Christopher Miguel Flakus is a poet and writer living in Houston, Texas. He is the co-editor-in-chief of Defunkt Magazine and has published work in Glass Poetry, Black Heart Magazine, Glass Mountain, and elsewhere. He has published chapbooks through Analog Submission Press and Iron Lung Press. Christopher is currently an MFA candidate in fiction at the University of Houston.

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