Books & Chapbooks

Sudden Windows
6 Questions
Poems for Teeth
Hello Poems
The Day Was Warm and Blue
Mythkiller series
The Orange Book
Influx Blinklists
Haiku from Hell
Poetry is a Form of Light

 

Sudden Windows

Sudden Windows - Front Cover image

Zeitgeist Press, 2016

ISBN # 978-1-940572-06-2, paperback, 100 pp., $15

available through Zeitgeist Press and the author

(no distributor, but hopefully on Amazon too)

RELEASE DATE:  June 19, 2016

 

 

This new book of flash prose contains 85 pieces resembling rectangles – unless you fall into one, of course, whereupon you’ll be briefly in another world. Prose poems, vignettes, mini-rants and diatribes, call them what you like. We call them windows.

With cover art by the fab Drew Morrison.

What Folks Have to Say About It

Selected comments by Heather Lang in The Literary Review

Loranger’s attention to image in his writing, to what concretely appeals to the senses, is impeccable. The “trees drink clouds,” “we chant ballyhoo and balderdash, while ants and snakes overtake our homes,” “and who knows what will fall from the sky. A pie, perhaps, a piece of Tupperware, a single blade of grass.”
. . .
Of course, prose poems are not uncommon, but Loranger’s title choice, Sudden Windows, and his decision to label these pieces “flash prose” heightens our senses to the form. Unlike static snapshots, through windows we can witness the various events that make up a minute, an hour, or longer. They move beyond the stillness of a portrait and the implied narrative of an action shot.
. . .
Sudden Windows also offers hope in the endless spread of possibilities it explores throughout its dozens of pages. For example, the final two sentences of “Use Your Eyes” demonstrate the collection’s juxtaposition and balance: “Everything tastes like heaven. I eat my chicken like a savage.” When there is sorrow, there’s joy. Where there’s confusion, there’s clarity, too. Hopelessness is tempered with hope, and if you’re on the brink of change – and this is constantly true for all of us – you might find that “your face breaks into bloom. Why? Because it can.” What, exactly, are we to do about this? To again borrow the words of Richard Loranger, let’s “let the baby run wild.”

Heather Lang is the Associate Poetry Editor and Managing Online Editor of The Literary Review

— Click here to read the full review.

You can sing these words, or stop and feel them. These pieces are big, mind you, Loranger is giving you some options. They are not crossword puzzles for the recoil of lush indignation. They are about a death in the family, a life in the family, and a call to spin, rustily and noisily, through this stint on earth, trying not to plagiarize emotions or listlessly cover hits.

Jennifer Blowdryer, author of Good Advice for Trendy People of All Ages and The Laziest Secretary

Reinvention is overused. Delving is boring. So how does a poet sing, now, in the 21st century, as the earth is winning the war against humanity?
Loranger writes in Sudden Windows, “Why can’t we speak of falling leaves? You can have your economics and your ironies, but can you live without the fall? How many acorns need to drop on your head before the crumbling leaves become your heart? You may speak of preciousness…but this is the eternal fugue, my friend, an eddy, a year, and you can no more shun the river than you can not fear.” Loranger is no innocent bystander. He becomes one with the earth as with a lover’s body. He tussles and then melts into it until we feel his bones turning to ash.
To my mind, the prose poem has never had a more adept practitioner. Echoes and enjambment, like the eddies themselves, drift and float throughout the text. Add a pinch of anger, a tablespoon of despair and a cup of rage and you have a book that, shot out like a rocket to space, shall endure through the ages. I’d like to read this book in heaven.

Joan Gelfand, author of The Long Blue Room, A Dreamer’s Guide to Cities and Streams, and the award-winning Here and Abroad

Absolutely beautiful. Thoughtful, methodical, the images stunning and guiding hand, soft palm on shoulder, feathered layers, warm sheets, smile. Thank you for allowing Sudden Windows out into the world.

JK Fowler, founder, Nomadic Press

 

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6 Questions

cover - 6 Questions

 

Exot Books, 2013

ISBN # 978-0-9898984-0-9, chapbook, 20 pp., $11

available through Exot Books and the author

 

 

 

The Questions Project began in San Francisco in the 1990’s as collaboration between artist/musician/poet Bill Mercer and poet Paul Landry. Bill began by producing a number of calligraphic artworks using brushes and ink, each of which represented or suggested a question mark in some way or another. Paul responded by writing a poem for each piece which addressed, described, or depicted a question that each piece of calligraphy suggested to him. In the years since, Bill has created literally hundreds of such pieces, to which dozens of poets have responded.

This book represents one such response, with reproductions of the calligraphic works by Bill Mercer presented aslongside the reactive poems by Richard Loranger. In this case, Richard created a series of six poems, each of which both asks a question and depicts a specific type of questioning. He considers the title of each poem to be the accompanying artwork itself.

 

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Poems for Teeth

 

We Press, 2005

ISBN # 0-9725663-2-5, paperback, 214 pp., $16.95

available through We Press, Amazon, and the author

 

excerpts

 

 

What Folks Have to Say About It

Richard Loranger’s Poems for Teeth is an artistic marvel. In addition to extraordinary poems, the book contains calligraphic representations of each poem prepared by the author and artist Eric Waldemar, and musical scores and notations for songs within the poems. A diagram that charts the identity of each tooth appears at the outset, so that the book functions hypertextually as well. The volume [is] what poetry should be: a multimedia tour de force.

Chris Funkhouser, publisher of We Press and author of Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archaeology of Forms, 1959-1995

When it comes to poetry – and believe me, it takes a lot to come to poetry! – obsession knows no bonds, bounds, nor excesses.  Case in point: This Loranger….  So now, of course, we have Poems for Teeth, where every tooth gets its own poem, in one of the most extraordinary and virtuosic poetic feats since Francis Ponge took on Soap (1942-67).  Ponge on poets: “They know how to hide, to dissimulate their usefulness.”  Wrong.  As the extraordinary poems in this one-of-a-kind venture by a one-of-a-kind poet unwind, the Reader’s Mind gets a much-needed deep flossing, unhidden and totally useful.  Richard Loranger is another word for Blessing, and this book is another piece of evidence.  I treasure it.

Bob Holman, author of The Collect Call of the Wild, co-editor of Poetry Nation and United States of Poetry, owner of Bowery Poetry Club, NYC

Read a fuller blurb by Bob in “Poetry Picks: The Best of 2005” on About.com.
 
Nothing quite prepares us for Richard Loranger’s Poems for Teeth, a book of poems unlike any other.  Occasioned by a severe jaw infection and the resulting dental surgeries, these “crazy odes”, “thank-yous to my teeth”, he calls them, are meant both as acts of remembrance and restitution.  Little lamentations for what is lost, poems of praise for what remains, they sing through their teeth, as it were, the tender, sad, sorry, outrageous comedy of our mortality.  And each is brought to us in radiant and goofy word-riffs, arpeggios that ring the rich changes between jeremiad, scat-song, nursery rhyme, elegy, ode, gospel, gloss, glossolalia….  “The teeth are 32 parts of speech,” Loranger writes. “As long as there are teeth, there is language.”  Between the blind bruxisms of the daily grind and the brilliant luxuries of the delighted spirit, mind, his words take wing – “Watch that eye tooth shine!”

— L. S. Asekoff, author of Freedom Hill, North Star, and Dreams of a Work

My favorite mammal Richard  Loranger now lives in the Bay Area and writes the best undiscovered poetry in the universe. His verse chews around the human condition in an articulate and  ticklish way. As I said in an old article for my press blog (which features a poem he  wrote in celebration of my college milieu of burgeoning writers), ‘Many lesser  poets have or attempt Richard’s unbridled energy, but few possess the same  exquisite formal ability that turns electricity into something diamond-shaped.’  Do yourself a solid and track down his perfect debut collection Poems for Teeth, and fall in love.

Lonely Christopher,  author of Wow, Where Do You Come from, Upside-Down Land?, Gay Plays, and The Mechanics of Homosexual Intercourse

To read the article “Richard Loranger, Mammal of Verse” by Lonely Christopher, click here.
 
Loranger specializes (if we can even use this word) in series poetry, so the book Poems for Teeth etches its niche through teeth, all the teeth in a human mouth, and each tooth tells a story, sings about life. Before long the poems cease to be about teeth. In some tooth logic the poems reach out and grapple with other realities–exhibitionism, absurdity, or the politics of nations, to pure entertainment, when the poet breaks into song.

— Emmanual Sigauke, Sacramento Poetry Center

I who can easily turn on beauty, sincerity and truth, can safely say I enjoy this poem.  Why?  It’s readable:
            looks at flowers and sees
            flowers, not the monsters they’re cracked up to be
            can’t be rained on,
            plays the pretty little butterfly-man
            child child not child
Or:
            What lives
            after so much fury?
           
            the poor dwarf stands before the altar,
            hands fluttering at his sides,
            face numb
 
            gone fucking lost
 
But, I know nothing if I don’t understand the language here, focused and unadulterated, certainly it’s a dream, a landscape wrought of the mouth, our most vulnerable frontier, he suggests almost politically speaking asking in his introduction if health insurance should be a luxury.
Loranger has much to say about these places he’s been and you’ll recognize them one after the other from Elysian Fields (Santa Cruz?) to the scenes of more contemporary crimes, Bagdhad (NewHaven), any urban mix up of lives and concrete, torn by sound, and of course also where the lyric resides.  I see in this work some of our contemporaries:  Nate Mackey, Tony Kushner, Marianne Faithful, and then those before, Keats, Yeats, Crane, Duncan, Ginsberg.
A beautiful read.  I’d like to hear it of course at Yankee Stadium, lights down, the sounds of the city filtering in…

— Katie Yates, author of poem for the house and Letters: 29.IX.95-9.X.95

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Hello Poems

 

 

We Press, 2003

chapbook, 67 pp., $5ppd

available through We Press and the author

 

 

Spurred by brief conversations that Richard Loranger was having with invisible people in his shower, Hello Poems (a.k.a. Hello.) document a nine-month exploration into what it means to say – you guessed it – Hello. Considered by some to be Loranger’s most political work to date, this unusual and delightful series of sixty-seven short poems will certainly give you a new perspective on the nature of the greeting, one that will give you pause and let you crack a smile in the same breath.

What Folks Have to Say

The dozens of short, deceptively-simple poems in Richard Loranger’s Hello Poems are funny, witty, and thought-provoking.  In Hello, Loranger offers us nothing less than a rollicking, no-holds-barred conversation with the universe.

Mary Mackey, author of Sugar Zone, The Widow’s War, Breaking the Fever, and The Earthsong Trilogy (all available on her Kindle e-books page)

I love the way it sets you up with these simple exchanges and then out of the blue whams you with profundities like “I’m shackled by truth and beauty” and then goes right back to the mundane: “That doesn’t sound good.”  Really an eye-opening book that shows how much can be done with the simple verbal exchanges we mostly don’t pay attention to.

Gerald Nicosia, author of Memory Babe: A Biography of Jack Kerouac and Jan Kerouac: A Life in Memory

HELLO made me so happy.  Startled me into happiness, my brain was happy, my feet were happy, my elbows happy.  Poetry can also do that.

Nona Caspers, author of Heavier Than Air and Little Book of Days

Hello Poems is a collection of truly enjoyable miniature conversations on the subtle tensions, pleasurable reliefs, and humorous problems that exist in the way our words collide with each other.

— Richie Rhombus, artist and provacateur

 

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The Day Was Warm and Blue



self- published, 2002   —  chapbook, 28 pp.,  —  $5ppd  —  available through the author

Featuring four different covers with the same insides, this chapbook contains a series of 28 subversive and funny poems, each of which contains the line, “the day was warm and blue.”  There may be other similarities as well…  Looks like it’s for kids, but it’s not. –  :)  RL

What Folks Have to Say

Each of these poems is a little song that drifts by.  They are the shadow of an acrobat tumbling in air, a cat in each eye.  They are a drink of water after an argument, the mystery of television.  Doused in gasoline, simple, lyrical, they want to know who’s in charge, will only listen to the secrets of plants, then wait quietly, to get the names they need to celebrate their small fire.  Time has nothing to do with them.  I mean, who needs time?  These poems keep going on and on, each in their little,  magnificent way, all warm and blue.

— Janey Smith, author of The Snow Poems (2012) and Animals (2011)

Read Janey’s complete (and much more explicit) review here.
 
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Mythkiller series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Press, 1994
chapbook series, $10ppd
available through the author

Sold as a set only.  These three chapbooks of creative non-fiction were developed from a series of monologs in which the author attempted to unveil oblique truths of the world around us.  They were originally printed to distrubute on tour with Lollapalooza in 1994, and remain artifacts of political insurrection.

Mythkiller #1: A Modest Proposal  (6 pp., 4.25 x 5.5 “):  In which the author proposes the formation of a new political movement for the betterment of all.

Mythkiller #2: My First Disillusionment  (6 pp., 4.25 x 7 “):  In which the author reveals how an unfortunate incident on his third birthday had devastating international ramifications.

Mythkiller #3: The Purpose of Rash Action  (10pp., 5.5 x 8.5 “):  In which the author explores the Stygian realm of temp work, and is saved by a mystery of molecular physics.  Originally titled “The Sluttiest Thing I’ve Ever Done”.

What Folks Have to Say

These deceptively simple tales display the same apparently hard-wired quirky faux-arch style with which he regaled the Bay Area readings of the early 80’s, but the content’s mined from a richer vein.
All three are essentially road stories laced with an unforced co-mingling of humor and horror.  A Modest Proposal, tongue firmly and deeply in cheek, confronts the irrationality of both the state and the state of mind of Nevada with an overly final solution.  My First Disillusionment is the author’s recollection of his first innoculation, at age 3, agains the ravages of the media and, incidentally, his first brush with the tectonics of divine providence.  The Purpose of Rash Action, a Chicago interlude, serves as both a kind of recapituation and a resolution of the first two, and leads gracefully into the realms of strategy.
Intelligent, but not vainly so, and multi-layered, Loranger remains refreshingly prepared not to be the hero of his own story, but he does insist upon sharing the delight he reaps in reveaing the works and workings of his mind.  Go there.

Bill Polak, founder of The Jawbone Open Poetry Festival

 

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The Orange Book

 

International Review Press, 1990

paperback, 58 pp.

55 poems, including 4 make-at-home möbius poems
with illustrations by the author

out of print

archival copies only

 

 

What Folks Have to Say

The Orange Book ranges deftly between political rants, humor, and very graceful metaphysical conceits in classical metrics.

Steve Abbott, author of View Askew and The Lizard Club

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Influx Blinklists

 

We Press, 1990

chapbook, 12 pp.

5 experimental poems in list and outline form
with handmade covers (by many artists)

out of print

Click here to read a pdf version!

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Haiku from Hell

 

hand-written and self-published, 1989

chapbook, 17 pp. (17 copies of 17 haiku 17 syllables each)

a collection of haiku written by Richard Loranger, James Finn Garner  (author of the Politically Correct Trilogy), and Dave Riley (musician and former bass player for Big Black)

out of print – there were only 17 made – would love to know who has one

Click here to read a pdf version!

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Poetry is a Form of Light

 

Clamor Press, 1985

chapbook, 24 pp.

15 early poems
cover designed and hand-printed by the author

out of print

archival copies only

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