the facts and details


the facts and details

at some point
you’ll start to wonder
where i left you
and went with those other men
i start to think
and smoke some more drugs
what is the difference
instructions and directions

you won’t want to know
his arms worked better than yours
in holding me down

your mouth is the lack of,
i dream–


veer right at the curve
if you have to crash
go to your right
if you have to

this highway leads to
this highway
and nothing else

-Michele McDannold  4/27/14

Not Recommended


Not Recommended

this poetry is not recommended
for the young or bright-eyed
not recommended
for those weak in the stomach
or head
i might use the words
or retarded
and will definitely use the word
this poetry is not recommended
for the high-brow
punk bitches
who would turn a phrase
just to make you feel stupid
poetry is not recommended (period)
if you want to bury your head in the sand
and pretend the world is dying under corruption

we have a voice

this poetry is not recommended
for twitter or myface
you cannot like it
or share it in less than 140 characters
this poetry is not recommended
for NBC
definitely not the Disney channel
we’ve got balls in our face
and dirt in our shoes
hot shit
red blood
cum stains on the inside pocket
there’s a line in the sand that says go fuck yourself
anyone can do this
with enough guts and blaze
to set your ass on fire

–Michele McDannold

Previously published in Modus Operandi Zine
from the upcoming release from Punk Hostage Press, August 2014
Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days


“Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days is the kind of perfect art that should be read aloud over a Walmart PA system as it begins to burn down.” Bud Smith, author of Tollbooth




find a way

find a way to be invisible
that blends well
with the starless night
your hand on my mouth
i feel nothing now
goodnight dots
goodnight cursor
a safe word
with a stranger is
goodnight love
deconstruct this poem
in the morning

-Michele McDannold 4/18/14

grassroots, yo


ok. so i don’t like kickstarter. first of all there’s the fees. we already operate in the red, so fuck that. also, there’s a bunch of crap you gotta fill out and i’m lazy sometimes and i didn’t feel like it. also, you have to send out “rewards” to everyone… see reason #1. and isn’t helping out with something you dig reward enough?

i slapped this site together ( with some of the groovy stuff the LU has done/is doing. all of it could not have happened without some very generous individuals. generous with their money, time, skills and talent. i’m not even going to try to make a list because there have been MANY and i would forget someone. not for the lack of mattering because IT ALL matters. because there are so many good things going on, i can’t even keep track. love and light to you all and i don’t even care if it sounds hippie.

help out if you can, spread the word.




wow. you know, i always hated blurbs. i have to wonder what the point is… who–if anyone–it convinces of, what? anything??

did you know that publishing houses, when requesting book blurbs, will send their own write-up for the person to “okay it” and write off as their own words? hmm. i did not know that until recently. it’s making more sense now why i have failed at fully embracing this practice in book marketing.

luckily, i have only been asked to write blurbs a few times by authors/poets clearly confused. it gives me a good chuckle to know that the publisher has always known best and said — oh, just use that one on the web. here’s one that i can honestly stand by though…

April Michelle Bratten’s poetry does not pretend. It does not put on airs; it is exquisite. Her relationship to the word is careful and creative but she leaves room for the reader to interpret, to draw their own conclusions, to have a moment to themselves inside the thoughts of another. It is so rare to find this in a poet—willing to stand aside from any platform and simply bear witness.

– Michele McDannold, founding editor and publisher at Citizens for Decent Literature

It Broke Anyway by April Michelle Bratten (NeoPoiesis Press)

I really started to fall in love with April’s poetry several years ago. This poem from Red Fez, “Legs,” ( was one of my favorites from my feztime. and as with all things good, it eventually led to more goodness when April sent some kickass poems to me at Citizens and we ended up with this fun little book.

"Drink This" little book by April Michelle Bratten (Citizens for Decent Literature Press) photo by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

“Drink This” little book by April Michelle Bratten (Citizens for Decent Literature Press) photo by Wanda Morrow Clevenger

anywho. the best explanation/thoughts about blurbs i have ever heard came from BUD SMITH. supersmart and funny guy. he probably wrote an article about it or will if you ask him, so hit him up

he was also very kind when i sent him this as the LU’s “book blurb” for EVERYTHING NEON

The Literary Underground cannot officially endorse the use of book blurbs, hyperbole, and most especially not cheese plates at poetry readings. We are pleased to support and promote the use of the internet search engine of your choice for finding and reading any and all Bud Smith writes/writing/poetry/flash/shorts/novels.. twitters, even. It’s all good. If that doesn’t convince you to buy his latest book of poetry “Everything Neon”, then I don’t know what to say for you. You’re going to DIE! QUICK! GOOGLE!! NOW!!!

another one i can stand by. seriously, what are you waiting for?
you can even get it on Kindle, if you’re into that sort of thing.

anyway, my point is… the “underground” does everything better! not hyperbole at all!! it’s TRUE!!! #truefuckingstory

i am embracing this process because why the fuck not. these guys rock…

here’s a couple of blurbishes that recently came in for my upcoming book Stealing the Midnight from a Handful of Days from PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS

Photograph by Jinn; Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5.

Photograph by Jinn; Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5.





good monday morning Michele!! enjoyed your new book immensely thoroughly!! here’s back cover punk poem blurb!! thanks for asking!! 


talk to me

as i lay me down to sleep i pray the lord
my soul to keep if i die before i wake i pray
the lord my soul to take my soul to take my soul

talk to me whisper in my ears words i can’t possibly understand
sing all night as we speed from springfield to las vegas do your
patti smith poet punk fuck you scream in dutch to telephone
poles mowing them down with electric guitar never more than
four chords as we plummet south talk to me whisper in
my ears words i can’t possibly understand sing all night
as we speed from las vegas to hollywood do your michele mcdannold
stealing the midnight from a handful of days punk hostage press 
fuck you scream in arabic to telephone poles 
mowing them down with electric guitar never more
than four chords as we plummet south talk to me talk to me
whisper in my ears talk to me whisper whisper whisper 

–ron whitehead, outlaw poet GONZO master
copyright (c) 2014 ron whitehead



Catfish McDaris

Michy McDannold is a great writer from the Land of Lincoln. Her words are poignant, sad, happy, insightful, and full of emotion. Most important they make you think and they stick with you like biscuits and gravy. When I read her poems I feel her love and I’m glad I had the pleasure of meeting and reading with her in person. Michele’s energy is what drives the small press and keeps it alive and vibrant. I recommend you buy her book, all you cheapskate motherfuckers.” –Catfish McDaris


that last line, yo. got a good kick out of that. you’ll have your chance, if you make it to the THIS IS POETRY event where my book is being released as well as the first volume of TIP as well as a kickass band as well as drag queen karaoake as well as…


**TOP SECRET SECRET** the lineup is starting to take shape: RON WHITEHEAD & RYDER COLLINS !!!!!! can i get a whoop whoop?!?

see you there!



we needed 50 ashtrays


i met MK briefly, around the fifth day of a week-long adventure in the bay area. six events in seven days, staying in a house full of poets. there were eight or nine of us.. shoulda filmed that shit and sold it to realityTV. clogged toilets, leaking hoses, recycling wars, white sauce at 3am…

it was supposed to be six events, but that day- i was burnt the fuck out.

i missed the trip to go hang with the punk hostage crew and meet iris and razor. turns out, i was supposed to meet them the next day, said the universe. MK was supposed to be somewhere in Ohio. initially, she was going to perform at our event that week but she was offered a sweet workshop or something like that, anyway–free ride to poetry (and how often does that happen?). her flight was delayed/changed and so with a few hours to spare, she rescued me (& that Fugett guy) to a cool little coffee/tobacco/beer joint.

i needed that more than anything right at that moment. and the air around this woman, she radiates beauty.

as with all good encounters- somebody broke their mug, somebody else slumped over a table and the medics showed up, but no crying over spilled anything and that lady was just dehydrated. laughter like a shoots and ladders game, next time we’ll stay longer.


Michele McDannold & MK Chavez. Berkeley, July 2012.

i have no idea why we needed 50 ashtrays. but anyway, my point was MK is awesome and she has 4 pieces posted at THIS IS POETRY that you should check out.