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In his sixth collection, Mark Halliday continues to seek ways of using the smart playfulness of such poets as Frank O’Hara and Kenneth Koch to explore life’s emotional mysteries—both dire and hilarious—from the perpetual dissolving of our past to the perpetual frustration of our cravings for ego-triumph, for sublime connection with an erotically idealized Other, and for peace of spirit. Animated by belief in the possible truths to be reached in interpersonal speech, Halliday’s voice-driven poetry wants to find insight—or at least a stay against confusion—through personality without being trapped in personality. History will leave much of what we are on the threshing floor, Halliday notes, but in the meantime we do what we can; let posterity (if any!) say we rambled truly.

Forward Prizes for Poetry: Highly Commended for ’Classic Blunder’ and ’Lois in the Sunny Tree’

96 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2013

Phoenix Poets



“A totally original, quintessentially American poet. Mark Halliday’s work is forever in the pleasure section of my reading life. Sad, very funny, thoughtful, honest, lyrically and formally adventurous, Halliday’s voice is whimsical-seeming and crazy-quilt on the surface; in fact, his poems tremble and reel in the fierce abrasive currents of being alive.”

Tony Hoagland

“One of Mark Halliday’s poems in this new collection speaks of ‘postmodern pluralism,’ not a bad way to label these funny, knowing, sometimes even poignant, performances. In his scope and panache he reminds one of Whitman, but with less afflatus, more humor. Nicely resistant to solemn interpretation, Halliday’s muse keeps him on the run, saluting, often outrageously but always intelligently, a world that is almost too much for us.”

William H. Pritchard

Table of Contents



Lois in the Sunny Tree

Quite Frankly

Sweet and Dandy

Return to Elmgrove

Vacation Day in 1983

There We Were

Historic Shirt

Thanks to Acker Bilk

Frankfort Laundromat

240 Sneakers

Ted’s Elegiac Work

Bev and Broadway

Spunktilio Awaits the Biographer

Visionary Age 79

Yvette Vickers

After You Die

Classic Blunder

Just In Time


Ferguson High

Sorority Softball

Double Reverse

Wide Receiver

La Marquise de Gloire

Flang Flight

Ducks Not in Row

Pathos of the Momentary Smile


Huge Party


Before Dawn


Pathos of the Detective

Threshed Out


Assisted Living

Livin’ in the World


Lingo Bistro

New New Poetics

Thanks for Your Book


Talented Youth

Mildewed Anthologies

Reader Depressed

His Alley Metaphor

The One for Her


Poetry Center, West Chester University: Poet's Prize

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