This book is dedicated to Bart Edelman, who sparked the overall idea for this book and my aunt Mildred Pennock, whose imagination was wide and loving as can be.
Poems in this collection have appeared in The Camel Saloon, Medusa’s Kitchen, The Mind(less) Muse and The San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly.
After Bruce Caught Diamond’s
These pieces are meant to reflect a way for me to deal with my ire concerning the ways various communities interact, deal, criticize and gossip amongst themselves, myself included. I thought that the best way to do this was to use initials instead of full names to protect the guilty, including me. This led to experimenting with the way an individual letter can be shorthand for a word or how a combination of letters are articulated in oral speech. The letter play, as it were, becomes a mode of expression, I hope, that could be universal and personal simultaneously, where the reader could use the initials and situations these symbols try to define and weave them into his or her own life, whichever way the reader pleases.
Mike Cluff is a full-time professor of English, Creative Writing and Critical Thinking at Norco Community College in southern California. He recently published a 2013 chapbook Counting Wayward Sheep in collaboration with Matt Nadelson on Island for Writers Publications. His work has appeared in Camel’s Saloon, Dead Snakes, Inlandia Journal, Medusa’s Kitchen, The Sand Canyon Review and The San Gabriel Valley Poetry Journal. He is finishing up three manuscripts: Splints and Bulleted Meat (poetry) and Eleanore The One and a Half Eared Elephant (a children’s book). He is also the workshop coordinator for the Inlandia Institute’s Riverside (Ca.) Creative Writing Workshops.
In Alphabet Wars, letters become people - 26 characters and so much drama: slights and grudges, searches for identity, love triangles become pentagons. In Cluff's witty poems, Language itself is at play, from the letter up, and we see our own melodramas in simple ABCs.
Joel Lamore, Professor of English
Honors Program Coordinator
Faculty Advisor, Phineas Literary Magazine
San Bernardino Valley College