Ugly Duckling Presse


Michael Nicoloff

Poetry | $10 $7
Fall 2014
Buy"he says he prefers / that I remove his teeth "

In 2008, Michael Nicoloff, fully lacking in other inspiration, set out on a project of self-emulation: Taking his own chapbook Punks as a model, he'd write 28 poems, paired two to a page, that got at the kind of tonal disgust and placelessness that had driven that previous work. Failure was inevitable, but six years later we have IHYD, an irritable, talky sequence, 2/3rds written solo, 1/3rd written with collaborators, throwing into question who's emulating whom, who's the I and who's the You, and do we want anyone dead, really?

Excerpt ˇ


fuck yeah, let’s do this
I’ll play the pain stick
9 million leaseholders
stab your patio candle
I was second youngest
and used for wood, a
uniquely American
anatomy problem, finding
nana doubling as a muscle
pylon, it was bad, and you
can’t want that tangled up
in your hang—he says
I don’t need to huff glue and
stare in mirrors to feel good
about myself, I’ll just
dig out my Amiga and
see if it plugs, and admit that
into the story’s arrangement
I will exit the cabin and forage
for grubs, you just stay here
and vote for Dukakis

Close ˆ

About the Author

Michael Nicoloff
Photo credit: Jennifer Manzano

Michael Nicoloff is the author of the chapbooks "Punks" and Mixed Grill (Monologue Version), as well as the CD "Punkses" (After Ketjak). With Alli Warren, he wrote Bruised Dick and Eunoia. Formerly a curator of the (New) Reading Series at 21 Grand and Artifact, he presently serves on the board of Small Press Traffic and is an organizer with the Bay Area Public School. Work of the poetic and critical variety has appeared in 6X6TRY!The Brooklyn RailFrontier Psychiatrist, and elsewhere, as well as on 1630 AM KChung radio. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Advance Praise

Not only is he a handsome man, but I hear he's one hell of a poet!—Bruce Andrews