Title: Dog Whistle Politics
: Michael Paul
Genre: Poetry, Trade Paper, 6X9
Publisher: Lummox Press (PO Box 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733-5301)
ISBN: 978-1-929878-94-9
Pages: 122

Publishing Date: Feb. 2010


Retail: $15 + shipping

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Michael Paul is a scout, his ear not only to the ground for distant hooves, but to the bark for the small things thriving in wood; to the air for birdsong, and to the walls of our love, the nautilus of our hearts.  - Jamie O’Halloran

"…intricate, exquisitely lyrical poetry laden with original imagery and references that cut straight to the…collective unconscious…"
Orange County Weekly (CA)

Everything Michael places on his canvas or in a poem—line, color, the picture plane itself—shudders, sways, and wriggles with meaning, but he imposes no external meaning on anything he depicts.  There are no cheap tricks with shadows or frequencies of colored dots or hidden breasts in the fading tulips.  His eyes and ears are organs of such accuracy and certainty that he draws meaning out of its textual hiding places and allows it to stand alone, fully revealed...
Amelie Frank (from the introduction)

Here are a few poems from this volume...

Dog Whistle Politics


Ladies and Gentlemen our presentation

will begin promptly at the equinox

or solar eclipse,

which ever occurs first.  Meanwhile,

our lovely attendants shall attempt to guess

your exact atomic weight.


Place your wagers, and remember, it’s all for charity.


We are, it should come as no surprise, permeable

membranes, permitting entrance if presented

hospital flowers, semi-wilted, in a rusted

George Washington plug tobacco tin.


That last bouquet was useless, got no one absolutely no where.


We request your quiet attention; this is

after all a one-way valve, (unless we specify otherwise),

only having traffic with:



little children,

loose women,

spiritual types of all stripes,

arty-farty boho folks, and faithless dogs

named Freedom.


At our intermission we shall be serving complimentary hors d’oeuvres –


turpentine cocktails,

grist for the mill,

free lunches,


finger sandwiches

(made from actual fingers!),

and a quaint little pasta

with a piquant sauce


from your deepest fears.





In my sister’s dream redemption comes

in the form of a pick-up truck.

In mine, my father, dead for decades,


drives a yellow bus to the shore

where bilingual fish explain

all secret knowledge.


In mother’s dream Christ appeared to her

after the manner of Yahweh disclosing

his backside to Moses,


but it didn’t involve vehicles –

just a tree, a red flannel shirt,

and dungarees.  Cars are omens


in my wife’s dreams; their portent

depending upon make, model, mileage,

Kelly Blue Book value, but above all –


who is behind the wheel of this latest model

augury?  Who drives my sister’s pick-up

while she pulls the walking wounded


over the tailgate into safety?

And who could possibly imagine my surprise

when the folding door hissed open


in my dream, and the driver of the bus

was my dad, finally come to take me

to the place where the real answers are.