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February 24, 1985|KENNETH FUNSTEN

D.O.A. by Todd Moore (Crawlspace/7, Dennis Gulling, editor, 908 West 5th St., Belvidere, Ill. 61008: free for 37 cents postage and a legal-size self-addressed envelope) and Point Blank by Todd Moore (Black Mask Press, 90 West 9th St., Belvidere, Ill. 61008: similarly free for similar envelope). Todd Moore is the future, the past and everything in between. In these two thin, photocopied pamphlets, he creates a timeless picture of the Midwest, poems in which autobiography, biography, history and personal experience inseparably combine. Moore is John Dillinger and all that that name implies for us. Thin-lipped realism is his manner; violence his leitmotif. In "She Decided," a young mother throws her baby into a snowbank, laughs, thinks her husband will be happy, too, but . . . "when he shot/ her in the throat/ point blank she fell/ across a kettle on the/ table died choking in/ the soup." The style, like death in a Raymond Chandler novel, is "quick details nothing/ blurred." Someday it will be said that Todd Moore was the greatest poet of the American Plains since Sandburg. Why wait? Read anything you can get by him, now.

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