This surreal collection of vintage poetry and nightmarish prose is really a fly-on-the-wall glimpse into a down-and-out teenage junkie artist's world, written by Shaw in another lifetime -- mostly in early 1970's Los Angeles when Shaw was a hard-living kid running with the likes of Charles Bukowski, Frank Zappa, Jim Morrison and the Manson Family. Originally spawned from a beat-up thrift store typewriter and written in decrepit Hollywood rooming houses where they were used for years as place mats for needles and spoons, marked with carbon stains and dried blood, silent witnesses to death and psychic devastation, the poems were eventually thrown into a cardboard box and left there to die in the place of their author, who somehow moved on to abandon them and travel the world by tramp freighter and thumb. Forgotten for more than 30 years now, these writings were reluctantly resurrected by Shaw only recently -- if for no other reason than as an authentic look into Shaw’s own troubled, strung-out roots. True to its title, the collection consists of love songs and poetic obituaries written for long-dead friends and lovers, among other haunting, blood spattered poetic rants and fits.
Presented with a brand new introduction by their author penned from his home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil over three decades since their original conception, Jonathan Shaw's Love Songs to the Dead takes us on a sometimes hilarious, often terrifying lyrical thrill ride through the legendary outsider artist's bizarre, misanthropic, but oddly hopeful past.
Dubbed by Iggy Pop as “The great nightmare anti-hero of the new age,” Jonathan Shaw is a notorious underground artist and tattoo man turned poet, gonzo journalist, novelist, blogger, head doctor, and whorehouse philosopher. From his home in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Shaw continues to terrify and inspire with nightmarish poetry, memoirs, and fiction.
His award-winning novel, Narcisa: Our Lady of Ashes has been praised by the likes of Hubert Selby Jr. and Jerry Stahl for successfully portraying the darkest regions of hell as a lively place to hang out. Love Songs To The Dead owns all the elements needed to prove to the most hardened warlock out there that hope still breathes in this apocalyptic universe.
"In the dungeon reserved for outlaw writers, Jonathan Shaw is right at home with both Carl Panzram and Louis-Ferdinand Celine." -- Joe Coleman
"Jonathan Shaw lets the cat out of the bag in Love Songs to the Dead -- Hungry, crazy scared and hissing. These poems stand near the Day of the Locust, or the dustiest cactus with light pink blood on it." -- Kembra Pfahler
First Edition of 500