Countless Cinemas


“Michael McLaughlin guides us beyond merely witnessing the world in its wonders and brutality. We are invited into powerful narratives as both observers and participants. ln ‘New Cathedrals,’ McLaughlin draws us in to consider the building oi a temple, its destruction and rebuilding in connection with the World Trade Center. The poem has a cinematic quality that captures and suspends us in a careful observation of the sacred. of tragedy, and of desperation. ln a poem in
which the narrator recounts his adventures as a traveler, he writes: ‘Reminds me of a country once / where trust was no sin.’ lt is trust and betrayal that run like a current throughout this book. These poems are restless, bitter, hopeful, raw, and transformational. They are the cleaver used by a mother to cut into her own heart so as to make a safe place tor her son, a human bomb. Countless Cinemas is both vessel and bomb.”

— Raina J. León, PhD, Canticle of Idols, Boogeyman Dawn

“These poems jab the reader on the chin with crisp powerful lines that explore a wide range of themes — violence, art, childhood. My favorite poem in the collection is ‘No End’ because it tackles the plagues destroying America’s inner cities. This piece, along with so many other poems in Countiess Cinemas, shows that Mr. McLaughlin possesses one of the most important qualities found in writers that matter: guts.”

— David Dominguez, The Ghost of Cesar Chavez, Work Done Right

“In this compelling collection, Michael McLaughlin stands out as a poet of complexity and grace. In ‘Today’s Death,‘ McLaughlin refers to ‘the ointment / of a word,’ an apt description tor this array of work. The poems are honest and hard-hitting, sensual, and erotic. McLaughlin tells us ‘one by one these seeds / come to fruition / simultaneously,‘ as does the book and each word inside of it. Find a quiet seat in the theatre of your mind and absorb the caretully created cinematography of each script.”

— Connie Post, Floodwater