Under the Fool Moon

Under the Fool MoonUnder the Fool Moon: poems. Gary Lechliter, 2001. (Reprinted 2008)

Introduction by Brian Daldorph.

ISBN-13: 0-9795844-3-4, 6″ x 9″, $10.




Furiousness drives Gary Lechliter’s poems, the furiousness of a man desperate to find harmony and kindness in the world. These poems do not blink. Breathless waves of images – a factory boss, a black-widow spider, fescue shaking in a Kansas wind – seek and find their moments of elegance. The poems are funny (all great art, ultimately, is funny) and disturbing; and they thunder ahead, as if trying to gather all lost and wonderful creatures, and give them hope.    ~ Robert Stewart, Poetry Editor of New Letters.

Whether fighting a home war against regiments of roaches or, in an homage to Charles Simic, wherein Lechliter describes a surreal “room where the truth takes a breather,” the poet masterfully celebrates the minutiae, and in the same breath he has us observe the ways that life snickers at us. His stanzas sneak up on us then pounce like predators. Follow this poet in the decades to come. He will reward you.    ~ Thomas Zvi Wilson, Poet, Author of Deliberate and Accidental Acts.

Gary Lechliter carves out a world of Kansas landscapes and a neighborhood with a ’58 Chevy up on blocks and motorycle parts strewn in the grass. His language and characters – a “hillbilly” boy dying of cancer, an adolescent throbbing with lust during a church service – reveal keen psychological insights. He walks the reader through scenes of acute detail in a journey merging the free form with disciplined structures. Seeming regular and metrical, these poems surprise us with their variations and emotional contexts.    ~ Lindsey Martin Bowen, Author of Cicada Grove.

In his debut collection, Under the Fool Moon – the title itself certainly a play on that lunar phase most often associated with lovers, madness, and poetry – Gary Lechliter offers poems in which all of our marbles are lost, a vampire bites its own neck, and love, whether romantic, spiritual or communal, is retrieved from the “dark mathematics” of isolation. Here the poet speaks in “a glittering, luminescent razzmatazz” about what haunts us: our unspoken desire for emotional truth in an imperfect world.    ~ Carl Rhoden, Poet.

Are we all somewhat small and foolish ‘prayer warriors’ under a fool moon?    ~ Pattiann Rogers.