The James Sallis Web Pages
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Jim Sallis's fiction and poetry is incredibly allusive. One text in particular, the poem 'An Interesting Signal/A Very Dull Movie' by Jim's close friend and occasional short story collaborator David Lunde, has been referenced in three of the Griffin novels (Fly, 36; Moth, 169; and Cricket, 88), as well as the poem For Blaise Cendrars. Dave has kindly granted us permission to post his poem  on the site, for which we are extremely grateful.

An Interesting Signal/A Very Dull Movie

(for Jane, Jim and Tom)

The Nazi tattoo on the inner forearm of the waitress in the drugstore expands and contracts to the play of muscle beneath the skin as its decisive movements prepare  my breakfast. Handing me my eggs, she smiles. I smile back at her. The plot is implicit.

In my youth I often observed with alert attention the slow, pulsing flight of jellyfish in the  salt-green lagoon palmed by the low sand hills of my beloved Gulf Coast. Their mindless grace.

The lady novelist would have liked us to embarrass her by saying that she was a good lady novelist. We did not commit that breach of taste. Art is not compassionate.

Implicit also in that primordial, potential pool were the trilobites like unstrung lyres, barracuda like swift  steel triggers, and the amoeba which will swallow us.

I notice that my spirits are flagging. Metaphor establishes connections between unlike objects. If you would like help, you must put your  distress call in code.

Wrapped in flesh, I chart the progress of its and my disease: backache, headache, hot flashes, fever, insomnia. It amuses me to have written a love story.

 Dunkirk, NY: 1-25-71 


David Lunde teaches at the State University College of New York at Fredonia. He won the Academy of American Poets Prize in 1967, and the Rhysling Award for Best Science Fiction Poem of the Year in 1992 and 1995. Five of his poems have been nominated for the Nebula Award.

Dave's books include Sludge Gulper 1 (The Basilisk Press, 1971), Calibrations (Allegany Mountain Press, 1981), Blues for Port City (Mayapple Press, 1995), Heart  Transplants & Other Misappropriations (Edwin Mellen Press, 1996), and the very recently published Nightfishing in Great Sky River (Anamnesis Press, 1999). Dave's early publications included two limited edition chapbooks from the University of Iowa Writer's Workshop, Ironic Holidays and Les Papillons.

Also available on the James Sallis Web Pages is a December 1999 poem by Jim dedicated to Dave Lunde: For David.


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