The Talking Day by Michael Klein

Fire Island, Bette Davis, reincarnation, the movies, Henry James, the Russian baths, being lonely in public, following strangers, washing a corpse, the FDR Drive and the racetrack all figure predominantly in Michael Klein’s The Talking Day – a talking book of poems that speak to the terrible beauty of the world we live in and the world we live without. “I’m dumb about the world.  To me, it always looks haunted” is the first line of the first poem in this book and by the end, that haunting has turned fear into grace.



The Talking Day by Michael Klein
Retail Price: $14.95; 70 Pages; Perfect-Bound 6 x 9
Publication Date: January 15, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-937420-27-7



“This is a book of such modesty and greatness. Michael writes about the most private situation and warmly includes all its angles, and losses, boondoggles and altars. His subject is this:  how I am inside my life. There’s something notebook-y here too which is how the book is elegant. The flow is approximate. Anything can happen ‘in’ here because that’s how it feels to be alive in an uncharted and open world.”

— Eileen Myles, author of Inferno: A Poet’s Novel

“Michael Klein’s poems in The Talking Day are not from this planet.  Somehow, something brought Michael Klein and his “heartbroken electric eye” onto our “rented star,” transforming us into something alien and even more curiously human.  These poems show Klein, in equal measure, to be a guru, philosopher, salesman, quack, astronaut, wordsmith, and finally a perverse deity.  He is one of my heroes.”

— Steve Fellner, author of Blind Date with Cavafy

“In what’s become an open-fire America, the notion of a “talking day” has taken on a searing aptness, and Klein employs it with an agile, able emphasis on restorative speech. In this welcome new volume, the poet combs his vibrant dream life for clues and epiphanies and sifts though his family history and at-times rambunctious youthful past with a ready-or-not candor and compassion. Klein’s verse always feels very lived-in, very close to the bone, yet captivating—without the scrim of heaviness or histrionics often associated with confessional poetry; staunchly humane, graced with an un-embittered survivor’s hard-won wisdom, his poems are riveting, true, and buoyant.”

— Cyrus Cassells, author of The Crossed-Out Swastika


MICHAEL KLEIN’s previous poetry collections are then, we were still living, a Lambda Literary Award finalist, and 1990, which tied with James Schuyler to win the award in 1993.  His books of prose are Track Conditions, a memoir, and The End of Being Known, essays.  He lives in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts.


MICHAEL KLEIN on the COVER: “This is a photograph my brother took of Bruce Waite, his best friend from college. I found it among my brother’s papers after he died. And then two weeks after that, Bruce died after a walk in the woods of a heart attack. He was young. I think of this picture as a kind of tribute to both of them — and I think it’s another interpretation of the title: A talking day that has nothing to say except the human body in a sort of magical, graceful form.”



4 Comments on “The Talking Day by Michael Klein

  1. Oh, how those plates do stack up! That strange showcase! Every pain finite! Tossed out of a bar for no reason! Love, MK, like all!
    —Jeff He writes some good poems!!!

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