Michael MadsenIn a totally shocking pair of events, Michael Madsen has published a 464 page book of poetry and revealed that the work was inspired by James Cagney. Cannot...process.  (Clearly seeing Cagney for the first time in Yankee Doodle Dandy is affecting my reaction to this revelation -- I’m imagining a little Mikey marching around the house, rhyming patriotically.)

Madsen has been writing poetry since he was young but, to his credit, hasn’t felt the need to show his work to every reporter who has happened by. Apparently reading as a kid that James Cagney found good in the darkest characters, and darkness in even the most angelic, strongly affected Madsen’s outlook on life (again with the mental images of marching and singing) and influenced his poetry, which is reportedly Beat-ish and not for the squeamish.

Though he’s privately published a few collections in the past, this book -- rather grandly titled The Complete Poetic Works of Michael Madsen: Volume I, 1995-2005 -- contains the whole shebang, in addition to some of Madsen’s photography. It’s been published in an initial run of only 3000, so you rabid fans best hurry to Amazon before they’re all gone. If you’re still on the fence, keep this in mind:  Dennis Hopper digs it. Wrote Dennis:  “I like him better than Kerouac: Raunchier, more poignant."
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categories Cinematical