The Fringes of Hollywood
The Fringes of Hollywood
by Mary Lou Taylor


ISBN 1-884516-08-4

“Dressed in purple satin,” these poems are a Requiem Mass for trading cards, Marilyn Monroe, Stan Kenton’s band, and cleavage itself. Mary Lou Taylor’s poetry chronicles popular culture in America; in moves back in forth across time like a novel, from the hand of a master writer whose world is real enough to occupy. Taylor’s past is not the end of an era but one where it all begins, as we read and reread to make it our own.

— Grace Cavalieri, Producer/host,
The Poet and the Poem

This is a fascinating book, one to return to again and again, as the mystery of a single life illuminates our larger history. The language is the language of poetry—authentic, original, insightful, enlightened, and passionate. In The Fringes of Hollywood, the imagined and the real are inextricably intertwined. As Borges teaches us, and as Mary Lou Taylor reminds us, “The beginning of literature is myth, and the end also.”

— Ed Smallfield, author,
The Pleasures of C

These are shapely, artful, savvy poems filled with humor and occasionally tinged with the sorrow of maturity.

— Phyllis Koestenbaum, author,
Doris Day and Kitschy Melodies

The Fringes of Hollywood evokes the exoticism of a David Lynch film: the chiaroscuro of haloed light in devotional art, the intensity of a match struck in a darkened corridor, and the hypnotic clarity of a lucid dream. Mary Lou Taylor has succeeded in reanimating the California landscape, forging an indissoluble connection between the power of place, attenuated grief, and the geography of the heart’s longing.

— Calder Lowe, Executive Editor,
The Montserrat Review

Mary Lou Taylor’s poetry gives us front row seats to a tough working class childhood medicated with pop culture. Her unabashed nostalgia, her delight in make-believe and Shirley Temple memorabilia, authenticate just how much of a hold our TV screens and movie screens have over us. The Fringes of Hollywoodis all-Americana—complex storytelling in stunningly exact imagery.

— Denise Duhamel, author,
Queen for a Day: Selected and New Poems