Review: Sunlight at Midnight, Darkness at Noon

Hosho McCreesh and Christopher Cunningham
The Cunningham/McCreesh Letters, Vol I, Feb-Dec 2002
Personal Letters | Poetry
229 pages
5½” x 8½” perfect-bound trade paperback
ISBN 978–0–9817481–1–5
First Edition
Orange Alert Press
Chicago, Illinois
Available HERE
$16.00
Review originally published on 7/21/14


There’s a story my father tells me every so often, about meeting an old man that used to live in town who was friends with my father’s father. One day my dad, delivering tanks of oxygen to old folks, delivers a tank to said old man. Not quite identifying him, but recognizing him just the same, the old man clutches the arm of my old man, and says, “Boy, your father will never be dead long as you’re alive.” And if there’s anything we can take away from Sunlight at Midnight, Darkness at Noon, it’s the comfort that the piss and vinegar we all know from Bukowski will never fade from this earth so long as the likes of Hosho McCreesh and Christopher Cunningham are still around. In this collection of letters, reading like a jeremiad to the shriveled, post-9/11 American soul, McCreesh and Cunningham rage to each other and lay bare all of our collective mistakes, and wounds.

Collecting letters from February to December of 2002, Sunlight hits on the very subjects that trouble our nation to this day. McCreesh and Cunningham rail against the direction the country is headed, lament the fighting overseas, but more important to them is the battle being fought in American living rooms — the battle for the American public. For these two poets, the solution is simple but never easy: connection, dedication, sweat, passion, and more than a little Miles Davis.

This collection acts like an injection of adrenaline to the heart of anyone with a little poetics in his veins, and given not just the state of the world, but the state of the literary arts, anyone can see that’s necessary now and again. By the end of the collection, though, the reader realizes that he’s been privy to more than just an extended exuberance — he’s watched two poets grow through their relationship, grow through communication, shared passion, shared hatred, and the simple act of day-to-day life. It’s a pretty unique thing to see these days, especially in so deliberate a medium. Ultimately, that’s what this collection is; a rarity, a B-side to the collected works of the poets.