I Married the Icepick Killer
A Poet in Hollywood
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
A vibrant and insightful essay collection about life as a poet in Southern California
Poetry and Hollywood may not seem compatible in anyone’s book. But acclaimed poet, novelist, and critic Carol Muske-Dukes finds common ground for both in meditations on movie sets and metaphors, on the big screen and the luminous focus of a haiku.
I Married the Icepick Killer offers the reader ways to reimagine the Imagination itself. Former California Poet Laureate Muske-Dukes explores Southern California’s unexpected poetry, from Emily Dickinson on freeway billboards to poet-script doctors rewriting action-flick dialogue. Moving personal essays recount the story of Muske-Dukes’s romance with her late husband, actor David Coleman Dukes, whom she met in Italy and relocated with in Los Angeles. Muske-Dukes sharpens her astute gaze as she addresses contradictions and convergences between belle lettres and the ever-surprising City of Angels.
This ebook was originally published as Married to the Icepick Killer.
“If poetry thrives on solitude and odd brushes with reality, what better place for a poet than Los Angeles, where no one knows you exist and your neighbor’s garden fence is topped with multiple copies of Michelangelo’s David? In these clever, engaging, beautifully written essays, Carol Muske-Dukes writes of teaching poetry to surfers, living on a street that regularly turns into a movie set, and staying loyal to the word in the kingdom of the visual.” —Katha Pollitt
“A modern-day Poetics for Los Angeles and beyond, I Married the Icepick Killer is funny, tough, learned, and lyrical. Whether reporting on the breaking news of a Grecian ode or the semiotics of a cocktail party in Brentwood, Muske-Dukes is scarily smart, and wise.” —Sandra Tsing Loh
“Acutely observed and often devastatingly funny.” —Library Journal
“A wry, witty look at Hollywood and acting in general, filled with apt, telling anecdotes and intelligent analysis. At the same time, it is a clear-eyed, penetrating look at the world of poetry: from classroom to the billboard, from West Point to the Clinton White House.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Intriguing essays about the relationship between art and illusion by a writer in the City of Angels.” —TheBoston Sunday Globe
“A writer of depth, precision, and wit in her poetry and novels, which include Life After Death, Muske-Dukes turns out to be a piquant essayist.” —Booklist Carol Muske-Dukes is the author of eight books of poems, four novels, and two essay collections, and is an editor of two anthologies, including Crossing State Lines: An American Renga, which she coedited with Bob Holman. Many of her books have been New York Times Notable selections. Muske-Dukes is a professor of English and creative writing at the University of Southern California, where she founded the PhD program in creative writing and literature, and she recently fulfilled her appointment as poet laureate of California, appointed by the governor’s office. Her poetry collection Sparrow was a National Book Award finalist and she is a six-time Pushcart Prize winner. She writes for the New York Times Book Review and the New York Times op-ed page, the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post, and the New Yorker’s Page-Turner blog. Her poems have been published and anthologized widely, including in several editions of Best American Poetry. Muske-Dukes has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, a Library of Congress award, Barnes & Noble’s Writer for Writers Award, and many other honors. She lives in Southern California and New York.