This is a growing list. I will add to this as I can. It is by no means a comprehensive list. I have a limited time to pay attention to any one thing. But I will add to it.
Charles Bukowski: Time Magazine called him the laureate of American lowlife. I know, it's almost becoming cliche to say that you like Bukowski. We can thank the hipster culture for their love of anything "underground" and turning it into anything but underground. I take from the Hipster Encyclopedia of Hipsterspeak and say, I knew about Bukowski before you could grow the caveman beard or legally drink. I will be damned if I will let you co opt something sacred to real white trash and lowlife!
What I like about Bukowski is that he never held back. What you read is what you get. Crass? Maybe. Misogynistic? Perhaps. Truthful, powerful and one hell of a poet with style? Yes!
*Be it known, I did go through a Bukowski stage in my writing. Say what you will hipster. At least I have enough attention span to not get distracted by a pair of Ray Bans or skinny jeans and actually read something through.*
Matthew J. Hall: I am a stalker. I stumbled upon Matthew, I believe, in Kleft Jaw. He, in turn read me in Red Fez. One thing led to another and the next thing I know I am interviewing him on my first installment of Five Questions With. Read interview here. I like Matthew's short, to the point style. He does not fill the page with needless words.
Jason Hardung: I recently bought Motel, Diner Liquor, four poets, 183 pages of great poetry. Jason is one of those poets (Along with Jason Ryberg, John Dorsey and Seth Elkins) Check out his Facebook page and google his name, and by all means, buy his stuff! (note: I will be adding to this the more I read from Mr Hardung)
Frank Reardon: Okay, I bought another book of poetry. Frank Reardon's, "Interstate Chokehold" is one book of poetry that I am sure I will be going back to often. I think there is an unhealthy manlove on my part for this guy. In my self help psycho analysis of this issue I have narrowed it down to one thing: Frank is from Massachusetts, a place, in spite of my early childhood transient life, I consider home. (it was the longest I had lived in one place during the first 20 years of my life) His work is life in poetic form. It's not your suburban life of soccer games and washing your Prius. It is life that I know all too well. The life that I think most people know but try to forget about.
Jason Ryberg: Jason Ryberg is the shit! I have read a lot of his stuff, and this guy delivers some of the best word sculpting I have put my eyes to. Check him out! In his book, "Open Letter (To Dark Gods Of The Ancient World)" the first poem has (scientific study no doubt) a warning to those who dare tread the waters of poetic endeavor:
Studies show that a poet is twice as likely
as a dentist, and three times as likely
as city commissioner to erupt into screaming fits
in the middle of a shopping mall,
a taut court-room drama, or
an International House of Pancakes.
Jason is local, to me at least. I heard him read once and am working up the courage to say hi, but am a little intimidated, fearing a verbal onslaught like described above.