UNDER A BROKEN STREET LAMP: $5, 4.25” x 11”, photocopied, ? pgs.

This is a chapbook of stories written by Michael Essington and David Gurz, two “punk writers” (as they call themselves) from the West and East coasts, respectively. The odd dimensions of the work caught my attention, and made me curious to dig into these stories. Essington has a story about a guy who has ruined his life by running off his job with a girl who is half his age. He follows this up with a poem. Gurz has a tale about a punk prostitute who kills men she sleeps with. Both are obviously darker tales, but it’s the seediness and grit that intrigued me. There were points where the writing could be improved upon by changing some wording or structure and the ideas behind the stories reminded me of something I might have written years ago (and I don’t want to really read stuff that is anything like what I would have written). Supposedly, this is the first of four chapbooks and while it didn’t totally bowl me over, I am enticed to see what stories the future chapbooks hold. -Kurt Morris (Michael Essington, 17105 Roscoe Blvd. #3, Northridge, CA91325)