The goal was always to be personal without forsaking what’s political. To reveal what one knows about life, not literature. To be honest and exterminate any attempts to be “clean” and fashionable or safely ironic and full of MFA birdbath preening. The goal was to be as surreal as his own life and find ways of not merely reflecting his world – but transform it.
Sometimes his poems are like prayers. Sometimes they are jagged sermons. But they are always self-contained dramas that honor the strength and color of words the way a bluesman stresses his guitar. While the camera eternally eluded him and his sense of rhythm led him to march to the beat of his own drum…he was, in the end, a dramatist who discovered his penchant and zeal for expressing himself directly through words and under the sun.
Several of Kangalee’s published poems can be found on this site, as well as in the France-based Outlaw Poetry Network, and in Carlo Parcelli & Rosalie Gancie’s avant-garde arts journal, Flashpoint.
The second pressing of his initial 2010 chapbook Lying Meat is available through the dreaded Amazon or by directly contacting the author himself.
With Gentrified Minds, Kangalee broke new ground with his idiosyncratic spoken word poetry, his recalcitrant style of musical theater. Gentrified Minds was a performance piece about gentrification that sought to make poetry “sweat and shiver in the flesh” again. It was inspired by his original “radio-drama” spoken word piece, What Happened to the Brother on the Block? (NY Horror Vol.1)
His dramatic minimalist ‘blitz’, “No More”, was recently published in the alternative independent investigative newsletter, CounterPunch.
“I don’t think I’ve ever read a more honest and profound document of self-discovery outside of the richest Pantheon our literature has to offer.
It single handedly rescues the notion of ‘confessional’ harkening back to Augustine and his ‘Confessions’, Villon’s Testament, Joyce and his ‘Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man’, and Malcolm X’s ‘Autobiography’. Kangalee reappraises the whole notion of who it is to be Dennis Leroy Kangalee while narrating his experience and enlightening us about the world he came from and that he and we now inhabit.”
— Carlo Parcelli, Poet/Author of The Canaanite Gospel: A Meditation on Empire
Returning from a 5 year self-imposed exile in 2006, Dennis Leroy Kangalee returned to NYC with a renewed commitment to his art. Lying Meat is the result. Written as “The Nomad Junkie” in the aftermath of a draconian lifestyle change (carnivore to herbivore!) and between the earthquake in Haiti and the Gulf Coast oil spill, it is a slim volume of urgent poems that seek to make sense of our state of affairs and indict a system that fosters social/historical lies and our acceptance of those lies.