I Want to Look Like Henry Bataille

eBook (PDF), 48 Pages
(4 Ratings)
Price: $4.50
With Bataille Michael K. Gause gives the reader a reading pleasure on two fronts: a chronological series of fragments interspersed with their more formal counterparts. Together they comprise an engaging collection of both the raw…and the cooked. Poet Alex Stolis says: “I found Gause’s chapbook to be narrative poetry at its best--surprising, innovative and inspired. Like being invited into someone's vision.”
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  • By hypnoid
    Feb 9, 2010
    Michael Gause is a public voyeur who distills his refined observations into metaphors and images that are striking for their ability to capture a complex essence. Lines like “the dozing origami between them” and “road trip karaoke on two lanes of heartache” are not only easy to remember, but hard to forget. He is a master of folding layers of reference into minimal words. If you’re a wanderer in tune with the real world and what happens there, this book will reveal many forms of “holiness in the corner.”
  • By Larry Winfield
    May 18, 2009
    "I Want To Look Like Henry Bataille, by Michael K. Gause - Cool book!" Michael K. Gause lives in Mendota Heights, Minnesota. He is host to the Disheveled Salon, a monthly gathering of local writers over pints, and is Artistic Director for Northography (, a showcase for regional creative writing. His writing has appeared in a number of print and online journals, like Half Drunk Muse, Tryst, Big Bridge, and Dead Drunk Dublin, among others. Current writing can be found on his online journal, Prodigal Sun. His first self-published chapbook, The Tequila Chronicles, received honorable mention in The Carbon Based Mistake Art Exchange Program Contest for 2004. His second book, I want to look like Henry Bataille, was published in 2006 by LittlePoemsPress. Michael's website is Michael can be reached via email at: michael'at' His new book takes you on a journey through an interesting mental landscape from the first poem,... More > through striking juxtapositions between intention, experience and obsession. Even the deceptively light observations of quiet moments carry poignancy, the things we all see at particular moments in time, but don't think to remember or record, but Gause catches them. Other poems slice through character insights, cutting right to the bone: On the bus a fat sweaty man stares at a woman with two children-she sees him but thinks only of her late husband and how she will put her children to bed tonight. He will dream of her naked. Many poems feel like chapters of intertwined novels in the way they echo as you move through the book. Really neat. Gause turns his impartial eye on himself in a few of these poems as well, but not in a showy "LOOK AT ME!" way, but "i look at myself as i see you." And there's not a bad poem in the bunch. I could give you another example, but go to his website, read a few gems previously penned, and get his book. And read it while riding a bus.< Less
  • By Charles McBride
    Feb 1, 2009
    "This is a good read, but don't take my word for it!" Michael Gause requested that I share my thoughts on his second publication, I want to look like Henry Bataille. As epitomized by the lines from Older, "Take a drink and finish your pity/ There is much to do/ Finish it," Michael Gause relays to the reader not only his own reflections on life and responsibility, but also the accessibility of his words, and how the reader might internalize them (Even the front and back covers reinforce his introspective style, as the back cover is a mirrored reflection of the front.). As you may already know, Michael Gause self-published his first chapbook, The Tequila Chronicles, a drunken reverie that also engages the reader on a not so dissimilar voyage. I do not intend to compare and contrast the two works, but only stress that the effort and honesty of such an endeavor, proves that Michael Gause yearned to be heard, and I want to look like Henry Bataille shows that he is not... More > finished talking. So, keep your ears perked and take heed! Intended or not, the reader has options as to how to approach this chapbook filled with potent observations and ruminations, especially if you are as voracious as I am for a good read, and you revisit these pages as though they were your neighborhood pub. And that is what timeless poetry does: it compels you to return time and time again, giving you a different perspective or epiphany each time you read. Not only does each titled or untitled poem stand alone, the untitled poems read in succession give one the sense of embarking on the same epic journey, and one can read page-by-page as the titled and un-titled poems play off each other. Give this chapbook a thorough exploration with child-like curiosity, because you won't have read this before. I'm disgusted with the apathetic euphemism, "Everything has been done before." If you are a fellow poet, artist or appreciator, here is some refreshing news: IT HASN'T! Michael Gause refurbishes his own mold, and without forsaking poetics, he provides social commentary in addition to his introspection. This is a far cry from today's socially acceptable "slam" format, where editorials pass for poetry. I'm not of the opinion that slam poetry does not have its time and place, just that it is a genre, because competition is a different vein. If you want the meaning to be spoon-fed to you, you better get off at the next bus stop. (You score geek points if you realized that this review’s title was inspired by Reading Rainbow.)< Less
  • By Dallas Bryant
    Mar 23, 2007
    "Looking for Henry in Michael: A Review" Eve Anthony Hanninen wrote a thorough review of Michael Gause's latest chapbook in The Centrifugal Eye Online Poetry Journal, and having read both Gause's book and Hanninen's review, myself, I agree almost wholeheartedly with Hanninen's piercing search for Henry Bataille. She agreed to let me post a little taste of the review here to illustrate my agreement: "I Want to Look Like Henry Bataille opens with two untitled poems. These headless vignettes introduce readers to brief, judgmental convictions experienced inside the head of the point-of-view character, who we discover is a passenger on a bus. We readers find ourselves along for the ride. "These sorts of judgments are regularly interspersed between titled poems – liquer-style aperitifs to full-blown cocktails with umbrellas – for, although we begin the trip onboard a bus, we are bound for side stops, including a tavern, along the way. Indeed, there are a lot of alcohol... More > references laced into the poems, which makes sense when you learn Gause is also the author of a chapbook titled: The Tequila Chronicles. "The poems in Gause's new chapbook (Bataille) are not about Tequila, but rather are loud, sardonic refrains about loss and pain that steal into the growing dread of the middle-aged— that remind empathetic seniors who have known this dread, and addressed it with their own brands of acceptance over time. Anger, fear, resentment and authenticity are all represented in this collection of truths and suppositions. The speaker's tone is consistent throughout, using introspective analysis, and – due to that very nature – also outwardly observant. "It becomes apparent, when readers first arrive at the café, that the point-of-view character seems to be wandering his route. We follow him inside to note more of his cynical observances, remembrances. What's striking about the speaker's observations, is that they penetrate below the surface of objectivity. Gause is to be admired for his ability to pierce the superficial, spear a choice morsel from the depths and bring it up to readers' lips for a taste. "But does Henry Bataille show up somewhere along the bus route? I found myself wondering, partially through the collection, whether my questions about the chapbook's title would be answered. Who is Henry Bataille, and why does Michael Gause's main character want to look like him? Bataille does not appear by the midpoint, no. But other curious thoughts are wrought on top of previous: "Most of the poems reveal a nature of sexual covetousness – an honesty that must beg for commiseration – and a sense of self-perceived inadequacy in the speaker that many men are loath to admit. There's also a constant recognition of what other people, characters, may be thinking and feeling – again, that foray below the exterior of observation. "I'm not convinced the speaker's attributions towards some of the female characters aren't skewed, but certainly the observations are valid, in that he perceives these women to hold particular viewpoints. And because he can't really know for sure, some of the speaker's statements beg doubt, despite being intriguing." Eve has lots more to say about Gause's poems, and I concur that most of them are intriguingly sub-surface; a collection of surprising, internal and external adventures. ~DJ Bryant< Less
  • By Joel Van Valin
    Feb 22, 2007
    "I want to look like Henry Bataille" I Want to Look Like Henry Bataille has, in fact, nothing to do with the obscure French writer of that name - rather it is a poetic adventure by Michael K. Gause who, incidentally, really does look like Henry Bataille. As with his first chapbook, "The Tequila Chronicles", the poems are hip, lucid ruminations on the state of humankind. The book is parsed into two types of poems on opposing pages - on the left apparently connected fragments of a day's wanderings from bus to cafe to park bench; on the right titled poems on various topics. The last 6 pages of the book are inexplicably blank. Perhaps they provide space to pen impressions from our own peregrinations? Gause has taken the expansive, youthful handwaving of The Tequila Chronicles along with him on this ride. In lines like "Why else would anyone walk / such a great distance / from nothing to nowhere?" we inevitably think of that beloved college friend, the one who... More > was quirky and philosophical and wrote things that seemed pretty deep, at least at the time. But there is something more here, a structure and preciseness of intent, and at times Henry Bataille entirely transcends the beatnik poet mold. In poems like "The Tomb of Frank O'hara", where "the castles / dimmed themselves on storied hillsides" we begin to see shafts of light breaking, and a poetry that does not look, does not want to look, like any other.< Less
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Little Poem Press
October 1, 2011
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