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Zeller's Alley

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  123 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Paperback, 132 pages
Published July 10th 2016 by White Gorilla Press
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Average rating 4.20  · 
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 ·  123 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Levi Jiorle
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
There are a lot of themes in B Diehl's debut full-length that I found relatable: losing touch of one's own morality, the struggle of dealing with drudgery, or trying to understand our generation's dating culture are just a few of the ideas that he's trying to express. But what I loved most about this book is how B shows what it feels like to be lost in the modern age, all with a rare combination of angst and beauty. The mark of a good writer is the ability to reveal the unsaid secrets that we ke ...more
Apr 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
thought it was a decent poetry book. mostly containing decent poems. then of course there were some poems i really enjoyed and others not so much. i look forward to the next book he puts out and think it will be much improved. the copy write in Zeller's Alley states the poetry inside was written from 2013-2015. i recommend following Diehl's twitter account (easily one of the most entertaining writers i follow: @iambrandondiehl) and i vaguely remember him saying something on there about how his n ...more
Ronald Burras
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Just got around to looking at Zeller's Alley, having had first to overcome my initial revulsion to opening a new book of poetry by ANYONE, but I'm delighted by what I'm finding in it. Mr. Diehl does not share with us his "spiritual journey" or personal process of "becoming." There are few, if any, metaphysics here. What he does do is describe his struggles, joys, and torments pretty much as they happen to him, an occasionally employed and intermittently responsible Millennial who loves to write ...more
Aug 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In Zeller's Alley, the debut poetry collection by poet B. Diehl, we get over 100 pages of poetry that offer not only a combination of personal reflection and social commentary, but also an enticing memoir as we look through the mind of this young man as he recalls and processes key moments from his life. In Zeller’s Alley, we live his experiences. We know his passions. We feel his pain. We burn with his angst. By the end of this collection, I almost felt as if I knew the poet personally. I certa ...more
Sep 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
In my opinion this book reads more like a teenager's diary than a poetry collection. It's all over the place and barely flows. The writings are too personal to be relatable. The style is inconsistent.

To put it simply...this book is not very good.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Read this book in two sittings. Very easy to comprehend and follow unlike a lot of poetry. Very shocking/surprising at a good way. There is lots of stuff in here that you won't find in any other poetry book. Original and riveting.
Kathleen Haviland
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Looking for flowery, classic prose? Rhyming verse that harkens back to the gilded age? This is not that. This is sometimes bleak, often offensive, and always brilliant. You should buy this book, and see what modern poetry is and what modern poets can do.
Sep 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Whiny and obnoxious. Just more garbage polluting the legacy of poetry.
Luke Elliott
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking yet hilarious. Disturbing yet touching. Thoroughly entertaining. 4/5 stars.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
What I liked most about this book is that you can tell the author didn't make the mistake of trying too hard. One thing that turns me off about a lot of poetry is that it is often overworked until the emotions are almost completely buried. For the most part, this book is raw and the messages are not masked by fancy language. You can tell what the author was feeling when he wrote these poems.

My only complaint is that it is some of the poems are little too long. In my opinion, shorter
Casey Kiser
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
3.75 stars.

Zeller's Alley is intense, irreverent, brutally honest and witty. Diehl zips down his life and picks apart his relationships in this impressive debut. My favorites are 'Red Lipstick, Leather Jacket', 'Overkill' and 'Chemistry Meteorology and the Art of Floating'. I recommend this fun read. No doubt his work will improve with age as he is already a demanding voice in poetry. I also recommend his chapbook 'Temporary Obscurity'.
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I may be old and less emotional than I used to be, but I still found this book a great read. B. Diehl is one of the best poets of his generation.
Oct 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this book and highly recommend it to all open-minded poetry-lovers who enjoy over-the-top angst and dark humor.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I had my doubts about this book, but I was surprised by how much I ended up enjoying it. At times this collection is hilarious....& at times it is devastating. This book's an easy-read for the most part. Stripped to the bone. Yet certain poems feel very lyrical and even dream-like. The end result is a fine balance between clever metaphor & every day thoughts.
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Overall, this is a well-written book. At times, a few poems were too abstract and confusing for me. But most of them were emotional, straightforward, and highly relatable. 4 out of 5 stars.
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's so hard to find decent books of poems these days. But I was so glad when I discovered this one. Highly recommended if you like dark humor and rant-y poetry.
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wonderfully original and badass. I look forward to more books by Diehl.
Sep 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, first-reads
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway.

Diehl's voice is bold and well-defined, confident, but too often these poems rely on cliches and unsurprising language. Many read like prose chopped into lines. They largely feel unedited, considered only once. Some of the subject matter that lends itself heavily to journal entries--a bad breakup, especially--particularly suffers because of this. While it gives the impression of uncut, raw feeling or thought, it does
Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Probably my favorite book of poetry - the author explored tons of different topics, revisiting many throughout the book. I particularly liked how he wasn't afraid to give a lot of details - most of the poems I've read this year have been the kind that were trying to be short / effective. Diehl's details made his poems more realistic, and relatable. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone who offends too easily, though.
Note: I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways.
Ben Arzate
Jan 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, ebooks
Full Review

Zeller's Alley starts out weakly, but manages to pick up and make for a solid collection. The poetry ranges from humorous observations, to sad meditations, to surreal parades of images. Despite the fact that I didn't like the first third of the book, it's still clear that B. Diehl has a lot of talent and is a new poet to watch.
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
glad I finally got around to reading this one. this book is much more than a book of poems randomly thrown together. all of the poems work together to create something much more meaningful in the end. I have read this book with pleasure and will read it again.
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Finally got around reading this gem. Great blend of narrative and lyrical elements in here. Some of my favorite poems from the book are "The World Smells of Boogers," "Lung Cancer," and "Loophole, Carved With a Boxcutter."
Jan 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
What I like most about this book is that the author didn't try too hard. He didn't ruin the pieces with pretentious and unnatural-sounding language. At times some of the poems are a little clunky, but overall this is a nice collection...especially for a first full-length.
Lynda Shepherd
Oct 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
i read this book twice over the course of two days. i like it. at one point i had it at the kitchen table and my grandma asked me if she could look at it. she flipped through it for less than two minutes and then before handing it back to me she said "hmm, there are a lot of swear words in here."
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
B. Diehl is a fine young poet who truly does not care about the rules of poetry. This book is an excellent reminder that poetry can be whatever you want it to be.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Equally funny and heartbreaking. Worth the money.
Will Strawbridge
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"I've been wanting to tell you
that even though you like Green Day,
I still think you're punk as fuck."

Haha, I fucking love this book.
Dec 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
won this book from goodreads really enjoyed the poetry. I love his style of writing and would read more books by him.
Ben Kramer
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
The honest work of a tortured soul. B. Diehl holds nothing back in this collection. Recommended for fans of fearless free-verse.
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
one of my favorite books of contemporary poetry. fearless and revealing.
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B. Diehl is the author of the poetry collections Ballpoint Penitentiary and Zeller’s Alley. His work has been published by Hobart, BOAAT Press, Literary Orphans, Words Dance, Maudlin House, CLASH Media, and other venues. He’s also one of two editors of Philosophical Idiot. When he's not writing, editing, or breathing in dust at his warehouse job, he's usually hanging out with his cats.
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“If you ever find happiness,
cut off its legs.”
“So if love is for fools, throw me a tambourine.
I'll wear it as a crown.”
More quotes…