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The Dream Police: Selected Poems, 1969-1993

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  213 ratings  ·  11 reviews
With each new novel, Dennis Cooper's reputation as the most daring and distinctive writer working in America today is cemented. To anyone familiar with this writer -- whom the New York Times calls "taut, chillingly ironic," the Washington Post Book World terms "brilliant," and the Village Voice deems capable of "religious intensity" -- it will come as no surprise that befo ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 10th 1996 by Grove Press (first published April 1995)
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 ·  213 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Aug 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, lgbtq
I think this collections speaks of a dying experience of the gay man so rarely found in the mainstream media today, which presents all gay men as just wanting marriage or acceptance from the school bullies. These boys sure as hell aren’t the boys from Modern Family or Glee. These are the boys who don’t even believe true love possible, the boys who believe that even if it does exist the only grace and possible attainment of it is in the almost unreachable hookup sex, the one night stands, or buri ...more
Jeff Jackson
Jul 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I stand with the guys I resemble.
Jerry, Tom, Dick, Sam, Julian, Max, Timmy.
Guess which of those names is perfect.
We dream of a casual million.
We light our cigarettes gently.
I take what the night has to offer.
I roll a ripe peach from one wrist to another.
I can’t speak I’m so fucking stupid.
Our bodies are simply stupendous.
When we breathe, it takes us apart.
You know. You’re inside us.

from “Hustlers”
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
At it's best, Cooper's poetry sings to my guts.
A. Collins
Jun 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read an interview with Dennis Cooper last month and was very taken with it. He talked about exploring and confronting his fears through his work. Lately I’ve been on a similar exploration through my band. I knew I had to read him.


After School, Street Football, Eighth Grade

Their jeans sparkled, cut off
way above the knee, and my
friends and I would watch them
from my porch, books of poems
lost in our laps, eyes wide as
tropical fish behind our glasses.

Their football flashed from hand
to hand, tenni
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: estadounidenses
¡Me encanta como escribe! ... Lástima que sólo escribe sobre sus eyaculaciones y los culitos de sus amantes... Me gustaría que abarcara más temas; pareciera que pensó: ¡que buena idea publicar mi diario sexual! ... Meh.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it liked it
G.I. Joe fucks C.G. Jung to death.
Jose Diaz
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: poetry, library
i think this is the last dennis cooper book i read. i’m just tired of the cheap tricks and miserable depictions of depraved young boys. I’m glad gay literature has new stars doing work that goes beyond provocation. there are some gems in this collection which is sad because there are lines and whole poems that are so well done but just lost in coopers over used antics.
Merritt K.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it liked it
The material is kind of all over the place; some gems but also some forgettable pieces of flash fiction and journal entries. Stylistically Cooper's poetry isn't always to my taste, but I appreciate the way that he presents sexualized violence in a way that's almost comical and makes the victims out to be magazine girls or angels his perpetrators can never quite get a hold of.
Roof Beam Reader (Adam)
Oct 27, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-lit


Cooper’s The Dream Police is a collection of free verse poetry and short prose written between 1969-1993. The collection is separated into three parts, by time period, and titled “Dumb,” “Deaf,” and “Blind.” Many Cooper fans will be familiar with the subject matter, and will take delight in witnessing the growth and exploration of the author, from early 1960’s pieces to the later inquiries of the 1990’s.

The Good

The collection’s structure is the first positive here. As an avid Cooper read
Mar 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
“We cannot, like the French, live so strongly that we’re constantly putting out fires on our arms.”
Nov 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, gay
Some really great stuff here, and some completely forgettable stuff too. Definitely a mixed bag, but the great poems really soar.
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Dennis Cooper was born on January 10, 1953 and grew up in the Southern California cities of Covina and Arcadia. In 1976, he founded Little Caesar Magazine and Press, which he ran until 1982. In 1985, he moved to Amsterdam for two and a half years, where he began his ten year long project, The George Miles Cycle, an interconnected sequence of five novels that includes Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and ...more

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