Nothing Happened and Besides I Wasn't There
Mark Wallace

ISBN 13: 978-1-890311-01-8
ISBN 1-890311-01-4

56 pgs, Cover by the author
1997


$9.50


If Mark Wallace did the comedy circuit, all that big hair and those sweet drinks would riot in the streets. Nothing Happened and Besides I Wasn't There is a series of one to six line stanzas all revamping the idea of the one-liner. But the joke is always frightening, a world where the 2x4s pounding the cat are hitting our heads and they hurt damn it, as they always make us stop and consider what we are. He is the existential joker: if Batman met the poet and it was for real.
--Juliana Spahr


Mark Wallace's poetry is joyous, gloomy, frisky, reflective and vulnerable to a sense of the living world that he never tried to master, but to inhabit as a kind of sad old citizen, a belonger filled with longing. He loves the daily popular tunes, the ring of contemporary coinage, flashes of wry and sardonic humor, the lover's chagrin--for the sake of the human conditions they are immediacies of, but it is a music of heaven and hell he listens for in it all. The structure of identity is exploded in the form of a three-dimensional literary method in which the borders of personality, of self and nonself, are simultaneous and conflicting modes of expression. Sometimes he takes off like a reasonable lecturer who suddenly becomes demented. What an astonishing poet he is. He speaks great truths as casually as if they were lies.
--Ron Silliman


Mark Wallace demonstrates the value of writing far past the point where the instigators of social, psychological, and economic oppression wish he'd keep his mouth shut. This amazing deflection of repetitive aphorisms swirls and spirals in upon itself, fueled by the delusory aggrandizements of the insidious institutions we call contemporary existence. Wallace manages to capture what it's like to find oneself all dressed up with no place to go. This is no book for the squeamish. Buy it only if you have nothing better to do. You don't.
--Joe Ross


WARNING: The Surgeon General has determined that reading Nothing Happened and Besides I Wasn't There may harm your mental equilibrium, impede your ability to act as a cog, and imperil you most functional cliches.
--Jefferson Hansen