Books

Ode to the End of the American Dream and other anti-racist poems

Discover the fiercely radical poetry of New York City performance artist Finnegan in this collection of anti-racist poems. Like a sweaty night at CBGB’s, they capture the raw energy of life in 1980’s New York. Full of rage and indignity at the racism of everyday life, they remain hopeful of a way forward.

Ode to the End of the American Dream brings together poems written over a period of thirty years. They examine racism through a variety of lenses – some funny, some sad; one ironic, another sincere. In every case, they challenge readers to reconsider racism in deep new ways.

Uncensored and uncompromising, the poems within are a bucket of cold water against the face of ignorance and indifference. If you’re ready for a dose of the real, you may find inspiration or even equanimity in Finnegan’s unvarnished take on race relations.

Dark Burning Rain and other Poems – Volume 1

Dark Burning Rain and other poems Volume 1 presents some of the best of Finnegan’s early poetry, gathered together in one collection. Poems like Burning Secret, Wasted and Hysteria deal with difficult themes like rape, oppression, self-hatred and self-sabotage, reflective of the author’s alienation as a bisexual black man from both his own family and from broader society. Queen Beast interrogates the experience of a young black man moving invisibly among white men within the New York City gay scene, experiencing hierarchies and racism and seeking self-destruction through sex. Other poems present short, viciously pointed observations in abstraction, sure to make you think, even as you find yourself feeling incredibly uncomfortable. Take a dip, if you dare.

Dark Burning Rain and other Poems – Volume 2

In Dark Burning Rain and other poems Volume 2, Finnegan turns the intensity levels up to 11. Not for the faint-hearted, this continuation of the Dark Burning Rain poetry series seeks the immaculate highs and eviscerating lows of a life lived on the edge, with poems like Strawberry Bitchblade and the title poem, Dark Burning Rain, tunnelling down into the dark and bloody depths of a raw and self-destructive human psyche. Other poems, like Stars Beneath the World and I Don’t Have to Scream Because She Screams for Me, seek the heavens in search of the sublime, restless to escape the mundane and the concrete. Plumbing horrors and finding the gems within, and spanning 30 years and many continents, this collection features poetry inspired by travels, discoveries, and disasters across this wild and wonderful planet.

Dark Burning Rain and other Poems – Volume 3

The poems in Dark Burning Rain Volume 3 are like a slap, then a scratch. The slap to get your attention, and then the scratch so it goes in deep. In other words, masochists only need apply. If that hasn’t put you off, be prepared for an otherworldly stew of the illicit, insidious and immoral, stirred up with equal portions of sublimity, divinity and equanimity. Finnegan’s poetry is not a vanity project. This is a collection of searing honesty and hard-hitting truths, served up by characters so twisted and ghastly that they make you want to look away. But look a little closer and you’ll see where the words lead – to a place, perhaps, where artifice falls away and the ugly truth is revealed. Scratches and slaps sting, and stay with us long after the injury. That is the secret weapon in this collection, which features poems dealing with living in the shadows of denial, dissecting the nature of dreams and nightmares to bring light to the darkest corners of the self. Poetry from the Feast of Fear is a five-poem series that journeys from despair following a breakup, to joy once the choice for something better crystallised. Other poems talk about the illusion of self-esteem, or even the deliberate mislabelling of self-esteem. The final work in the book, A Butterfly is Dying, takes a different tack by exploring concepts of bounty and abundance.

Dark Burning Rain and other Poems – Volume 4

Dark Burning Rain and other poems Volume 4, the final entry in the Dark Burning Rain series, takes the themes of light and darkness explored in earlier volumes to a new level of intensity and insanity. While some of the poems in this collection explore the light, existing in a radiant transcendental state of reality, others necessarily delve into dark, untold, unseen spaces, eliciting responses of revulsion. Extremity and intensity drive these works, which speak in an honest and clear voice of things so nasty and debased they are sure to make you squirm. Works like Dunkelheit, Junk and Fleiches Lust open flesh wounds that allow us to stare into the darker aspects of human nature – themes like narcissism, soulless sexuality and ecological destruction bump up with ugly characterisations of the worst kind. Others, like Homeless, touch on a more fragile pain – of rejection, in the face of your own sense of having value. Redemption and absolution supplant this sense of infinite darkness in pieces like Secrets and Space, An Immaterial Witness for Illuminated Minds and Lightspeed Into Endless Beauty, which explore universal themes of self-actualisation on a grand and cosmic scale.

“To The Letter” / Apocalyptic Poetry and Essays – Volume Z

“To The Letter” – Volume Z is the first in a new series of books by Finnegan that combines poetry with incendiary essays on hot topics such as racism, white supremacy and white privilege.

Choosing the pre-biblical meaning of ‘Apocalyptic’, namely to ‘uncover’ what is hidden, Finnegan sets his sights on the ‘sacred cows’ of our modern civilisation.

Tearing down the facades of political correctness and the ‘white bubble’ Finnegan’s poetry and essays in this collection explore a different way of seeing the world.

At the heart of these essays and poems lies a simple message: the utopia we seek is already here. We simply need to wipe the illusions from our eyes and see things as they really are.

“To The Letter” / Apocalyptic Love Poetry and Essays – Volume Y

“To The Letter” – Volume Y is the second in a new series of books by Finnegan that combines poetry with informative and reflective essays on topics such as ‘Doing the Math’, ‘Poetry’, ‘Love’ and ‘Black-Jew Love’.

The poetry in this volume turns up the intensity, but also the irony and levity (for those who like their levity on the ribald side). Exhibit A: poems like “F**k me Gently With a Chainsaw”.

The essays in this volume look into subjects personal and intimate, into our bedrooms and into the depths of Finnegan’s thoughts and loves.

Exploring the dynamic tensions behind the Crown Heights riots and within his own relationships, Finnegan’s poetry and essays in this collection explore both the painful and the sacred.

“To The Letter” / Apocalyptic Experimental Poetry and Essays – Volume X

“To The Letter” – Volume X is the third in a new series of books by Finnegan that combines poetry with informative and reflective essays on topics such as ‘Honestly’, ‘Polyamory’ and ‘Drugs’.

This edition of To The Letter takes an experimental turn, toying with conventions of form and format. First-person becomes third-person, and any word is fair play for fun and games, in this twisted take on the poetic.

You’ll also find this episode challenging notions of what is ‘normal’ and ‘acceptable’. Unless you are pro-drugs, pro-polyamory and pro- truth, that is. In which case you’ll cheer along.

Coming Soon – Dark Burning Rain and other poems Omnibus

Tentative release date: March 17, 2025