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Michael Lally reads Love Never Dies

I had the luck of recording Michael Lally reading “Love Never Dies” when his new book, Swing Theory, was published by Hanging Loose Press in May of 2015, on the 10th of May to be exact. Love of course is not so exacting; though it focuses on us, it makes no demands, yet as a presence in our lucky lives, it does endure—I’ve often suspected—beyond our mortal coils. Until our deaths, we are left to guess, but I think that it is so. Michael Lally seems to think so too.




Lots of shit dies
Love doesn’t

Parts of me are
Already dead

But love isn’t…
My appendix

Dead and buried
My prostrate and

A disc from my back
Dead and gone too

And parts of my brain
Cut out with the

Dime-size foreign body
That got in there somehow

To cause so much trouble
The twin towers died

And all those lost with them
Like a woman who was

Kind to me when
She didn’t have to be

Gone on one of those
Two planes, but

My love for her isn’t
Five of my siblings and

Our old man and ma
Passed on now for a while

But not the love we shared
When we were honest…

The mother
Of my oldest kids, my

First wife, gone, but the love
She and I shared never

Died, though maybe the
Like did…my first true

Love, too, the love of my
Life, gone now for almost

A decade, but my love for
Her, and hers for me,

Never died even thru
All of our husbands and

Wives and lovers over
The years when we

Were out of touch with
Each other, none

Of that stopped the
Love we both felt

And affirmed whenever
We spoke again like

The week before she
Passed still working

To help troubled kids
Find families, those

Kids still grateful for
The love she showed them

That’s still alive even if
She’s with the ancestors now…

Or other women I’ve lived
With who have passed on

Or lovers gone
Like Joan B or Joe B

Her face so sweet and tough
Voice still admonishing me to

Just be myself and not
Worry what others think

His voice so quiet and
Stuttering in my ear as I

Write this, his image on
My bookshelves with his books

His art on my walls, I only wish
He’d lived long enough

To see it didn’t matter
How famous he did or

Didn’t become, his work
Living on among us

Who love it, exhibited
Often since he passed

Or Tony gone so recently
A young man who went from

Ripping doors off their
Hinges when he was

Upset with his wife and
Kids to the gentlest giant

Of many I’ve known
His ex-skinhead rages

Transformed as he turned
The pages of his life from

Anger to compassion
His punk Buddhist

Practice enabling him
To live with the rare

Brain disease that
Took his physical

Presence from us
But not the love we

Who knew him shared…
I think of him every day

As I do a lot who live
Now only in our hearts

Lots of shit dies, like

Almost everything that was
New when I was a boy

Including the people…
If you live long enough

So much passes it feels
Like another world…

But it’s the same one
Where love never dies…


Swing Theory is published by Hanging Loose Press. You can check them out here:



Portrait of Ted Berrigan by Joe Brainard hanging on a wall in Michael Lally’s home.


Michael Lally

One Comment

  1. Thanks for putting this up—great to have the text on the screen along with the voice.

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