A Murder of Crows

James H. Duncan reviews A Murder of Crows on April 1, 2015
"Yes, Thompson can write a good poem about the rough-and-tumble lifestyle on the road or that outcast troubadour who doesn’t want to end up as the “local hero” poet. These are entertaining indeed and he can work the coffee- and whiskey-stained memories into a fine set of stanzas, but it’s when he explores a specific person, place, or theme beyond the poet that Thompson’s work separates itself from the rest of the jackal pack.
The first poem in the collection that really sank in the claws was the Twin Peaks-inspired “Fire Walk With Me,” exploring the “would-be heroes” chasing after “an abhorrent devil” in the deeps dark woods of humanity’s night. Follow that with “Memphis,” a poem dedicated to (and seemingly told by) the late great Jeff Buckley, telling us “don’t let the ghosts I’ve exorcised / become sad laments.” What a hell of a request from beyond the grave. These standout poems light up the landscape of this collection like cities on the road-trip horizon, and there’s something wonderful that happens when Thompson takes the lines about loners and drifters and hard-asses and applies them to something greater than just another poet rambling around, to some social or cultural trope, weaving a greater mythos into the day-to-day—these are the poems that truly shine and stand out best in this collection.
And it’s a damn fine collection of force and grit, gorgeously packaged inside and out by Hell Press. Throughout the book we meet all sorts of down-and-out characters, their stories told in Thompson’s acerbic and darkling voice, from Madame Lucy, the last of the live nude girls performing just down the street from Port Authority, to the legendary Sal and Cody, roaring through the roads of America, reminding us that “just like the highway / nothing goes on forever.”

This shambolic collection doesn’t shift its tone often, but instead shows you a landscape shaded in Thompson’s evening hue, taking the reader on a edgy ride where things won’t likely go as planned. But that’s always been the plan in life, whether we’ve liked it or not, hasn’t it? Indeed. I highly recommend these poems." - James H Duncan, founder and managing editor, Hobo Camp Review, and author, The Cards We Keep and Dancing With the Devil in the Middle of the Road 

"Reading Michael Thompson is a slow slide across very fine pavement, or an emery board made from gravel. The better part of the reader is left invigorated and brand new. Other parts, though, are rubbed damn near bloody. Thompson reigns over his words as if he invented the language, and we're all better for it." -Tommy Gaffney, author, Whiskey Days  and Three Beers From Oblivion



"Michael has a unique voice and razor sharp wit that transcends poetry conventions and lobotomizes philistines. This book is a testament to his brand of verse and then some." -Brian Fugett, editor, Zygote in my Coffee




"In A Murder of Crows, Michael N. Thompson's poetry takes an insidious turn. Once known to me as the 'Bard of the Disaffected,' Thompson has honed his poetic powers to enchant me into wanting to become one of the 'beautiful losers' that propagate his work. From my safe house in the middle of my safe state I want to hitchhike to the nearest train station and ride the rails with Thompson while he catalogs America's misfits with an equal balance of scandal and grace. Hell, I'll even buy the tickets." -Suzanne Burns, author, The Paris Poems and Misfits and Other Heroes




This Hollow Pierces

Michael C. Rogers, author of Dead Angels Bleed reviews This Hollow Pierces on April 21, 2010.


"A Touch of Madness...
More polished and somewhat less venomous than its predecessor, Dancing Inside the Mouth of Madness - This Hollow Pierces still packs a set of teeth. Thompson's sophomore effort doesn't disappoint. He tears open his heart for the world to see, allowing you into his world, giving the reader a strong sense of who the man is inside these poems.

The Ninth of March is a standout cut, taking me back in time to my own beer-soaked gin-mill days. I knew and identified with Thompson's sense of disgust for what was around him from the vantage point of a bar stool.

This is the essence and entity of a man who's lived a colorful, yet tortured existence. The man has seen life from many different perspectives, and he distills them down into a language everyone can understand and relate to in his poems.

This Hollow Pierces shows us the poet of Dancing Inside the Mouth of Madness coming into his own; progressing - articulating his emotions and channeling his feelings into well crafted verse."


"Michael Thompson communes with angels on the streets of a downtrodden America.  There is longing in these poems that borders on regret, though as soon as Thompson, the bard of the faceless crowds, shows you an angel treading "around the scars and the scabs" he allows one flower, a stargazer lily, to rejuvenate "this former cynical heart."  These poems ring with the optimism of love, survival, and the sound of spare change."  - Suzanne Burns, author, The Flesh Procession and Misfits And Other Heroes




These poems will shake you, kick you from your own numbness and repressed problems.  They will force you to slam dance with your own reflection."  - Warren Dean Fulton, Publisher, Pooka Press




Your use of imagery and emotion is strikingly rich, I can only stand in envy.  You are the king of observational poetry." - Amy Pelletier, author, Dancing With Madness




Your intensity is splendid.  Michael, this work is brilliant.  I'm a definite fan." - Maria DellaPorta, author, The Sum of Something Meaningful




Dancing Inside the Mouth of Madness

"This poetry nails you to a cross, then when you least expect it, thrusts a spear into your gut and leaves you to bleed, emotionally, from the pain innocents in this world have endured.  Very powerful work." - Lisa Powell, author of The Diary of Lisa Lansing.



"There are ways that some poets have of stringing words together no matter how painful a past those words represent, that makes one feel like they are signing when they are reading the words.  I felt like I was singing when reading this and that is a sign of a true tale." - Gray Anderson, author, Mind Sleep and Maid For Seduction.



Michael Thompson is a soulful poet who brings the mind, body and spirit connection to his craft.  Best of all the reader closes the book better for it and maybe a bit corrupt.  if you look high on heaven's  hill you'll see this up and coming poet writing all his lessons learned in hopes of knocking at those gates and maybe getting in.  Beth Jannery, author, Simple Grace: Living a Meaningful Life and Shut The Hell Up! 101 Reasons to Appreciate Your Life.