Lara Mimosa Montes with Gerard Malanga

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Lara Mimosa Montes and Gerard Malanga. Lara Mimosa Montes, 2012. Photo © Gerard Malanga. Gerard Malanga and Xena, 2013. Photo © Asako Kitaori/Gerard Malanga Collection.

The first book of Gerard Malanga’s I ever owned was 100 Years Have Passed (Little Caesar, 1978). What initially drew me to it was the stark cover image, a photograph that reminded me of Man Ray’s disquieting photographs of mannequins. Whatever this had to do with poetry, I felt it was my job to find out because even though I didn’t know the first thing about Gerard, the small press life, or Dennis Cooper’s Little Caesar Press, I recognized that this enigmatic little book was authored by someone I needed to know. When Gerard and I finally met a month later, our encounter proved to be just as strange as my finding his book because even though I knew next-to-nothing about him, his days at The Factory, or the fact that he had been born in the Bronx (like me), it was as if I already knew him, he was that familiar to me. The following is a conversation between Gerard and I that follows up on some of the things we’d discussed the weekend we first met in February, 2012: the Bronx, Gerard’s life in the New York poetry scene, Marie Menken. This conversation took place via e-mail over the week of January 7th, 2016 to January 14th, 2016.