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Wrenched and Bottom Dead Center Review: Double Dose of Ed Milich (Rider’s Library)

Wrenched and Bottom Dead Center a Double dose of Ed Milich

We recently gave you a taste of Ed Milich’s writing with our review of his 2011 book Fueled.

Fueled is actually Milich’s second book. Herein we give you a glimpse into his other two tomes in a double-dose of Milich’s edgy and at times personal insights.

Wrenched Man and Machine – Poems by Ed Milich was his first book, published in 2009. If you are not particularly into poetry of any kind, even if it is about motorcycles and the people who ride them, don’t be put off by the title.

Ed Milich Author of Wrenched
Photo courtesy of BMW of Santa Rosa

Milich doesn’t proffer verse in classic iambic pentameter the will sing-song you to sleep. On the contrary. Milich’s verse is to poetry as a die grinder is to manicures.

For example:


What has been on my garage floor?

Ducati engines

and the black blood they spill

as they fall from a frame

when the swingarm pivot holes are not plugged.

Carburetor cleaner

made from noxious chemicals

with unpronounceable appellations

with names much like

Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones.

Acid from batteries

that drips from overflow tubes

onto the smooth ground

leaving a rounded stain

of white oxide residue.

The stains of countless rebuilds, projects, and teardowns remain

on the smooth concrete.

Ed Milich wrenched author reviewIt is his observations on everyday occurrences, sights and sounds that translate into the relatable, readable passages in Wrenched.

From the concrete floor of his shop where untold hours of sweaty, greasy labor are invested in saving Moto Guzzis, Ducatis, Bimotas, Cagivas and others from slow, corrosive death to the heat of combat on the curves of the Willow Springs race track and the high banks Daytona, Milich spins out his brief missives that change subjects as quick as the speed shifting after the green flag waves.

In Bottom Dead Center, Milich takes his craft to a more personal level. With images of Milich and some of his family, as well scenes from his creative milieu—motorcycle shops—Bottom Dead Center takes the reader closer to Milich’s core than ever.  He doesn’t get sappy, mind you, he just gives the reader more personal insight.

He takes the reader along on his national championship run in 2006 in the Vintage Superbike Middleweight class, running the table with a long string of wins that started at Daytona and finished with an emotional victory at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

From the absorbing blow-by-blow, turn-by-turn account of racing in that epic season to his passion for classic pinball machines and thrash metal music, Milich covers more ground than ever in Bottom Dead Center.

Perhaps the cover comment by Melissa Holbrook Pierson, author of The Perfect Vehicle What it is about Motorcycles, (reviewed here: ) says it best about all three of Milich’s books:

“There are two ways to get poetry from motorcycles: Ride them, or do what Ed Milich does. In your hands is a book of ferocious lines that cut all the way to the warm, beating heart of the machine.”

Book Data

  • Title: Wrenched Man and Machine—Poems by Ed Milich
  • Author: Ed Milich   See also:
  • Published: 2009, paperback. 142 pages. 20 B/W images.
  • Publisher: Morris Publishing, 3212 E. Hwy 30, Kearney, NE 68847 USA
  • ISBN: 978-0-9822832-0-2

Book Data

  • Title: Bottom Dead Center
  • Author: Ed Milich   See also:
  • Published: 2014, paperback. 92 pages. 17 B/W images.
  • Publisher: Morris Publishing, 3212 E. Hwy 30, Kearney, NE 68847 USA
  • ISBN: 978-0-9822832-2-6

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