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Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow
     

Red Sauce, Whiskey and Snow

by Klienzahler, August Kleinzahler
 

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Cahners\\Publishers_Weekly
Kleinzahler's first major collection since Earthquake Weather (1989), which was nominated for an NBCC Award, is his first volume published by a trade press. One of the few contemporary poets clearly influenced by both the Ojectivist tradition and the more formal, academic poets, he combines a meticulous eye ("Peaches redden,/ and at day's end glow as if lit from within/ the way bronze does") with surrealistic perception (objects moved to make room "For the big white cloud spiring across the river"). Short lines and frequent stanza breaks make for quick movement through most of the poems, where all five senses are engaged by edgy rhythms and kinetic images: "his pretty nerves bloom,/ a school of minnows just under the skin." In the estimable "San Francisco/New York," the poet wanders San Francisco after a friend's departure, drawing readers into a used bookshop to smell the dried-out glue of each volume, and, outside, to see as if for the first time gabled roofs, the streetcar, the hills. Addicted to city life, Kleinzahler brings us the homeless, the alcoholic, the distraught. Although there are also enough failed poems-some mere exercises-to form a chapbook, the finest poems reward both first readings and later, closer attention.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kleinzahler's first major collection since Earthquake Weather (1989), which was nominated for an NBCC Award, is his first volume published by a trade press. One of the few contemporary poets clearly influenced by both the Ojectivist tradition and the more formal, academic poets, he combines a meticulous eye (``Peaches redden,/ and at day's end glow as if lit from within/ the way bronze does'') with surrealistic perception (objects moved to make room ``For the big white cloud spiring across the river''). Short lines and frequent stanza breaks make for quick movement through most of the poems, where all five senses are engaged by edgy rhythms and kinetic images: ``his pretty nerves bloom,/ a school of minnows just under the skin.'' In the estimable ``San Francisco/New York,'' the poet wanders San Francisco after a friend's departure, drawing readers into a used bookshop to smell the dried-out glue of each volume, and, outside, to see as if for the first time gabled roofs, the streetcar, the hills. Addicted to city life, Kleinzahler brings us the homeless, the alcoholic, the distraught. Although there are also enough failed poems-some mere exercises-to form a chapbook, the finest poems reward both first readings and later, closer attention. (Apr.)
Library Journal
In this high-voltage, highly readable new book of poems, Kleinzahler evokes two distinct landscapes, each with its own diction and imagery. The first is a jagged urban space inhabited by the likes of Jimmy the Lush, a place where "tributaries of Amaretto and Schlitz" meander through the broken glass, a world where "Eddie took a shiv in his gut" and old people fall apart "like vintage Studebakers." But set against this tragic cityscape of "bummy" smells and anthrax is an utterly beautiful, "insect-simple" world of nature where "the pattern discloses itself" in the form of damselflies and the "ganglia of dark branches"-a space always available "if you just slowed down." Verbally inventive, Kleinzahler approaches the level of "language poetry," as in this line on Operation Desert Storm: "Assault plasma star launch." Like all good poets, he makes what is "dormant" in the reader become "electric." Highly recommended.-Daniel L. Guillory, Millikin Univ., Decatur, Ill.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374289249
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
04/01/1995
Edition description:
1st ed
Pages:
93
Product dimensions:
5.74(w) x 8.56(h) x 0.58(d)

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