Gene Grabiner's chapbook is simply wonderful: "simply," because he pares the poems to their cores, and "wonderful," because, reading it, we see all the beauty he shows us. His choice of words is superb. In "Tie-Offs," we read this brilliantly assonant phrase: "creosote-soaked pole." And consider this line: "A fresh wet monarch lights on the lavender, flits to buddleia.” When words are this good, we need to read them over and over. One poem, "Water," falls down the page, drop by drop. Grabiner has an affinity for the great Chinese poets who loved subtlety, wit, and near-silence. Don't miss these splendid poems!
—Kelly Cherry, author of The Life and Death of Poetry: Poems
Gene Grabiner's compact poems celebrate the real, the unadorned, in their absolute integrity.Whether he writes of the human or non-human world, his words bite through surfaces into truths at the core, discovering sources, connections, surprises, and joys in the everyday.He is poet of what is—in his hands, capacious as the horizon.
—Ann Goldsmith, author of The Spaces Between Us
Flashes of bones and glass, bird wings and grave stones, a hyena’s “call[s] for her sisters” steer Grabiner’s mortal pattern-wheel. His images wrestle, keen and moody, as in “Truro” where the sea’s “steel-olive” roiling is cut by a “slash of violet/at the horizon.” Other poems counterpoint the vast by praising human-made things at close range, as in “Tie-Offs” in which a powerline worker’s meticulous labor, something familiar and tangible, also feels immortal.
—Judith Vollmer, author of The Water Books
From the book:
Gene Grabiner’s poems have appeared in various journals including: The Comstock Review, Snake Nation Review, Steel Bellow, Sojourners, Slant, Connecticut River Review, Passager, Naugatuck River Review, Jewish Currents, Rosebud, Blue Collar Review, Ilya’s Honey, and J Journal. He won third place in the 2014 Connecticut Poetry Society competition, was a semi-finalist in the 2013 Passager competition, and a runner-up in the 2012 William Stafford Award Competition. He was also a semi-finalist in the 2002 “Discover”/The Nation poetry competition. Grabiner is a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus, and lives in Buffalo New York. He travels for readings.