The early poems of an American master
"I have loved the air outside Shop-Rite Liquor
on summer evenings
better than the Marin hills at dusk
lavender and gold
stretching miles to the sea.
At the junction, up from the synagogue
a weeknight, necessarily
and with my father--
a sale on German beer.
Air full of living dust:
bus exhaust, air-borne grains of pizza crust
among streetlights and unsuccessful neon."
August Kleinzahler's first collections won him a cult following but have long been out of print and hard to find. Here Kleinzahler--acclaimed byThe Times(London) for the "vision and confident skill to make American poetry new"--has selected the best of the poems collected inStorm over Hackensack(1985) andEarthquake Weather(1989) and added an autobiographical Preface.
August Kleinzahler's most recent collections areGreen Sees Things in Waves (FSG, 1998) andRed Sauce,Whiskey and Snow (FSG, 1995). He lives in San Francisco, where he writes a music column for The San Diego Weekly Reader.
“[Kleinzahler's] world is one of inundating multiplicity, noise, hubbub, traffic, crowds--a federation of intense and disparate states unified in a single sensibility. . . . Kleinzahler's concern with getting it exactly right is also Pound's, and his best successes here are just as crisp and pungent as Pound's most startling images.” —DeSales Harrison, Boston Book Review
“Kleinzahler's verse line is always precise, concrete, intelligent, and rare--that quality of 'chiseled' verse memorable in Basil Bunting's and Erza Pound's work. A loner, a genius.” —Allen Ginsberg
“August Kleinzahler is surely one of the best lyric poets writing today. . . . A typical piece is fleeting, unstable, almost improvisatory, entirely seductive in its aimlessness.” —Stephen Knight, Times Literary Supplement
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