Poets Wear Prada is a poetry publishing house with excellent poets and affordable books with beautiful covers. Have you had your poetry today?--Meredith Sue Willis, Books for Readers * * * Stylistically, these beautifully designed and produced chapbooks bear their own distinctive signature.--Linda Lerner, SMALL PRESS REVIEW

Friday, March 5, 2010

SPR Nov/Dec 2007 - George Held Reviews 2 from PWP


Dances With Tears
By Efrayim Levenson
2007; 10 pp; $6.25.
Poets Wear Prada,533 Bloomfield Street,
Hoboken, N.J. 07030.

Found in a Cord
By Alex O. Bleecker
2007; 10 pp; $6.25.
Poets Wear Prada Press
(see adress above).

George Held

Excerpt reprinted from

Small Press Review

Nov - Dec 2007
Vol. 39 Nos. 11 - 12
Issues 418 - 419

Pages 1 & 6
...The poet and editor Roxanne Hoffman has started to publish chapbooks and, in the case of these two early examples, chaplets - 10-page collections of poems. For both Levenson and Bleecker these chaplets mark their debuts. Influenced by Ferlinghetti and Ginsberg, Frank Zappa and Chabad Chasidism, Levenson writes lyrics primarily about love and "G-d." For instance, in "Electrocuted Tears" he writes, "If we wash our hands/and breathe our kepittel/ our love becomes an answered prayer." For his non-Jewish readers he provides a glossary, so one learns that kepittel means "psalm." His poems themselves are heartfelt psalms.

About 25 years younger than Levenson, Bleecker writes more formal lyrics, all in unrhymed tercets (except for two quatrains) that frequently run over from one to the next. As a preface Found in a Cord quotes the American Heritage Dictionary definition for "cord," which has eight meanings, but "cord" appears only once in these eight poems,within the title "Distorted Precordia." The precordium is the body surface overlying the heart and stomach, but what a twisted plural of it has to do with this lovely poem about picking orchids with the speaker's grandmother eludes me. Among the noteworthy lines in this collection are "It's been lucky / breathing with you," "I touch myself daily / / with the beauty of a coincidence," and "Take a boat/ and exchange it for a grain of sand." These chaplets make appealing introductions to these poets.

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