The Old Man
Who Swam Away
and Left Only
His Wet Feet
8 x 8 inches
This book brings together two previously released
chapbooks of Gene Frumkins, A Lovers Quarrel with America
and Dostoevsky & Other Nature Poems, along with new poems
from the last decadethirty years of writing. Collected here is
the work built of longer lines and open field, and as always his signature
stoic humor. These poems have emanated from nature and meant to
be a tribute to nature: the nature of the four elements, human nature,
art and artists as facts of nature, and the nature of language itself.
Described as an unlineal descendent of Dostoevsky, Frumkins
philosophical equations and remarkable language describe hopeful endurance
within the modern condition, life strategies where green disengages
/ from truth / and emerges armed with wily music.
Saying is, indeed, believing.
Gene Frumkin brilliantly and genuinely conceives
work that invites repeated reading and deepens with each new exposure.
This collection spans three decades of published work. First appearing
in 1972, DOSTOEVSKY & OTHER NATURE POEMS finds economy in the long
line; blends humor with a pensive lyricism, and philosophy with clarifying
imagery. Introduced in 1985, A LOVERS QUARREL WITH AMERICA progesees
toward greater realism and a sharpening focus while blurring the lines
between politics, narrative, and lyric. The new poems are intimate,
humorous, wistful, and decidedly personla while engaging with the philosophical
preoccupation present throughout Frumkins work: I look
like myself / only when somebody quotes me. To read Gene Frumkin
is to remnew faith in the power of language to crystallize experience
in a transformative way. This work is suprememly satisfying, integrating
genius and humility in writing and living.
Molested by the very compensations of his
own existence, Gene Frumkin offers us, planetary mollusk that he is,
the awesome panorama of an oceanic mind. America has a super abundance
of pseudo-poets disturbing the waters; this is one of the true poets
of our time, sounding the depths.
Born in New York City, Gene Frumkin has spent
by far the majority of his life in the West, first in Los Angeles and
since 1966 in Albuquerque. After matriculating at UCLA, he became a
journalist for 14 years before moving to New Mexico to take a position
at the University of New Mexico. He is now Professor Emeritus of English
at that institution. Frumkin has published 11 books of poems, including
three chapbooks. Frumkin has served as an editor of Coastlines Literary
Magazine, The California Quarterly, The San Marcos Review, The Blue
Mesa Review, New Mexico Quarterly, and The Indian Rio Grande: Recent
Poems from 3 Cultures (anthology). He has accepted numerous literary
awards that were never offered to him.