the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night


Spring 2007



Soluble Fish and the Emu of Wonder: The Poetry of Matthew Rohrer

Matthew Rohrer Rise Up

Matthew Rohrer's Rise Up

Wave Books, April 2007, Paper; 80 pages; $14
ISBN #9781933517186
Cloth; 80 pages; $30
ISBN #9781933517193

by Diana Manister

Surrealism, when it is thought of at all, is often regarded as a fringe movement invented by a few wigged-out French artists in 1920s Paris that served as the inspiration for some of modernism's more bizarre creations: Salvador Dali's melting pocket-watches and prose poems written in hypnotic trances. But no single movement of recent times has had such a transformative effect on all the arts;  Surrealism is the driving force of modernism, and helped to put America on the international cultural map for the first time in history.   Read Review


One Morning after the Next: The Poetry of Grief and Ascension
Elizabeth Harrington's Earth's Milk

Elizabeth Harrington Earth's Milk

Elizabeth Harrington's Earth's Milk

Main Street Rag Publishing, 2007; 40 pages; $7
ISBN 1-59948-059-X

by Brant Lyon

In the "fake living room" of Fitzgerald's Funeral Home the director with "unctuous hands" and his face "a cold plate" loses his composure as the bereaved giddily toss keepsakes into the casket.  The boys of summer "are like cars," the surviving daughter of the deceased, reflecting on her sexual coming-of-age in adolescence, remembers her step-father once telling her: "easy to rev up, harder to cool down. " She muses on how her mother has conditioned her to ignore her grief, snap out of her depressive moods: "I taught myself to please her / by learning subtraction.  / I took out sound wherever I found it, / starting with my noisy heart."   Read Review

Film:  Venus in Blue Jeans

Peter O'Toole and Jodie Whittaker in Venus

Peter O'Toole and Jodie Whittaker
in Venus

Cast: Peter O'Toole, Leslie Phillips, Jodie Whittaker, Richard Griffiths, Vanessa Redgrave
Direction: Roger Michell
Running Time: 95 minutes

by Martin Mitchell

Venus, as we all know, was supposed to be the movie for which its star, Peter O'Toole, would finally acquire the Oscar he's gone without through a long and distinguished career.   Read Review


Pandemonium: A Review

Barry Wallenstein's PandemoniumBarry Wallenstein's Pandemonium
Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1194
Personnel: Barry Wallenstein, voice
John Hicks, piano
Curtis Lundy, bass
Vincent Chancey, French Horn
Daniel Carter, sax & trumpet
Serge Pesce, guitar accommodee

by Vernon Frazer

Barry Wallenstein's jazz poetry blends the smoky noir of the jazz mystique with the contemporary advances of the music's vanguard. His voice exudes the hipster's savvy sensibility, its cockiness and its angst, and a warmth as cozy as the night's embrace. Its breathy top and gritty bottom resonate like the last voice you hear at closing time in the club, on the nearly empty street or wherever the after hours take you. His musical accompaniment blends bop-rooted structures with free form textures that synthesize swing and intimacy.   Read Review