For The Living Dead- New and Selected Poems by Eric Greinke

ftld by grreinkePaperback: 160 pages
Publisher: Presa Press (January 1, 2013)
ISBN-10: 0988827921
ISBN-13: 978-0988827929
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 Review by: g emil reutter
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I enjoy reading selected poetry collections such as Eric Greinke’s, From The Living Dead. Collections such as this enable the reader to observe the development of the poet over time. This collection contains poems written from 1969 to 2012.  As the poet ages he becomes more reflective as in this poem about his father written in 2012.
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My Father’s Job
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My father worked at a car factory, but
When I was a little boy I thought that it
Was a prison, because of the impression
I got one morning when I went along to
Drop him off for the day-shift outside a big fence
That surrounded a huge brick building that had
No windows except a row of tiny ones
Way up by the roofline, many stories up.
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My father went in through a small red door.
When he opened the door, loud noise busted out.
A quick glance revealed it as a prison:
All the walls & floors were a dull gray color
All the men wore uniform gray coveralls.
An odor of oil escaped into the air
Along with the steady banging of big dies.
All the workers seemed to shuffle their feet.
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We took him to that gray place every day.
As I grew older, I understood that it
Was just where he worked, making car bodies,
But I still couldn’t shake the feeling that he
Wanted to get out, but couldn’t
Once, he quit to play piano in a bar.
He was happy for a while, but
Then my mother wanted more money so
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He went back inside, this time for life.
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The title poem, From The Living Dead, delights the reader with Grienke’s imagery in the first three stanzas.
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I rise with an effort
I feel the dead
They vibrate
In my foggy heart
Like icebergs colliding
In oceans of blood
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I am alone
I sit by my window
I become a stone
Like stagnant water
Or steady Drumming
I was once a prisoner too
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I hear again
The familiar beat
Inside my heart
The divine rhythm
Of the countless dead
The rainstorms of light
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Greinke brings  us on a journey through his life beginning with a short poem , Fur Found Rhythm, written in 1969 to the beautifully sad, Flood Tide, written in 2012.  Like his contemporaries, Winans, Luschei and Lifshin he continues on his journey in poetry.  Greinke like the others writes not for fame or awards but because he is a poet, it is what he does and we are better for it.
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g emil reutter-g emil reutter lives and writes in the Fox Chase neighborhood of Philadelphia, Pa.
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