Awards & Nominations
Articles & Book Reviews By
Current & Available Books In Print
Articles & Interviews About
Book Ordering Information
Top (l to r): w/ Ronnie Lane (1975); w/ Hugh Fox (2005)
Middle: Poetry Reading(1972); w/ Duane Locke & Ben Tibbs (1976)
Bottom: w/ John Amen (2010); w/ Jared Smith (2006)
American poet Eric Greinke, b. 1948, Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, Vietnam Era. He has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Grand Valley State University, in addition to undergraduate degrees in English and Psychology. Greinke has been active in the American small press since the late sixties. He has worked in the Michigan Poets In The Schools Program, taught Creative Writing at Grand Rapids City School, and was the editor and founder of GVSU’s national literary magazine Amaranthus (currently The Grand Valley Review). Greinke attended poetry workshops during the 70's with Ted Berrigan, Paul Blackburn, Robert Bly, Gregory Corso, Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg, Jerome Rothenberg, Jackson MacLow and Phillip Whalen, among others. As editor and publisher of Pilot Press Books from 1972-1977, he published many of the important poets of that period, including Robert Hayden, John Woods, Ben Tibbs, Herbert Woodward Martin, Thomas Fitzsimmons, Dudley Randall, Albert Drake and others. During the 80's and 90's, he stopped publishing his literary work to devote himself full-time to social work with emotionally and developmentally disabled children and adolescents. His return to poetry was marked by the publication of his Selected Poems 1972-2005. In the past six years, Eric Greinke has addressed the issues of literary politics and poetic freedom through his essays and his poetry. He has been a champion of eclecticism, diversity and tolerance on the too often divided literary scene. His poetic style is wide ranging and has been influenced by French surrealism, the deep image and New York schools. He has done a critically-acclaimed translation of Rimbaud and has been an enthusiastic collaborator with other prominent poets such as Hugh Fox, Harry Smith, Richard Kostelanetz and John Elsberg. Greinke’s poetry, essays, reviews and social criticism have been widely published in literary magazines, newspapers and online in venues such as Home Planet News, Main Street Rag, The New York Quarterly, The Pedestal Magazine and The South Carolina Review. His works have been translated into several languages, including French, Italian, Serbo-Croatian and Japanese. He is married with three adult children.
Eric Greinke's work has appeared or been accepted for publication in the following literary magazines & anthologies to date . For any omissions to this list, our apologies.
Abbey, Abraxas, Air, The Alcaeus Review, Amaranthus, The Ambassador Poetry Project, Atlas Poetica, Backwards City Review, Barbaric Yawp, Bathtub Gin, Beatlick News, Big Scream, Bitterroot, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene, Brown Penny Review, California Quarterly, The Cape Rock Journal, The Cedar Rock Quarterly, Chiron Review, Clark Street Review, Cloven Hoof, Creative Moment, The Delmarva Review, The Detroit Free Press, Display, Drama Garden, Edgz, Emphasis, Essence, Fly By Night, For The Time Being, Free Lance, Free Verse, Ginyu (World Haiku Association, Ban'ya Natsuishi, trans., Saitama, Japan, 2010), The Goodly Co., The Grand Rapids News, The Grand Rapids Sunday Press, The Grand Valley Review, Grand Valley Today, Great Art, Happiness Holding Tank, The Green Door (Belgium), HazMat Review, Home Planet News, The Hurricane Review, Ibbetson Street, Iconoclast, Illogical Muse, Independent Publisher Magazine, King James Version, The Lanthorn, Lazarus, The Mad Poets Review, Main Channel Voices, Main Street Rag, Magazine Six, The Margarine-Maypole Orangoutang Express, Metamorphosis, Midnight, Midwest Book Review, Modern Haiku, Muses Review, Napalm Health Spa Report, Nerve Cowboy, New Dimensions, The New York Quarterly, Once Again, Out Of Sight, Paradox, Paterson Literary Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Pegasus, Poetry Americana, Poetry Now, PoetsWest, Presa, The Roadrunner Haiku Journal, The Root, The Small Press Review, Solo Cafe, The Somerville News, The South Carolina Review, Stone Drum, Tar Wolf Review, Tertulia, The 13th Warrior Review, Under The Banana Tree (League of Laboring Poets), The United Co-Operative, The University of Tampa Review, The Unrorean, Various Artists, Verse Wisconsin, Wavelength, WestWard Quarterly, Wilderness House Literary Review, Wild Goose Poetry Review, The Wild Plum Review, Wild Violet, The Woodsrunner, Words Of Wisdom & X-Peri.
Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry (Maurice Custodio, editor, Peace and Pieces Press, San Francisco, CA,1972), Being '71 (Cor Barendrecht, editor, Being Press, Grand Rapids, MI,1971), Best Of Four (Walter Lockwood, editor, Dyer-Ives, Grand Rapids, MI,1971), For Neruda / For Chile (Walter Lowenfels, editor, Beacon Press, Boston, MA,1975), Inside The Outside: An Anthology Of Avant-Garde American Poets (Roseanne Ritzema, editor, Presa Press, Rockford, MI, 2006), Mantras (Alan Britt, editor, Floating Hair Press, Tampa, FL,1973), Michigan Hot Apples (Gay Rubin, editor, Hot Apples Press, Bloomfield Hills, MI, 1972), Michigan Hot Apples 2 (Gay Rubin, editor, Hot Apples Press, Bloomfield Hills, MI,1973), 10 Michigan Poets (Eric Greinke, editor, Pilot Press Books, Grand Rapids, MI,1972), Midwest Poetry 1972 (Roy Burrows, editor, Burro Books, El Dorado, AK,1972), Themes 2003 (Brigitta Getrich, editor, Creative With Words, Carmel, CA, 2003), The Vagaries Of Invention (Donald Isaacson & Helen Sheridan, editors, Sidewinder Press, Kalamazoo, MI, 1982), Wilderness House Literary Review Volume 1 (Gloria Mindock, editor, ISCS Press, Littleton, MA, 2007), Wilderness House Literary Review Volume 3 (Gloria Mindock, editor, ISCS Press, Littleton, MA, 2009), The 2011 Rhysling Anthology (David Lunde, editor, Science Fiction Poetry Association, Covina, CA, 2011)
- SAND & OTHER POEMS (Metamorphosis Press, 1971. 60 pages, Hardcover, 1000 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- CAGED ANGELS (Pilot Press Books, 1972. 64 pages, Trade Paperback, 1000 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- 10 MICHIGAN POETS (Pilot Press Books, 1972. 154 pages, Trade Paperback, 5000 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- THE LAST BALLET (Pilot Press Books, 1972. 72 pages, ISBN 0-88324-004-1. Trade Paperback, 500 copies, ISBN 0-88324-005-X. Hardcover, 500 copies, Both Out-of-Print.)
- IRON ROSE (Pilot Press Books, 1973. 48 pages, ISBN 0-88324-054-8. Hardcover, 1000 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- MASTERPIECE THEATER (With Brian Adam, Pilot Press Books, 1975. 64 pages, ISBN 0-88324-045-9. Trade Paperback, 500 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- THE BROKEN LOCK Selected Poems 1960-1975 (Pilot Press Books, 1975. 120 pages, ISBN 0-88324-057-2. Hardcover, 1000 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- THE BROKEN LOCK: New & Selected Poems (Pilot Press Books, 1976. 48 pages, ISBN 0-88324-058-0. Trade Paperback, 1000 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- WHOLE SELF / WHOLE WORLD Quality of Life in the 21st Century (Presa Press, 2004. 120 pages, ISBN 0-9740868-3-5. Hardcover. 1000 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- SEA DOG A Coast Guard Memoir (Presa Press, 2004. 180 pages, ISBN 0-9740868-6-.X Hardcover, ISBN 0-9740868-5-1. Trade Paperback.)
- SELECTED POEMS 1972 - 2005 (Presa Press, 2005. 140 pages, ISBN 0-9740868-8-6. Hardcover, ISBN 0-9740868-7-8. Trade Paperback.)
- THE ART OF NATURAL FISHING (Presa Press, 2003. 96 pages, ISBN 0-9740868-0-0. Hardcover. 1000 copies. ISBN 0-9772524-6-.9 Trade Paperback.)
- THE DRUNKEN BOAT & OTHER POEMS FROM THE FRENCH OF ARTHUR RIMBAUD (Presa Press, 2007. 108 pages, ISBN 978-0-9772524-7-3. Bilingual edition.Trade Paperback.)
- WILD STRAWBERRIES (Presa Press, 2008. 96 pages, ISBN 978-0-9800081-1-1.Trade Paperback.)
- TRAVELING MUSIC (Presa Press, 2011. 84 pages, ISBN 978-0-9800081-9-7.Trade Paperback.)
- THE POTENTIAL OF POETRY (Presa Press, 2011. 88 pages, ISBN 978-0-9831251-1-2.Trade Paperback.)
- CONVERSATION PIECES - SELECTED INTERVIEWS (Presa Press, 2012. 100 pages, ISBN 978-0-9831251-6-7.Trade Paperback.)
- EARTH SONGS (Metamorphosis Press. 1970. 40 pages. 500 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- CANARY WINE (Metamorphosis Press. 1970. 28 pages. 500 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- MILK RUN & OTHER POEMS (Metamorphosis Press. 1971. 28 pages. 500 Copies. Out-of-Print.)
- THE POEM AS CHILD - An Essay (World Of Young Writers. 1971. 12 pages. 100 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- ROSES (Joie Editions. 1973. 16 pages. 100 numbered copies. Out-of-Print.)
- ICE (Joie Editions. 1973. 16 pages. 100 numbered copies. Out-of-Print.)
- THE CYMBAL CRASHES - Poem & Notes (Pilot Press Books. 1973. 16 pages. 500 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS (with Ronnie M. Lane. Free Books, Inc. 1974. 28 pages. 500 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- BLACK MILK - Ghazal Sequences (Free Books, Inc. 1974. 16 pages. 500 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- FOR YOU (Pilot Press Books. 1974. 24 pages. 100 numbered copies. Out-of-Print.)
- THE DRUNKEN BOAT & OTHER POEMS FROM THE FRENCH OF ARTHUR RIMBAUD (Free Books Inc., 1975, First Edition, 500 copies, 1976, Second Edition, 500 copies. 36 pages, Third Edition, 500 copies, 48 pages, Presa Press, 2005.)
- SOME TREES - Highly Selected Poems (Privately Printed. 1976. 8 pages. 100 copies. Out-of-Print.)
- MEMORY - Selected Poems 1994 (Privately Printed. 1994. 36 pages. 123 signed & numbered copies. Out-of-Print.)
- A SYMBOLIST MANIFESTO - With An Annotation by Duane Locke (Privately Printed. 2005. 12 pages.)
- UP NORTH (With Harry Smith. Presa Press. 2006. 40 pages.)
- FOR THE LIVING DEAD (Free Books, Inc. 2007. 28 pages.)
- GET IT (With Mark Sonnenfeld. ISBN: 978-0-9798819-0-9. Marymark Press. 2007. 20 pages.)
- KAYAK LESSONS (Free Books, Inc. 2009. 20 pages.)
- CATCHING THE LIGHT - 12 HAIKU SEQUENCES (With John Elsberg, Cervena Barva Press, 2009. 36 pages.)
- BEYOND OUR CONTROL - Two Collaborative Poems (With Hugh Fox. Presa Press. 2012. 28 pages.)
- ALL THIS DARK - 24 TANKA SEQUENCES (With John Elsberg, Cervena Barva Press, 2012. 36 pages.)
Awards & Nominations
Muses Review Best Poem of the Year Award
For The Living Dead (2007)
(U.K.) Purple Patch Awards for Best Individual Collection
For The Living Dead (2009)
Catching The Light - 12 Haiku Sequences (w/ John Elsberg, 2010)
Allen Ginsberg Poetry Award
Shooting Lessons (2012)
The Last Ballet (1972)
Touchstone Distinguished Book Award
Catching The Light - 12 Haiku Sequences (w/ John Elsberg, 2010)
Beyond Our Control (w/ Hugh Fox, 2010)
Pushcart Prize Nominations
Accessibility & Quality in Poetry (2006)
For The Living Dead (2007)
The Poet Laureate: A Small Press Perspective (2007)
Toward A New Eclecticism (2008)
Articles & Book Reviews by
Eric Greinke's Book Reviews for The Grand Rapids Press, 1972-1980
Speech Acts & Happenings by Robert Vas Dias, April 2, 1972, Tuesday Morning Rain Wednesday Morning Love & Thursday Morning by D.E. Stewart, May 14, 1972, A Caterpillar Anthology edited by Clayton Eshleman, May 28, 1972, Shaking the Pumpkin edited by Jerome Rothenberg, June 25, 1972, Smudging by Diane Wakoski, July 23, 1972, Logan Stone by D.M. Thomas, July 30, 1972, The Whispering Wind edited by Terry Allen, August 6, 1972, Mocking-Bird Wish Me Luck by Charles Bukowski, August 20, 1972, The Plentitude We Cry For by Sarah Appleton, September 3, 1972, Poems for Three Decades by Richmond Lattimore, September 17, 1972, Moving by Tom Raworth, October 1, 1972, The Blue Cat by F.D. Reeve, October 15, 1972, The Providings by Carl Thayler, The Revenant by Dan Gerber, Xeme by Rebecca Newth, Accidental Center by Michael Heller, Midwatch by Keith Wilson, October 29, 1972, Helmet of the Wind by Nancy Cardozo, November 26, 1972, A Day Book by Robert Creeley, January 7, 1973, My House by Nikki Glovanni, January 28, 1973, John's Heart by Tom Clark, May 6, 1973, New Work by Joe Brainard, December 16, 1973, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol by Andy Warhol, September 21, 1975, Your Erroneous Zones by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Looking Out for No. 1 by Robert Ringer, March 12, 1978, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television by Jerry Mander, April 9, 1978, Links by Charles Panati, April 16, 1978, Money Madness: the Psychology of Saving, Spending, Loving and Hating Money by Herb Goldberg and Robert T. Lewis, May 14, 1978, The Psychological Society by Martin L. Gross, June 18, 1978, Catastrophe Theory by Alexander Woodcock and Monte Davis, September 17, 1978, Freud: The Psychoanalytic Adventure by Robert Ariel, October 22, 1978, Person/Planet by Theodore Roszak, December 24, 1978, The Tolkien Scrapbook edited by Alida Becker, December 31, 1978, A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins, February 11, 1979, Weather Language by Julius Fast, April 1, 1979, The Man Who Rode His 10-Speed Bicycle to the Moon by Bernard Fischman, April 22, 1979, Giant Steps by Barry Neil Kaufman, May 6, 1979, Pathway to Ecstasy: The Way of the Dream Mandala by Patricia Garfield, June 17, 1979, Jem by Frederik Pohl, July 29, 1979, The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, October 21, 1979
Other Book Reviews
Dream-Work by Kirby Congdon, Spring 1972 in Amaranthus 6, The Yellow Room by Donald Hall, Spring 1972 in Amaranthus 6, Sleepers Joining Hands by Robert Bly, 1973 in Poetry Americana, The Winged Energy of Delight: Selected Translations by Robert Bly, 2005 in Presa, Another Woman Who Looks Like Me by Lyn Lifshin, 2006 in Presa, Hence This Cradle by Helene Sanguinetti, translated from the French by Anne Cefola, 2007 inThe Pedestal Magazine, They by Spiel, 2007 in Presa, Where Images Become Imbued With Time by Jared Smith, 2007 in Bogg, Summer with All its Clothes off by Art Beck, 2008 in Presa, Inrue by Guy Beining, 2008 in Presa, Outside The End by Guy Beining, 2008 in Presa, Living Proof by Mary Bonina, 2008 in Presa, Still Life by Alan Catlin, 2008 in Presa, Among Us by Harris Gardner, 2008 in Presa, Illegal Border Crosser by Michael Graves, 2008 in Presa, Vanishing Points by Gayle Elen Harvey, 2008 in Presa, Blue Ribbons at the County Fair by Ellaraine Lockie, 2008 in Presa,the ristorante godot by Gerald Locklin, 2008 in Presa, Wedlock Sunday and Other Poems by Gerald Locklin, 2008 in Presa, Think by Mark Sonnenfeld, 2008 in Presa, london nov 6-nov 11 by Mark Sonnenfeld, 2008 in Presa, The Alchemy of Words by Edward Francisco, 2008 in Presa,The Republic of Lies by Ed Ochester, 2008 in Presa, Ten Songs From Bulgaria by Linda Nemec Foster, 2008 in Presa, Light At The End - The Jesus Poems by Lyn Lifshin, 2009 in Home Planet News. Something Is Burning In Brooklyn by Linda Lerner, 2009 in Home Planet News,The Singing Inside by Michael Miller, 2011 in Presa, Nothing Divine Here by Gloria Mindock, 2011 in Home Planet News, After Shakespeare by George Held, 2012 in The Pedestal Magazine, A Very Funny Fellow by Donald Lev, 2012 in Presa, This Mobius Strip of Ifs by Mathias B. Freese, 2012 in The Pedestal Magazine, Only the Word Gives Us Being by Edward Francisco, 2012 in Presa, Burden Of Solace by Teneice Durrant Delgado, 2012 in Presa, Cloaca by Arnold Skemer, 2012 in Presa, Love One Another Constantly by Michelle Brooks, 2012 in Presa, The Devil's Sonata by David Chorlton, 2013 in Presa, Drastic Dislocations - New and Selected Poems by Barry Wallenstein, 2013 in Presa.
Gas On Campus”,
Lanthorn, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, 1971.
“The Poem As Child”, World of Young Writers, Hamilton, Ontario, 1971.
“A Response To The Charge That Poetry Is Difficult”, Amaranthus, Volume 1, No. 3. Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, 1971,
“Guaranteed Loans Not Guaranteed”, Lanthorn, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, 1972.
“A Symbolist Manifesto”, Amaranthus, No. 7, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, 1972.
“Teaching Poetry At City School”, Glory, Volume 5, No. 10. Grand Rapids, Michigan, September, 1975.
“Today’s Teen-agers Are More Troubled”, The Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan, June 27, 1999.
“Stop Rationalizing Impact on Environment”, The Rockford Squire, Rockford, Michigan, February 7, 2002.
Introduction to Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau. Presa Press, Rockford, Michigan, 2003.
“Accessibility & Quality In Poetry”, Presa, Number 2, Winter, 2006.
“Mark Sonnenfeld: Enigma”, Presa, Number 3, Summer, 2006. reprinted in Drama Garden (New Creatures Press, Bridgeport, CT, 2006.)
“Explication of 'Life”, Magazine Six, Cycle Press, Key West, FL, 2006.
Introduction to Opening The Door To French Film by Hugh Fox. World Audience, New York, 2007.
“Donald Hall: A Small Press Perspective”, Home Planet News, New York, NY, 2007.
“Toward A New Eclecticism”, Presa, Number 7, Spring, 2008.
“Remember, It's A Movement”, Small Press Review, Paradise, CA, 2008.
“The Potential Of Poetry”, Presa, Number 11/12, Spring, 2010.
“Who Cares?”, Presa, Number 15, Fall, 2011.
Poetry Reading at Grand Rapids Poets Conference. Signing books with Linda Nemec Foster at GR Poets Conference. David Cope and Eric Greinke at GR Poets Conference. (2012)
Eric Greinke's books are available through Presa Press, PO Box 792, Rockford MI 49341 or firstname.lastname@example.org. See Book Ordering Information for further details.
THE POTENTIAL OF POETRY (Presa Press, 2011, 88 pages, ISBN 978-0-9831251-1-2,
Trade Paperback, $11.95 USA)
ThePotential Of Poetry collects seven recent essays by critically-acclaimed poet Eric Greinke that assert the value of poetry in human progress. These essays have been selected and reprinted from pieces that were originally published by a variety of literary magazines such as The Home Planet News, The Small Press Review and The Grand Valley Review. Greinke examines our basic assumptions about poetics, social stratification in the literary world, accessibility and related issues with unique insight and humor. Greinke’s prose, like his poetry, ranges from the philosophical to the satiric. (i.e. In Toward A New Eclecticism, he makes an impassioned case for tolerance, diversity and self criticism. In Explication of Life, he gives us a four page tongue-in-cheek explication of a five-word poem entitled Life.) Thought-provoking yet entertaining, this book is a small package that contains numerous big ideas. Taken together, these essays build a strong case for poetic freedom and eclecticism.
THE DRUNKEN BOAT & Other Poems From The French Of Arthur Rimbaud (Presa Press, 2007, Bi-lingual Edition, 108 pages, ISBN 0-9772524-7-7, Trade Paperback, $15.95 USA.)
Known only to literati since its original small press publication in 1975, & two subsequent small press editions, widely-published poet Eric Greinke's innovative American versions of Rimbaud's best poems have received critical acclaim as the best translations of Rimbaud to date. These versions restore the music & imagery of the originals for English-language readers. Contains 35 of Rimbaud's works accompanied by the original French, including Greinke's hauntingly evocative version of The Drunken Boat, a poem considered by many to be the single best poem ever written in any language. Includes a twelve-page introduction by the poet-translator & an index of first lines. A 'must have' for all students & readers of classic poetry.
Eric Greinke signing books at GVSU. Caricature of Eric Greinke by Debra Adamcik. A Place For Poets photo of Eric Greinke Photo by Adam Bird (June, 2011) initially appeared in The Grand Rapids Press.
(Grand Valley Magazine, 2008) (Oct., 2005).
from TRAVELING MUSIC
IN THE WAKE
the lost rain
returned to the body:
after the big wave
our defenseless cups,
that left us
waterlogged but thirsty,
even as the angry tide
even as the ancient tears
from new eyes
that opened underwater
to see the useless furniture
toward the sucking drain,
with dollar bills
into a foreign currency,
in low vapor,
with dying dreams.
Leaving home at 6 AM,
We drive by the misty wraiths
That drift up the dreamy creek.
They settle in low places
Transforming the rising sun
Into a yellow fuzz-ball.
She multiplies & then blinds
Those who stare at her too long.
The loud crows are debating
& the seagulls are laughing
As we make our way up north,
Up the light peninsula.
The sky is a deep ocean
High above the narrow land
Where clouds float like lonely ghosts
Below the sun, our burning hope.
In the home of the clown there are many rooms.
In the den, a statue of the Buddha palms some
coins of the realm. In the bedroom, oversized
clown-slippers, clown-boots & clown-flip-flops are
scattered on the floor, like beached whales.
There also stands the dressing table, with its
oval mirror ringed with solar bulbs.
The clown looks into the mirror & sees a wise
man with a big red nose.
Books line the library walls, but they are all blank
except one. The music room is full of drums.
The clown beats the drums to celebrate sunrise
& sunset each day. The living room floor is
covered with pillows & balloons of every color.
Calliope music plays continuously. The clown
lives tenderly alone, in his dream home.
The wounded moon
Begins its long descent.
A stable of restless horses
Whinnies in the glad wind.
Uprooted trees roam South
In search of higher ground.
We are penetrated by the water
Of the perfect rainstorm,
Leaking into the blooded ground,
Leaking into the flesh of stone
Where the hot earth’s heart
Pumps mountains skyward,
To break, like waves
On salty desert plains.
I do not know me but
A train of thought
Drags me through
Where silly circus music
Mocks my mortal wounds
While I run in circles
Wearing shoes that don’t fit
An unfortunate immigrant
Buffeted by forces of history
I somehow manage
A foolish laugh
Released from myself detached
My face a funny mask
Through memory caverns
Of the elusive present,
Like a big fish
That struggles upstream
To spawn in times river
One last time.
Like a mad wind
In an ancient storm,
Pierce the peaceful solitude
Where I have come
To take my soft rest
In the depth
Of a winter night’s dream.
In the arid badlands
Past the long watches
Of sleepless nights,
I hold communion
With those lost ghosts,
Even as I pass into
The ever-darkening mist.
CAVE OF THE SPIRITS
I dreamt that the sight of the underground
passages filled our hearts with an unknown light.
Spirits lived in the caverns & in the giant, domed
treasure room at its very center. We laughed as
we entered the chamber to see the profuse silver
leaves & gold apples, & the many metallic
plaques, covered with stars, moons, suns &
snakes. The luminous snakes were crawling up
pyramids, striving for the summits, flying through
the heavens with a trail of fire or lying on the
reflective golden heads of the gods. The cave
was deep, wide & warm. No one wanted to
wake, but some of us couldn’t help it.
I sit by my open window.
A lake breeze brings the outside in.
The white pine tree makes its green stand
Between me & the foggy lake.
It grows taller with each season,
But I do not.
My height has eroded as my age increased.
Even the Rockies are half the size
Which they were a million years ago.
The wind brings the scent of the lake to me.
It blows my unsung melodies
Beyond cold oceans.
from WILD STRAWBERRIES
FOR THE LIVING DEAD
I rise with an effort
I feel the dead
In my foggy heart
Like icebergs colliding
In oceans of blood
I am alone
I sit by my window
I become a stone
Like stagnant water
Or steady drumming
I was once a prisoner too
I hear again
The familiar beat
Inside my heart
The divine rhythm
Of the countless dead
The rainstorms of light
The zombies are revolting
They are crude in their culinary habits
Eating the flesh of the living
Raw with no seasoning
Duly elected representatives
With secret term limits
Sound the alarm
The flesh-eaters are in the house
They are slow but they keep on coming
They are mesmerized by fireworks
They like to run amok
When they aren’t milling aimlessly
Zombies have no sex lives
They share the despair of the wolfman
Drunk on power under the full moon
Soaked in gasoline waiting for a light
Enflamed by love & hate
Counting down to the final insult
A cipher falls dead in the snow
From a bus of discontinued androids
Last year’s models obsolete versions
Of absolute ideals polished
To insane shines that reflect
The light that cannot be silenced
Jolly gunshots wound our pride
Armies of pleasure reap
Rewards of perfect cartoon murders
Buddhas smithereened by friendly fire
Floating in rivers of polite bodies
Joyfully waving their black flags
They are the human furniture
They are the living dishrags
They are the constant reminders
They are the ruined fortresses
Engorged on cloned flesh
Fitted with artificial hearts
In the post-apocalyptic world
The zombies are loosely organized
With no zombie leader
They wander in random abandon
Trying to play various musical instruments
But their rhythm is shot
A small group of human survivors
Still comb their hair & wear make-up
Drooling & shuffling their feet
The zombies are mystified
By the smallest most subtle stimuli
But their haunted bony faces never smile
In the land of the dead
If a zombie bites you
You become a zombie too
You become a soldier in the zombie army
Sharing a goal with no sense of purpose
With an inner drive to obey
The red bird still sings
In the green earth tree
In the airtight shopping mall
In the fenced-off arena
In shadows of tall buildings
In shacks of toothpicks
Robots built by zombies
Then put in charge
The doors are all locked
Impervious to your meat cleavers
Oblivious to your howls of pain
Ungrateful for your sacrifices
We navigate by dead reckoning
Our options are greatly reduced
We search in vain for a way out
Disguised by decadent cosmetics
The sentries at the gate are drunk
When the invasion comes they will die
What can we do
What do we know
We who are barely human
We who have broken the 7th seal
We who have left the gate open
We who have stolen the Golden Fleece
Now the ghosts swallow us
We sullenly celebrate their loss
Our eyes opened wide as greed
Our diamonds soaked in blood
The coldest heads prevail
To organize the slaughter
Where have we been
What have we done
We mounted the final burial mound
We heard again the ancient last rites
We cloned sheep by the herd
We unleashed the living dead
The robots are in formation
Speaking in unison
They all have the same face
They bow & scrape
Without relish or anguish
Animated by artificial energy
Their movements are spooky
Unaware of planned obsolescence
Or constant surveillance
They make good household servants
They make good food service workers
They don’t mind piece-work
Efficient & cost effective
Prison guards, they
Know no fear
They don’t need names
They don’t have dreams
They don’t throw temper tantrums
They’re not ticklish
They don’t itch much
They never need vacations
They don’t get pregnant
They don’t get drunk
They don’t smoke
They don’t eat or shit
They know not art
They hardly ever fart
A robot may be decommissioned
When a better model is developed
Many of the latest prototypes
They utilize virtual fibers
To simulate the naturally organic
The severed head of Orpheus screams
Among the ashes of ancestors
Among the names carved into stone
In secret caves & hidden places
In tedious epics of doomed voyages
To the edge of the world
Organic life is prone to rot
Wooden puppets become brittle
Formaldehyde replaces blood
When the machine rules
Over the maker of machines
Which ones are the tools
Ghost lost before the body
Toy soldier left out in the rain
Hollow & impervious to pain
The pounding of robot feet
Grows louder by the parameter
Drowning out the earths heart
I feel the spirits of the dead
They explode like seedpods
A thousand downy spheres
Doors that won’t stay closed
Locks meant to be broken
Dandelions born in the wind
Beats of light drummed by spirits
Into the pulsating heart of sound
Into the unsanctified dirt
Out to the edges of space
Through the wounded waters
Beyond the toxic pain of time
I hear the call of light
Through the mechanical darkness
Through the marching shadows
Through the neutral rocks
The stale bread that feeds
The dreams of the anemic world
The night is white.
The moon, a cosmic smile.
Big wind frightens a fawn.
A branch falls, an alarm.
For awhile, I remember
Pictures across the river,
A life boat in the snow,
Radio squawking at the stars.
Now images are gone.
Mind empty, I’m alone.
Right here, by the smoke
Of the glowing embers,
Camping on the edge
Of the open sky.
Light emanates from my coat
My coat that contains
A shining stream
My coat of fool’s gold
Wiser than the stars
Singing in its pockets
Imprisoned by the fragrance
Of the rosy clouds
Like the dark heart
Hidden in a bright cave
Hidden in infinity
So far out in the open
That little fish
Swim through its fabric
1: SKIN CANALS
Snakes fly toward the sun
Elements form a grammar
Spherical bodies rotate in space
Hollow noise of surf is heard
A game of hide & seek began
Round stones rose from sand
A stranger ran, hammer in hand
Against the mountains of the sun
A connection between snakes & men
A legend in the tiny islands
2: AFTER THE ROBBERY
Searchers return, bereft
Armed in suits of platinum
Even if the coffins were illusions
War broke out among the ruins
A crocodile lost its way
East or west to a fixed position
The stranger came again to play
Available in this space age
Refugees, constricted, extricate
In inexplicable picturesque epics
3: MAD MOUNTAINS
Solid stone broke the diamond saw
An iridescent surface had been formed
Departure gyrated a gentle beat
Teenagers brought the fresh roots
Without warning, there’s the ruins
You find no steps, nor stairs
Consorted shapes were formed
Four balls dangled like musical notes
Gas sends out a beam of light
Sure to appear as simple ornamentation
PARADOX OF INTERSECTIONS
Every other busy intersection
Reveals a single dusty shoe
Or a flattened single glove
Their mates are gone
Though little movies come along
Flashing images of a conjured past
Later the shoes run away
& the gloves wave goodbye
Until the inevitable intersection passes
Littered with lost kisses & near misses
from THE DRUNKEN BOAT & Other Poems From The French Of Arthur Rimbaud
THE DRUNKEN BOAT
As I flew down the raving river,
Free at last of the boatman's hands
That nailed themselves to my mast,
That forced me into Indian waters,
I did not miss the stinking crew -
Those pawns of English grain & cotton -
They ran along behind me now,
& the river let me freely flow.
In the roar & whipping of the tide,
I, through that snow, like a child's mind
Rode! & free floating driftwood
Has not known the triumph I have known.
Tempests blessed my mornings on the sea;
I danced on waves as light as foam;
Giant rollers flashed eternal souls,
& at night, I did not miss the lantern's eyes.
As sour apples are sweet to boys,
The green sea penetrated all my seams,
& wine & vomit washed away,
Along with tiller & chains.
Since then I've been bathing in the poem
Of the star-encrusted milky sea,
Drinking in the azure greens, where, pale
& dreaming, a pensive corpse sometimes drifts by;
& where, abruptly blue, delirious & languid
In the burning day, the rhythms of the sun,
Stronger than alcohol, more vast than song,
Churn in the beaming reds of love!
I've known the skies of light, & waterspouts & waves;
I've known the dark before the rising wings of day;
& sometimes in the twilight I have seen
What other men have only dreamed they've seen!
I've seen the sun descend, strange with mystic signs,
Flashing violet arms like an actor
In an antique tragedy,
Tonal waters escaping in simmering mists.
I've seen green nights & frozen scenes,
Kisses melted on the eyelids of the sea,
Ancient memories bleeding in a stream
Of golden mornings & blue, florescent songs!
I've endured for years the beating surfs,
Mad as crazy cattle leaping for the reefs;
I do not think that Mary's luminous feet
Could still the muzzle of the growling sea!
I've fondled lovely peninsulas,
Mixing flowers with human skin & panther eyes!
Rainbows stretched like endless bridal chains
Beneath the surface of the crowded waves.
I've seen enormous nets, & marshes
Where giants rot amid the reeds;
The sudden splash of white-caps in a calm,
& towering canyons of distant mist.
Glaciers, silver suns, flaming skies, pearl depths!
Hideous wrecks beneath dusty gulfs,
Where a giant parasitic serpent falls
From a twisted tree, reeking black perfume!
I'll reveal these visions to the children!
These blue surfaces, golden fishes, singing fishes!
The flowering foam has blessed my ride,
& dauntless winds have let me fly!
Sometimes, martyred & weary of zones,
The sea would roll me on her gentle breasts,
& lift me to her shadowed, yellow knee,
& I would sleep upon her lap, then, womanly.
I've sailed the isles, my decks awash
With blood & waste of pale-eyed gulls,
& drifting past my fragile eyes
The sleeping moonbeams fell behind.
I've floated lost amid the cove's hair,
Thrown aloft by storms to where
There are no birds; I could not save the battleships,
My body drunk & bloated there.
Freely fuming, mounted by a purple mist,
I've pierced the deep red wall of clouds
With imagery, my poet's runes:
The lichens of the sun & azure tongues.
Spotted with electric crescent moons,
I've danced along a maddened plank,
As spiral hammers clanged against
The slowly burning, sea-blue heavens.
I've trembled, felt Behemoth's spine,
& heard the groaning of the storms;
I've seen the ancient horror films,
& wished for safe, European walls!
I've seen the islands in space! Islands
Opening windows for the wanderer;
Do you sleep in a night so exiled & deep,
Infinite golden bird, my future Lord?
It's true, I weep too much! Dawn breaks my heart!
Moons are cruel & suns are bitter,
When you have been drunk with love's sad water.
O, let my keel break! O, let me bleed into the sea!
If ever I shall return, it will be to the pond,
Where once, cold & black, toward perfumed evening,
A child on his knees set sail
A leaf as frail as a May butterfly.
I cannot, bathed in your languors, O waves,
Follow the cotton carrier's wake,
Nor salute the bridges of pride & flags,
Nor pass the prison's hulking, horrid shape!
from SELECTED POEMS 1972-2005
I wake, in Civil War,Play endless gamesOf solitaire. I die,& am reborn. I breathe,Until my breath is tornBy unexpected stare or lookIn mirror, sudden laughOr uninvited tear. No one knowsHow slowly I have grown. No oneKnows the feelings I aloneHave given skin & bone, to float like ghostsPast shadows of the piers & reefs, thenRise on bells to walk asleepThrough burning cities of white peace,Where green dreams bloomOn the pastures & plainsOf my newly wounded hands.
Birds' hearts flutterThrough roots
That drink the sky.The autistic moonTurns awayFrom moths that scrapeFragile wings
Against its shoulders.Worms tunnel deeperToward the heart
Of the sleeper.
for Charles Selby
We haul our parts around in borrowed trucks,Call each other up, & fill our cups.A wooden animal climbs the trunkOf a twisted pine. A giant elmYearns toward the sun. We cut it down,& watch it burn. It looks like rain.Squirrels bother the corn. We talk. Our sonsLearn to walk. My house is builtOf concrete block. You workIn the dark. Lawsuit. Spearmint. Sunflower.Overdrive. You wind your father's watch. BogartPlays the heavy in our dream. We drinkOur tea with sugar & cream.
Shadows whisperThrough the halls.Moonlight licksAgainst the glass.Below the windowOn the snowA bird's ghostLeaves its body& rises toward the moon.Someone crying now
In another room.Something's going to happen,soon.
1.The gates are locked.I am on watch.The sun has died & left
The sky rinsed red with blood.I can see the silhouettesOf buildings & trees.They are large black shadows
That loom against the new stars.The gates are locked,Like bones buried beneath gravestones,Or seedlings trapped in the shadows
Of dead & rotting logs.2.I am on watch.I see the eyes of soft-stepping catsBlazing like the stoplight sun at dusk.Their shapes flash black as they passAgainst the pinpoint glowing dome.Slender trees sway tenderlyLike ghosts dancing in the mournful wind.
I dream I hear the dirt breakFrom the strength of silent earthworms.
I cannot stop the lockFrom falling from the gate.
Birdwomen ride rainbow bicyclesThrough flannel forests.
Sirens haunt the coast.Fish fly from the lake,
Circle, & fall dead.
Anvils of the night ring.Clouds reflect the sea.
Bones orgy incestuously.Arms break from the groundIn hurricanes of song.
The red, orgasmic cloudsExplode sweetly above us,Arresting dying breezes
That escape our green lungs.Dragonfly. Maroon. Stampede. Incest.The grey pearl moonIncites a riot in our dreams.Ashes rain upon the wet, enduring leaves.
THE BROKEN LOCK
1.The Chevrolet beneath the seaweedResembles, say, a pendulum.In the glacial sewersThey all look like abandoned books.They gather in fields of blood.They wait another minute.Falling faces scrape sharp edgesAgainst us as we watch the stars.Our marching machine begins to fill with foam.Our slowly cracking table says "Goodbye."
2.In the prison of the glossy blanketStrangled paper cars claw inSober luxury. Handgun. Caress.Membrane. Attempt. A silverTunnel carves an orphanIllustration on our fragile femaleHatchet. A tiny cutletWhirls in nude simplicity. Our magnetSigns the blank, transparentMortgage of the jealous cartoon.
3.We take the tapered candles pastA nest of burnt-out lightbulbs. WeShake our messy napkins in theTrans-Atlantic air. Our teethAre scared. Our hands areRunning in front ofSpeeding snake bracelets. WeHave lost our shoes! WeHave lost our season tickets! WeHave lost our fried potatoes!
4.A placenta of noiseMasturbates in the ambiguousBandshell. Car-pool. Vendetta.Banshee. Balloon. Barrels ofDead kittens crouch on stereoLoading platforms. JuicyManikins balance onShrouded pedestals. Our grief isGreater than all the porcelain inMexico. Our grief is a polar bear.
5.Candy-striped plants lean towardWindows of music. StrawberriesBuzz obsessively in the creepingRain. Bulldogs escapeHomosexual worms. OurHarmonicas are leaking! OurUnderwear is illegal! OurGrandparents are alive! OurRescue gear is stolen! We greaseOur feet & slip into the night.
6.Sandwich. Beacon. Crawfish. Mistake.Persian maids lounge in secretFrameworks. The bells ofMystery ring a song of strangeGraduation. Our bluebirdReeks of soy sauce! Our bean-bagUnfurls in hymenal splendor! We standOn the threshold of aKitchen revolution! We teeterNear the edge of an insect rebellion!
7.Our eyes are bankrupt! OurNoses are overparked! OurBrains are under arrest! OurBones are bushwhacked! OurHair is ringing! OurLegs are braided! OurToes are psychotic! OurHearts slowly stretch in theDirection of Hudson's Bay. Meanwhile,We hide inside a giant football.
8.Our bed is stacked withGrey-haired magazines, squirmingAmid discardedHats & umbrellas. Rusted scalpelsLitter the quaint fairground. ConEdison. Sample. Woodcraft.Needle. The sweet blondeMorning declares itself. WeInhale & hold excited breaths toSee the tortured, raving day approach.
Admit defeat, ant, bear, tiger,Liar! You occupy your winterChair, boots on, coat fastened like a
Frozen oarlock!Many songs to orange touch,We stand among the pyramids ofDecember, vanishing, morbid, alone &
Diffuse.Like punctured loaves inFlesh dusk, your mouth isGrey & white, like money,
Like tropical fish.My cranberries sink in a sludge ofDiscarded buttons! Oregon! I wantTo wrap Oregon! Pajamas rushing,
Helplessly manicured.Your teeth, so horrible,Unique, bring pain to theBathing, joy to the
Table top.I settle like an awful lightIn the furniture of your silverCave. My bone a river train!Vivid, intrepid.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
You arrive at the stationWith your pockets full of time.You're so invisible
That girls walk right through you.
Throw away your ticket
& skate away.
The clouds burn out& ashes rain upon your head.Your bones acheFrom being used as jail bars.Get up & move on
To the next holdup.A dog on the coffee table!A roller derby in the ice cream!A piano roaring down the road!A monkey with a gun
Has got you covered.
Keep your eyes straight ahead.She has too muchBut she wants a little more.The room is loud& the walls are turning brown.Your ears are burning with old sounds.Don't die.
Just take a deep breath,get up,& fly.
It's 6 AM in the Universe, &Cold. The yellow sunMakes another dawn in the lakeAbove my head. Warm blue air
Lifts the blanket from my bed.Yesterday I wiped my father's bloodFrom the white cloud walls
Of my home, in another dream.Now, awake beneath the lake, I amAlone. The cold grey water of the lakeInvites me in, but thenI am rescued by my lover, the sun.
for Ronnie Lane
The walls bear weightUntil they break. DrainpipesCrack, & flood the wounded fields.
Rotten apples fall from neglected trees.Tall winds rip off limbs, butThe crippled shapes still get new leaves.
You walk the roadmap on your hand,& wake, among friends,In a foreign land.
for Ben Tibbs
Birds flutter through his hands. He'sHistrionic, sympathetic, empathetic,Never cluttered, nor apathetic.He's been clever. He's some lover! He'sMy father & my brother. ZenIcecream koans advertizeHis tender metal lives.Surreal science is his triumphant plan.Mystical alliances canonize his monumental plight:His fingers walk the pages of delight.His feet tiptoe the earth with bombastic pleasure.Apple blossoms rain on him forever.
He plans his moves. He butters his words.His hands massage the sky of love like birds.
AFTER THE ICE-STORM
We walked among the pines in back,Accompanied by clack & click of branches.Some boughs broke & took others downTo a frozen floor, to skid acrossA crust of hard snow,Like sleds that are out of control,Stuck on GO, no hope, & 'No more slack.'
We mounted wooden ladders, then,With worn-out hatchets & a broken broom,To break off backed-up roof-ice.It gave us bad leaks & went inside our walls,While all night long I heard it drip,While waiting for day-break & still more workOn the weary roof that sheltered our sleep.
So now, we wait, protected & safe,
Until another bough may break.
Abbey (Columbia, Maryland), Alcaeus Review (Carmichael, California), The Ambassador Poetry Project (Michigan), Big Scream (Grandville, Michigan),The California Quarterly (Orange, California), Cedar Rock (New Braunfels, Texas), Creative Moment (Sumter, South Carolina), Free Verse (Wisconsin), Iconoclast (Mohegan Lake, NY), Mantras (Tampa, Florida), The New York Quarterly (New York, New York), The Pedestal (Charlotte, North Carolina), The Vagaries of Invention (Kalamazoo, Michigan), The Wilderness House LIterary Review (Littleton, Massachusetts), Windows In The Stone (Grand Rapids, Michigan) The poem AFTER THE ICE-STORM was originally published in SELECTED POEMS 1972 - 2005.The poems IN THE WAKE, DRIVING NORTH, CAVE OF THE SPIRITS, COLD OCEANS were originally published in TRAVELING MUSIC.
Portrait of Eric Greinke from The Last Ballet, 1972 Photo by Gloria Slykhouse, first appeared in Glory (Sept. 1975, Vol 5, No. 10) as illustration for
Teaching Poetry At City High School by Eric Greinke. Greinke taught at the alternative high
school from 1974-1975. The following year he worked in the Poets In The School program through the Michigan Council for the Arts.
About Eric Greinke's poetry.
“Greinke has magically melted several worlds together. I'd call it Whitmanic rorschach: a wild high!” -William Harrold, in THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW
“Greinke shatters the detachment of some very striking images with a vibrant personality, putting the poet at the center of poetry. He hits us with a rare craftmanship, combining swift, concise images with the unadorned minute experience Dos Passos called 'the only business of poetry'.” -Jospeh Dionne, in THE TRAVERSE CITY EAGLE
“Greinke deals with the penetration of the impenetrable, the struggle of love in a brutally forbidding world. Surely controlled metaphors, strikingly simple yet invitingly complex.”
-David Greisman, in ABBEY
“I find Eric Greinke's work particularly fascinating and inspiring. There's a deliberate duplicity of meaning in all his writing, obsessed with the ambiguities of both life and language and delightedly exploring those nuances and half-lights as his work proceeds.”
-Peter Thomas, in THE SAULT EVENING NEWS
“Greinke has put a lot of thought into context and structure. His poems are filled with simple images which have a deeper meaning and keep the reader interested throughout.”
-M.C. Eichman, in WISCONSIN REVIEW
“His style has always appealed to me: the declarative statements like mystical aphorisms. Greinke's work, is for me, like Rimbaud's prose poems – surrealisitic yet precise and detailed. I have this same kind of confidence and reaction to both poets – that this is literature.” -Kirby Congdon, in AMARANTHUS
"Greinke writes a kind of heightened imagism or re-defined symbolism. His work is mysterious and powerful, relying on the use of crypticisms and ambiguities. The effect is that of making the reader the poet, with the poet acting more as a spiritual medium."
-Robert Swets, in THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS
"(A Greinke) poem, like the sections of Jerzy Kosinski's "Steps", is composed of short, nonlinear but cumulative statements. Greinke's power lies in concrete description and terse, tight comparison. Greinke has made a gesture which I've long awaited."
-John Jacob, in MARGINS
“Like Japanese poems in translation, his poems are often simple and unadorned. He makes apt use of poetic techniques, such as meter and slant rhyme. These poems are extremely accessible and yet surprisingly deep, like ordinary speech heightened.”
-Alyce Wilson, in WILD VIOLET
“Eric Greinke provides us with a convincing album of snapshots of a private landscape, and lets us see the intensity of life and activity in a season and in a place we would ordinarily shun as one to live in, let alone write poems about. The poems are short, vivid and chilling, much like an ice cube in your lap that has fallen out of your whiskey sour.”
-Kirby Congdon, THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW
“Mr. Greinke gives the countryside of Northern Michigan more of a Zen treatment with a careful, controlled focus that no less limns the experience of humans in nature.”
-Phil Wagner, in ICONOCLAST
“It's been said that the true mark of art is to make people think. In his latest book, Eric Greinke does just that. Greinke's poems are surreptitious creatures, seemingly up front at first, then grabbing hold of the reader's psyche and taking it for a ride.”
-Julie Bonner Stevenson, in THE GRAND RAPIDS PRESS
“Eric Greinke's infinite variety has never staled nor withered. His poems have the surreaistic magic of Magritte or the young Dali. He is an eclectic poet for all seasons and all times of the day." -Leslie H. Whitten, Jr., columnist, WASHINGTON POST
“Greinke is part of an ancient tradition that melds man, the Universe, the Divine. Further and further into a kind of melding with the divine which he finds deep down, under the normal, conscious workings of the waking, 'formal' mind. Further and further into the secret centers under the surfaces that normally surround us.” -ICONOCLAST
“What I enjoy the most about the poetry of Eric Greinke is that it implies more than it actually states, which belongs to this school of thought: true poetry is supposed to make the reader THINK.” -Joseph Verrilli, in DRAMA GARDEN
“One of the most effective poets on the scene, a master word/idea worker who deserves the strongest possible lauds.” -THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW
“Eric Greinke’s poems, like messages in a bottle, found after so many years of being afloat, are the experiences of being within, the experiences of being in nature. Each poem is a cathedral of actuality, of thought, of inspiration. He has the rare talent to walk with our environment, to bring us a profound lesson that nature often has if we listen to the ice crystals or growing green. He takes our hand and shows us what we have forgotten to look at.” -Irene Koronas, in POESY
“Greinke seamlessly weaves together the vibrance of the naturalist with the unsettling images of dream worlds and mimes. His collection of work from more than three decades establishes Eric Greinke as an accomplished poet, seeing both worlds seen and unseen.” -POETSWEST
“The true mark of art is making people think - and poet Eric Greinke does just that. "Wild Strawberries" is a quick compact dose of solid, effective poetry. His variety should keep the book fresh from the front cover to the back cover. Recommended to poetry lovers everywhere and to any comprehensive poetry community library.” -THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
"Eric Greinke's Wild Strawberries is an ambitious work. Mostly imagistic, these poems have a surface matter of factness, but with deft insight. Nature poetry, global visionary video, horror story in the best traditions of Hollywood gore - as I said at the outset, this book is an ambitious undertaking. Readers with wide-ranging tastes and free-flying imaginations may swoon over this book for its varied content and technique.” -Richard Swanson, in FREE VERSE
"As a poet, Greinke is hard to pin down. His poems are imagistic with touches of surrealism, but he’s not really an imagist or a surrealist in the purest sense. I found more than a passing kinship with magic realism in his poems, but, again, he’s not a magic realist. Rather, Greinke is very much his own exotic animal. Wild Strawberries is a triumph for poet, Eric Greinke, and a gift to readers of poetry everywhere." -John C. Erianne, in THE 13TH WARRIOR REVIEW
"Eric Greinke writes with a cosmological ease in Wild Strawberries which in a breath combines the sensuality of the strawberry with the metaphysical ponderings of ghosts, spirits and zombies. Here is a clear, personal poetic testimony by an American poet that poetry is meaningful and understandable." -David Stone, in BLACKBIRD
"Please don’t miss reading Wild Strawberries. The poems seem so gentle and easy to take in, but then you understand there is a deeper meaning, a relationship is being explored, and you find yourself thinking about his poetry all day, and I mean really thinking."
-Carol Borzyskowski, in MAIN CHANNEL VOICES
“Greinke writes across a rather broad spectrum. He knows nature intimately, and he’s not afraid to let his imagination float and flutter and soar. That boldness takes a certain kind of courage. His lines are written with vigor and thought, a pretty potent combination.”
-John Berbrich, in BARBARIC YAWP
“The author cannot be identified by his poems, rather his poems identify him. He doesn’t write in one particular style or mood. The tone of his poetry is as varied as the topics he writes about. He writes of his memories, of nature, of everyday life and does so in a manner that brings out the essence of being human and transports the reader to the mystical place that resides in each poem.” -Amber Rothrock, in THE ILLOGICAL MUSE
“In Greinke’s hands, kayaking becomes as poetic as anything can be, a metaphor for living. If you do not yet own an Eric Greinke book, this might be the one to start with.”
-Judy Swann, in VERSE WISCONSIN
“By themselves, Greinke’s prose poems are charming observations about a sport and that sport’s relationship to life--charming, of course, being used here in the positive sense of the word. But as a group of pieces and arranged in this particular order, they become the river itself. This structure, combined with Greinke’s incisive eye for the river’s beauty and liveliness and a profound, even Transcendental spirituality, make this small book a moving journey for those who undertake it.” -THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE
“Like two monks letting sand sift through their fingers, Elsberg and Greinke create a Mandela, blow us away with nameless signatures. This chapbook is a keeper, a continuous picker-upper.”
--WILDERNESS HOUSE LITERARY REVIEW
“The clarity of imagery in their work (Elsberg/Greinke’s Catching The Light - 12 Haiku Sequences) is striking, and the speed with which they present those images reveals how the transience of natural beauty is like that of our own thoughts. They invite us to experience the intimacy of desire, loneliness, and suffering–often using their wit.”
-Amanda Newell, in EASTERN SHORE WRITERS ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER
“Two well-established poets/editors/translator/publishers try their hand at haiku sequences in a manner reminiscent of John Brandi and Steve Sanfield in No Other Business Here (1999) and Jim Harrison and Ted Kooser in Braided Creek (2003). Elsberg and Greinke’s writing is definitely on the ‘poetry’ end of the haikai genre, often as not forsaking seasonality, internal comparison, and Oriental aesthetics for vibrancy of image and beauty of language.”
“I can only impress on the reader to explore further for themselves. Should haiku ever be accused of being bland, then Catching The Light must be the ultimate counter-argument. There are individual ku here, if not whole sequences, which are guaranteed to stay with you for a good long time.” - Helen Buckingham
“Highly experienced and very prolific poet Eric Greinke brings readers a unique journey into the psyche of the poet. Traveling Music is a solid addition to any community library poetry collection.” - John Taylor, THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“Greinke is a spacious poet of Soul; each poem is like a dab of spirit from such a great soul. There is an easy flow, an unstrained lucidity, a surreal exuberance about his poetry. Let us rev ere this great man of letters in lionlike Age; he gives us so much.”
- Charles Thompson, VARIOUS ARTISTS (UK)
“Greinke’s gift for subtle, memorable imagery is one of my favorite things about his work. He is a master of the fleeting glimpse, the hint of land through the mist, the black hole moving towards earth, the ghosts whispering...” -Joselle Vanderhooft, THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE
“The Potential Of Poetry by Eric Greinke is one of those books that you know is important, even if you’re not sure why. ‘Good things come in small packages,’ as the old saying goes.”
- Jim Barnes, INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER, JENKINS GROUP
“The Potential Of Poetry is a collection of essays from Eric Greinke, which discuss the role and purpose of poetry in today’s world as an art form and in the world as a whole. Simple and profound work with plenty to muse on literature and art in general, The Potential Of Poetry is a choice addition to literary studies collections.” -James A. Cox, THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“Traveling Music is a solid addition to any community library poetry collection.”
-John Taylor, THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“Greinke’s gift for subtle, memorable imagery is one of my favorite things about his work, and it is a quality that is on display throughout Traveling Music. The title poem is a perfect ex ample of Greinke at his enigmatic and effervescent best.” -Joselle Vanderhooft, THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE
“Some of the poems in this full-length book, “Traveling Music” take their last breath, leave the reader frozen in the reality of wilderness...” -Irene Koronas,WILDERNESS HOUSE LITERARY REVIEW
About Eric Greinke's Rimbaud translations.
“The poems are brief, yet flower with sparkling beauty, embodying the human yearning for freedom and the poet’s struggle to release himself from convention. A wondrous collection, featuring verses that beg to be read aloud in either tongue.” -THE MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“I’m attracted to Greinke’s approach for several reasons. First, because he’s a poet who’s unapologetically trying to translate poetry into poetry. A tough proposition requiring shameless intuition and not only the courage - but the inner need to risk ‘poetic flight.’ The need to work without a net. Another reason I’m attracted to Greinke’s approach is that for him, Rimbaud is a labor of love, not a “project.” In his introduction, he talks about a feeling of déjà vu when first encountering Rimbaud. And describes what seems an almost compulsive sense of appropriated ownership. An annoyance at the existing translations. ‘A need to do his own.’ To a non-translator, these feelings may sound a little over the top. But to any one who translates poetry - they’re instantly recognizable. Greinke’s only saying what most poetry translators think, but usually think twice about saying. I’ve often felt a translator needs to look beyond the words and beneath the text for the roots of the original poem. What really differentiates Greinke’s version is that it reads like a poem written in English. And I think this was accomplished by tapping the roots as well as the words of the original. By “internalizing” the original and letting the new poem shape itself in the new language. Rather than forcing the French into English.” -Art Beck, in RATTLE
“For music, for the flow, the force of the spirit, Greinke is the easy winner. Although the auditory music of Rimbaud is impossible to capture in English, Greinke is true to the inner music, while giving a sense of the flow of the original. His language is sensuous and wild and feels right.” -Harry Smith, in THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW
“Greinke revels in Rimbaud’s humanization/deification of Nature. Nothing “Out There” in Nature just is, but is always divine and radiates divinity. Bullfinches, “The Golden Kiss of the Woods,” aren’t just birds but philosophers. For Rimbaud-Greinke taking a walk through the woods is an immersion in the Divine.” -Hugh Fox, Ph.D., from ERIC GREINKE: AN OVERVIEW (ICONOCLAST)
"Greinke's renderings come across with such a remarkably contemporary feel, that he easily gets away with the occasional use of words like 'car' and 'suburbia'. This little collection boasts many fine poems. The Drunken Boat is wild and lovely and perhaps the poet's most vivid expression of his desire to find a life of total freedom." -Edward J. Hogan, in ASPECT
"The images are lovely, lush and luxuriant. Rimbaud comes across as an artist in love with love, with art; in love with the romantic notion of the poet trying to free himself from convention. The poems here can only be described as rich: with both metaphor, and music. Greinke has produced an accessible and evocative piece of work." -Doug Holder, in THE CHIRON REVIEW
Articles & Interviews About
Sane Poet In A Mad World”,
by Pat Vogt. Emphasis, Volume 1, No. 6. Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1975.
“The Poet Is A Seer”, by Clarissa Lack. Lanthorn, Volume 9, No. 16. Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan, January 13, 1977.
“Eric Greinke’s Pilot Press Books”, by Charles L. P. Silet. Poet & Critic, Volume 10, No. 1. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa,1977.
“The Abbey Interview: Eric Greinke”, by David Greisman. Abbey, Columbia, Maryland, March, 1977.
“Eric Greinke”, Contemporary Authors, Volumes 41-44, First Revision, Gale Research, Detroit, Michigan, 1978.
“Author Offers Fresh Perspective On Fishing”, The Rockford Squire, Rockford, Michigan, September 25, 2003.
“Local Author Explores Life’s Big Questions”, The Rockford Squire, Rockford, Michigan, June 17, 2004.
“Sea Dog”, by Gena Kaiser, The Grand Haven Tribune, Grand Haven, Michigan, August 3, 2004.
“A Place For Poets”, by Julie Bonner-Stevenson, The Grand Rapids Press, Grand Rapids, Michigan, October 30, 2005.
“Eric Greinke: An Overview”, by Hugh Fox, Iconoclast, Number 93, pages 72-80, Mohegan Lake, New York, 2006.
“A Short Interview With Eric Greinke”, Muses Review, www.musesreview.org., 2007.
“Interview with Eric Greinke”, by Gloria Mindock, Cervena Barva Press Newsletter, Somerville, Massachusetts, 2008.
“Nominee Interview for 4th Muses Poetry Prize (Winner of Best Poem of 2007 - For The LIving Dead)”, Muses Review, www.musesreview.org., 2008.
“Featured Poet Interview ”, by John Amen, The Pedestal Magazine, Charlotte, North Carolina, 2008.
“Interview with Eric Greinke”, by Doug Holder, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene/Wilderness House Literary Review, Boston, Massachusetts, 2009.
Book Ordering Information
Eric Greinke's books may be purchased through:
Box 792, Rockford, Michigan, 49341.
Email address: email@example.com.
45-08 Old Millstone Dr., East Windsor, New Jersey, 08520.
Free Books, Inc.
1787 Rhoda, Lowell, Michigan, 49331.
Cervena Barva Press
PO Box 440357
West Somerville, Massachusetts, 02144-3222
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any US bookstore (www.bn.com).
Email me: email@example.com