available as e-books on amazon.com

For The Living Dead - New & Selected Poems

The Potential Of Poetry

The Art Of Natural Fishing

                                             

Table of Contents 

 

Biography

Bibliography

Awards

Articles & Book Reviews By

Current & Available Books In Print

Selected Poems of Eric Greinke

Critical Comments

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)

 

 

 

Biography

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, John Elsberg, Glenna Luschei and Alison Stone.  His works have been translated into several languages, including French, Italian, Serbo-Croatian and Japanese. He is married with three adult children.


Bibliography

Poetry Magazines & Anthologies

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, the Aurorean, Backwards City Review, Barbaric Yawp, Bathtub Gin, Beatlick News, The Bicycle Review, Big Scream, Bitterroot, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene, Brown Penny Review, California Quarterly, The Cape Rock Journal, The Cedar Rock Quarterly, Chamber Four, Chiron Review, Clark Street Review, Cloven Hoof, Creative Moment, The Delaware Poetry Review, The Delmarva Review, The Detroit Free Press, Display, Drama Garden, Edgz, Emphasis, Essence, First Literary Review-East, Fly By Night, Forge - An Eclectic Journal of Modern Story, Culture, and Art, For The Time Being, Fox Chase Review, Free Lance, Free Verse, Gargoyle, Ginyu International Haiku Magazine (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, The Journal (UK), 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, Poem, Poetry Americana, Poetry Now, PoetsWest, Presa, Prosopisi - An International Journal of Poetry & Creative Writing (India), The Roadrunner Haiku Journal, The Root, Schuylkill Valley Journal, The Small Press Review, So It Goes - The Literary Journal of the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library, Solo Cafe, Solo Novo, The Somerville News, The South Carolina Review, Stone Drum, Tar Wolf Review, Tertulia, The 13th Warrior Review, Turtle Island Quarterly, 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.

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), Christmas In The Wild (Short Story; Tom Tolnay editor, Birch Brook Press, Delhi, NY 2014), For Neruda / For Chile - An International Anthology(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), Song of the Owashtanong - Grand Rapids Poetry in the 21st Century (David Cope, editor, Ridgeway Press, Roseville, MI, 2012),The Second Genesis:  An Anthology of Contemporary World Poetry (Moizur Rehman Khan, editor, ARAWLII Press, Ajmer, India, 2014)

Journal and newspapers that have reviewed Eric Greinke’s books.

Since 1971, Eric Greinke’s poetry has received over one hundred unsolicited book reviews from fifty-four literary journals and/or public newspapers, making him one of the most frequently reviewed living American poets. Reviews have appeared in the following:

Amaranthus, Ambit, Arcadia, Aspect, The Aurorean, Barbaric Yawp, Bathtub Gin, Blackbird, Blueline, Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene, The Broadkill Review, The Cervena Barva Newsletter, Chamber Four, Chiron Review, Fox Chase Review, The Free Library, Free Verse, Frogpond, Future Cycle Press, Goodreads, The Grand Rapids Press, Hawai’i Pacific Review, The Hiawathaland-Poet’s Corner, Home Planet News, Ibbettson Street, Iconoclast, Illogical Muse, Independent Publisher, The Journal (UK), Krax(UK), Main Channel Voices, Main Street Rag, The Midwest Book Review, Modern Haiku, Moonset, Muses Review, North Coast Literary Review, Off The Coast, The Pedestal Magazine, Poesia, Poesy, Poetry Now, PoetsWest, Rattle, Rattlesnake Review, Small Press Review, The Somerville News, South (UK), The Stoneboat Literary Journal, The 13th Warrior Review, Traverse City Record Eagle, Various Artists (UK), Verse Wisconsin, Weights and Measures, Wild Violets, The Wilderness House Literary Review, Wisconsin Review, ZYX.

 

  Books

- 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.)

- FOR THE LIVING DEAD - NEW & SELECTED POEMS (Presa Press, 2014. 160 pages, ISBN 978-0-9888279-2-9.Trade Paperback.

        ALSO AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM

- POETS IN REVIEW (Presa Press, 2016. 124 pages, ISBN 978-0-9965026-0-3.Trade Paperback.

- ZEN DUENDE - Collaborative Poems (with Glenna Luschei. Presa Press, 2016. 64 pages, ISBN 978-0-9965026-1-0.Trade Paperback.

Chapbooks

- 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.)

 

Links

Reading of For The Living Dead at the Ryerson Library, 2013

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bh1FuIiNqDc

Poetry reading at the Grand Rapids Poetry Conference, 2012

www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaw9TofbeLw

New York Quarterly

http://poets.nyq.org/poet/ericgreinke

Poets & Writers

http://pw.org/content/eric_greinke

 

Awards

Awards:

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)

 

         

Articles & Book Reviews by

 

Book Reviews

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, Relics of Lust: New & Selected Poems by Lynne Savitt, 2014 in The Pedestal Magazine #74, Darkened Rooms of Summer by Jared Carter, 2014 in The Pedestal Magazine #75, Thread of the Real by Joseph Hutchison, 2014 in The Pedestal Magazine #76, The King Of Hearts by Richard  Jones, 2016 in The Wilderness House Literary Review 11/1

 

Articles

“Nerve 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.

“Harry & Me,” Presa, Number 18, Spring, 2013.

"Old Dogs At Play - Collaborating With John Elsberg,” The Delaware Poetry Review, Spring, 2015

"Up North With Harry Smith," Home Planet News Online Issue #2,, Spring, 2015

.

 

   

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)

 

Current & Available Books In Print

Eric Greinke's books are available through Presa Press, PO Box 792, Rockford MI 49341 or presapress@aol.com. See Book Ordering Information for further details.

 

POETS IN REVIEW   (Presa Press, 2016, 124 pages, ISBN 978-0-9965026-0-3, Trade Paperback, $15.95 USA)

                                 

Widely published and Internationally acclaimed poet Eric Greinke wrote reviews of his contemporaries in two periods, from 1972 through 1982 and from 2005 through 2015. The book is divided into two sections that reprint the best reviews from each of these periods. Most of the pieces in the first section were first published in Michigan’s second-largest newspaper, The Grand Rapids Press. For many of the poets (i.e. Charles Bukowski), Greinke wrote the first large newspaper reviews of their careers, thus promoting their work to a general audience. The reviews in the second section were originally published in a variety of literary publications, both online and in print. The selections illustrate the progression of Greinke’s ideas about poetry over four decades and his perceptive insights into many of the works of the major American poets of the post-modern period. The book includes reviews of: Robert Bly, Joe Brainard, Charles Bukowski, Jared Carter, Alan Catlin, David Chorlton, Tom Clark, Robert Creeley, Nikki Giovanni, Donald Hall, Linda Lerner, Lyn Lifshin, Ellaraine Lockie, Gerald Locklin, Ed Ochester, Jerome Rothenberg, Hélène Sanguinetti, Lynne Savitt, Diane Wakoski, Barry Wallenstein, and twenty-six other contemporary poets. Recommended for college literature class.

 

 

 

ZEN DUENDE Collaborative Poems   (With Glenna Luschei, Presa Press, 2016, 64 pages, ISBN 978-0-9965026-1-0, Trade Paperback, $13.95 USA)

                                 

Zen Duende is the product of nearly three years of daily collaboration by elder American poets Glenna Luschei and Eric Greinke. They began their exchange following the deaths of their longtime friends, poets Hugh Fox and Harry Smith, with each writing one line a day.In these enigmatic, often humorous poems, two accomplished poets explore the meaning of life and death, memory and attachment. In a wide range of formats, Luschei and Greinke exhibit a flexibility and passion for language that is rare at any age, smiling at mortality, aglow with refreshing joie de vivre. The collection is presented in five contrasting sections that range from long poems to one-liners with titles that bear more than a passing resemblance to Zen koans. The final section contains an excerpt from the poets’ daily correspondence that illuminates the energy source of the poems. In the blending of their personae, Luschei and Greinke have created a unique voice that transcends their individual styles.

 

 

 

FOR THE LIVING DEAD - NEW & SELECTED POEMS   (Presa Press, 2014, 160 pages, ISBN 978-0-9888279-2-9, Trade Paperback, $15.95 USA)

                                 

Critically-acclaimed American poet Eric Greinke has selected 109 of his best poems for this extensive collection. The poems date from 1969 through 2012, and include thirteen new poems and his prize-winning long poems For The Living Dead and Beyond Our Control (with Hugh Fox). The poems were originally published in a wide variety of top literary magazines such as Abraxas, The New York Quarterly, the California Quarterly, The South Carolina Review and the Paterson Literary Review. Greinke’s poetry has been praised for its thought-provoking, multi-leveled, often dreamlike imagery and his creative, stylistic range. Although he employs several divergent compositional processes, his work is sustained by a distinctive and recognizable voice. His tones range from ironically humorous to elegiac, sometimes in the same poem. Many poems, such as Flood Tide, April and Persona, show a strong lyrical presence. New poems such as the award-winning Shooting Lessons, exhibit Greinke’s unique use of lyric devices within an autobiographical narrative.

 

 

 

                

CONVERSATION PIECES - SELECTED INTERVIEWS   (Presa Press, 2012, 100 pages, ISBN 978-0-9831251-6-7, Trade Paperback, $15.95 USA)

This selection of interviews with the author of The Potential Of Poetry represents the poet’s poetic philosophy over a thirty-five year period, from 1977 to the present. The written conversational format is entertaining yet informative, and the incisive questions of the interviewers elicit perceptive replies, showing how Greinke’s ideas have grown from early basic seeds into a forest of poetic and social insights. Conversation Pieces adds another dimension to the ideas of one of America’s most influential poets.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Currently Available in Literary Magazines

FORGE 9.3 (www.forgejournal.com  FORGE 9.3) Also available in print edition.
      Craft Interview with Tim McLafferty
      A New Day, Shorelines, Angels Of Death, Buds, White Duck Cult, The Climb, Concrete, The Search, Still Here, Lifelines, The Wind, November Nights (poems)
      Solved, Fall, Peanuts, After The Freeze (poems with Alison Stone)

PROSOPISIA - An International Journal of Poetry & Creative Writing (Winter 2015/2016)
      Rivers (poem)

HOME PLANET NEWS (online Issue 2, www.homeplanetnews.org  Home Planet News Issue 2)
      Up North with Harry Smith (essay on collaboration)

GARGOYLE #64
      Breakfast For Paranoids (poem)

WILDERNESS HOUSE LITERARY REVIEW (Spring 2016, www.whlreview.com  Wilderness House Literary Review)
       Richard Jones’ The King Of Hearts (book review)

 

 

                                   

Eric Greinke signing books at GVSU.                              Caricature of Eric Greinke by Debra Adamcik.                             A Place For Poets photo of Eric Greinke           

(Grand Valley  Magazine, 2008)                                                            (Oct., 2005)                                          Photo by Adam Bird  (June, 2011)  Iinitially appeared in The Grand Rapids Press.

 

 

Selected Poems of Eric Greinke

     Contents


Morning

The Broken Lock

October

What To Do Next

The Drunken Boat
Transmigration
Desire
For The Living Dead
Paradox Of Intersections
The Mist
In The Wake
Driving North
Cave Of The Spirits
My Father’s Job
Shooting Lessons
Flood Tide

 

Morning (1973)

Birds’ hearts flutter
Through roots
That drink the sky.

The autistic moon
Turns away
From moths that scrape
Fragile wings
Against its shoulders.

Worms tunnel deeper
Toward the heart
Of the sleeper.


 

The Broken Lock (1974)

1.
The Chevrolet beneath the seaweed
Resembles, say, a pendulum.
In the glacial sewers
They all look like abandoned books.
They gather in fields of blood.
They wait another minute.
Falling faces scrape sharp edges
Against 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 blanket
Strangled paper cars claw in
Sober luxury. Handgun. Caress.
Membrane. Attempt. A silver
Tunnel carves an orphan
Illustration on our fragile female
Hatchet. A tiny cutlet
Whirls in nude simplicity. Our magnet
Signs the blank, transparent
Mortgage of the jealous cartoon.

3.
We take the tapered candles past
A nest of burnt-out lightbulbs. We
Shake our messy napkins in the
Trans-Atlantic air. Our teeth
Are scared. Our hands are
Running in front of
Speeding snake bracelets. We
Have lost our shoes! We
Have lost our season tickets! We
Have lost our fried potatoes!

4.
A placenta of noise
Masturbates in the ambiguous
Bandshell. Car-pool. Vendetta.
Banshee. Balloon. Barrels of
Dead kittens crouch on stereo
Loading platforms. Juicy
Manikins balance on
Shrouded pedestals. Our grief is
Greater than all the porcelain in
Mexico. Our grief is a polar bear.

5.
Candy-striped plants lean toward
Windows of music. Strawberries
Buzz obsessively in the creeping
Rain. Bulldogs escape
Omnisexual worms. Our
Harmonicas are leaking! Our
Underwear is illegal! Our
Grandparents are alive! Our
Rescue gear is stolen! We grease
Our feet & slip into the night.

6.
Sandwich. Beacon. Crawfish. Mistake.
Persian maids lounge in secret
Frameworks. The bells of
Mystery ring a song of strange
Graduation. Our bluebird
Reeks of soy sauce! Our bean-bag
Unfurls in hymenal splendor! We stand
On the threshold of a
Kitchen revolution! We teeter
Near the edge of an insect rebellion!

7.
Our eyes are bankrupt! Our
Noses are overparked! Our
Brains are under arrest! Our
Bones are bushwhacked! Our
Hair is ringing! Our
Legs are braided! Our
Toes are psychotic! Our
Hearts slowly stretch in the
Direction of Hudson’s Bay. Meanwhile,
We hide inside a giant football.

8.
Our bed is stacked with
Grey-haired magazines, squirming
Amid discarded
Hats & umbrellas. Rusted scalpels
Litter the quaint fairground. Con
Edison. Sample. Woodcraft.
Needle. The sweet blonde
Morning declares itself. We
Inhale & hold excited breaths to
See the tortured, raving day approach.

 

 

October (1975)

It’s 6 AM in the Universe, &
Cold. The yellow sun
Makes another dawn in the lake
Above my head. Warm blue air
Lifts the blanket from my bed.

Yesterday I wiped my father’s blood
From the white cloud walls
Of my home, in another dream.

Now, awake beneath the lake, I am
Alone. The cold grey water of the lake
Invites me in, but then
I am rescued by my lover, the sun.

 

 

What To Do Next (1973)

You arrive at the station
With 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 ache
From 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 much
But 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.

 

 

The Drunken Boat  (1975)
                     

                          after Rimbaud

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 wreaks 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!

 

Transmigration (2006)

1.
A torch of morning birds flares
Joyful bubbles of music explode

Redundant black bear on the back deck
Disoriented curiosity of the wild

Dark wounds on drunken willows
Celebrate knots of green light

Hearts glow from old houses
Where candles burned like dreams

Linking flesh beyond limits
We scratch across intentional walls

 

2.
In rooms down the hall
Priests wield ritual implements

Lay folk kneel in awe
Rain returns as we leave the lodge

Lingering by the plexiglass partition
Like a yellow blanket on a river bed

You slouch in the back row
Staring blindly out the window

Quick locks broke keys up
Imagined as overgrown paths

 

3.
The dead whisper insistently
The October wind gives in

In the blood-filled eye
Of the next hurricane

In a year of death by drowning
& honor gained by refusing honor

Emptied of pressing desire
Eternally firing but lethal

The letters labored under parched parchment
Sure sign of a moral compass

 


Desire (2006)

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

 


For The Living Dead
(2007)

1.
I rise with an effort
I feel the dead
They vibrate
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

2.
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

 

3.
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

4.
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

 

5.
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

6.
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

7.
The robots are in formation
Speaking in unison
They all have the same face
Humorously humorless
They bow & scrape
Without relish or anguish

Robot malfunctions
Are inconvenient
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

8.
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
Are biodegradable
They utilize virtual fibers
To simulate the naturally organic

 

9.
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

10.
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


Paradox Of Intersections (2007)

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

 

 

The Mist (2008)

     for Glenna Luschei

I wander
Through memory caverns
In search
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,
Dead friends
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
Of desire,
Past the long watches
Of sleepless nights,
I hold communion
With those lost ghosts,
Even as I pass into
The ever-darkening mist.

 

In The Wake (2010)

Halfway through
hurricane season,
the lost rain
returned to the body:
sad monsoon
after the big wave
that flooded
our defenseless cups,
that left us
waterlogged but thirsty,
even as the angry tide
receded,
even as the ancient tears
ran undamed
from new eyes
that opened underwater
to see the useless furniture
swirling inexorably
toward the sucking drain,
whirlpooling
with dollar bills
into a foreign currency,
faces adrift
in low vapor,
shoreline lined
with dying dreams.

 

Driving North (2011)

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.

 

Cave Of The Spirits (2011)

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.

 

 

My Father’s Job (2012)

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.

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.

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

He went back inside, this time for life.

 

Shooting Lessons (2012)

Russ & Dave were brothers
& they were funny guys,
good buddies to play war with.
Dozens of boys would gather
to shoot BB guns at each other
in the woods behind their house.
One summer day I went to play
war with Russ & Dave. I had
the single-shot Daisy with me that
my father gave me before he left.
From down the block I could see
the police cars & ambulance
on their front lawn, right up
against the big maple we had
all climbed together the day before.
Dave was led, in tears, to
the police car. Russ was carried
to the ambulance, but it didn’t leave.
They’d been playing with their father’s
12 gauge shotgun. Russ came
around a corner & his brother
shot him in the chest, from the hip.
We didn’t see Dave for a year.
They sent him off to a group home
in Colorado for the 7th grade.
When he returned, he wasn’t the same.
He cried easily & never smiled.
For awhile after Dave killed Russ,
we all stopped playing war.
None of my friends shot anyone
for the rest of that hot summer
when the war took David’s brother.

 

Flood Tide (2012)

Another day surges over
the horizon, flotsam
sloshing through its dark
sluice. Loose pages
drift in pools, like
travelers, asleep beneath
the hills. There is no
bowl to contain our
tears, just flooded floors in
a hastily abandoned factory.
Though pleasure pours
like rain, we swim
on until dark, emerging
from the water’s edge smelling
like wet sand. Submerged
beneath our common
respiration, we wonder if
the ocean breeze will
keep us on course or
blow us back into ourselves.
We have thrown down our
breathless waves, arriving
home late but still
somehow hopelessly
adrift. There is no
pail for love. Even though
we’ve wrapped ourselves within
each others arms, each
of us still drowns alone.

 

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
These poems have been previously published in the following magazines & books:
Abraxas (Madison, WI, 2012), Big Scream (Grandville,  MI, ), California Quarterly (Orange, CA, 2007, 2009), Cedar Rock (New Braunfels, TX, 1977), Free Verse (Marshfield, WI, 2006, 2008), The Green Door (Belgium, online, 2012), INSIDE THE OUTSIDE - An Anthology of Avant-Garde American Poets (Rockford, MI, 2006),, MANTRAS (Tampa, FL, 1973), New York Quarterly (New York, NY, 2007), Osve Ži Stran Za Doxi (online, 2007), The Paterson Literary Review (Paterson, NJ, 2013), The Pedestal Magazine (Charlotte, NC, 2007, 2008), Prosopisia (Ajmer, India, 2013), THE SECOND GENESIS - An Anthology of Contromporary World Poetry (Ajmer, India, 2014), SONG OF THE OWASHTANONG (Roseville, MI, 2012), Tar Wolf Review (Clarkrange, TN, 2008), Tertulia Magazine (online, 2007),The Unrorean (Farmington, ME, 2008), Wilderness House Literary Review (Littleton, MA, 2007), Wild Goose Poetry Review (Charlotte, NC, 2007), and Windows In The Stone (Grand Rapids, MI, 1974, 1976).

The poem ITHE DRUNKEN BOAT was originally published in THE DRUNKEN BOAT & OTHER POEMS FROM THE FRENCH OF

ARTHUR RIMBAUD.

The poems IN THE WAKE, DRIVING NORTH, CAVE OF THE SPIRITS were originally published in TRAVELING MUSIC.

All poems copyright Eric Greinke.  Please contact us for permission to reproduce any of these poems in print or electronically.  Non-commercial and academic reprint permission is hereby granted, provided that they bear the name of the author.

                            

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.

                                                                                                    .

                                                                                                    

Critical Comments (Excerpts)

          

 SAND & OTHER POEMS (1971)

“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

 

THE LAST BALLET (1972)

“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  

 

10 MICHIGAN POETS (1972)

“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

 

IRON ROSE (1973)

“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

 

THE CYMBAL CRASHES - POEM & NOTES (1973)

"(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  

 

THE BROKEN LOCK (1975)

“Greinke has magically melted several worlds together. I'd call it Whitmanic rorschach: a wild high!”       

                                       -William Harrold, in THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW
                                                   
                                       

“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

   

SELECTED POEMS 1975-2005  (2005)                                                                                                             

“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

“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 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 DRUNKEN BOAT & OTHER POEMS FROM THE FRENCH OF ARTHUR RIMBAUD   (2007)

“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'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

                                                                                            

WILD STRAWBERRIES     (2008)

“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

“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

 

KAYAK LESSONS   (2009)

“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

"Practical, often metaphoric, and slyly amusing advice in prose poem form."     -ICONOCLAST


CATCHING THE LIGHT - 12 HAIKU SEQUENCES (2009)

“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.”           -MODERN HAIKU

“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

THE POTENTIAL OF POETRY   (2011)

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

"The Potential Of Poetry is a short book of seven essays about poetic practice... This is an enjoyable and insightful overview of the poetry scene that is well worth reading."  

                                     -Arnold Skemer, THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW

"This is Greinke at his best, advocating at the cutting edge of human growth in consciousness and love, and doing it with poetry."     -Ann Wehrman, POETRY NOW

 

TRAVELING MUSIC   (2011)

“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

“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

“Eric Greinke draws the reader into his evocative imagination, taking respite from his depictions of unforgiving reality through the beauty of nature. Traveling Music entwines themes of nature, mortality, and questions of the future of the earth with arresting and affecting imagery that 0pulls the reader into a multifaceted, sometimes surreal, landscape. Greinke’s arrangement of meter is splendid and his display of forms and genres brilliant; from satirical pieces to prose poems to haiku, he weaves delicate alliteration and assonance throughout his works.”        -Acachia K. Schriml in HAWAI’I PACIFIC REVIEW

“Bly’s influence on Greinke is apparent also in his didactic poems, prosaic descriptions redeemed with poetic wisdom, personification of inert objects, and coming to terms with death. A generation behind Bly, Greinke honors his style and extends his lexicon.”        -Richard Aston, OFF THE COAST

 

CONVERSATION PIECES - SELECTED INTERVIEWS           (2012)

“Within the five interviews selected for publication, Eric Greinke gives the reader a glimpse of how the small press works and its history as it relates to Greinke’s involvement. His devotion and energy to the poetic community is astounding and deserves praise. What Greinke speaks about applies now and will always apply because he is a principled poet with a commitment to the community.”

               -Irene Koronas, BOSTON AREA SMALL PRESS AND POETRY SCENE

“His survey of the small press movement clarifies it very well and, for me, was uplifting, having been a part of it. Besides the factual information that I enjoyed hearing about in this survey, there were two bells that rang in my mind and called me back to my church: conviction and integrity.”

                                                       -Kirby Congdon, SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“The thirty year span makes a comparison between the Eric Greinke in his thirties and the one later in life interesting for the continuing enthusiasm and belief in the good our small presses achieve. The underground continues to churn, thankfully. Eric Greinke’s reflections show us several reasons why.”     -David Chorlton, FUTURE CYCLE PRESS

“Greinke speaks of the inner mystery and ambiguity of poetry. It’s really like a living, breathing spirit to him. Greinke has a broad view of both poetry and of life.”   

                                                                -John Berbrich, BARBARIC YAWP

“Conversations Pieces offers us a rare opportunity to approach and understand a poet’s more abstract work via the poet himself. How interesting to see this sustained interest in symbols, and the intense desire to engage his readers, making them poets, and making poetry a communicative and tranformational experience. This is a fortunate gift, and helps in appreciating the dedication and artistry of Eric Greinke.”
                                                                       -Timothy McLafferty, VERSE WISCONSIN

BEYOND OUR CONTROL - TWO COLLABORATIVE    POEMS   (2012)

“This remarkable collaboration between Hugh Fox and Eric Greinke depicts the soul’s journey through eons to one man’s approaching end. It took incredible skill and the unison of two individuals thinking as one mind to pull off this amazing accomplishment.”              -Linda Lerner, SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“The two poets wrote alternate lines until the project was completed. ‘The first thing we saw upon arrival was/ the salamander legs and bat black eyes/ that emanated from a face of/ distant stellar cold light years/ that was strangely familiar/ from ancient demon-goddess dreams/ where eternal fire flares from onyx eyes.’ There is a feeling of exhilaration that comes over the reader when reading such lines.”      

                                                              -Arnold Skemer, ZYX 64

 

ALL THIS DARK - 24 TANKS SEQUENCES  (2012)

“These tanka sequences, like the blacksmith’s blade, are inspired and the chapbook itself is a little masterpiece. The authors and Cervena Barva Press should be proud.”

         -Dennis Daly, BOSTON AREA SMALL PRESS AND POETRY SCENE

“Welcome to the world of tankas - and what a wonderful world it is. I couldn’t think of a better chapbook to celebrate this ancient Japanese poetry form than this book. Needless to say, every poet should read this chapbook to revel in its greatness and learn from the authors’ craft. Writing programs should use it as a teaching tool for the modern tanka style. Everyone else should read it because it is so damn good.”
                       -Francis Alix, SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“This collaborative work casts kaleidoscopic poetic glimmerings... The result is a stunning tanka sequence that alternates between quiet natural earthy airy meditations and the pulsating, twisting human condition of our times.”

                                                    -Devin McGuire, THE AUROREAN

 

FOR THE LIVING DEAD - NEW & SELECTED POEMS      (2014)

“One of the most effective poets on the scene, a master word/idea worker who deserves the strongest possible lauds.”      -THE SMALL PRESS REVIEW

“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. Greinke writes not for awards but because he is a poet, it is what he does, and we are better for it.”      -G Emil Reutter, FOX CHASE REVIEW

“There’s a strong vein of surrealism in this collection. This species of surrealism goes beyond dreams to nightmare, that nightmare of the collective consciousness that hovers over us all, that haunts our waking hours and crushes us under its weight.”         -Arnold Skemer, ZYX 65

“The poems of Eric Greinke, like Sandburg’s fog, “come on little cat feet”—observe, contemplate, meditate, accept, and move on. They gather momentum like a mighty wind, and they are not soon forgotten. Reading this deep and thoughtful book is akin to skating on a pristine sheet of ice; the top layer is still and serene, but the poet is mindful of the cracks beneath the surface. With undercurrents that flow in numerous directions, a Greinke poem is more ambitious than its brevity would imply, while maintaining an independent streak and placid cool. Its undertones are vaguely political, sexual, and religious, but the poems are not about politics, sex, or religion. Greinke gives weight to the power of memory, and there is certainly a nostalgic feel to some of the poems, but he also pays homage to the here-and-now and the future. The language is oddly violent and, simultaneously, benign. The poems are suffused with sagacity and, yet, the poet approaches all things with a fresh and earnest ponder. The poems feel somehow safe; yet they take the type of astounding risks that poets ought to take. The tone is reflective and kindly, with delightful bouts of unique wordplay (“laugh-burlap-sourcream-mantelpiece body”) and sly humor appearing in unexpected places (“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen//Nobody knows my monthly electric bill”). Through unadorned vernacular, the poet teaches us that there can be much depth in simplicity and, simply stated, Eric Greinke’s voice is a calming balm with an off-beat bent.

*

In terms of form, Eric Greinke carves an eclectic niche; like snowflakes, no two poems are exactly alike. Not only do these selected poems have a wide wingspan of years (from 1969-2012), but they also bridge the unlikely gap between the hypnagogic and the concrete world of trees, dead dogs on highways, clocks, and loss. The poet recognizes those connections and somehow reconciles their differences. Greinke is at ease in many genres, which reside comfortably alongside each other—from poetry of the marvelous in the fine tradition of Rimbaud and Neruda, to the more traditional poems of Robert Frost. He is adept at the short, introspective prose poem which merges the surreal with the linear, no small feat. He is every bit the gentle, rugged poet of heart and humanity as Gary Snyder—and sometimes he just tells a darn good yarn, with warmth and intensity, and draws you right in.

*

Greinke’s biggest strength is his mixed bag of styles. In “Black Milk,” the poet’s couplets contain mismatched phrases that hint at things and throw an interesting curve, while utilizing enough connective associations to make the lines sound plausible. He then easily transitions to a poem that uses plainspoken parlance: “Wild Strawberries” is, arguably, as pithy and profound as William Carlos Williams’s “The Red Wheelbarrow,” beginning with a simple image evoked from childhood, and ending with a pointed statement about the all-too-fleeting passage of time.

*

Greinke plants seeds liberally throughout these poems (seeds of thought, action, and interaction), and, as he predicts, they do grow. When he’s not dabbling in the surrealistic arts, he becomes the ultimate nature poet, not just as someone who admires the gifts of Mother Nature, but who propels personification to transcendental heights. His personal communes with wildlife encompass its often cruel realities, but what is even more distinctive in these particular poems is the way he links the hierarchy of the animal kingdom to human nature.

*

In poems such as “Black Flies,” the flies are seen as an “eternal onslaught,” conjuring biblical plague; while, in “Dilemma,” the hawk is pitted against the sparrow, with the poet (Man) as the final arbiter of their fates. And, in “The Accident,” Man’s brutal impulses are brought to the fore, and are nothing less than jarring. Yet, Greinke is no messenger of doomsday; it is clear that the lovely universal landscape is where he chooses to spend most of his leisure hours. But despite his tendency towards the magical, he is, at heart, a realist.”
                                                                                                  -Cindy Hochman, THE PEDESTAL MAGAZINE

 

“Containing a selection of poems spanning five decades, Eric Greinke’s new book, For the Living Dead is a sort of “greatest hits” collection chosen by the poet himself. Across the years, his work embraces many of the same themes, concerns and styles, a playful but serious meditation on the universe around us, both the natural and supernatural.

*

Greinke writes in deceptively simple language, like Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson. Like Frost, too, he has a real feel for the woods and the water, only set in Michigan, not New England. There are poems about storms (“After the Ice Storm,” “Cape May Storm,” “Summer Storm”), about time and the seasons (“The Lake in Winter,” “April,” “May,” “October,” “Our House”), and haiku-like images of nature abound in such poems as “Drifts,” “Flotsam,” “Leelanau Fire,” “The Dark Roofs.” He vividly shows us what is.
        Yet for all the accurately observed natural details, there is also a flight into the illogic of dreams and what might be called the “supernatural.” Take the title poem, for instance, an eight-page poem written in 2007. Beginning in a familiar picture of solitude, a man in nature, it quickly veers into a surreal, post-apocalyptic story of zombies and robots.
         For my money, Greinke is at the top of his game when he is describing a scene, telling a story whose implications do not need to be spelled out; they throb with a kind of numinous significance lurking below the story he tells, the situation he describes. Poems like “
The Accident” (1972) exemplify this, but it is true especially of some of his more recent work: “My Father’s Job,” in which the car factory is shown as a sort of prison, and his father’s existence, a life sentence; “Shooting Lessons,” in which a boy accidentally kills his brother with his father’s shotgun and is never the same; “There and Back,” a story about being assaulted at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago by a group of drunken teenagers. ‘It would never be easy to distinguish/our friends from our enemies again.’”         
-Charles Rammelkamp, CHAMBER FOUR

 

“There is a Blakeian energy to these poems that pulses through the shorter ones in particular - in true Beat tradition, the senses are rhapsodic even at their most cataclysmic.
      Greinke believes in endings, as in “Haunted Windows”: ‘We cry for wings/Even as wings approach’, or the quietly resonant ‘We reserve our opinions/Our private parking spaces’ that end ‘Spaces.’
        Politics are a motive force. There is an eyewitness thrill to ‘There & Back’, a poem about the 1968 Democratic Convention, a disillusionment in its ending, (the young poet and friends were savagely attacked by their peers): ‘All the way home I digested the sour/truth. It would never be easy to distinguish/our friends from our enemies again.’
        The work has wide geographic reach. The least rhetorical poems enchant me.
         Greinke’s a great storyteller, an implicit element central to ‘Shooting Lessons’, and ‘The Accident’, among others. The use of dialogue in these poems makes me wish for more.”

                                                                                  -Aileen La Tourette, THE  JOURNAL (UK)

 

"For the Living Dead is a great book if you are looking for something simple but thought-provoking and emotional. The poet does an excellent job at leaving the reader on edge, and he always leaves the reader thinking at the end of each poem. Eric Greinke’s collection of poems written throughout four decades of his writing career left me wanting more."

                                              - Mary Kate DeJardin, THE STONEBOAT LITERARY  JOURNAL

 

"...Greinke's tone is unpretentious, his usual diction far from rarefied.  (Also, his occasional penchant for too-easy rhymes undercut  me appreciation for his skill, the understated restraint that his better pieces display.)  Anyway, the going can seem easy, perhaps easier that it should go.  I blazed through the first ten pages, felling brief poems like saplings, neglecting to take notes, until I found myself at "The Forest," able to understand the surface of the poem, able to appreciate that it could also function as a parable, but confronted by a mystical opacity that stymied rational analysis.  So I put down my axe, my arrogant presumption that "Fine.  I know what this one's about.  And this one.  And this one."  And I moved deeper into the trees.  And I willingly got lost."           -John F. Buckley, ARCADIA


Articles & Interviews About

“A 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.

“Craft Interview ”, by Tim McLafferty, Forge - An Eclectic Journal of Modern Story, Culture, and Art, New York/London/ Lincoln, ND, 2015.

Book Ordering Information

Eric Greinke's books may be purchased through:

Presa Press

PO Box 792, Rockford, Michigan, 49341.
W
ebsite:  www.presapress.com.  

Email address:  presapress@aol.com.

Marymark Press

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:  editor@cervenabarvapress.com

Any US bookstore (www.bn.com).

www.amazon.com

www.thelostbookshelf.com

 

Email me:  ericgreinke@ericgreinke.com

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