Live Landscape Release (book page)

Cervena Barva Press Announces a New Book

“Live Landscape”
by Andrey Gritsman

Andrey Gritsman is a poet and essayist, born and raised in Russia. He lives in New York City and works as a physician. He has been widely published in Russia, including five collections of poetry. Poems, essays and translations in English have appeared in Manhattan Review, New Orleans Review, Denver Quarterly, Notre Dame Review, Poet Lore, South Carolina Reviewand many others and were anthologized inModern Poetry in Translation (UK), inCrossing Centuries (New Generation in Russian Poetry), The Breath of Parted Lips: Voices from the Robert Frost Placeand in Stranger at Home: American Poetry with an Accent. Collections of poetry and essays Long Fall was published by Spuyten Duyvil in 2004 and recent poetry collectionPISCES by Numina Press. Andrey’s work was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and was on the short list for the Joyce Osterweil/PEN American Center Prize in Poetry in 2005. He runs the Intercultural Poetry Series in a popular literary club Cornelia Street Café and edits international poetry magazine INTERPOEZIA.
Andrey Gritsman is quite literally a groundbreaking poet. From Moscow to New York is a steep distance but Gritsman makes us aware of the threads that link seemingly disparate occasions. Fresh perceptions create new styles and Gritsman’s is more than a synthesis of two cultures: it is an art that probes delusions and pleasures by a poet who has been around some daunting blocks.
—Baron Wormser, author of Good Trembling and many other collections of poetry.
Andrey Gritsman’s poems are unwavering in their honesty, relentless in their assessment of contemporary life, and clear-eyed in their approach to human love and mortality. We instantly recognize the terrain he is negotiating. Perhaps only Gritsman, with his unprejudiced immigrant’s eye, can describe the empty, arid landscape of the American West. These are poems that peer into the abyss behind the official public happiness of American life, the compulsion to be always hopeful, positive and bubbling over with good spirits. That is to say: they are real poems, and make no accommodation with fanciful dreams. Read ‘em, and weep.
—Kurt Brown, poet, editor of several anthologies, founder, Aspen Writers’ Seminar
Gritsman’s poems are tenderness in transit. They fully inhabit their evoked circumstances so that their significance keeps expanding and resonating before the quality of attention given over to them. He so quickly is able to penetrate to the depths in the poems, it is as though working with a large, oiled, sharp shovel while the rest of us are working with miniature dull and rusty spoons. The use of brevity in some of these poems remind me of my beloved Denise Levertov. His poems are “time-flooded” and remind me that whether we look backward or forward in time always the beloved figures are diminishing, disappearing, and the shadow growing from our own foot soles moves among the company of many other shadows. “Constant departure,” as he says it, is our state, and all we can do is stand for our count, make our song, and salute each other.
—Jeanne Marie Beaumont, author of Curious Conduct (BOA Editions)

 

FOR MY FATHER
After you’ve been gone,
I’ve been flying alone back and forth
above the waters and the continents.
Both of us: me here and you there
know too well that this is a waste of time
and space.
I may be flying, looking for you
for the rest of my life
or death, and still never see you.
Nothing can be undone,
and I can’t take it.
Nor I can take the fact
that every time I see my close ones, I know,
it may be the last time I see them.
Don’t worry about me. While I fly,
an angel in uniform attends me,
gives me some water and bread,
and smiles to me.
She takes care of me
until it’s time to get out,
get in line for the luggage
and then to disappear into crowd
which lives on the exhaust,
cyclic persistence
and canned expectations.
The latter is something
I live on myself, expectation
melting slowly into waiting
as I keep on flying
in the space given
for the time being.

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