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Tap Dancing on the Razor's Edge, Poems by Paul Lubenkov
As the title of this collection suggests, the poems in Tap Dancing on the Razor's Edge reflect a dynamic tension between exuberant joy and exquisite pain, with a liberal dose of sardonic humor. In the headlong pursuit of love and redemption, the poems in this collection peel back the subliminal layers of comfort surrounding the soul and wander between the darkness and the light with a sense of alacrity often bemused, sometimes ironic, frequently comedic, and too often alarmed at what they find. They are honest and rhythmic and sonorous to the ear. In some ways, they are a throwback to older and kinder sensitivities. More often, they open doors that demand to be opened, and sometimes kicked in. They are a source of revelation, adventure, and ultimately self-discovery. Here is a poet unafraid to grapple with the dark matter in our lives and confront the bright light that often enlivens our journey. Who imbues striking narratives with alternating bursts of vivid imagery, singular rhythms, engaging pathos, and a relentless dose of humor. Here is a poet who loves to sing, and we are fortunate to hear his voice. Enjoy the ride.
"It's past time we had Paul Lubenkov's Tap Dancing On The Razor's Edge, a dark comedy of gesture and thrills that mirrors the insanity of our times with a wry grin slanting through the mist of horrors. This guy's been at it awhile, and his formal training shows in the tight focus of his angular verse. From a threnody on the bombing of Japan to the series of short, snorty poems about his irascible character Milo, we see a masterful working out of ragtime foibles, flirtations of the Fifties, and results of the irrational stichomythia of the stock market. It's good poetry the way it used to be. Grab it."-Larry Johnson, author of Alloy
"By turns witty, vulgar, angry, and tender -- Paul Lubenkov's poems may be just the accompaniment for our disjointed times."-R. M. Ryan, author of The Lost Roads Adventure Club.
"'It is always too late.' That could indeed be the hallmark of Paul Lubenkov's fine new book, Tap Dancing on the Razor's Edge. And 'Irony of ironies, all is irony' said Thomas Mann. Neither Mann, nor Lubenkov, is the first or the last to conclude that all is irony-but, in these sardonic and very tightly constructed wonders, Lubenkov dances with that concept as well as anyone in recent times. The clear conclusions Paul Lubenkov comes to at evening's end are classically comic, but you don't see anyone laughing."- Leon Stokesbury, author of You Are Here.
Paul Lubenkov has had experience in a wide range of occupations: grinder in an iron foundry, university instructor, benefits analyst, technology sales executive, national account manager, corporate leasing director, and business banking vice president. He currently teaches at Morton College and strongly believes that having multiple careers allows you to live multiple lives.
ISBN 978-1625492722, 102 pages, $19.00