SECTION ELEVEN 

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COLUMN NINETY-FOUR, JULY 1, 2003
(Copyright 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)

BOOK REVIEWS


(Copyright 2002 Joyce Metzger)

ENEMIES OF TIME
by Donald Lev,
Warthog Press, 2000 (p/b 80pp)
Original Limited Edition

Donald Lev has been writing and publishing for over forty years.  At the turn of the millenium, the year 2000, this was Donald Lev's 12th published collection of poems.  He and his wife, the poetess, Enid Dame, have co-edited and published, the poetry tabloid of distinction  Home Planet News, since 1979.  His addresses are Brooklyn and High Falls, New York.  Donald also distributes newsprint periodicals of cultural interest for a living.  He has been widely published in independent small press periodicals which include Caprice, CerBerUs, Education Update, Pivot, Lips, Woodstock Journal, Ikon, Jews, New York Quarterly, Long Shot and ZZZ ZYNE.

Merry salutes greet the venerated icon, Donald Lev, within the small press poets, and they are quick to arise especially among the presses on the North East section of the United States. He has never been an idler at the wheel, once his hands have taken a grip to steer a course toward a poetic objective.  This poet is clear minded, succinct and concise without a hint of subterfuge. He goes directly to the point, aims for the jugular without any side trip adventures into irksome Irish bull.

I can appreciate and thoroughly enjoy this type of thinking writer.  I also enjoy receiving, then being able to absorb a book of poems, which becomes a learning experience.  My comprehension if enriched; I do receive subtle instruction, discover and learn new facts when I read Donald Lev's poetry. Pertinent facts, which are a part of Lev's Jewish, tone.  I am reading that part of his life, who he is, that which he will share rather than sheer inventive imagery.  Lev stirs thoughts and minds which liberally sparks our own creative processes.  

--Memorial Day?

            "I'm Orthodox? my father states,
            then turns back to the sportpage,
            the skullcap cur from a fedora's lining
             securely on his head: my koan then, my koan yet.

 * * *

            --The Dead Of Marbletown?

             The dead of Marbletown
              thrive in their way
              flaunting proud old epitaphs
              the more ancient, the more illegible,
              amid September corn fields
              and I wonder if the son of Bob Dylan
              whose name is Jakob
              knows September Song.

* * *

--Tantalus At The Seder?
 
             glatt kosher!
            fork in hand flowers in his eyes lordly mannered
            tantalus stabs at a piece of gefilte fish &
            bitter herb (he has resolved to be on good
            behavior at this, first family Seder in many
            centuries).

* * *

            --Nostalgia Poem: Greenwich Village?

            "in that light I might see goldfinger, might see steve
            tropp, george montgomery, bob white jr., barbara holland,
             emilie glen, poor richard davidson, eunice margot, julianne,
            rissa, ree, john payne, janet and cicero; another night might
            see kerouac, o?hara, oppenheimer, blackbrun, berrigan, bob
            vaughan; another, ed blair; still another the great ginsberg,
             or jack micheline, or armand schwerner whistling on a ghostly
             reed.
             but hey, the sky is lighting up.

* * *

Excellent!  Every page burns with thoughts, memories, compassion and melodious melodrama. The poems in Enemies of Time are berceuse, a lullaby of luminescent tranquility without the excess of obtrusive, or lugubrious, chatter-fluff.  Lev's alacrity is briskly cheerful as it appeases even the pessimistic cynical.  The poems in Enemies of Time for the most part are memorials. They are recollections and timely recognition of whom we are and certainly clearly point to Donald Lev's identity.  This forerunner messenger is an excellent communicator.

My advice, given enthusiastically, is for you to send to Warthog Press for a copy of Enemies of Time.  Hopefully they will still have copies on hand.  This reviewer enjoyed every page.  ##

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