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Window On The City by Michael Ruby

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Window On The City Michael Ruby BlazeVOX [books]

 “Unreal City,” intones Mr. Eliot in his “The Waste Land,” bracketed by “One must be so careful these days” and “Under the brown fog of a winter dawn…. ” Ruby writes “velocity,” athwart “toodle to tabasco” and “orange sunshine.” What’s cold and taut in Eliot—strained—is hot and loose in Window on the City. While the poems in the section by that name are realized in direct contemplation of the Lower Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn—“The North Tower Blinks All Night”—they are as much a matter of reflection off the surface of a vocabulary, as we each are, as on the windowpane: “The gray thrust/tails the chariots/of melted heroines.” Further, there is nothing “unreal” about Ruby’s stance toward the “city,” the Indo-European cognate of which is “to lie” and “homestead.” Rather, Ruby records the exact heart of how we can be “on” and what happens there once located and turned—how we experience the open—as places and feelings and bits of knowledge flow and fire together to shine into a speckled block for a future “of softening blue smells in the opening of loss/on snores/on truculent fraud/to indenture to fumes/once there.” Many write with words; Ruby with consciousness itself, which can only be approached by its absence. There is nothing abstract about this. It is here and here: “The softness of the teeth encouraged us to eat” and “We better tiptoe/to the hollow giants.”

—Sam Truitt



Michael Ruby’s first book of poems, At an Intersection, was published in 2002 by Alef Books in New York. A book of prose poetry, Fleeting Memories, is being published this year as an e-book by Ugly Duckling Presse in Brooklyn. He is also the editor of Washtenaw County Jail and Other Writings by David Herfort, a 1970s prison memoir published by Xlibris in 2005. Recent poems have been published or are forthcoming in print journals Rattapallax, The Seneca Review, syllogism, Fell Swoop, Lost & Found Times, Lungfull! and Torch; and in e-zines xStream, Aught, The Big Bridge, La Petite Zine, Sidereality, Shampoo, Castagraf, Unpleasant Event Schedule, word for/word, GutCult, tin lustre mobile, ampersand and Dusie, as well as in single-author issues of Mudlark and Poethia. Michael Ruby lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and works as a journalist.

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· Paperback: 93 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· February 2006
· ISBN: 0-9759227-3-4


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