79pp, 7.9x5”, paper, 1996
"Raphael Rubinstein's first collection of poems is lucid, compelling, and endowed with astonishing authority. His voice is unmistakably his own and, remarkably, it is spoken in a second voice that keeps a most eloquent distance from it. In this ambiguous space Rubinstein gathers intense, precise observations of the world without and within, "scrawling," as he says, "harsh marks in the margins of their tactics." The poems that emerge display a classic intensity in their synthesis of emotional vividness and critical alertness."
– Harry Mathews
"Rubinstein reconciles beautifully the everyday with the ellipses necessary for his negations. With an obsessively self-lacerating elegance, the poet also gives us panoramas of a very expansive happiness. This concise and self-conscious style seems as flat as a blueprint and as accurate. I also sense something turbulent in this sparkling poetry with its critical strengths: "sparks from a hammer." Rubinstein avoids pathos like the plague and then invites it back to the party, as it were, in a hilariously mixed poetry. These unconfused cavalier poems are witty as new ruins should be."
– David Shapiro
"The politeness and polish of these poems feels entirely characteristic. Rubinstein's tenderness towards absurdity has civil charm, but pops up whenever, replacing us in our bodies via the surprised laugh. The simplicity is not deceptive, it's the obvious reframed; it takes nerve to face us into these truths. This book makes me feel that an honest man is writing.
– David Bromige
Raphael Rubinstein was born in Lawrence, Kansas in 1955. He graduated
from Bennington college, Bennington, Vt., in 1979. He has been writing artcriticism since 1986 and is currently associate editor at Art In America. His Poems have appeared in The American Poetry Review, Talisman, Oblek, lingo, Lacanian Ink, and many others. His writing has been published perviously in private editions.