Four Way Books
Lush
by Frazier Russell

ISBN: 1-884800-30-0
paper, 78 pages, $13.95



". . . I think of Michael S. Harper and Yusef Komunyakaa and what they have done for poetry by giving it such a purely American sound. Russell gives us Bud Powell’s Un Poco Loco and Ellington’s Come Sunday and Miles’s ‘lush republic of trumpet /on It Never Entered My Mind.’ He gives us ‘whiffs of whiskey’ and ‘immense verdure’ and nail-bitten skin’ and ‘upright left out in the rain’ and ‘camel-hair finery’ and Mandelstam in Prison and Wichita at Night and ‘bump and tongue’ and a good many prayers. In fact, what the music is all about, finally is prayer. He gives and he gives and then he gives a little bit more. That is his art; that is what language and music are all about in the Gospel according to Frazier Russell: ‘all ruin & nuance.’ Amen!"

          —from the Afterword by Philip Schultz

"John Berryman says in one of his Dream Songs: ‘These songs are not meant to be understood, you understand. / They are meant to terrify and comfort.’ Well, Frazier Russell’s poems are meant to be understood and they, as well, terrify and comfort. And make you laugh. And give you the world. Lush is an unforgettable first book."

          —Thomas Lux