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LURIE'S LAST WILL
Dayen is a sharp observer of the every day experiences in life. He doesn't mince with words or clothe them in similes and metaphors, preferring to speak in the language of the common man and woman, and in doing so, he steers clear of the vain and maudlin tone too evident in many of today's poets. Read him at a bar with a shot of whiskey, or in a cafe with a double shot of Espresso; if one of the two doesn't get you "wired", the poetry will.
Liebler's translator, Aleksey Dayen, is a Russian-American poet, writer, artist and editor of a bilingual literature magazine. Born in Kiev, he moved to New York as a political refugee in 1994. His works have appeared in major anthologies, magazines and newspapers throughout the world. "Somebody told me there are no words for 'fragrant' or 'benediction' in Russian," said Liebler, an English and American studies professor at Wayne State University. "I have no idea how he got around that one." ...
I had the privilege of reading at the 35th anniversary celebration of Cross-Cultural Communications, the small imprint of poet and publisher Stanley Barkan, which issued this chapbook. Dayen read in Russian and English. His poems are often short, some just eight or 12 lines. But all ring beautifully true and clear. One of my favorites is "Pincer," concerning the conceits of men who climb women like trees, and "penetrate with false indices/ Something that becomes a knife in a man's heart."