1965, privately printed by author, 100 pages, 67 poems, 100 copies, cover art by Susan Weinberg, poems illustrated with ink drawings by Susan Weinberg, out of print / rare, $250
1966, 300 copies, a few copies left
*Check with author for availability
This book, a collection of 67 poems, beautifully presented, ranks in importance with Dust’s publication of Field Studies by Gene Fowler. These two dissimiliar poets separated by more than miles, must rank as the two most promising “new poets” of 1965. Grapes takes the people and objects around him, the ideas within and insights within him and turns them into beautiful word-patterns — poems; which be they light or heavy, flow with ease and strike with power.
Poetry Newsletter, 1966
Highly recommended; the real thing is there.
Marvin Malone, Wormwood Review, 1966
All the ‘dallying with forms’ — all the complete bunch of cranial nonsense that fills the anus provoking mags out today — take a dive, tke aq headfirst plunge when a poets comes along. Such a poet is Marcus [Jack] Grapes. There are a few (incredibly few) who aren’t
afraid of ripping through themselves to the flower in their gut. Grapes through his poetry does make his own way. And the times are such that probably few will laud and even fewer will seek his work out and follow him in the journey of himself.
Steve Richmond, OLE, 1966
These are questioning, piercing, and terribly involved poems — some cryptically short, others are the involuted long-line counterproint spoken on breath drawn deeply. Grapes writes as if he has lived a stark, empty life; a full and blooming life; a life he doesn’t know
and one he does. There’s a people-orientation here: the smell of okra, black men always fixing the streets, the dead-yellow of last year’s grass, and these, and similar images are never far off the center of the tragic vision. Though there is no sniveling snivel here. The book is tastefully produced in bright colors and stark line drawings, as if calling attention to the crushing force of the opposites, the pushes and pulls of life, love, beauty, death, hate, ugliness. Grapes is a gifted writer; not in the technical sense (though he does know his
craft and is able to do some interesting things with metres), but in the sense that he makes words fit the experience, rather than the experience fitting the words.
Andrew Curry, Dust, Vol 2, No. 2, 1966