Bombshelter Press, 1978, , 58 poems, 144 pgs, rare;
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Jack Grapes is said to be a poet who articulates the sensibilities that shape L.A.’s unique literary terrain.
Los Angeles Times
His language is common speech, height and confined through poetic skill and insight. It is not only easy to read, it reaches out for you. He manages to be levelheaded in building his poems, wonderfully and purposefully vague in atmosphere while at the same time, making his points assuredly. It is difficult to explain and equally hard to delineate. It is the work’s magic. The point, or at least the result is an updating of the Whitman ethic, the ‘Song of Myself’ which speaks for and to all men. Finally, Jack Grapes makes sense, and how many poets consistently do? His work is generous, passionate, as full-bodied as a meal and yet delicate as a fog, but a fog which never falls between him and his writing, between his work and us. This unique usage of poetry, this humane artistic ideal, conscious or unconscious, of what poetry should be, is his own. Ours too, if we are wise enough to receive it.
Dennis Cooper, Bachy
These poems transcend what might have been self-indulgence to show a full range of universal emotions. We find a man in touch with the mythology of his life. This is the strength of his poetry—he writes with an honesty that would put all the psychiatrists on Bedford Avenue out of business. Grapes is an Everyman creating glorious images out of a sometimes less-than-glorious reality, tugging at emotions and overthrowing state sensibilities.
Laurel Bogan, Los Angeles Herald Examiner
Jack is a maverick poet who has revolutionized the poetic process in the deepest way possible.
Lucia Lemieux, Moving Pictures