To Die Next To You now available here–http://amzn.to/1eu80j8
David Shapiro writes:
I was stunned by the collaboration between Rodger Kamenetz and Michael Hafftka. It is a retrospective and duet.
Rodger Kamenetz is one of the secret best poets in America. He has created poems that are part of a dreaming community, and little do we know, says Shelley, how beautiful fire may be. In Rodger Kamenetz’s work I feel the fire in the heart of the great transcendental Romantics. What I hear dominantly is the unwillingness to ameliorate. He never whines nor does he abandon “the task.” Like the fabulous anti-illustrations throughout the book, he is part of the intransigent realism that makes The House of the Dead into the House of the Living.
Rodger Kamenetz is a leader and a prophet, a visionary with a vision, when most of us “are testing out wings, our straining struts.” May this marvelous lyric tenderness continue.
Hafftka is a humanist in the line of Walter Benjamin, Hannah Arendt and Meyer Shapiro —his are wild notations that amplify the poems in an inescapable flesh and fire. Hafftka is always capable of self-destroying machines, there is in him Soutine and Bacon, a space opened for the scream of creatures. He is not afraid of pathos and the nightmares of Goya.
There is in Hafftka and in Kamenetz grand refusals to live by charm. Oh, they are both charming, but they are also horrifying and embodied. Hafftka rhymed with Kafka, of course.
—David Shapiro author of After A Lost Original, Lateness (poetry), and Mondrian’s Flowers , Jasper Johns (art criticism)
John Yau writes:
The poet Rodger Kamenetz has traveled to a far-off land where “Rodger Kamenetz is a homeless name,/ A name of feathers.” The poems he sends us from that place are mysterious and open – both parable and their opposite, anti-parable. It is poetry of paradox and lament, love and memory, eros and grief: “I live in the past which I invented.” No matter what depths or heights Kamenetz reaches – gravity is inescapable, after all – he does not lose his sense of concentration and wonderment. The artist Michael Hafftka accompanied Kamenetz on this journey, and, as one might expect, they traveled by their separate ways. With pen and ink, Hafftka registered the turmoil of being afflicting the inhabitants of this strange world called Now. To Die Next To You is where “History waits for me in the powder of the stars— the dust.” This is the now we live in. Anyone who can make something of it has achieved the miraculous. In To Die Next To You, Kamenetz and Hafftka have done exactly that. Go on their journey with them, and carry this book with you on yours.
–John Yau author of A Thing Among Things: The Art of Jasper Johns, and Further Adventures in Monochrome
To Die Next To You available here–http://amzn.to/1eu80j8