A Superintendent’s Eyes
A Superintendent’s Eyes by Steve Dalachinsky is a cycle of poems/prose dealing with the vicissitudes of being a building super back in the days when NYC streets were still mean; tossing out junkies, mopping the hallways, bagging garbage, listening to tenant complaints (both real and imagined) and trying to sell records and books on the side.
“Steve Dalachinsky put in his time as a super. Whoever coined the word ‘thankless’ must have had that job, but Steve endured it because he could describe it, because he could tune it like a radio that brings in the whole world of talk, and most of all because he could make it swing. He makes the ground floor apartment double as the catbird seat.” — Luc Sante, author of Low Life.
“A Superintendent’s Eyes is a one-of-a-kind neo-noir document of life in the rickety world of Lower Manhattan at the turn of the century. Dalachinsky — heir to Charles Reznikoff, for his ability to step back from and enter into experience simultaneously, and to the painters of the Ashcan School for
their gritty back alley subject matter — writes with eyes (and heart) wide open.” — Lewis Warsh,
author of A Place in the Sun and Inseparable.
“Poetry has changed since Hesiod, but the essence of what makes a great poem hasn’t. These poems, written through the ‘eyes of a superintendent,’ are perceived through the eyes of a poet. Dalachinsky’s poems are marked by a Zen-like humanity, spot-on cadence and attention to the beauty of a poem on the page. So what if he had to pick up garbage, fix leaking faucets and shovel snow in blizzards, he took time for ‘night viewing the cherry blossoms/illuminated by their own pink light….’ Thanks to poetry of this caliber, ‘tomorrow is as good as ever/ Amen’.”— Janet Hamill, author of Body of Water, Bowery Women: Poems and Lost Ceilings.
“Clark Kent is Superman, but Steve Dalachinsky is ‘super-man,’ strange visitor from another borough with powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal poets. More powerful than a loco motive, able to bend irony in his bare hands… Steve dispenses the holy bitterness of Jeremiah, Isaiah & Nina Simone. Anyone who’s ever had a real job — one that’s miserable, taxing, poorly-paid and necessary—should read A Superintendent’s Eyes. Steve is a Bartleby the Scrivener for our age, who says: ‘I would prefer not to, but I must’ — and continues.” — Sparrow, author of America: A Prophecy: The Sparrow Reader.
180 pages, 5 x 7 inch trim, photographs by Arthur Kaye