William Crawford Review


"The two of you really blew the doors off of my barn. And though it was hardly necessary, you have reconfirmed your status... as two of our best living poets. I dearly wish the living would be celebrated more while they are still here among us."

The poems in BACK TO BACK are deeply rooted in the kind of life, light and darkness that blooms and sings best in the spaces between the pressed flesh of lovers. The music here is rich, in the moment, on fire with life.

E.L. Freifeld’s words fall with an immediacy and no b.s. emotional honesty that brings to mind hard bop jazz as cleansing rain on a lens sharpened by an unflinching mind’s eye view of self and surrounding. His work provides a brave new window, open just enough for the reader to slip on through and feel the fresh charge and challenge of the other side.

The strange thrill that comes with losing one’s self and discovering universal weightlessness tempered with heightened awareness. In other words, a beyond Bloodstone level, natural high.

Lois Michal Unger’s words, with their excruciatingly exquisite equipoise of vision and concision, take that window and turn it into mirror with her own starry night—lucid yet intoxicating. Poems true as a well-knit scar that remembers itself every time that hard, clean rain falls. Sometimes it sounds like a round of applause high up on that roof, or a naked 3 a.m. blues, respectful of the pause that bursts with birth—so human it hurts. A place where life expands; where strength and vulnerability work together in sublime symbiosis.

It is in this very place we discover the natural bridge these two souls form when read together. One that can never burn, spanning time and continent. An eclectic, electric main line from Brooklyn to Tel Aviv and all of those soulful, heart food/heartache joints in between.

William Crawford, author of Actual Tigers & Fire in the Marrow