Poetry. Donald Lev's latest book, A VERY FUNNY FELLOW, published by NYQ Books, is a compilation of ninety-two short poems, mostly written over the last decade and a half, and appearing in periodicals, but not included in any of the dozen collections gleaned for his The Darkness Above: Selected Poems 1968-2002 (CRS Outloudbooks, 2008), or the two chapbooks subsequent to those. These are poems of inner observation, of quotidian magic or lack of magic, in which one finds wisdom, wry humor, and echoes of one's own complexities. The book opens in a Brooklyn donut shop with the author's irritation at the delay in the refilling of his breakfast special coffee, continues through bar room, temple, and snake hole, and ends in a house whose floor is covered by "box loads of books and neuroses." The real subject of each poem is the knot in the core of human existence, which each reader is allowed the pleasure of untying.
Donald Lev was born in New York City in 1936. He attended Hunter College, worked in the wire rooms of both The Daily News and The New York Times, and then drove a taxi cab for twenty years (with a 6 year hiatus in which he ran messages for and contributed poetry to The Village Voice and operated the Home Planet Bookshop on the Lower East Side). His earliest poems appeared in print in 1958 and he started his first small press magazine, HYN Anthology, in 1969, the same year his brief underground film acting career pinnacled with his portrayal (he wrote his own lines) of the Poet in Robert Downey Sr.'s classic Putney Swope. He met Enid Dame (1943-2003) at a N. Y. Poet's Cooperative meeting in 1976. They became life partners in 1978, and in 1979 founded the literary tabloid Home Planet News, which Lev still publishes.Author City: HIGH FALLS, NY USA