Frank Lima was
born in New York City in Spanish Harlem, 1939. His parents were
Mexican and Puerto Rican. He received a Master's from Columbia
University in 1975. During the 60's and 70's he published three
books of poetry and was included in many anthologies. In the
late 70's, Lima took a more introspective approach to create new
poems and to devote his time to family, as he pursued a career
in classical French Cooking as a professional chef in the
”Inventory opens with
"Scattered Vignettes," a raw, hallucinatory work about Lima's
mythopoetic origins. The poem records a striking mosaic of
abuses at the hands of parents, priests, and various controlled
substances. But such stories are not the key to this book.
"Poetry," after all, "is pinker / than nature," and the past
matters less here than the present and future: "every day is a
new instrument." That is, he's got work to do. Instead of
holding up a mirror to life, Lima holds up "fingers popping with
eyes." These poems don't make sense--nor love--so much as they
make for love through the senses. Although love is his great
subject, some of Lima's traditional love poems drift lazily into
flat cliché. His most wondrous feats are object poems such as
"Geranium" and "The Hand"--expansive empathies that suggest a
sensually surreal George Herbert. It's here that we taste "the
terrible flavor of love." For Lima, a working chef and former
New York School bad boy, "Poetry is an expressive cut of meat."
So we do sit and eat.
“One decade of Suffering City Withdrawal Pains is focused
here in the few poems a young man finds in his head..."
“Frank Lima writes poems which...tell you things you know and
things you do not know, and are entirely beautiful.”