By: Ralph Murre

Cross+Roads Press
P.O. Box 33
Ellison Bay, WI 54210
Price: $10.00 / 72 pages / 50 Poems
ISBN 1-889460-18-4

Review By:

It always surprises me when I read a new book of poetry by a writer I've read and enjoyed in various journals and discover it is their first book. "How could this be?" I wonder when the writer has such talent. "Crude Red Boat" by Ralph Murre is published by the venerated Norb Blei's Cross + Roads Press. It is a wonderful coming out party for a writer who began to write poetry just a few years ago. Murre uses plain spoken language in this collection of fifty-three poems, and the subjects of his musings are also common as noted by a few of the titles from this collection, "Rock", "My Room", "Gust", and "Neighbor". These poems are so immediate they made me feel like I was sitting across the table from Ralph having coffee. Indeed, he is the coffee counter philosopher in "A Good Reed": "we are those of us who survive / slender reed / bending with each passing wave / changing with the tide  yet unchanged / as the ocean is unchanged / by each reed on its shore".  And again, in "Running Things": "Another year / Another chance to get it right / To do the things I shoulda done / Tear down that fence I built / Quite the party / Let running things run". These poems are fresh and honest - a wonderful first book of poetry.
Charles P Ries