Out of a richly lived and deeply spiritual life, Sorkin’s restless mind plays up and down each linguistically artful occasionally profane page. Populated with fauna and familiars, both living and dead, these sometimes joyful elegies-- spoken with fearlessness and a touch of cynicism-- take me by surprise, no matter how many times I reread them. Reader, these Uncomfortable Minds will move, disturb, and delight. Dig in.

—Roger Weingarten, The Four Gentlemen and their Footman, Premature Elegy by Firelight

Larry Sorkin’s new book of poems Uncomfortable Minds brings to us many forms of solace and questioning, reflections both bitter and tangy, sweet and unbearable. The term “uncomfortable minds” is Larry’s riff on an e.e. cummings quote about “Cambridge ladies who...are unbeautiful and have comfortable minds.” Larry’s poems shoulder us into various forms of discomfort or surprise. One poem begins with confronting a raccoon and leads into a literally touching father-son connection. He wryly confronts the Founding Fathers’ promise of “happiness” and finds he’s been waiting for a refund. And what about poetry itself? Larry is a wonderful discoverer of poetry. He has read widely and often communicates what he has discovered, spreading the word of its wonder in many arenas. He says of poetry “Doesn’t it only/transform when/ it strikes the just /so chord along the sound /board (and here comes the surprise) of my crooked spine.” Notice the inventiveness of those line breaks! It seems he wants the reader to consider waking from illusion, but also from disillusion. He is deeply fond of attachments. Talking about being deeply connected to a place, he says “Fuck/ holy detachment.” There are many memorable images. And finally, he welcomes the comforts of memory which shines in its bright and fragmented way through so much of his work.

—Lou Lipsitz, Seeking The Hook, if this world falls apart

Larry Sorkin’s new book, Uncomfortable Minds, is a powerful collection of poems that is so engaging I sat down and read it through like a novel. Sorkin’s poetry surprises the reader by skimming the surface of life then suddenly taking a deep dive through layers of emotion in an unsentimental fashion. I was left breathless at his use of language, deft descriptions, unique line breaks and the composition of unlike things inhabiting the same space. These poems bring together the unexpected and the familiar, so that grief and joy are washed clean and seen in a new, discomfiting way. Yet, the reader is renewed and refreshed by the experience.

Ann Campennela, Celiac Mom, Motherhood Lost and Found, The Beach Poems

Luminous. Insightful and tender, yet by no means shy to punch. Powerful with artistic maturity and wisdom.

—Kate Mayfield, The Parentations, The Undertaker’s Daughter

Surprise and Delight :

Elegant, exquisite, intelligent. These adjectives as well as other modifiers exalting the superlative can be used without overstatement to describe the collection of poems titled Uncomfortable Minds by Larry Sorkin. These poems evoke sensory as well as thought provoking experiences. You meet the poet as you would meet—in his or her own words—the author of an excellent memoir, well written, enriching. These poems are expressions of grace.

In his poem “the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls,”—e.e. Cummings writes that these ladies “are unbeautiful and have comfortable minds.” This line appears to have inspired Sorkin’s poem, “Cambridge Ladies and Magic Soap.” This in turn appears to have inspired the title of this remarkable collection. Sorkin writes that as of the time of publication, he was still not comfortable with the title. Given his profound inquisitiveness and his inventive imagination the reader may wonder if there is much that he closely examines with which Sorkin is comfortable.

We meet Sorkin the poet in the first poem “Masquerade,” where, as the poem closes, he pretends to be a small-machine mechanic—which he is not. He thinks that he rarely fools himself, though even a chainsaw sees through his ruse and refuses to start.

Here and throughout the collection we see a poet who is self-effacing, humorous, sometimes unfulfilled, sometimes insecure, sometimes taking life seriously and just as often not. “Masquerade” begins a journey that takes off, skipping along over the valleys and hills of the poet’s life, and lands with the poet describing himself as “a guy getting old/rocking an afternoon on the porch, eyeballing/forever . . .”

The poems poignantly portray the poet and his generation on a journey not to be missed.

James V Jordan ,, Speed of Light, An Illustrated Novel