Rants & Rhymes for the Present Times is a wonderful collection of more than 90 biting and witty poems on politics, philosophy, current events, and everything in between. Written by the founder and former operator of Manhattan’s famed Lucky’s Juice Joint, Shelly “Lucky” Stein has been presenting these poems for years at open mics and poetry readings throughout New York City and Upstate New York.
Now 71, Shelly’s rants & rhymes are an expression of both the joy and outrage that he has felt as he has witnessed firsthand the changes in American society and lifestyle throughout the last six decades. The racial intolerance, homophobia, and religious bigotry that were constant realities in his childhood are diminishing, but the ongoing poverty, senseless environmental destruction, and avarice of our leaders is what fuels his poems. It is this duality of joy and anger that Shelly expresses in his writings.
Topics such as McCarthyism, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, The Kennedys, Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Sex-Drugs-Rock n’ Roll, Yuppies, and our current 24 hour news cycle are all blended together like ingredients in a giant smoothie, each pouring out as a poem.
The book includes more than 30 beautiful photographs conceptualizing the author’s vision of the feelings and soul of the inner city.
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