cover of book

Tongue & Groove
by Stephen Cramer
University of Illinois Press, 2007
eISBN: 978-0-252-09090-5 | Cloth: 978-0-252-03236-3 | Paper: 978-0-252-07473-8
Library of Congress Classification PS3603.R365T66 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 811.6


Inspired and informed by the music and urban landscape of New York City, Tongue & Groove employs jazzy and descriptive language in a sweep of city-life experiences and memories. A passionate rendering of incidents in spaces that include the subway, a school for the handicapped, and The Museum of Modern Art, Stephen Cramer employs richly sensual language and a wide range of imagery. Alluring portrayals of butterfly migrations, graffiti, and city buses complement this collection’s connection to the everyday hoots, shouts, and yammer of the streets.

--or you can open

your mouth & stick out

your tongue,

take that fugitive impulse

from the artist’s hand

straight into your very gut

& maybe find out along the way

if the lime-green

of that inverted roof

& the burnt almond

of the filling station’s

roadside grasses

live up to their names.

--from “Taste”

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