The Record Breaking Heat Wave
43 pages hardcover
BkMk Press-UMKC, 1986
This is urban poetry, working-class poetry, strongly felt, carefully observed, cleanly written. In passing, I am from time to time reminded of James Wright, but Friedman’s tone is cooler, less lapel-grabbing; nor does it seem less true.
The Record Breaking Heat Wave is a technically brilliant work. It has a unity of tone which is never monotonous, and fulfills its intentions: terseness, accuracy, insight. It is the work of a first-class professional.
These poems are imbued with a fullness of life and a richness of being. Mr. Friedman articulates the timeless matters of human life, work, family, and love with compassion and comprehension. He relates his experiences with a bold exuberance and peoples his poetry with reflections of our everyday selves, not as we perceive ourselves, but as we appear to the casual observer. It is these portraiture that offer a glimpse of his talent and promise.
—D. J. Ashworth, from a review in Anemone