Poetry. Matvei Yankelevich's first full-length book, BORIS BY THE SEA, is a work of existential theater that destroys the distance between puppeteer and puppet, between ego and id, between what is real and what is absurd. Consisting of prose, poems, and plays, the book creates its own world and then confronts the loneliness of having to exist within one's own creation. Like Daniil Kharms, Yankelevich has written a children's book for only the bravest of adults. "Boris is a precarious creature thrown into a world he is ill-suited for--a bit like Monsieur Plume and other relatives. The world was 'somewhere inside his skull. And it hurt.' These poems and dramatic sketches, however, delight even when they hurt"--Rosmarie Waldrop. "BORIS BY THE SEA was born when Aesop was reading Chekhov, and Chekhov was reading Nietzsche, and Nietzsche was watching The Brother From Another Planet. Actually Matvei Yankelevich wrote this book, but 'wrote' is incomplete... he seems more to inhabit this stateless, beautiful being who uses language to move his body or erase the sea: 'Boris looked over himself and realized there were many parts of him that he could not see. And only a small part of these parts was on the surface.' BORIS BY THE SEA could be a children's fable if it weren't so freakin' real, unreal, hyper-real: 'But people need each other to open each other up and see what is inside.' This is Boris--and he, like Pinnochio--has a clever master"--Robert Fitterman.