February 18, 2024

Nothing Is for Everyone

By Eden Pearlstein

*Publication date: September 10th 2024*

A Deuteronomy Press publication, distributed by Ayin Press

An iconoclastic book of poems suffused with music, mysticism, tenderness, and wit.

Eden Pearlstein’s Nothing Is for Everyone is a manifesto of the unmanifest. Deeply, devotedly hybrid in influence and expression, this wild collection of poetry draws on rabbinic linguistics and kabbalistic meditation, free jazz and hip-hop, Marcel Duchamp and the Magid of Mezritch—all to reveal the permutational quality of language itself: its instability, resistance to containment, and divine fault lines. In these times when answers are plentiful and questions impoverished, Pearlstein’s insistence on the materiality of nothingness reveals that in fact nothing really matters.
 
Nothing Is for Everyone was published by Deuteronomy Press and is distributed by Ayin Press (via Publishers Group West).


About the author

Eden Pearlstein is a poet, performer, chronic collaborator, and cofounder of Ayin Press. Over the past two decades he has created an eclectic portfolio of audio, visual, textual, and curatorial works and projects. Eden is the co-author/co-editor of the chapbooks In/Flux: On Influence, Inspiration, Transmission, and Transformation; Taste and See: A Psychedelic Pesach Companion; Indwelling: An Earth-Based Sukkot Companion; and the artbook Speechless (with Cannupa Hanska Luger). He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and two children.

Praise for Nothing Is for Everyone

“With a post-bop-and-beat eloquence and a disarming, instructive largesse, Eden Pearlstein sings us toward that ‘tunnel / at the end / of the light’ through the nothing that’s everything for those who can hear it. This is a wise and energizing debut collection.”
Peter Cole, author of Draw Me After: Poems

“Eden Pearlstein’s wonderful Nothing Is for Everyone lives up to its provocative title. You could read it as the answer to a Buddhist koan or as a surrealist sales pitch, you could read it with a sigh, or with laughter and applause. What is nothing? Who is everyone? Pearlstein’s images and poems walk lightly on the earth, in the company of ‘memory and myth, ritual and art,’ dancing and touching home again and again, gently urging us all: ‘For God’s sake / make things / more beautiful // Than they were / before you got / here—then // Vanish. / Anything else is / trespassing.’”
Alicia Ostriker, author of The Volcano and After: Selected and New Poems 2002-2019

“This book is an infinity mirror. A reflection of the reflection. I see everyone in the writing, different. I see different in the writing, everyone.”
Cannupa Hanska Luger, artist/author of Future Ancestral Technologies

“One gets the sense from accompanying the wandering lines of this book that one has violated something ancient and sacred just by reading it. And yet, right there in the dimly lit room of the book’s unfurling, the composer himself smiles seductively, through alchemical lines too fugitive for common sense—as if to encourage us to stray. So I did. I read it all up. And now I’m lost. The view has never been finer!”
Bayo Akomolafe, PhD, author of These Wilds Beyond Our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home

“In the tradition of holy trickster-poets like Christopher Smart, Rebbe Nachman of Breslav, and the great kabbalists, these poems knit together the realm of kaleidoscopic fantasy and the doughy academy of the body. Using language as a candle to illuminate his way, Pearlstein interrogates the boundaries between human and divine, carrying on an ancient tradition of midrashic commentary, unearthing something deep and true about our life on earth: ‘God’s greenglasshouse / That dark fragile tower / Only built to fall.’”
Alicia Jo Rabins, author of Fruit Geode and Divinity School

“If prose tells a story, poetry pokes holes in the plot. Don’t think! Imagine! Don’t explain! Rupture! In this potent collection of poems, Eden Pearlstein lures us into a cavernous space of images: fire, shadow, womb, name, spark, prayer, archetype, insanity. These poems don’t let you rest, but as you continue to read, you no longer want to. When you are done you will be out of breath. But as you venture again to inhale, the air will be sweeter. More textured. More alive.”
Shaul Magid, Professor of Jewish Studies Dartmouth College, author most recently of The Necessity of Exile: Essays from a Distance

“Eden Pearlstein’s Nothing Is for Everyone is soaked in the imagery of kabbalah and nondual consciousness—mystical and timeless, yet somehow relevant to walking down the street. The poems draw us in but never quite resolve into simple narrative (much like the world around us). There is something pointillist about these poems, something atomic that breaks down consciousness into its component parts, ‘every piece a puzzle unto itself.’ These careful and potent observations from a modern kabbalist’s notebook offer a slant on Jewish theology that embraces the particular while dissolving into the cosmic; brilliantly directing us toward the nothing that is so deeply, specifically and gloriously—us.”
Rabbi Jill Hammer, PhD, author of Undertorah: An Earth-Based Kabbalah of Dreams

“In his soulfully singular voice, Eden Pearlstein keeps it light and playful, while remaining ever-mindful of the depths and paradoxes.”
Rodger Kamenetz author of The Missing Jew: Poems 1976–2022

“From the impish, ecstatic wordplay embedded in the title, all the way to the alliterative Ars Poetica em-dashed into the final line, Nothing Is for Everyone is not just brimming with a deep sense of the music of language: better, perhaps, to say that it is tapped directly into language’s musicvein. Mystical and melodic, weird and winking, reverent and rebellious, profane and profound, these poems are at once a yawp, a playground and a supplication.”
Moriel Rothman-Zecher, author of Before All the World and Sadness Is a White Bird

“With playful grace, Eden Pearlstein tugs at the essence of what makes life meaningful and what kindles spirit. From parenthood to the perspective of the soul to the paradox of being at home in exile, Pearlstein’s poetry asks and answers the most foundational and far out questions at the heart of the human experience.”
Madison Margolin, author of Exile and Ecstasy: Growing Up With Ram Dass and Coming of Age in the Jewish Psychedelic Underground

“In these rhythmic and mystery-laden poems that evoke both personal depth and vibrant soundings of the sacred, Eden Pearlstein draws forth the contours of a contemporary mythology that is at once earthy and existential, metaphysical and mundane. In Nothing Is for Everyone, Pearlstein emerges as a poet who weaves together mystical transcendence; the deep well of motifs and symbols of the Jewish tradition; and a surprisingly fresh music of the fragile and all-too-human soul.”
Eitan P. Fishbane, Professor of Jewish Mysticism at The Jewish Theological Seminary, author of The Art of Mystical Narrative: A Poetics of the Zohar

“Eden Pearlstein’s Nothing is For Everyone is a revelation. A master wordsmith of our generation, Pearlstein playfully provokes his readers to consider the beauty, the terror, and the absurdity of existence through his signature poetic mix of spoken word, deep hasidic storytelling, overflowing hilarity, and a refusal to let any particular sentence reach its naturally expected outcome. Buy this book today.”
Joey Weisenberg, author of The Torah of Music

“To read Nothing Is for Everyone is to gain access to a dynamic space where worlds collide—from family to philosophy, anarchism to esoterica. The multivocality of the text and many layers of meaning to be discovered in every line draw me back again and again. It may be true that nothing is for everyone, but I believe that in this brilliant book everyone will find something that moves their heart, expands their mind, and speaks to their soul.”
Adina Allen, author of The Place of All Possibility: Cultivating Creativity Through Ancient Jewish Wisdom

“These words gesture at the transcendent in almost secret ways: the hidden pun, the oblique reference, the supernatural extra brilliant intelligent kindness of the soul.  But there is a deeper secret: that they are a gesture of the immanent, too, in their negative spaces, lacunae, and silences. That is when Eden Pearlstein persuades you that Nothing is for everyone.”
Jay Michaelson, author of The Secret that is not a Secret: Ten Heretical Tales

Book Details

88 Pages | Paperback | 5.5 x 7.5 | ISBN: 9781959586029 | e-ISBN: 9781959586036
Publication Date: September 10, 2024