review – with the patience of monuments

19 Aug

with the patience of monuments
Jack Henry
NeoPoiesis Press, LLC / 2009
156 pp. / $ 16.95

Artistic Balls of Brass

a review of “with the patience of monuments,” by Jane Crown

Jack Henry has a guilt in his own melancholia. He admonishes himself for it. There is a sense in “with the patience of monuments” that he wishes the light of his soul to shine through to reach others. He’s pushing the walls out and grabbing a hammer to be sure.

Jack sees the world in an off kilter way, he finds beauty, harsh reality and his own brand of loose truth come to the fore. Daily he struggles to see clarity.

This book is an honest, unrepentant look at self, he hates self, he searches self, he owes himself the love he feels for the world around him, but there is little trust in it. He wants a form of the Universe to order itself better-the world to earn his respect.

He’s a poet filled with hurt and quite possibly been maimed a time or two, and it shows in this collection. “with the patience of monuments” is a clever foray into a back alley bitterness that gives up a gold mine of anguish.

Again I tout, there is some part of Jack and the work that loves deeply, needs desperately. Jack wants to be held and coddled like a young boy who can be as strong as any man, maybe more so, and recognized for it.

Jack has an original voice and a steady hand in this book. It’s his best imitation of life and his worst feelings about the rest of us and, well, I suppose we have to accept we’re not perfect either. Jack tells it like it is..

“I roll from the counter/with my cocaine curfew/dispassionate rhythms /of a jazz infused cry” He feels the length of passion spent, he knows the music ekes out but he’s not sure it is always pleasant to listen to the outer society and not even quite sure if he can trust himself to know he is being honest with himself. But he rolls on, he keeps going full speed, jotting down the emotion, filling his world with his chaos of images. That takes a lot of brass and a big set of artistic balls to admit and, frankly, were he not bitching, crying out or pointing his finger, he would not be Jack Henry. I have come to expect no less of him as a poet. Still, remember the tenderness of his spirit, it is all Jack too, not coy, but truthful, direct.

Get a copy of “with the patience of monuments.” It’s a curious little book and a firecracker filled with deafening sound that goes off in the dark sky, Jack’s ebony sky, illuminated by his blend of blood and magical noise swept roughly by his internal need for light.

review by Jane Crown
heavy bear lit mag

jane crown blog


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