Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Only Human by Definition by Jay Passer

Jay Passer’s collection of poems, Only Human by Definition, is published by Crisis Chronicles press in 2012. It is a stark collection of urbanized humanity in which Mr. Passer describes scenes involving dreams infected by corporate sponsors, blue collar men drinking beer at lunch, the untouchable and unreachable nature of outer space and its stars and constellations. It is dark and gritty and I am happy to share a few poems with you:


It didn’t work,
the perfectly imperfect sea-stones,
the dissonance of lilac,
the natural intention of yeast,
haiku written in the sand,
the fedora hats of old black-and-white footage,
the earth on a frayed rubber band course around the sun,
sheets of paper balled-up and tossed
through the smoke-filled air of the room
landing just short of the wastebasket.

forgive me.

This poem makes me think of a writer who tries to put into words all of the visions above and cannot make it work on paper, hence sheets of paper ball-up and tossed around the wastebasket. The apology could be directed at himself, or an editor, or a loved one who he is trying to express something to. Either way, I can picture Mr. Passer smoking a cigarette and the sun fading outside giving way to the “frayed rubber band course around the sun” reference and tossing wad after wad of words that did not quite fit. Of course, this poem could be about other things entirely but this is what I picture, how about you?

The Harvest

maybe since it’s getting cold out
the flies are flying around my wine glass
I spit blood since my diet’s so high in wine
the leaves rot on the sidewalk
and the buildings erode magnificently
as if the world were asleep
the flies are thirsty too
they circle the glass fearlessly
I drive my fist into the wall
I drink and drive and close my eyes
my diet high in iron
mosquitos high on my iron
trees sucking the life out of the streets
so we cut ‘em down
we pave the world since it’s cheaper that way
and we like things cheap
nothing has changed since the day I was born
the state of the world is a shit storm
as the new year approaches
I’m thrown out on my ear
to make room for
it’s cold out ask the flies
they like to drink wine and fly around and drown
I ask myself
maybe it’s the cold or
maybe it’s a world soon without horses

This poem reaps the opposite of harvest in the traditional sense. Instead of mining crops and goods out of the earth the poet paints the picture of paving the world in concrete. While the poet steeps himself in a diet full of iron ( earthly metal) the world outside also pushes him aside for more metals and materials (composite materials for condominiums). I like the flies buzzing around the chaos, along with the mosquitos, the pests that never go away whether the world is made of dirt and growing things or composite materials that deaden things. I’d like to know Mr. Passer’s inspiration for this poem. I like the ending, too, the world soon without horses puts in mind, to me, the vision of cowboys in the spreading land of the west being slowly paved over, pushing horses and men connected with nature aside.

If you enjoyed this sample, you may purchase a copy of Only Human by Definition by Jay Passer for $5.00 by going to:

Thanks always for reading, please drop in again next week (I took a vacation over my weekend and will have more posts up next week)…

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hill's Chronicle Blog

For poetry reviews, pictures of poets at book readings, and all wonderful things poetry, see Greg’s blog at:


Thanks for clicking in, please drop by again tomorrow…