In Satori, poems, Jack Remick grabs our hand and leads us on a breathless, mystical, raw and relentless coming of age journey from boy to man to poet in search of satori, a spiritual awakening. There is no stopping once you read the first lines of this book. You will run from one poem to the next, rushing by vivid descriptions and captured details on a wave that makes you wonder if you have ever actually seen the world and question how much you’ve missed.
From the first lines of breathless, “I took first communion on the steps of the Jazz Cellar too young to buy my own booze, too dumb to steal it…” we are breathless and follow young Remick, “I grew wiser and pseudo-wise-I created canticles to the monsters of my ego and id…” to The City of Saint Francis where “…I patrolled Grant Street at 2 AM hoping fame still grew like magic mushrooms from the cracks where my heroes ate, read, bled.”
We meet artists of the era, such as Mauritz Cornelius Escher, “Twenty-three years into his death-stream this man still aches his bones down to the asphalt city curled like a lizard writing in rain he still feeds me his mind heat his voice says-build a world of black and white…” and Remick’s mentor, Jack Moodey, “…That head burst open on the slick wet stone in the shower And poetry died…”.
In Midnite and Josie Smells Sweet, we meet brown-skinned Josie Delgado in her white shorts, “…Saturday nite, Josie, another world in those lips that mouth, that hair, that skin-Josie is one hundred percent mine…” who asks, “Will you kill yourself for me?” and then broke hearts by her untimely death.
Youthful lust, raw living, the building of America, and Death Waits, “Death waits at the corner/an old woman for the light…” and from Honey Word of Jesus Christ, “…One Sunday, I grew Old. One Sunday I learned of the Man in Me…”.
Once you catch your breath after reading the last line, you will return to page one to savor the haunting rhythm of Jack Remick’s life and the men and women who taught him what he knows. I highly recommend Satori, poems!