"For Phil Jason, Homo suburbanus can save himself only through the imagination and by personal style. Near the Fire is a mature performance in both formal poems and free verse. The poet provides nice incidental details that vie each poem authenticity. Belongs in every contemporary collection, undergraduate, graduate, secondary school and public library. of modern poetry."
    Choice (American Library Association)

      My Fifties Girl

My fifties girl,
when she ran to embrace me
behind the bleacher seats,
well, she really ran, fast,
and her waved hair flounced
like a yo-yo. Her gum-soled
oxfords sprung over pop caps
and we held each other real hard.

In the halls, by heel-bruised lockers,
we'd brush by careful chance;
the faint crackle of static,
her linty orlon sweater to my
starched pink shirt, that was three
enough for the rest of the day.

And in our risky secret place,
when we held each other's breath
forever while I undid whatever
couldn't be pulled away,
wishing the radio was on,
something like revelation
was gathering light to our eyes.

And to show you how long ago
this was, how truly the times change,
it seems now that we somehow pretended
a violent awe about the stitching
on her bra, some mystery of lace,
some holy woven grail to be won
from the close encumbrance of her breasts.

Of Related Interest

Thawing Out

Near the Fire
Philip Jason

64pp. 5-1/2 x 8-1/2

Paper(sew-wrap), $9

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