Jase Buck & Linzi Garcia

Jase Buck & Linzi Garcia
Live a Great Story

Review by Roy Beckemeyer

Live a Great Story

This chapbook of poems written on a trip to London opens with Jase Buck’s haiku:

     “London is a ghost,
     walking barefoot through herself
     in search of England.”

Jase and Linzi may have gone barefoot as well. Nine poems from each of them, perfect souvenirs, moments preserved in word images, bring their trip alive as snapshots never could.

Jase’s mother asked him to toss a coin in a wishing well in London “for her good health.” He buys one, “… silver, / minted in 1956, / the same year she was born.” He carries it, “swimming amongst pounds and / pence deep in my pocket,” but finds the fountains dry:

     “… no wishes to be had
     by the likes of me.

     Until one afternoon,
     by a pond in a park,
     on the sidewalk,
     …
     someone had marked out a
     message
     that simply read ‘wish here.’

     So I did.”

His poems are vignettes that capture the soul of London, with titles like “Football Hooligans,” “Beggar on Regent Street, and “The Taxi Drivers”:

     “All the taxi drivers in Bolton are
     hungry.
     It is Ramadan.
     They long for iftar
     and drive their cars sullenly,
     one eye on the winding road
     and one eye on the sun.”

Linzi’s second poem, “Leaves” lead us to a surprising truth:

     “During the Bolton Whitman
     conference, I ask my
     colleagues to describe
     themselves—
     write a word
     on birch leaves
     plucked from the same tree—
     pass ‘em around,
     …
     introvert
     inquisitive
     hungry
     make-shift
     …
     unsure

     multitudinous
     chaotic
     This is the heaviest
     these leaves
     will ever be, yet they
     still catch the wind, still
     carry.”

She captures a portrait of a “Roman / woman” in a smoothie shop; in “The English Pub,” she and Jase “…sip concern away, / offering each other / a taste from our glass, / a token of companionship, / our communion.”

And, in “Ode to London Pigeons,” she leaves a bit of her heart in London:

     “We break bread
     in the prayer tent,
     where we find peace
     and you find
     brunch crumbs.

     I like to think each
     peck is a deeply
     practiced bow.

     May you find
     peace, scavenger.”

Find a bit of peace for yourself: Live a Great Story by Jase Buck and Linzi Garcia (Analog Submission Press, 2019, 24 pp., saddle stapled, 25 hand-numbered copies, nine poems by each poet), Linzi and Jase’s Great Adventure. Available from Analog Submission Press. Check in with the authors on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/judas.murdok and https://www.facebook.com/linzi.garcia.5.