Words of Power, Dances of Freedom, by Jon Wesick
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This new collection of 116 poems reveals the insight, wit and wisdom of one of our most widely published and respected poets. A fixture in the poetry landscape of San Diego for two decades, Jon Wesick shows why audiences have been smiling, laughing and cringing with him for such a long time.
Praise for Words of Power, Dances of Freedom:
“Dawn’s first rays of uncertainty paint zebra stripes on my wall. / I try to sleep, but the neighing keeps me awake” Jon Wesick writes in “Another Day in Paradise.” His specialty is upending the platitudes of that paradise. “There is no truth, only politics.” Buddhism and the theory relativity flash through, but do not save us. Perhaps only intelligent perception and humor can save us. In these poems we meet Einstein, Yeats, Cesare Borgia, Odysseus. We can’t predict what they will say or do. All we know is that we are lucky to have Jon Wesick, “writing in [his] tiny Netherlands . . . grateful to those who pushed back / the water.” — Oriana Ivy, author of Winter Snow
Jon Wesick’s Words of Power, Dances of Freedom fearlessly mocks and castigates hypocrisy with rollicking humor and a deft command of irony. His uncompromising tone is balanced by a deep sense of concern, insisting we not settle for triviality where dedication & compassion is possible. Look to poems like ‘Odysseus As Lotus Eater’ and ‘Outside The Vatican’ for hope tinged with hilarity.
— Roger Aplon – author of It’s Only TV, Editor, Publisher: Waymark – A Poetry Magazine
Jon Wesick’s “Words of Power, Dances of Freedom” displays in brilliant literary voice, contemporary life in a different light. With an extraordinary wit he brings down the walls of familiarity exposing vulnerabilities of human emotion in unexpected places. This collection engages every sense to untangle reality from fantasy and illusions leaving a lasting mark on the readers psyche. Wesick writes “ earth’s slap will distinguish flying from falling” then he goes on to show you one by one all the places we’ve fallen. He invites you in to find refuge in his courtyard from the in-crowd’s circus. He invites you to his basement to find answers with only a naked sixty-watt bulb. Unpretentious, he confesses that he can’t afford the lies to buy your affection, but once you’ve read his poems, he already has you in the palm of his hand.
— Silva Merjanian, author of Rumor
Words of Power, Dances of Freedom is classic Jon Wesick—smart, humorous, insightful, and at times heart-breaking. Wesick’s poetry moves from image-packed social and political satire (picture America as a young woman who has just attempted suicide) to redemptive scenes of reconciliation (imagine a woman in a blue summer dress dancing with a crippled man in a motorized wheelchair). Wesick casts an honest gaze on the world about us, always reminding us that, if we “don’t fit in at the in-crowd’s circus,” there is still a refuge for our battered spirits. “Come inside,” he says. “Stay / as long as you like. There’s no place you need to be.”
— Steve McDonald, author of House of Mirrors and Golden Fish Dark Pond