Friday, March 11, 2016

LB Sedlacek Reviews "Jupiter Works on Commission"

March 2016

ISSN:  1539-9141  
Volume 15 / Issue 6

"Jupiter Works on Commission"
by Jack Phillips Lowe
ISBN 978-0-6925-0688-2
Copyright 2015
Middle Island Press
57 Pages

Review by LB Sedlacek

Jack Phillips Lowe's narrative poems in
this collection all tell work related
tales.  Subjects like using technology
to make a simple task harder, shopping
in a discount store, product packaging,
imaginary friends, employees talking
at breaks are to be found in inventive
poems such as "Captain Nitro Returns"
and "Box Wars."

An inventive approach to working and
professions, each poem offers a
unique perspective on jobs.  "Coo-Coo-Ca Chew"
is a humorous look at customer service
in the returns area of a department
store.  "Cheer Up, Subversive Jean"
is a humorous account of the FBI
looking into the band The Monkees
for what the rock band was "really"
up to in 1967 at a concert.  "Godspeed,
Myrna" talks of unemployment and how
someone might spend their time good or
bad when not looking for a new job.

From "Jupiter Works on Commission":
"Tomas and Vinny were welders./Until
they got laid off last November, that
is./Now, to keep in touch, the pair
meets once a week/for coffee in the
only restaurant they can afford--..."
This is the title poem.  It's the
story of Tomas and Vinny praying to 
find work and how they decide they
need to quit praying to saints but
instead to the Roman gods and
goddesses, specifically Jupiter.  This
is my favorite poem in the book.  I
could read it over and over again.

Jack Phillips Lowe has accomplished,
or rather put into print a realistic
view of the working life (a life we
spend so much time with whether we are
employed or not it surrounds us; 
unemployment; spouse's jobs; graduating
and looking for a job, etc.)

From "Survivor's Stripes":  "The night
before the job interview,/Reed stands in
front of his bathroom mirror/and stares 
at them peeking through his sideburns:/
curly gray hairs."...//"standing tall,
Reed decides to wear/his grays proudly
to the interview/as badges of wisdom--..."

Lowe writes with a certainty
that captures the everyman soul -- poems
in touch with the world working or not
working.  He delivers a contemporary
narrative of down to earth poetry for the
working souls.

(A big thanks to LB Sedlacek!)

To order the book: Jupiter Works on Commission