–LOWE, Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips Lowe is a native Chicagoan. His poems and short stories have appeared in Barbaric Yawp, Clark Street Review, Nerve Cowboy and Open Wide Magazine (UK). His chapbooks include So Much for Paradise, Pariah Tales and Revolt at the Internet Café. Lowe currently resides in Addison, Illinois, an enchanted land of foreclosed houses and fast food restaurants. In his spare time, Lowe serves as chairman for the Abe Gibron Appreciation Society. http://pariahtales.blogspot.com/
MIDDLE ISLAND PRESS CHAPBOOKS BY JACK PHILLIPS LOWE:
Jupiter Works on Commission (2015)
by Jack Phillips Lowe
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If the Smithsonian Institution and Disneyland were to have a baby, then Jupiter Works on Commission by Jack Phillips Lowe would be it. With both funny poems and serious, thought-provoking poems, it’s chock-full of enough head-scratchers to impress your college philosophy professor, and enough knee-slappers to make you forget your kid’s tuition bill. You can have everything…at least in poetry. 57 pages.
(A browse upon pages 9 and 10…)
Calvin the Bibleman,
born-again Christian forklift driver,
used to bring loaves of bread
from his church’s soup kitchen
and leave them in the break room
for any and all takers.
Calvin’s loaves resembled the fists
of old-time bare-knuckle boxers—
gnarled, discolored, covered with
lumps, cracks and bruises—
and reeked like tired sweat-socks.
Everyone laughed at Calvin
and let his bread sit untouched,
moldering for weeks until finally,
the boss lady threw it away.
There was no need for those busted fists
when you could buy sweet-smelling slices
fresh from the Butternut factory.
Then came the day when the boss lady
delivered us the corporate one-two punch—
an open-ended salary freeze
followed by a deep payroll cut.
Overnight, Calvin the Bibleman
became Calvin the Breadman.
His orphaned loaves suddenly smelled Cold Case Cowboys (2013)
like manna from heaven
and looked like edible artwork.
Not a single employee laughed
when Calvin’s loaves sprouted wings
and started flying out the break room door
before they’d barely touched the table.
by Jack Phillips Lowe
Cold Case Cowboys (2013)
Suitably irreverent, laugh-’til-you-cry humorous, this cowboy collection insinuates the narrative voice of classic Western movies and novels as the poet tells his tales of an Old Western soul colliding with modern circumstances. 43 pages.
Back Cover Reviews:
“Lowe is a poet in touch with people and the realities of the human condition. His poems are a mirror of the roads and streets. . .and deliver a sharable human experience which is what a capable poet can do.” —Ray Foreman, editor, Clark Street Review
“Jack Phillips Lowe writes narrative poetry with a contemporary consciousness and soul. His introspection is rare, and to have his work in book form is to have a literary surprise package, and treat.” —Gene McCormick, author, An Ice Axe at Dusk
“Lowe displays a remarkable talent to capture a situation with a minimum of words. . .” —Maurice Williams, reviewer, bookideas.com
(A browse upon pages 9 and 16…)
I used to see a psychologist
twice a month.
He’d promised to help me
resolve my “issues.”
I used to pour out
my heart and soul to him.
The psychologist, for the most part,
just sat and listened.
Occasionally, I’d ask him
if I was making any progress.
“Do you think you’re making progress?”
was his standard reply.
After a while, the psychologist
started dozing off during my sessions.
I’d have to nudge him awake with my foot.
This happened four or five times.
After the fifth time, I quit seeing this doctor.
If my issues were dull enough
to lull him to sleep,
I figured I must be cured.
Laura and David Clawson spend the night
in adjoining rooms a world apart.
She’s in the living room, Facebooking on her first iPhone
which she bought after saving six months for it.
He’s in the kitchen reading a biography
of Mabel Normand, the silent film funnygirl.
David isn’t a fast reader,
but he burns like a fuse through this book.
To him, Mabel seems like a lost friend found.
David learns that the comely Ms. Normand
was a sharp feminist battling in a man’s business—
armed with a tongue that was even sharper.
Mabel ate ice cream for breakfast,
made and spent money by the truckload
and used men like sticks of Doublemint gum.
Rock & Roll before rock was invented,
Mabel even managed to check out by age 40,
just a heartbeat before soundies arrived.
For half a minute, David wants to go in
and tell Laura all he’d read.
Learning was a joy they once shared.
Then David recalls the monster mask
Laura made of her face
whenever he interrupted her surfing.
Without lifting her eyes from the screen,
Laura would grunt, “WTF?”
cutting her man off at the knees.
David neither understood nor responded;
Web was a language he never could speak.
Instead, David decides to say nothing.
He goes to the fridge and scoops himself
a dish of chocolate ice cream.
He takes it to the kitchen table
and pretends he’s sharing it with Mabel.
There, they sit and David tells Mabel
everything he read about her that night.
The flickering black & white beauty listens closely,
smiling through a free-and-easy expression.
Mabel doesn’t say “WTF?”
In fact, she says nothing at all.
(Middle Island Press titles by Jack Phillips Lowe are also available through Amazon.com.)