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On The Edge Of A Very Small Town: Poems By Mark Jackley reviewed by Elizabeth Conte

Pure Poetry.

I don’t say this lightly.

Mark Jackley’s new book of poems, On The Edge Of A Very Small Town, is exactly that and more. His words are visceral and beautifully crafted making the reader not just read, but live his words:



she clutches

her coffee like a torch.


Although writing is subjective, to me, poetry is the purest artistry form of writing. It is the closest you can get to painting a picture with words. On The Edge Of A Very Small Town is a colorful detailed piece of art soulfully crafted with a mixture of keen wit, cynicism, love, and loss:



Once you’re there, death

just isn’t the same, he thinks.


He carefully sews her mouth

to keep the secret in.


Reading Mark Jackley’s poems made my mind escape from life, and indulge in serenity. A serenity of spirit and mind.

How often does one get to do that?

His words transported me to a quiet space and gave me the luxury to indulge in the observation of life, people, places, and things. Nothing bold, of things imminently important, nor of things deeply philosophical.

This collection of poems is a picture of moments that most of us forget. A simple day in February, Milk And Eggs, or an old love named Kathleen. Quick observations that have such meaning, yet we rarely take time to remember…remember what affects us the most.


In a kitchen window, the silhouette

of an enormous man who thinks,

grazing at the train,

he could love anyone on board


Poetry changes. It’s purpose, it’s style, and it’s expectations. Stream of thought has dominated the poetry scene for a while now, making me forget how utterly lovely poetry can sing with so few words; how it can transport you from the mundane of every day to the majesty of every day. Mark Jackley’s book of poems is the gift of simplicity that explains everything, makes you feel everything, and makes you see everything. His substance is not simple, but simply said in a way that makes this book something special…and reminds you that the beauty of life is truly in the ordinary.





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