30 Aught 4
by Larry Jaffe
30 Poems/ 68 Pages/ $17.00 USD
Publisher: Local Gems Press
Reviewed by: - Michael Ellis, Poet M.e.
If our next President was prudent, Secretary of Poetry would be a new
cabinet position and Larry Jaffe would be appointed on day one. Jaffe
believes what he writes and you too will believe after you read this
incredible book. It has been many years since I have read a poetry book this
Revolutionary. It is filled with enough weapons, ammo, and firepower to make
the Texas Freedom Party salivate. But to my dismay, you won't find this book
at the next Mississippi back roads gun show. They would hate every word.
This book is for healers and people who cherish peace.
For 68 pages, Jaffe is armed and dangerously poetic, taking on landladies,
flower ladies, strangers in parking lots and anyone else who doesn't believe
that poetry is just as great as a violin. If I had the money and enough
Postage stamps, I would mail this book to every, racist, bigot, terrorist
and Homophobe South, East, North and West of the Nile River.
30 Aught 4 is a book as innovative as its title. Poems titled, Solutions to
War, Poet Warrior and The Living Fields remain in your mind long after you
read the book. I must admit my favorite poem in the book is Blood Sweat and
Fear. You just have to meet Jaffe's landlady. The nerve of her not to take
poetry for rent. The title poem, rightfully so, is one of the best in the
book. Jaffe builds the intensity as we follow a soldier on a brave mission.
He locates his target, adjusts his weapon, aims and shoots poetry. No one
gets killed in Jaffe's war.
In Poet Warrior, Jaffe gives his landlady a break and takes his fight to the
"Department of Literature and Poetry." His new weapon: "the arrows of haiku
and the sharpened knives of the blues." But worry not because this poet has
a clear Solution to War. Instead of dropping bombs, drop McDonald's
hamburgers, which are just as lethal according to the poet.
What is most amazing about 30 Aught 4 is how it remains on point. No pun
intended. This is a difficult accomplishment in poetry. Not one indication
of Poetry Deficit Disorder. This book is beautifully arranged from beginning
to end. It never rambles nor loses focus. As soon as the reader needs
laughter, there it is. As soon as the reader needs to feel hope, there it
is. Jaffe who is notorious for his Blues poetry does not resist the urge to
bless this book with this gift. Don't worry about him running out of Blues
because he has a "bag full."
I could tell you to read The Silence of The Tears or even J'accuse but I
won't. I can't give it all away.
I hope I don't offend the writer by saying this is possibly the most
important book he has ever written. I would encourage anyone on or off the
Poetry Planet to read this book. It is a defining work. It is a work of art,
a Bouquet of Poetry.