In five sets of "broken" sonnets, Jack Powers pulls readers into and through the lives, decisions, regrets and celebrations of a score of deeply human characters--himself included. From teenager Jack, who tries to "rig" the Catholic confessional system, to ancient Bob, who tends his dying Joan gently after 62 years of marriage, we watch and find ourselves rooting for Powers' people. We want his seeds to grow, his buds to blossom, his dying leaves to drift in pleasant breezes. We hear the quiet laughter hiding under the songs. Still, life is complex, and Jack Powers feels that complexity with the
sensitivity of a seismometer, records it with the accuracy of a mathematician or painter, and plays it like jazz.
So listen-and watch--as sonnet rules loosen, lines lengthen, images double back and become symbols, and stories echo other stories. Last Acts come first in this collection, followed by portraits of relationships which are Still Love: a stoned teen grilling burgers for his family; Alice Neel painting brutally honest self-portraits. Sonnet form runs like tangled wire through Powers' book, perhaps most noticeably in the Still Love pieces, and in the section titled Unruly Love, where form and content collaborate in unruling the expected rules. Noble Suffering poems are case studies testing philosophical notions about the value of suffering-with ... tentative results. Still, the final section of Still Love, aptly titled Surrender, ends with a memory of a
young Jack, "floating, surrendering/ to the current, a contented speck of the quick river, white moon, black night."