If you are interested in a poetry collection of width, depth and breath look no further than Jessica M. Wilson’s debut titled “Serious Longing” (Swan World).
This is Wilson’s cry to the Gods, a first victory lap and a reason for the reason.
The 34-year-old Los Angeles wordsmith jabs and weaves with philosophy, sociology and psychology and emerges triumphant.
This 51-page miracle was long in coming for the versatile and busy scribe, but come it did, and we are all the better for it.
The North Hollywood poet is at her best when looking in the mirror, digging in and describing what she is feeling and thinking, as in “No Luck in Evolution,” by far the best poem in the collection.
“I’m not happy, Daddy.
Why not enjoy the experience
of life without worries
of national debt?
Where do I go
if I want to paint,
and sing –
cry out to other hands
for love and compassion?
Where do I find happy, Daddy?
Sometimes I wish I’d never grown.”
Other home runs include: “All Balls,” “Cut & Shown,” “Growl,” “Stranded Styx,” “Merriment of plenty for a few pinched cheeks,” “To Protect” and “Arise.”
The native Los Angelina seems to be telling the reader to follow his or her instinct before it is too late. To know what you want in this 23 minute sitcom known as existence and pursue it as if your life depends on it because it really does.
Wilson herself has done just that and is at a very young age not only making a huge difference on the LA poetry scene, but as much of a difference as one person can make on any poetry scene anywhere in this country.
For a woman, especially, who does not get the credit she often deserves, that is a mountain of change.
This tome, then, is a heaping helping of spot-on, electric and transcendent poetry that touches and moves the heart and soul as well as the mind.
One hopes that Wilson is hard at work on a longer collection for her second effort as this critic, for one, wants to see more fleshed out personal and introspective work from the gifted poetess.
Wilson is many things to many people: teacher, host, performer and administrator, but is above all, a very talented and observant young, fertile mind with the ability to wake up the sleeping, save the drowning and comfort the weeping.
Miss out on this first collection at your own peril.
It is an inspiring, enlightening and educating example of why poetry and art matter.
Why this city, country and world need more lovers of the written and spoken words, not less.
And why we as a society and humanity must nurture not only sacred and beautiful words, but those who are bold and clear enough to spend years, decades and lifetimes reading, researching and penning them as a noble and virtuous pastime,craft and way of life.
By Radomir Vojtech Luza
Contact Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase this book.
Write “I Want My Book” in the subject line.
$10 a copy.