Can the Light and
the Dark Sides Be Reconciled?
Jack Moser’s poems show that it’s difficult but possible.
Jack Moser is a poet who loves the world, most people, and God, especially the female aspect of God’s Holy Spirit. But this same poet is frankly disgusted by humanity’s vicious inhumanity. In The West Coast of Heaven, Moser’s seventh poetry collection published by Fithian Press, he faces the dual nature of existence and comes up short. After reading these poems, we know this poet is bipolar, his attention switching back and forth between mankind’s creative beauty and mankind’s dark talent for cruelty and destruction.
The first part of The West Coast of Heaven is an expression of Jack’s love of Ireland, where he goes each September to enjoy the scenery, the animals, and mainly the people. The second part finds goofy comedy and in daily life, especially in his relationship with his loving and extravagant son Bryan. In Part Three Jack meets God in the form of a helpless stranger. He honors musicians, tellers of tall tales, and members of his family: a demented but serene sister, a departed cousin, an adoring granddaughter.
Part Four is darker. These poems are political and angry. The poet grieves for all the victims of oppression, war, and capitalist greed. The final part restores our spirits with hope. Don’t fear death, the poet tells us. Embrace both sides of manic depression, and remember that both moods are temporary.
Jack Moser grew up in Brooklyn, and then entered the Navy in 1958. He experienced war in Vietnam, and served as a Naval Intelligence officer. In the 1970s he switched careers. After receiving his doctorate in psychology from Florida State University, he became a counselor and psychotherapist. He is the author of The Male Journey, We Have Forgotten How to Make Fire, Men in Therapy, and six previous Fithian Press poetry collections.He lives in Pensacola, Florida.