Friday, December 9, 2016



A Yearbook by Jim McCrary
(Shit Pocket Press, Grand Rapids, MI, 2016)

So Jim McCrary was 75 years old at the release of his A Yearbook, an intriguing 1-2 line encapsulation of each of the years from 1941-2016. Cool concept! How did/does he do it?

Okay, his first year of 1941 is appropriately pithy:

Why there. Why that. Was it all white?

For the rest of my read, I chose to pause at certain points of resonance.  Like, 1952, his 11th year, obviously was a turning point during his adolescence:

I watched my brother throw a pitchfork at my dad. Woke me the fuck up.

It’s an ever-more poignant moment since, for the prior year of 1951, he had just expressed the seemingly infinite expanse of the world from youthful eyes:

All day on bikes in a world that has no limits.

That combination of 1951 and 1952 just … rocks. And not a false note there.

Not a false note either with 1959, which also shows just how much McCrary says with so few words:

Graduate June. Join Army Nov. Move along. Nothing to see here.

It’s similar to 1984:

One job after another. One day after another. Bump and jump.

Yet—and happily so—one senses a lot of living…including enjoyment. And much of it seems literary. I’m happy to see literature can generate enjoyment:

Virginia Woolf seminars where I learned how to like women.

Avec, Texture, First Intensity, Exquisite Corpse…………..

It required 73 years of living for him to say for 2014:

You know who you are and I am that.

He does Zen. He does enlightenment. 

It’s a good chap collection with a smart infrastructure. Relatedly, it’s a good life.  A toast to you, Jim McCrary.

P.S. McCrary sent me his photo to celebrate his 75th birthday. It seems relevant, so here:

Happy Birthday and MAAAAANY MOOOOORE!


Eileen Tabios does not let her books be reviewed by Galatea Resurrects because she's its editor (the exception would be books that focus on other poets as well).  She is pleased, though, to point you elsewhere to recent reviews of her work: THE CONNOISSEUR OF ALLEYS was reviewed by Joey Madia for New Mystics Reviews, Book Masons and Literary Aficionado; and EXCAVATING THE FILIPINO IN ME was reviewed by Aileen Ibardaloza for "Filipina American Literature: Reading Recommendations" (Barbara Jane Reyes Blog). She released three books and two chaps in 2016, and is scheduled to release at least three publications in 2017. More info at

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