Grimoire is an extraordinary book of poetry. On the copper skin textured cover hangs two spiders. The spider has long symbolized patience and persistence. Read this book, cover to cover and you will appreciate the author’s journey. Ancient Celtic people created symbols to represent important aspects of their lives, including spirituality. I do not know much about the symbols on this book or if they are Celtic, but two beautiful images quietly adorn the cover. Every health professional, every aspiring poet should own a copy. Examine the truth, beauty, and ugly of what makes a poem magnificent, relevant and universal.
Jacob R.Moses, “poetic incantations toward self-discovery”, reminds me of an invisible gift a university professor once gave me: to write great poetry you must know more than the rose, he said, you must know “the barbed-wire cock of the devil.” Moses doesn’t hide his challenges but uses his knowledge of himself and the world as tools to take back his authentic self and become a model for others in recovery. In his words, “To be bipolar/in a scattered world/is to be a compass/Demagnetized/and without a clear direction/out of melancholy.“
In essence, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”and no matter what he calls himself, Jacob R. Moses is the real deal, a poet of the highest caliber. He possesses a wide spectrum of vocabulary and uses words like paint or music to compose a mood with meaning. Moods of which he admits, he has many. The author employs lines like,”resentment laced with poetry.” One of my favorite words he uses is, “cockamamie” or a phrase constructed in “Love Poem to Amelie Poulain”. He observes her with admiration: “cracked your creme brulee/and enjoyed its simplicity“.
Like gravity, he asserts permanent laws in a mist of ever changing forms in time. Solid, then liquid, then gas are images that permeate the pages; forms changing forms, faithful to science and ancestry. The book is different, and looks different. Titles are on the bottom. I needed to look up, Grimoire, as I had no frame of reference. It makes no difference your educational level, or the letters after your name, you may have to stretch yourself to the dusty bookshelf where a physical dictionary lies dormant. This poet will educate and inform. He calls all those sleepwalking through the day, dragging a morphine drip, to wake up to oneself; there is ancestry, stars in the sky and stories to tell.
Jacob demonstrates a knowledge of many subjects, music, science, herbology, biology, architecture, psychology, spirituality, mysticism, numerology, to name a few, and magick. He has graduated with hard knocks and knows recovery and rehabilitation. He has a reverence for nature, animals, gem stones, the solid, beauty of amethyst; and like my poetry teacher, the visionary, poet and translator, Robert Bly, Jacob has a positive value of the number 13. He has a keen observation and has a sense of humor. In his poem, 13th Floor, he writes: The Empire State Building/does not have a 13th floor/and those who defend this/have no ground to stand on.”
The author’s word choice/phrase combinations weave a colorful quilt to express his understanding of the world, his predicament, and reveals a search for meaning and identity. He expresses how obstacles of social placement and isolation can blur a person’s true nature. Moses takes responsibility for the choices he made in life which did not serve him. He writes about forgiveness The “rhymes he spits has many germs.” (pg.43). He knows, “shit hits the fan.” He puts common words in powerful unusual phases, “octets piss on symphonies”. He metabolizes his pain into radiant sheets of poetry, using rare, true and effective language. His poems are beautiful not ugly, although his journey full of smothering smoke. In reading his work, I am reminded of Tupac Shakur and his poem, “ The Rose That Grew From Concrete” and I hear, buzzing in my ear the incantations, the strong affirmations of Anthony Robbins and in my mind’s eye see the peppered butterfly that hugged the bark of trees and survived the industrial revolution. 13 Thank Yous, Jacob R. Moses, for your volcanic energy, for your heart and drum. Peers in recovery will benefit from your bravery.
Kathryn M. Fazio
Former Poet Laureate, The College of Staten Island
U.S.A. Representative Poet at the Fifth World Congress of Poets
Winner of the Silla Gold Crown World Peace Literature Prize
A Former Poetry Judge at Uptown Jimmy’s
Development Consultant/Network Specialist, Baltic Street Into Action