New Jersey native Jason Greendyk has released a new book of philosophical poetry titled Ontological Intoxication. It is an introspective walk through just over 3 years in the author’s life. The poems challenge the reader to look into themselves and ask questions that have always challenged us as thinkers. In Summon the Driver the poet asks “Where art thee my fire?” We all have to search out what makes us passionate. What do we want to live for? In Sculpting Divinity we read:
We build statues of ourselves,
Chiseling our souls
To every minute perfection,
Then giving up once we are there.
There are no easy answers here. These poems are meant to be read and reread and let loose to kick around the brain for a while. Other highlights include In and Of Itself which asks whether the best art is created for free, the questioning The Sniper Watches, Waits, and the sprawling Swirling Eye of the Rose, Love.
Jason was nice enough to answer a few questions for YDKJ:
Why the title “Ontological Intoxication“?
Ravishment in the study of being as such. To be euphoric in the sobriety of being. The poems seek the philosophical revelations to be found in the very fabric of existence by the questioning human mind.
How long have you been writing poetry? Do you also write prose?
I have been writing poetry for a decade now. It is my dominant form of written artistic expression, though I suppose prose at times creeps its way into the poetry. Or perhaps vice versa. It becomes difficult to distinguish. Any ‘strict’ prose writing I encounter lately is in the form of the legal writing I perform for my day job. Previously, while studying philosophy at a university in New Jersey, I wrote prose in the form of academic essays.
There are many religious words and images used in your writing, especially in the earlier poems. Would you consider yourself a spiritual person?
Deeply spiritual in some distant sense of the term I suppose. The shadows of religion have spun mysterious webs in my life. The historic solidity and ambiguity of religious symbols as they blend into the increasingly complex tapestry of society is a raw form of inspiration for my poetry.
How do you go about titling your poems?
The poems in “Ontological Intoxication” were titled using a reflective association process. Approximately one year after the writing of the last poem in the book, I set to work rereading each poem and applying my then distant reflection to the creation of a one liner regarding the content or subsequent application of same within my life.
What are you working on now?
I will soon be releasing a second book this summer poetically documenting my experience of the subculture of aggressive rollerblading, which I’ve been a part of for the past decade, for the most part simultaneously with my poetic writing. It is entitled “The Apple Juice” and will consist of poetry interspersed with photography in relation to the rollerblading lifestyle.
Did you grow up in New Jersey? What do you miss about it?
I did indeed grow up in Wayne, NJ. I miss family and friends. I miss the intensity of the industrial urban environment surrounding Newark. I miss the wooded forests and rolling hills of the brief northern New Jersey countryside. I miss waking up for a morning walk in the Ramapo mountains to find myself by sunset sitting beside the Hudson waiting for the night to come alive. A vast expanse of worlds in one landscape capable of being brushed in but a day’s time is a beautiful thing.
It will be interesting to see what path Jason takes from here. He is a welcome new voice reaching above the din of normalcy and we look forward to his next project.
Click here to purchase the book at blurb.com. What the heck, buy two and give one to a friend!
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