Love's Test.jpg

Love’s Test, a chapbook from Grayson Books, 2019. Winner of the 2019 Grayson Books Chapbook Award.

When we’re young, love’s test is simply to find it. In mid-life, love’s test is to hold onto it as we’re tossed around by the years. In our late years, the task is letting go, even as love is deeply lodged within us. The poems in Love’s Test give the reader an intimate look through the eyes of one meeting the deep challenges of reconciliation. There is great joy and wisdom in this beautifully-written book.

Leslie McGrath, author of Feminists Are Passing from Our Lives.

Jed Myers’ Love’s Test begins with seeking proof—some evidence that we are not separate from others—and ends with the image of an “elegant firework // purple allium burst on its long stem.” In between are questions of belief and doubt, a voice sometimes set firm and other times set adrift, a voice at times convinced of having passed love’s test and other times unconvinced, aware of how “chaos [is] taking its time with us.”  Perhaps we live in an age of no prophecies, no omens, no “far shore across that immense water,” no messages pointing beyond ourselves. Does anything “suggest / the least imminence”? Myers, with a “self // made of secret defiance,” steps forth to say yes, even if he must “claim / the impossible.”

Jeff Hardin, author, A Clearing Space in the Middle of Being

Jed Myers’ evocative chapbook, Love’s Test, explores the tenuousness of love and life. The night dies at dawn, seas swallow us whole and “we are hung out to die.” The poet asks “What if / all this life’s an insatiable mouth?” His answer is perhaps like Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind,” as a strong gust runs through the air and breath of these poems. Nothing is locked down. Of a love affair: “I was a kite of loose fiber let go / on buffeting currents.” Of life: “Ever hung / from a limb as it gives? Your weight, / the wind, a blight—how could it / not?” Even a love poem becomes a negation, a stab in the dark in Myers’ “Love Poem Written in Broad Darkness.” Love hangs by a thread, or is the thread tugging at our souls. In a poem about leaving a daughter behind, “Left you in that quiet / cavern, floor bared of my Persian rugs, / fridge groaning its hunger from inside….” Myers answers the question at the heart of this collection, “Haven’t we each more than once failed / love’s test?” with a broken yes. Love’s Test holds its heart in its hands—we may find our hearts there too.

Heidi Seaborn, author, Give a Girl Chaos {see what she can do}