From the Ithaca Times (May 10, 2006):
When reading Jay Leeming's first collection of poems, Dynamite on a China Plate, it's hard not to think of fathers. Along with his literal father Joseph (who is honored in the acknowledgments), Leeming's literary fathers - Robert Bly and David Lehman - hover above this collection. A first book is often the melding of influences into something new. That something new made by Jay Leeming is a full-bodied, intelligent and thoroughly satisfying group of poems.
"Sometimes when eating an apple
I bite too far
and open the little room
the lovers have prepared,
and the seeds fall out
onto the kitchen floor
and I see
that they are tear-shaped."
From the simple and homely image of an apple, we move quickly into the world of sex and knowledge.
Leeming has a rare talent for image, metaphor and simile. Turns
of phrase such as "the cry of the crow is a jack-knife opening" or "in
the cricket-heavy darkness" show his deft hand. The early poems in the
book, which tend to be a simple and attractive as wood polished to a
sheen by use, appear to have been his school in which he refined his
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