you are everything you are not
“Sometimes questions are answers and answers are questions in these dialogic verses. Death, love, history, sorrow, language, joy and prayer are subjects masterfully interwoven in John High’s bardic and ecstatic lines. ‘you are everything you are not’ is an exquisite sequence. In the words of the poet: ‘The story never leaves you.’”
“A calm contemplation of emptiness penetrates through these pages. Painting negative space on a rich canvas, or voicing ‘the silence of language’ through dialogues is as difficult as it is ‘most cherished.’ The gracious flow of lines, undulating tunes, and resurfacing motives meander over a landscape simultaneously familiar and foreign. They originate from the past, brush against the present and stretch into the future. The yearning, though hidden, is keen: ‘black water eddies along the shore.’ Hold your breath before you wade into this deep river that threatens to dissolve the self and reach the other mind. It is worth the risk.”
“Like Prometheus bound to his rock, warning us that we saw but didn’t see, heard but misunderstood, John High’s newest book introduces a fresh set of interlocutors. Completing his trilogy of Books, in many ways this is the book of the untold: muted yet deafening, warm yet cold, beautiful yet disfigured, still yet bloody, dead yet incredibly alive. The particulars in High’s poems are so sublime that you feel a beginning crossing roads with an end at the very moment that you’re blinking.
— Willie Perdomo