PRAISE FOR TWO MILES WEST
“A striking freshness, lyricism, and originality of voices—imagination and a sense of time and place characterize Two Miles West. This uncommon first book of poetry has been seasoned by years of thought and experience. ‘At night I pull the one runner curtain back / and look out the porch caves into ruined couch / below unshingled casts from lamplight.’ You will be rewarded when you step into his light.”—MICHAEL MILLER, author of Lifelines
“The debut collection of a poet as remarkable for his offbeat humor and Virginia down-homeness as for his hip urbanity: his love of jazz, qi, and an ideal world without fences. Among the many triumphs in this collection is Entsminger’s invention of a noir Steve McQueenish-slash-Jack Kerouackian character named McQ. Some killer poems: ‘Hazing,’ ‘Fallen,’ ‘Wind and Bamboo,’ and the magnificent pièce de résistance, ‘Old Bach.’ Every day Entsminger, a Coloradan, looks out on views of evergreen meadows and snowcapped peaks. The scope of this book goes way beyond ‘two miles west’!”—JAMES REISS, author of Riff on Six: New and Selected Poems
June, 2015, Review by Laurel Johnson for Midwest Book Review:
“In his first book of poetry, Entsminger takes readers through a time journey. The path he’s chosen to follow is rich with imagery I found comforting, enticing, and unflinching as he gently guides us from Bach to bird songs, from ancient visions to modern psalms. Underlying every modern musing is a sense of antediluvian quiet.
A sense of wonder permeates Entsminger’s world. ‘…feathery green leaves / sway / across black culms / as if the wind’s / come to town…’ Within this world, everything exists in tandem, connected by our similarities and differences. ‘…in this expanse / of ancient spans / and introspection / we see ourselves / microscopic / in the distance…’ Through his words, readers examine the world in every direction, seeing our complicated modern lives with a fresh perspective. A simpler world is out there if only we stop long enough to see it. ‘…why weren’t / we comfortable / with paradise / I make a note / as the cottonwood crackles / where are the angels / we fare no better now / in our interpreted worlds / beneath the higher stars…’
The poems here are lyrical and enlightening, the kind you’ll want to reread whenever life turns harsh and dark. Entsminger’s thoughts are exceptionally beautiful and highly recommended.”