J. J, Steinfeld

As You Continue to Wait and Other Poems Hovering Above the Absurd, the Existential and the otherworldly

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The 80 poems of As You Continue to Wait (2022) continue the dialogue with and a questioning of the human condition as they hover above what the author sees as the absurd, the existential, and otherworldly elements of life, without neglecting the spiritual, and the ordinary and the extraordinary spheres of being that J. J. Steinfeld embarked upon in his previous four Ekstasis Editions poetry collections, Misshapenness (2009), Identity Dreams and Memory Sounds (2014), A Visit to the Kafka Café (2018), and Morning Bafflement and Timeless Puzzlement (2020). As You Continue to Wait once again attempts to make sense of the way we conduct our lives, to find meaning in our not always meaningful surroundings, to look at individuals caught in time and space and history, and in the sometimes joyous, sometimes frightening yet endlessly fascinating moments of existence and being. Imaginatively observing his life and the lives of others, real or imagined, from their beginnings to nearing their endings, through poems such as “A Senseful Chant” (“How it ridicules the mind that after a neat nine months / in deeply known and silent intimacy / the severe kinship of confinement / I arrive more than a stranger”), to contemplating both the texture and idea of waiting in “As You Continue to Wait” (“Now, a lifetime after those kisses / and talk of Godot, you keep waiting / thinking of images of waiting / waiting if not for a revelation / then at least a note or an apology / you are reluctant to use the words / interminable or worrisome / you are reluctant to give words to your waiting / fearing the naming would negate / the most luscious definitions for words / such as soul or spirit or hopefulness”), to the poetic and artistic struggling with the mysteries of the spiritual in “A Mystifying Room in Heartbreaking Disarray” (“Who last sat in the empty chair / in the centre of the mystifying room? / Punished? Praised? Secluded? / Who might sit there next / awaiting another fate? / Salvation? Redemption? Damnation? / But that is another painting / not the sanctified colours of suffering / before my wondering eyes”),to describing  in “The Beginning of an Intergalactic Love Affair” (“The recently divorced man / of average height, early fifties, / and above-average longing / met a pretentious space alien / tall, ageless, and eerily lovely / during a long late-night walk / close to the edge of the world”), to contemplating life as an absurd, existential, and otherworldly  Procession in “Unable to Deceive God into Helping Me” (“Calling the sun frozen or the sky pallid changes not the eternal design, / the Procession is what it is, not what I say: / the savage thunder of once-soft songs / years that have grown frail and cantankerous / vanished seasons, wayward maturity, uncontested caducity... / What grand gesture will alter the unredemptive flow? / What cogent tantrum will hinder the Procession? / I start to mumble a response, a formula for an antidote, / a concoction that might be a remedy, / something that resembles immortality in the dim light / an unsatisfying immortality, less than savoury”), the 80 poems of As You Continue to Wait invite the reader to join the writer in various states of being and an assortment of absurd / existential / otherworldly realities, with the spiritual never distant.

Fiction writer, poet, and playwright  J. J. Steinfeld lives on Prince Edward Island, where he is patiently waiting for Godot’s arrival and a phone call from Kafka. While waiting, he has published twenty-four books: two novels, fourteen short story collections, and eight poetry collections. As You Continue to Wait is his ninth book — five poetry collections and four short story collections — published by Ekstasis Editions.

ISBN 978-1-77171-508-9
120 Pages
6 x 9
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