A Threadbare Universe (Paperback)
The thing that gets me about Jason Baldinger's work is this: despite being wildly prolific, it's these poems. The poems get better, get tighter, get more honest. It's not always going to be a pretty picture, but Baldinger - especially here in A Threadbare Universe - draws you in with each first line, creates a little world where we get to look through his eyes while he wields language like it's music; syncopated rhythms, the skillful repetition of assonance and consonance, a sprinkling of slant and internal rhyme give these poems structures in which they dance. These poems have grit and they bite and they leave you speechless at the sheer miracle of being alive on a sunny day, barreling down the road, shaking the city dust and hustling for cash weariness in the winds of the Great Plains.
Author of Survival Tips for the Pending Apocalypse
In Jason Baldinger's latest book, "A Threadbare Universe" he takes you on a whirlwind ride to hell and back. The poems travel through forgotten towns where the unemployment check is a relic from another time. They take you on journeys from Pittsburgh to Evansville, Indiana, moving further along through Kentucky to the middle of Kansas. And within the desolation, little sparks of light throw out signals from this stellar poem: "The streets are empty" -we look for heroes to save this never democracy / Christianity and Hollywood led us astray. And the positive; a redemption of the new madness that haunts our each and every step hits us in this final line: we can stop this / we have to fill the streets. A powerful book that begs to be read.
Richard D. Houff
Author, journalist, and former editor of Heeltap Magazine
Jason Baldinger's writing is an example of the best American poetry today. A Threadbare Universe takes America's temperature and awakens us. It's a poignant call from complacency, a brilliant rendition, breathtaking in its solace and lament.
Author of Soft Out Spoken
Beneath the blue collar of Baldinger's poems lies dirt, nostalgia, a sweet solitude built of both victory and sadness. To read is to ride shotgun with road map an unfolded wreckage with America hungover in the backseat. Every stop to stretch legs and take a piss is colored by working blues and morning afters. There is coming-of-age, and there is coming to terms--this collection of work exquisitely calls forth the latter.