In his second collection of poems, Jeff Latosik looks to those provisional moments of arrival and anchoring in what Canadian poet Don Coles has called "the catastrophe of time."
Safely Home Pacific Western is a combination of words common to travel-package tour buses, and, as the title implies, there will be journeys to be had: into ruined stretches of the rural US and Ontario mine country, across the English Channel in a hot air balloon, into the flight paths of fish hurled across Northern Territory Australia by a water spout, and even the far blinking orbit of a Navstar satellite. But unlike that modern promise of a brief, comfortable excursion, these poems often end up in strange, uncomfortable places that shore up the always prevalent chaotic impulses of civilization, finding not reconciliation but charged moments of witness, of coming to terms with the very act of looking. Moving through alternate histories, cutting edge and antiquated technology, and the wily language of patent and invention, Safely Home Pacific Western peers deep into the notion of personal and communal progress to reckon with the only seeming certainty: that in a poem, as in our lives, we are done and undone by the emergent element we cannot control.
"These lithe and sinewy poems will repay many readings, Latosik unpacks a wealth of invention — from music to machinery to weapons — and questions the human path through time, our filling and emptying of the world."
"Jeff Latosik's Safely Home Pacific Western is a unique take on a travelogue, focusing on the impact of the sights alogn the way and exploring varieties of individual interpretation."
"Jeff Latosik's materials are slyly intriguing, his manner nimbly inventive. One doesn't say this often, but if you want adventure, go to poems like those in Safely Home Pacific Western, a book that gets no less adventurous with each read, but even wittier and more deeply moving."