Jeffrey Side, Carrier of the Seed, Buffalo, NY: BlazeVOX, 2007. 69 pp., available for free download at

Jeffrey Side’s Carrier of the Seed is a long poem: a long sentence arranged in three-word lines in a single column, a single breath. It’s a first-person discursive meditation or stream of speaking that switches referentiality every four lines or so. The effect is a text which tries to talk about it all. It is a way of searching for a clear explanation or description of the “seed” that lies somewhere in the core of this work, perhaps hidden from the speaker, but glimpsed by the reader in the paradoxical last lines:

remember me when
she returns no
more to be
parted when I’m
with you around.

The poem revolves around the themes of male-female dialectics, generation, fertility, love, and the problem of understanding all that; of knowing what it is or what is happening: this is the emotional core of the work. More often than not, these themes are referred to in the context of a specific story, of specific places (“Baltimore” and many others), topics, and persons.

The language is plain English, but I find it extremely exciting when Side shifts into a glossolalia-like speech, which he does frequently in this book:

visits my sad
heart agaiden or
that remore and
memore fory or
time dease pleave

These invented words suggest many others, and make these passages quite resonant and fascinating.

The world of this poetry, in which “…the/material universe is/defined by polarity” is compelling and authentic. Don’t miss this one, especially as it’s available at a price that absolutely can’t be beat!

John M. Bennett


apocryphaltext Vol. 2, Nos. 2 & 3

Carrier of the Seed, by Jeffrey Side
(a Review by John M. Bennett)