When the Cicadas Return










No Brainer Variations


No Brainer Variations
by Jim Cory

"For years I’ve admired Jim Cory’s irreverent poems, for their brutal honesty and their brutal humor. And admired Cory for never losing his edge. The poems in this new book seem fresher and more devastating than ever. Cory inspires great compassion for the victims of human frailty that we all are, and utter disdain for insipidness and smallness “& other forms of collective stupidity.” He is a master transmitter of “the soul’s strange radar.”

—David Trinidad

"Jim Cory's poems are not only written out of a quickened and skillful musical sense, but they also rise out of a kinetic, humorous, generosity extracted from life's noise — shorings against cacophony, static, and babble. Cracking the code of techno-discourse that scratches our paralyzed, ragged hearts, his wise idioms playfully — yet pointedly — risk everything. Their democratic impulses, their restorative intents — so robust and so resilient as to leave us stripped bare to the human we have forgotten — alchemize into an uncomplicated, polished wisdom.  Their satire becomes a gentle, brotherly urge to rightness, to civility, and to an awakening to the absurd poetry of the everyday.  I am taken up by their odd beauty.  Their music and wit open new vistas.  The poet asks, "What is silence but the filtered distillation of remembered noise?"  What, indeed?  The evidence? No Brainer Variations"

--Jeffery Beam

"Jim Cory the poet is true entertainment for those who have immediate use of poetry today. For instance if literature and the Space Program as it was called had their own junkyards his voice would be their ghosts. Contemporary poetry’s forward motion would be like a Harley-Davidson missing a wheel without Cory. Funny, insightful, tough and tender with nature, he shows an iconoclastic streak that is at once truthful and hilarious. Nobody comes close to what Cory covers in Surrealist tension combined with thoughtful camp. He is a welcome voice and carriage in a tight-ass poetry world of supreme vanities. His amusing range never tedious is about like Van Wyck Brooks in its stewardship. In this department of value today I can only place Joel Dailey and Anselm Hollo next to Cory. If you don’t purchase this book—NO BRAINER VARIATIONS, you’re not even alive! Jim Cory is an American treasure."

--Tom Weigel

"every day poems bombard us. that is a secret unknown to most. but Jim Cory knows. one day he sits in front of his computer & captures poems. another day he finds one on the sidewalk. & yet another day he climbs a tree & there in a nest is a poem. in this book Jim Cory shares the richness he discovers every day."

--Alex Gildzen






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Jim Cory lives in Center City Philadelphia, where he works as a writer and editor in trade publishing. He is the author of 7 previous chapbooks, including Facts in the Case of E.A.P. (Mooncalf Press, Philadelphia, 2003), the redheads (1997, Insight to Riot Press, Philadelphia) and Wife (1994, Insight to Riot Press, Philadelphia). His work has appeared in many leading venues during 35 years of publishing in literary journals, including Chiron Review, Wormwood Review, Exquisite Corpse, Contact II, etc. He has also been a book reviewer (for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Fort Worth Star-Telegram), essayist (most recently in the online journal Jacket), and short story writer. If you really need to you may reach him at coryjim@earthlink.net .