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     Wisdom & Dust by Neil McCrea

Neil McCrea is a poet and author living in the Pacific Northwest.  His work has most recently appeared in Knock, Etc: a Review of General Semantics, and in the NeoPoiesis anthology CandyWisdom & Dust is his first poetry collection.

Wisdom & Dust by Neil McCrea

"Like water into wine, McCrea consistently and effortlessly transforms the quotidian into the revelatory. Wisdom& Dust dazzles and surprises with its pathos, wit, and insight."
    - Jonathan Evison, author of All About Lulu and West of Here

ISBN 978-0-9819984-7-3
198 pages
5.5”x8.5” perfect bound, paper

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The Tedious Responsibilities of the

...could've danced
with the buxom girl
of Russian winter eyes,
but he doesn't dance
anymore than Steve McQueen
would drive a Prius.

Real world worries
are beyond his grasp.
Frightened of paper tigers,
he pulls on the tails of dragons
the better to kick them
in the nuts.

The whimsy of cloud hopping heroines
has been ground up
in the gears of the god machine
and audience expectation
has him there
ready to make them a sandwich
after they fall.

Aristotle's ghost
yelled at me
to start this piece
in medias res.
I'm not sure I give a shit,
but I did it anyway,
and the protagonist doesn't seem to mind,
He knows it's all in the telling.


"The impressive poems in Wisdom & Dust have the swagger and pulse of the authentic. McCrea's characters, filled with equal parts rage and longing, bravado and despair, live in a universe where sucker punches and life-changing epiphanies wait at every turn."
    - James P. Othmer, author of The Futurist and Holy Water

"Neil McCrea limns the shambling, umbral Id that stalks every one of us. Sodden with fury and venom, Wisdom & Dust thrums, a twitching lodestone scenting fear, love, hate, and lust."
    - Christopher DeLaurenti, composer, improviser, radio host, and music writer.

"Wisdom and Dust is a collection of Greenaway-like tales of lost innocence, disappointment and disillusion. They are beautiful stories of fragile and seemingly sane people in the overpowering and seemingly sane world. They may mesmerize you or scare you but they will definitely not leave you indifferent.”
    - Lena Potapova, lead singer of Lena and the Bird Porn

"Vivid and revealing, Neil McCrea's Wisdom & Dust tells stories of lust, love, lawlessness, and root beer.  The powerful but dark outlook reminds one of Salinger's Catcher in the Rye, but with a sexual twist.  The reader is left pondering - impacted and hollow - as if nothing has been asserted, but everything has changed."
    - Alyse Black, International, Award-Winning Touring & Recording Artist

"Wisdom & Dust is more than an author's clever confession. Following Neil McCrea's optimistic and innocent boy into manhood left me feeling like I'd committed some sort of new sin myself, like I was partly responsible for his descent into all of this cool, blue madness. McCrea reveals his hope of ecstasy and the quest for satisfaction without bitterness, a welcome rarity in modern poetry.  Even as the inevitable darkness scores points in his game, it never wins and leaves you thinking that maybe, just maybe this man will beat the frustration that's haunted him throughout his life of longing."
    - Jeannette Kantzalis, songwriter/novelist

About the cover image

The cover image for Wisdom & Dust is from the original painting “Old Man In Boat” by Natalie Sharar.  Natalie studied art and was classically trained at Riverside Community College.  Her first solo art show was held in Downtown Riverside CA in April 2010.

You may find out more about this artist at her websites: