Jeffrey Ethan Lee | towards euphoria

towards euphoria. Number 1 in the second volume of our Editor’s Series, and co-winner of the 2011 Editor’s Prize.

Cover image by author.

Published: January 26, 2012 [125 copies]
33 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9839292-3-9

Jeffrey Ethan Lee‘s towards euphoria is the prequel to his first poetry book, invisible sister. His dramatic poetry book, identity papers, was a 2006 Colorado Book Award finalist. He won the 2002 Sow’s Ear Poetry Chapbook Prize for The Sylf (2003), created identity papers for Drimala Records, and has published Strangers in a Homeland (chapbook with Ashland Poetry Press, 2001) and hundreds of poems, stories and essays in North American Review, Xconnect, Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, Many Mountains Moving, Crosscurrents, American Poetry Review, Green Mountains Review, and Washington Square, among other journals. Lee has a Ph.D. in British Romanticism and an MFA from NYU; he is an editor, director, and web designer for Many Mountains Moving and artist-in-residence at Ursinus College for spring 2012.

a digression 

if at our most ecstatic moment
we are more like the blackness
startling the paper than the one who inks, 

more like the dust than the light
streaming through a room,

more like the blue-white marble
in the undivinable void, 
no larger than a paramecium hurtled 
into the ocean of a water drop on a slide,

more like the written, the etched, the awled
than the hand that holds and aches and over-awes,

so that consciousness, self and free-will
are less like light than a self-free will–

and the sun-worshipers were more right
than the priests of reason or consciousness,

and the soul can stand to feel
the stars only at a distance
because their impossible beauty
revolves in what we are at bottom,

and Beckett was right to scrawl
I alone am man and all the rest divine, 

then the “I” scatters utterly out of self
toward the unbearable power of
that farther, purer wilderness–

Praise for towards euphoria 

“The poetry of Jeffrey Ethan Lee is both raw and tender. Lee deftly plumbs the depths of emotions of a boy on the cusp, but the first person voice of the poet also explores exhilarating highs– ‘drawn the way I always was / towards euphoria.’ A moving book.”                                                                           

–Susan Terris

“Here Jeffrey Ethan Lee offers up the raw sweetness of burgeoning self and sexuality. In Towards Euphoria we re-experience that region of heightened possibility, where sense and sensation transport us to places that brush against our souls. What a gift to be carried again into this territory of discovery, this ‘purest wilderness’ that shapes who we are.”

–Linda Pennisi

  • Purchase Jeffrey’s chapbook here.

2 thoughts on “Jeffrey Ethan Lee | towards euphoria

  1. Pingback: Editor’s Series: Volume Two kickoff by Jeffrey Ethan Lee « Seven Kitchens Press

  2. Pingback: New Editor’s Series title by Roxanne Halpine Ward « Seven Kitchens Press

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