Leave Smoke is a personal and down-to-earth collection of poetry that speaks to the ordinary and the ups and downs of life and relationships. Told with vivid language and raw emotion, the reader is easily whirled into the realm of the poetic voice. The poems capture the malaise of a society rarely redeemed by love in a world of hard work, chronic exhaustion, few pleasures: reminders of how we create an easy camaraderie to substitute for deeper connections.
Jeff Walt's bluesy, compassionate poems are rooted in the real world of chance and transitory struggle and suffering, but they evoke an otherworldliness that perfectly complements their dabbling in pop-culture-infused daydreams and nightmares. Leave Smoke is one of those rare books of poems that you'll wish, like life, would never end."-- Jeremy Halinen
Leave Smoke celebrates all the ways intimacy arrives in unexpected places: among regulars at a bar, during the supper rush in a restaurant kitchen, hiding in roadside weeds. These poems listen to the music of violence and love spun in clubs, at kitchen tables, by lovers' bodies, and sing it back to us with enough yearning to draw us into each new day, 'another irresistibly damned dawn.'" --Jennifer Perrine