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Some poems from the book:
Love Among the Unemployed
Defiant Flags
Necessary Prerequisites and Personal Casablancas
Omens At War

What people are saying about the book:

Actually, reading Benoit is like reading a more erudite version of the U.S. barfly-poet Charles Bukowski. There’s the same tone of Eros-weariness, but it is more elegantly expressed... [and some] lines recall Leonard Cohen and his own view of love as being one-part salvation and one-part martyrdom.”

- George Elliott Clarke,
Halifax Chronicle Herald

“It’s hard to imagine a new twist on the dating game, but Standoff Terrain offers boy-meets-girl as a war game. Conducted to the accompaniment of pithy sayings from Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, Benoit’s poems cover all the hope and disappointment, the explorations of compatibility and its absence, involved in the militant pursuit of love. As Benoit’s would-be lovers attempt “to decide between love and / Independence”, they encounter on the one hand practitioners of S & M or an emotional scorched earth policy, but on the other hand also stumble upon surprisingly tender moments. Benoit’s wit and wry perspective keep the whole collection bubbling. The Art of War subtly reminds us that affairs of the heart, like affairs of the sword, have been a quintessential part of being human for eons. Benoit’s stunning achievement is to make it fresh one more time.”

- Tom Wayman

“In these fresh, candid poems, Jocko Benoit takes the high ideals of romance down to the streets. The republic of love is one hell of a battlefield, in Benoit’s poems, but there’s laughter here, too – Archie Bunker reading the Marquis de Sade is surely a “first” in Canadian poetry. And don’t let Benoit’s “loser-in-love” persona fool you – he doesn’t wallow in self-pity. Rather, he’s a wistfully humble student of the world, always willing to jump back into the pool even when he’s hit bottom. A collection of admirable spirit and craft.”

- Jeanette Lynes

“A guy looks for love in all the wrong places, but comes up with all the right lines. What happens when Sun Tzu’s The Art of War meets the Indian erotic-religious text The Kama Sutra? Well, you get philosophical verse that’s fun, frank, and funky.”

- Jury, Dektet 2010