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Two-Face God, Poems by Jason McCall
The hard truth of Jason McCall's Two-Face God is this: there is no space in this world without duality, without the glossy surface and the hidden darkness, that always pushes through and must be reckoned with. From love, to history, to memory, to race, these poems probe this duality.
"Jason McCall's Two-Face God is not an easy read. It's a book that confronts hard truths about being black and male in the United States, a nation never ready for these confessions, these memories, these confrontations. It is, however, a fierce book, one that sits in its truths, one that demands your attention as it parses realities of black male life into a comic book mirror, invoking those childhood heroics to get this book's hero over, around, and under all the damage this nation puts on his very human shoulders. In the end, poetry is what saves this speaker, and we are gifted with his words, his legacy, his life."- Allison Joseph
"Jason McCall's remarkable third collection Two-Face God is a modern-day reckoning with both of Janus's faces. These poems are full of the beginnings and transitions of doubt and disbelief-in our educations and institutions, in the various gods of applause and bedroom posters, in our youth and stubborn want to pretend we have a say in when it leaves. These deft and always sonorous poems create a new, American mythology, one that exists on the other side of double ply racial masks and the archways to segregated cities. And when the speaker of 'When Your Madden Running Back Retires,' says, 'Your video game grew up. / What happened to you?' we are left in our evolutions, looking for the answers we really don't want to find."- Adrian Matejka
"Janus from the ruins of Rome, Wally West from the pages of DC comics, Count Fenring from the shifting sands of Dune… Again and again in Jason McCall's new book, we are confronted with the masked and doubled voices of outsiders, haunted and hungry souls who feel like fakers in their own skin, perhaps traitors, perhaps unsung heroes who no one could possibly believe in. From the linoleum halls of his Montgomery high school to the marble halls of Vahalla and Justice, Jason McCall's various voices serve as aegis between a real boy who is gifted with great insight and the society/self that cannot fully embrace the exceptional. This book, a book about exclusion and acceptance, explores the experience of otherness from the perspective of the hero who, himself, is perhaps just as critical as the crowds that jeer when the speedster who wasn't supposed to win actually crosses the finish line first. Here we find a voice 'searching for one more life,' for a world where 'skin doesn't matter,' for a universe where God will just 'get out of the way,' for a life where the underdog who understands both past and future, both Telemachus and Trayvon Martin, Armageddon and Alabama, Woodley Park and Wally West cannot, will not, become the ultimate enemy."- Bryan Dietrich
ISBN: 978-1625492524, 102 pages, $19.00