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Missing You, Metropolis: Poems Paperback – October 26, 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555975720
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555975722
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 5.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #450,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Gary Jackson’s Missing You, Metropolis embodies a voice uniquely shaped and tuned for the twenty-first century. Playful, jaunty, rueful, and highly serious—sometimes within a singular poem—this persona has been forged in the caldron of popular iconography, especially in the culture of the comic book. Anything is possible in such created time and space; immediate tension exists in a climate where otherworldly figures are defined by earthly matters and concerns. The funny-book world is a perfect landscape for innuendo and signification, and Jackson uses these aptly. This first collection of poems is gauged by a sophisticated heart.” —YUSEF KOMUNYAKAA, from the Introduction

About the Author

Gary Jackson was born and raised in Topeka, Kansas. He received his M.F.A. from the University of New Mexico and has taught in Albuquerque and in Anyang, South Korea.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Zach Hudson on December 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
Wow. Just wow. This is great poetry, and it's the perfect combination of subjects and attitude that I appreciate personally. The first poem in Gary Jackson's Missing You, Metropolis is "The Secret Art of Reading a Comic", written as a parody/homage of W. H. Auden's "Musée des Beaux Arts". This combination of the "high" and the "low"--the appreciation of both tradition and the every day--is one of the reasons I love poets such as Wendy Cope. Gary Jackson nails it.
Jackson's collection largely focuses on superhero comics, a subject I'm not completely unfamiliar with. My favorites in that genre are those that go beyond the often uncritical and superficial nature of superheroes and use them to examine and comment upon the complexities of our own lives. Examples of this include Alan Moore's Watchmen and some of the X-Men comics written by Grant Morrison. Jackson does the same thing using poetry. His monologues in the voice of superheroes, or their family, or of anonymous bystanders, are all aimed squarely at examining the basics of being human: love, hate, fear, anger, ambition, aging, family life, yearning... So familiarity with superheroes is not a prerequisite for the reader.

Other poems along this theme similarly humanize the superhuman: Mary Jane and Betty discuss their love lives with Spider-Man and the Hulk; Magneto laments hate crimes against mutants; a father holds his newborn mutant son.

This theme makes up about half of "Missing You, Metropolis". The other half is more personally centered on Gary Jackson, often involving his childhood in Topeka, Kansas. Poems consider love and sex, gangs and drugs, race, and friendships changing over time.

Each poem is accessible, beautiful, touching and clever. Highly recommended.

Zach Hudson
[...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By N. Taggart on May 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
This collection is a superb discussion of identity and alterity using (largely) our newest myths: comic books. It is both accessible and rich, referential to the consciousness of popular culture as well its literary lineage. In "Home From Work, I Face My Newborn Mutant Son," Jackson offers: 'I hold my six pound baby boy / in my hands, pink as sand. / His skin is glass. // This is not a metaphor. / My wife did not hemorrhage alone / on our wood floor for metaphor.' His poems are loaded with this kind of powerful language and cover a wide range of emotion--humor to pain to everyday vulnerability in humans and superheroes alike. There is an excellent more detailed review on the Sugar House Review website.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By small perfect grape on November 13, 2012
Format: Paperback
Great little book of poems. I read it in one sitting and then went back to read it over again.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Southern Girl on November 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brilliant! Those who have left few stars don't read or write poetry! It's a must have in your contemporary poetry collection!
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5 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Sanford Smith on February 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize, selected by Yusef Komunyakaa, this new book of poetry left me asking another question: `Really, Yusef?' Yusef Komunyakaa is a poet whose work I've been absolutely leveled by in the past. To see his name as an endorsement on this book leaves me doubly disappointed. There's more eloquence and imagination in Yusef's introduction to this collection than in any of the poems that follow.

The weaknesses of the poetry are myriad and taxingly repetitive as the book drags on. Gary Jackson doesn't so much blend the world of comic books and his own autobiographical bits as he awkwardly sets them on a stage together, hoping some of it sticks.

Along with being a cynic, I'm also an admitted graphic-novel geek, which made the stunning lack of imagination in these elements all the more strange. Pardon the pun, but on paper such motifs should really fly, should really be elevating the collection as a whole in very vibrant, action-filled ways. Sadly it remains interesting only in potential, not execution. If I were to judge these poems by the titles alone (as we all sometimes do, staring at the table of contents) I'd be frothing at the mouth with the combination of comic-book fanboy geekcitement and poetic enthusiasm, but I can say with no exaggeration that every single one fell flat, Jackson apparently kryptonite to his own alluring premise. To quote from Komunyakaa's introduction, `Anything is possible in such created time and space ... The funny-book world is a perfect landscape for innuendo and signification...'. While he completes this last thought by saying Jackson does so `aptly', I can only agree with the former claims.
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