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

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Editorial Reviews


“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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Product Details

  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Graywolf Press (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1555975720
  • ISBN-13: 978-1555975722
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.2 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #654,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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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Whether you’re a poet or a comics fan, you’ll likely get a whole lot out of Missing You, Metropolis, but I’d recommend dog-earing the pages of the poems you dig so that you can easily go back to them and avoid the ones that feel like filler. Particular favorites include “Iron Man’s Intervention, Starring the Avengers” as well as two poems about prominent black superheroes, “Storm on Display” and “Luke Cage Tells It Like It Is,” both of which tackle the ideas of blackness in comics and the problems that come with the titular characters despite the positive things they bring to the superhero genre.

You can read my full review (along with a review of Multiverse: A Collection of Superhero Poetry) at Loser City:
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