Thankful for this book, and Michael Chang's ability to weave seamlessly in between scenes, to honor the full ecosystem of a narrative-people, places, images, metaphor. This is a rich book, it felt like stepping into a generous and welcoming world.
Michael Chang's debut collection is bold, unapologetic, and vibrantly defiant. An interrogation into the confines that govern us on our nation's journey to racial and gender equality.
This book attempts to have more fun and fuck more shit up than any debut collection I've ever read. Michael Chang's irreverence is an ethos, their way of pushing back against a culture that finds them "disposable ... not colored/White enough ... not the arbiter of anything ..." Against that tide, Chang stands the fuck up and says things most poets wouldn't dream of saying, in the process queering American poetry in a bracingly necessary way.
Michael Chang hits hard and refuses to apologize. Unabashedly crass, brash, provocative and funny, these poems, beneath their comic exteriors, explore an American landscape full of joy and despair-never flinching from the big subjects of desire, belonging, sexuality and race. Chang takes everything in, somehow managing to console even as they trouble us. Once you start reading, it's hard to look away. As they write: "I will dominate you. I will come back."
This collection is, and I mean this literally, everything: grief-full and endlessly flirtatious, an epic ars poetica with an undercurrent of hero's journey, incisive critique of white supremacy and PoBiz, a little hurty and hurt, bursting with heart and language lavish with tinder and fire. We don't need Whitman. We've got Michael Chang to take us beyond the beyond. We're heading out now. It's "time for the beautiful revenge of self-love."