Maybe the Saddest Thing: Poems

Maybe the Saddest Thing: Poems

by Marcus Wicker
     
 

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“These are wide-ranging Whitmanesque poems—self-aware meditations that rap and jazz their way forward, talk back, backtrack, and scratch so hard they blow out the speakers with their complicated love for a huge cast of icons, from Pam Grier to Flavor Flav, from RuPaul to Dave Chapelle.”
—Erika Meitner

“Keats, too, would have

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Overview

“These are wide-ranging Whitmanesque poems—self-aware meditations that rap and jazz their way forward, talk back, backtrack, and scratch so hard they blow out the speakers with their complicated love for a huge cast of icons, from Pam Grier to Flavor Flav, from RuPaul to Dave Chapelle.”
—Erika Meitner

“Keats, too, would have admired the holy truth of Marcus Wicker, whose lyric wizardry astounds the ear.”
—D.A. Powell

Winner of the 2011 National Poetry Series Prize as selected by D.A. Powell, Marcus Wicker's Maybe the Saddest Thing is a sterling collection of contemporary American poems by an exciting new and emerging voice.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Dense with echo and vibrant with syncopation, Wicker’s debut (chosen for the National Poetry Series by D.A. Powell) deploys a festive panoply of characters from African-American culture and music to make serious claims about memory, sadness, race, self-consciousness, and desire. “Love Letter to RuPaul” appraises “the hourglass-shaping choke hold/ you can put on a mic”; “The Break Beat Break” considers “the body’s// never-ending addiction to movement... spun/ backward on a turntable.” Wicker gets introspective too, self-conscious and self-mocking: “I’m only telling you this because/ you’re reading a poem,” he says in a deceptively serious “I’m a Sad, Sad Man. So Sad.” Prose blocks, couplets, short stuttered lines and long ones that repeat his own name (as in a ghazal) give the collection exciting variety, while its memories—sexy, pathetic, guilty or all three, as in pages about Wicker’s Michigan teenage years—give the work a cumulative gravity. Between the tricky meta-poems and the confessional elements, the formal games and the musical knowledge, Wicker will surely be compared to Terrance Hayes; at the same time, Wicker’s lines stand up on their own, whether pacing in clipped regret or proclaiming that Wicker can after all live up to his idols with all their moves, jazz riffs, larger-than-life displays. (Nov.)
D.A. Powell
“Action painting meets the pop of hip-hop. Here is a dashing figure of speech and preach, a lovepoet to the stars....Marcus Wicker[’s] lyric wizardry astounds the ear in conclamant melodies and astonishes the eye ‘like a shard of glass catches a beam’.”
Terrance Hayes
“Marcus Wicker has, as Mos Def and Talib Kweli did, made an art that bridges cultures….The dialogues, love letters, and reflections throughout this wonderful debut show us what it is to be in vigilant conversation with the world and with the self.”
Erika Meitner
“Wicker preaches an urgent gospel of pop-culture, desire, adolescence, race, and family, that says “Hell yes” to the world with deft turns of phrase, and a rhythmic inventiveness that hurtles down the page. This fearless debut will make your head spin, your heart strut.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062191014
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/23/2012
Pages:
79
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.40(d)

What People are saying about this

Erika Meitner
“Wicker preaches an urgent gospel of pop-culture, desire, adolescence, race, and family, that says “Hell yes” to the world with deft turns of phrase, and a rhythmic inventiveness that hurtles down the page. This fearless debut will make your head spin, your heart strut.”
Terrance Hayes
“Marcus Wicker has, as Mos Def and Talib Kweli did, made an art that bridges cultures….The dialogues, love letters, and reflections throughout this wonderful debut show us what it is to be in vigilant conversation with the world and with the self.”
D.A. Powell
“Action painting meets the pop of hip-hop. Here is a dashing figure of speech and preach, a lovepoet to the stars....Marcus Wicker[’s] lyric wizardry astounds the ear in conclamant melodies and astonishes the eye ‘like a shard of glass catches a beam’.”

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