These frank, neo-confessional poems blend observation, autobiography, and cultural criticism in an exploration of embodiment, identity, and identity-making. There is no shortage of adjectives at the ready which one might claim as descriptors of themselves, and no shortage of modes and mediums through which one might express those adjectives. But how do we come to know these identities, and how do we come to claim them as our own? Further, in an era of heightened awareness of the fragility of the Earth and the temporality of human life, what purpose does the rush to adopt these identities truly serve? When is identity or identification a useful means of organization, and when is it merely distracting? These poems engage literature, pop culture, music, and movies in an exploration of these questions, ultimately asking, what do we mean when we say “I”?
”Reading this heir to Hemphill and O'Hara reminds me that the lyric is like a dressing-room mirror, reflecting infinities of ourselves: made-up, sincere, alone, untouchable—lovely, rigorous, divine-adjacent, flooded with muses. How do we meet ourselves in this world, how many times must we replay its well-worn tape before something better pushes through? 'I wake up and the world is still there, the aluminosilicate world.' This book with its marvelous observations opens up litanies of recognition-- Spring, doves, 'libertine daffodils which gape erogenously,' Julianne Moore wearing furs to the pharmacy in Magnolia. Like wearing furs to a pharmacy inside a magnolia, and being more, Chad Morgan's poetry is lovely, rigorous, divine-adjacent, flooded with muses. You're magnificent.”
—Joyelle McSweeney, author of Toxicon and Arachne
”Chad Morgan’s debut poetry collection is suffused with desire, longing, ache, and oodles fantastic of pop culture references, which all alchemize into a beautiful excavation of the self. This dazzling book is bursting with resonance and risk. Morgan writes, 'The goal is to talk myself into the world,' and that’s exactly what these gorgeous poems reveal in this dazzling book bursting with resonance and risk.”
—Tiana Clark, author of I Can't Talk About the Trees Without the Blood
"Deftly balancing an ironic acidity with deeply felt humor and warmth, Morgan redirects the doomscrolling energies of our bleak historical moment, offering a vital reminder that we are delighted and delightful, desiring and desired, in our efforts to navigate this treacherous world. As he writes in 'Practical Advice for Your Queer Son': 'Here, everything / is proof of your goddamn nerves.' “
—Tony Trigilio, author of Proof Something Happened
”Effervescent and profound, heartbreaking and joyous, this is poetry that unsettles any notion one may have of camp, pastiche, popular culture...The autobiographical project is dazzling and troubling terrain here. A head-turning debut.”
—Lisa Fishman, author of Mad World, Mad Kings, Mad Composition
Poetry. LGBTQ+ Studies.
Chad Morgan's poetry, fiction, and nonfiction have appeared in The Adroit Journal, Court Green, Columbia Poetry Review, Hobart, and elsewhere. He lives in Chicago, where he spends most of his time watching television, reading celebrity biographies, and engaging in fânerie. He can be found on Twitter (@grabtheglitter) and Instagram (@theechadmorgan).