Saturday, May 10, 2014
Mother, Less Child
"In Mother, Less Child, McCall offers contemplative takes on young black lives taken too soon. This brief gathering of poems aligns them with archetypes of Memnon and Eos in Ethiopia, the Egyptian gods Isis and Horus, and the biblical figures Jesus and Mary. These pairings across time humanize in the face of increasingly epic losses that cannot and should not be normalized or treated like isolated incidents."
--Tara Betts, author of Arc & Hue
“I won’t hurt you, but you won’t hurt me; this is the double consciousness of black men and boys. The rhetorical questioning of homage and how to appropriately pay homage is questioned or answered in Jason McCall’s Mother, Less Child. Here, we find our ancestors in the form of brown boys who became cultural idols much too soon. From a found poem illustrating the loss of our Trayvon Martin to a mural of faces of which Emmett Till anchors, these lines interrogate us all. In “If I Had a Son,” the speaker professes, “I’d make him promise not to ‘f’/ around in Cullman County or Louisville, Ohio.” These voices are unafraid, and the line breaks are tight. McCall introduces himself as every young poet should: through an offering, pouring out for those who couldn’t be here.”
--Derrick Harriell, author of Cotton and Ropes