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An Incomplete List of Names by Michael Torres
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An Incomplete List of Names

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An Incomplete List of Names by Michael Torres
Paperback $15.00
Oct 06, 2020 | ISBN 9780807046746

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“[A] standout first collection . . . Torres steps into the sphere of such clarion American poets as Luis Rodriguez, Raúl Salinas, Juan Felipe Herrea, and Carlos Cumpián. His is a welcome voice in the chorus telling the essential story of the Latinx experience of home.”

“A study of crossing cultures written with affecting urgency.”
Library Journal

“Many of these poems are remarkable for their dramatic tension, even as they reflect on ambitious questions of language, privilege, and power. . . .In this accomplished volume, language can be the ‘thick glass between us,’ impeding connection and understanding, but Torres’s writing offers a vision that is startling and far-reaching.”
Publishers Weekly

“In his magnificent enumerations; his allegiances; his ordeals of self, figure, and desire, Michael Torres gives us an uncharted and ‘incomplete,’ ever-flaming matrix of being and becoming a brown man, a person in an unknown America. Incredible, truth-fisted, shattering, groundbreaking.”
—Juan Felipe Herrera, author of Imagine

“This spectacular collection of acutely conscious poems awakens readers to our universal need to belong. . . . He speaks to the constant naming and renaming of the self and others at the intersection of multiple identities and perceptions through an arresting voice that is provocative yet vulnerable, urban yet serene, mournful yet buoyant.”
—Richard Blanco, author of How to Love a Country

“With poems that drop like beads of acid on paper, sizzling away first impressions and assumptions, revealing in their burning wake the underlayer of truth, and how it, after years, still smarts and bleeds and blossoms in us. I love this book more than I have any other book in a long time . . . celebrating our duality, the multitudinous breadth and depth of our varied and bounteous humanity.”
—Jimmy Santiago Baca, author of A Place to Stand

“Absence doesn’t simply haunt Michael Torres’s poems: it blazes through them. . . . Torres is an exhilarating writer, a virtuoso who lets us hear what language can erase and create—while making it sing.”
—Mary Szybist, author of Incarnadine

Table Of Contents

Foreword by Raquel Salas Rivera

Doing Donuts in an ’87 Mustang 5.0, after My Homie Chris Gets Broken Up With

All-American Mexican

Hired as Professional Mourner at Funeral

The Pachuco’s Grandson Smokes His First Cigarette after Contemplating Masculinity

The Flame

Minutes, at the Health Clinic

Learning to Box

[Mexican] America

On Being REMEK

Down | I



The Very Short Story of Your Knuckles

Teaching at the Prison in December

The Pachuco’s Grandson Considers Skipping School

Because My Brother Knows Why It’s Called County Blues, but Won’t Tell Me

After José Clemente Orozco’s Man of Fire

Down | II

[White] America

My Brother Is Asking for Stamps

All-American Mexican

Suspended from School, the Pachuco’s Grandson Watches Happy Days While His Homie Fulfills Prophecy

Stop Looking at My Last Name Like That

Down | III

After the Man Who Found Me Doing Burpees at the Park Said: “I Can Tell You Learned Those on the Inside.”

Ars Poetica

My Hometown as a Man Riding a Bicycle with No Chain

My Neighbor Who Keeps the Dying Things


Elegy with Puppet Strings

From My Classroom Window at the Prison, before Students Arrive

The Pachuco’s Grandson Considers the Silversun Pickups’ Album Diana Lent Him When They Last Spoke Seven Years Ago


All-American Mexican

Elegy with Roll Call


Acknowledgments, Thank-Yous, and Shout-Outs

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