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This is for the mostless, Poems by Jason Magabo Perez

This is for the mostless, writer and performer Jason Magabo Perez’s debut book, is a lyrical collection of autobiographical poems, essays, fictions, and oral histories. Moving against discipline and genre, from city to city, barrio to barrio, these stories and sympathies are filled with familia and trauma, and cast with wildly divergent figures as iconic as Don Cheadle and Mandy Moore, and as obscure as Cobra Commander and Perez’s own mother—a Filipina migrant nurse who in 1976 was framed by the FBI for murder. Ultimately, Perez celebrates and mourns the multiple migrations and afterlives of grandmothers, gangsters, girlfriends, superheroes, and poets. This book is about and most definitely for all of the mostless.

Sample Poems by Jason Magabo Perez

“Jason Magabo Perez pulls me into his stories like the ink of a comic book or opening hook. He drops 1972, Redlands, Manila, the smell of eucalyptus, Raid and fried fish, and ain’t no ipis will interrupt this flow. All the aunties, cousins and homies are here, and there’s an earnest, tender urgency in these verses and jagged lines and tangles that refuse to forget. He makes me want to listen.”—Jai Arun Ravine

“When the poet you are reading raises pen to sky and cuts its belly open, revealing river of ancestor hair, uncut, uncombed, rife with angels and stories, and holds it aloft, unsorted, to show you you—historical, non-fictional, truthfully and wholeheartedly loved, shivering silver sardine in the oily tin of our im/migrant story…then the poet you are reading is Jason Magabo Perez, and you are blessed. Read this book like postdated scripture, and be loved.”—Denizen Kane

“These poems mark the time of millennial southern California, the time of brown boyhood, the time after death and before birth. ‘A time when we’re beginning to notice that we are so death & so penniless. / So penny-skinned.’ Perez asks how to live in the wake of violence and disconnection and a girl asks the alphabet. A balm of persistence, commemoration becomes a promise of a time beyond time: ‘Today, we’re coloring the king.’”—Kimberly Alidio

“This is for the mostless is a smartly forged momentum and memento, a forward-thinking look back. From one line to the next, Jason Magabo Perez can compel a tear or noisy nostalgia; mostly, we are asked—with the urgency of justice and artful storying—to take all things that happen in our suburbs, cities, and histories deeply and consciously personal.”—Vejea Jennings

“The insights of growing up Filipino in SoCal roll through This is for the mostless, translated from years gone by, yet not washed clean by nostalgia. The Perez family’s immigrant experience can be shared by anyone who’s lived on, regardless of national origin.” —SAN FRANCISCO BOOK REVIEW

ISBN: 978-1625492432, 132 pages

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Jason Magabo Perez named as San Diego Poet Laureate, 2023-2024