As it steps from stage to page, the poetry of Q. R. Hand never stops testifying. That the poet has led and continues to lead a full life in a real world crammed with real ignorance as well as actual light these trembling pages make clear. In the title poem of this exciting collection, the poet asks a question: 'how do we know the real robert johnson / met the real devil at the real cross roads / just 'cause he says so and his blues intone scripture for the 21st century'. Like a Mobius strip but also like a DNA strand, Q's heaven and hell twist and stick and wrap themselves around another: a cool but sweaty doo-wop dance pair, coupled to outlast the night. The poems in this book-- as they whisk and yank and ease you through 'that certain place at / that certain time'-- speak directly to the body that houses heart, mind and soul. As they eyeball human cruelty, greed, delusion and color prejudice, dogma of every stripe (campus- or street-triggered), poverty, social justice, science and social philosophy, time as history and time as time, personal geography (Brooklyn, Harlem, Oakland, San Francisco Bay), love's unchartable behavior and misbehavior-- these tough, caring, wayward poems take it all and everything. Forever at play in the fields of the word, Q. R. Hand is a homegrown American original. Place this book to your ear and hear: 'All those beautiful fine / all those fine / all those who spread their love along the line / that stretches through heart beat and heart ache'; --Al Young, Poet Laureate of California
Q. R. Hand's poetry traverses the terrain of form, music and language. This is an inspired, well crafted poetry that is political in intent and spirited in execution and defies any comparison to any literary predecessors or contemporary schools of thought. Q. R. Hand is an entity unto himself; a true visionary walks among us. --Reginald Lockett, author of Random History Lessons and Other Poems.