Tandon's keen eye and idiosyncratic ear--he picks up the shards of language and refashions them, making new wholes from fragments of everyday speech--combine to create a poetry with its own quiet urgency. There is a music in these poems that plays beautifully from poem to poem, as the language in subtle ways probes the underlying beauties of casual syntax. I look forward to Tandon's future work with considerable anticipation, although glad to have what he has given us already.
-- JAY PARINI, author of Why Poetry Matters
Jason Tandon is loyal to one of the poet's primary obligations: to make us see the world fresh, as if for the first time. The life his poems record is the quotidian one we recognize of dogs, donuts, cigarettes, traffic jams, short order cooks, and "whatever animal is scratching inside [the] air conditioner." That nameless animal is a compelling emblem of a truth these poems reveal over and over: that the closer we look at the world, the more unknowable and troubling it is — and beautiful.
-- CHRIS FORHAN
In this book you can find the fingerprints of the trickster, the pilgrim, the lover, the philosopher. I urge you to buy it. You'll be reading it for years.
-- MEKEEL McBRIDE
"Each of Tandon's poems lure you in with a careful bemusement, then deliver a quivering ache that'll follow you around all day--an 'I'm-happy-to-be-alive' ache, an 'I'm-glad-writing-like -this-exists' ache."
-- TODD ZUNIGA, founding editor of Opium Magazine
Jason Tandon is the Heckler, the patron saint of diners, bowling alleys and the American garden gnome—a reliable witness in an unreliable world. At a "frenetic pitch and toss" where the hilarious convulses alongside the sacred, the poems in this collection chase fires, put a hypnotist on trial, and for the sake of us all "break this eternity into instants." This is the news that matters. "Drunk and imagining tattoos," Tandon delivers a casual grace, striking at sincerity through irony and wonder through dailiness, where "Rachel sits dangling her blistered feet," and "the snowman at my window laughs." Tandon's poems glow the way wood glows at night — darkly — in tragicomic relief from the calculated violence that makes empire possible.
— CHAD SWEENEY
Give Over the Heckler and Everyone Gets Hurt
by Jason Tandon
GIVE OVER THE HECKLER AND EVERYONE GETS HURT