Mask for Mask

A debut full-length poetry collection.
Publication Date: March 1, 2021.
Publisher: New Rivers Press (Minnesota State University Moorhead)

JD Scott conjures up unruly personae that are propelled by lust and longing, queer fantasies, quests for benevolence, youthful regrets, incantations, apocryphal parables, and wounds that refuse to be healed. Mask for Mask is an assailing act of imagination—not only with its formal and lyric innovations—but with its multifarious and nefarious lexicons that cavort across the page.

Mask for Mask channels something between Tiger Beat magazine, Polari, cryptophasia and ecstatic glossolalia, hook-up app msgs, a LiveJournal, Bible stories, queer zines, a D&D campaign, and a diabolical grimoire. Mask for Mask creates a language of queer trials & failures, of shibboleths, of survivorship—and desire—above all else. It the performance of the physical body & the fantasy that goes beyond the limits of embodiment.

Many of the poems from this collection appear in print and online magazines and are catalogued on the Poetry page.

Advanced Praise for Mask for Mask

JD Scott’s queer-divine poems are both exorbitant and restrained, a decoction of 19th century urges regaled in the “lace and stain” of diction, harnessed in stanzas, belted into the Escalade of lyric and driven through a 21-st century synthscape of emporia and empyreans. The result is an ensorcelling surface riven with a deeper moire, to wit: what is the “cytoplasm that keeps this car crash together”? Could it be youth, desire, or something altogether rarer, like tenderness, or care?

—Joyelle McSweeney, author of Toxicon and Arachne

Melding the profane with the sacred, the mundane with the mythic, JD Scott’s work shines poetry’s searchlight into the nightclub toilets of youthful debauchery to reveal transcendent cathedrals of timeless yearning. Tender as it is bold, spiritual, and erotic, this collection was “sucked into my lungs [so] that every exhale after will be called offering.”

—Heidi Lynn Staples, author of A*AA*A


“Youngblood” — Originally published in Texas Review

I. Companion Mask
“Eros ↔ Thanatos” — Forthcoming in The Queer Movement Anthology of Literatures
“Equinox” — Originally published in Spoon River Poetry Review
“Meditations from the Public Bathhouse & All Its Many-Themed Rooms” — Originally published as “Spa Castle” in Tammy
“Garçon” — Originally published in Denver Quarterly
“Illusionary Silver Crystal” — Originally published in F(r)iction
“Night Errands” — Originally published as “11PM in Williamsburg” in Night Errands chapbook
“Red, or, a Shade Resembling Such a Color” — Originally published as “Red” in Funerals and Thrones chapbook
“As Concord the Hustlers Sing” — Originally published in Texas Review
“Ten of Swords” — Originally published in Funerals & Thrones chapbook
“King of Swords, Reversed” — Forthcoming in Bayou
“King of Cups” — Forthcoming in the 78 tarot-themed poetry anthology
“Gomorrah, or, a Recursion” — Originally published as “Days After” in LEVELER
“Tribulation” — Originally published on
“Variations on an Attachment to” — Originally published in RHINO
“Gany (Mead)”
“Judgment (XX)” — Originally published in Funerals & Thrones chapbook

II. Salvation Mask
“Cathedral” — Originally published in Obra/Artifact
“Edenic” — Originally published in SPECS Journal
“Goth Jams” — Originally published under the title “Goth Jams 2012” on the 30 x Lace Tumblr project for National Poetry Month 2013
“S★T★R★” — Originally published in The Atlas Review
“Equestria” — Originally published in Powder Keg
“D⚡︎Student” — Originally published in Tammy
“Milk Toast” — Originally published in Yes Femmes
“Cannibals in Love” — Originally published in Funerals & Thrones chapbook
“Middle V, or, a Diss-Hex to Ward Evil Ex-Boyfriends Away” — Originally published as “Middle V” in Small Po[r]tions
“Cantica” — Originally published in the Best American Experimental Writing 2015 anthology

III. Aftermask