" A] provocative reinterpretation of poetry's function...Here is devastating meta-poetry for the board gameplaying, smartphone-scrolling masses, both accessible and enlightened.""Publisher's Weekly"
"I am of my times and you screengrab out of ancient nowhere," the title of one of the poems in Starkweather's second collection, "PAIN: The Board Game," perfectly captures both his utter contemporariness and his empathetic treatment of our most primal conditions: "dis- / appointment / & misery / & helplessness / & suffering / & pain / & fear."
As he deploys the #trending and vintage lexicons of technology and pop culture with the depth and ease of a true lyricist, Starkweather pushes his poems into the territory of universal affect and risky humanity, to the root of our desire to connect. This is the contemporary poem that, just after it has "Shazamed / your orgasm" resurrects "the rough magic / of bodies / illuminating / the lack / of any / limitation / when one." Starkweather's unyielding, funny, luminous poetry is a brand new classic.
Also includes 15 color illustrations by artist Jon-Michael Frank.
3 shots to the chest at the arcade
Sadness is my favorite video game
I am its hero
the little man with facial hair
scampering through pixilated cities
looking for clues
and accumulating shit
without knowing why
to be crushed
or free fall
into the not-world s dark
as 8-bit clouds
scroll across the pre-
it s exhausting
but I take it
I am happy here
it feels real
and I can always die