Published in 2012, Partyknife, the debut book of poems by Dan Magers, captures the zeitgeist of the first decade of 21st-century hipster Brooklyn – the good and the bad. Toggling between passionate intensity and numbing despair, the poems utilize disjunctive and associative logic to portray the unnamed speaker’s night journeys through bars and parties, pedestrian workdays, and most especially his relationship with members of Partyknife, a band he may or may not have ever been a part of. The “jump cuts” in each sonnet-sized poem create sudden shifts in tone and register, representing overheard chatter, interior monologue, lyric utterance, vulgarity, and seeming transcendent inspiration. Does the speaker in the poems want to be cool or mock it? By turns tender and in your face, the poems are accessible but genuinely experimental.
What People Are Saying
Magers scribes as if poet-ghost adrift thru dressing rooms backstage taking notes, capturing the moment in all its lovely eros and happiness and cause for alarm. Writing poems like these is just as good as starting a band when poems like songs flood the brain. I like your smile.
“I wanted to be high, but now I'm trapped in my life." Frustrated by the limits of his world, Partyknife's youthful speaker wears a mask of aloofness that incompletely conceals his yearning. His poems strain to hold his exuberance, and his studied detachment belies his racing heart. “Everything I hated has become my life now. By which I mean how happy I am." These poems are angry, insistent, and wildly in love with life.
Partyknife is fucking awesome, like a manual to a new kind of LCD machine you aren't allowed to actually turn on yet; the book is I think really an opening of something. Just thought, “the future."
Inside the Book
- Perfect Bound 92pp
- 7" x 7"
- Publication Date:
- June 2012
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From the Book
Meaning contains a glancing similarity
to what is happening to me.
I love my liberal friends. I am a liberal.
The Marlboro Man in his prime
given free cigarettes, so why not smoke them?
Just keep making your clown music for retards.
Your hard-earned success flowers only jealousy.
Today, I implicated three friends in reveries
of fanciful rage. You're the friend that gets me
We got addicted to snorting 9/11 dust
and listened to the feel good hits of Generation X.
Total Summer Vibe
When you said Pratt party, I heard frat party.
The punk kid in the punk house laughs at the paint he wipes on my new shirt,
but I am an insane god.
My intern broke up with her boyfriend for me.
I did not ask for this. When she spoke
I saw your face.
Misheard lyrics of my favorite songs inextricably linked
to my love and that time.
Yeah, I love it the best.
Fetishize the moment into a lifetime.
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