SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: PARTYKNIFE

From PARTYKNIFE
By Dan Magers

Dr. Rob asks me to visit his open house
to pretend I want to sublet his apartment.

One room is a closet where the Dr. sleeps.
The other room he sublets to rich foreign kids
enrolled in MBA programs.

Look at this water pressure! I’ll pay anything! I say.

These are hallways? I’ll pay anything!

Tamaki isn’t returning my calls right now.

I hoard boundless energy into this exact spot.
I made the mistake of telling Mom about her.

I saved her last voicemail:
I did some stuff with construction paper,
talked to my roommate, and ate some bread.



Today’s poem is from Partyknife (Birds, LLC, 2012), and appears here today with permission from the poet.


Partyknife is a debut book of angry, funny, sad poems from the banal seeming yet hyper-mysterious Sink Review and Immaculate Disciples Press founder Dan Magers.

The poems range from gleeful haywire to broken despair. Stoner wisdom and vulnerable transcendence alternate throughout as the speaker drinks vitality from life and longs to hold onto his identity and a band called Partyknife, a band he may or may never have been a part of. Partyknife is not a memoir, but stands as the last will and testament of the poet’s 20s living in Brooklyn, New York. (Description of Partyknife courtesy of Birds, LLC.)


Dan Magers’s first book of poems, Partyknife (Birds, LLC), will officially publish in June 2012. He is co-founder and co-editor of Sink Review, an online poetry journal as well as founder and editor of Immaculate Disciples Press, a handmade chapbook press focused on poetry and visual arts collaborations. He lives in Brooklyn (and on twitter).


Editor’s Note: You know when you move across the country to New York and your mom worries that you’ll fall in with the “wrong crowd”? And you think your mom is crazy because you hang out with POETS, for God’s sake. Who is less likely to cause trouble than POETS?! Enter Dan Magers. The poet your mother warned you about.

I wrote this Editor’s Note without knowing which of Dan’s poems I would be sharing today. Because, well, MY MOTHER READS THIS SERIES. My choices included a poem that discusses buying beer for underage girls and a poem about memories of shitting on a coke mirror. I’m sorry, Mama.

But here’s the thing. The other day I was at a coffee shop in Brooklyn and ran into a poet friend. When I asked him to keep me in the loop about whatever was on his poetry radar for the summer, he told me to read Partyknife, by Dan Magers, just being released by Birds, LLC. I had seen Dan read several months ago and remembered I found his stuff funny, so I made a mental note. I went home and logged into my facebook to find that like 27 of my friends had changed their profile pics to the cover of Partyknife. Then the thing pops up on friggin’ PEN. Not even officially released yet, and this book is everywhere. Of course, I see Dan Magers gave PEN a poem they wouldn’t be afraid to show their mother…


Want to see more by Dan Magers?
Buy Partyknife from Birds, LLC
Partyknife official book trailer on Youtube
“Making Up Bands in Your Brain While High,” a review of Partyknife on VICE

About Sivan Butler-Rotholz

Sivan is the Contributing Editor of the Saturday Poetry Series on As It Ought To Be and holds an MFA from Brooklyn College. She is a professor, writer, editor, comic artist, and attorney emerita. She is also the founder of Reviving Herstory. Sivan welcomes feedback, poetry submissions, and solicitations of her writing via email at sivan.sf [at] gmail [dot] com.
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3 Responses to SATURDAY POETRY SERIES PRESENTS: PARTYKNIFE

  1. Sampson Starkweather says:

    So awesome! Love the editor’s note. I think you’re mom will appreciate the meta-irony of the poem’s speaker saying the line: “I made the mistake of telling Mom about her.”

  2. Maya Elashi says:

    You underestimate me in my younger daze—did you know that I once drove across the Bay Bridge on acid? And that’s just a crumb from the sheetcake, principessa (but please don’t tell your brother)—Mama

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