Excerpts & Reviews

STARK WEEK EPISODE #5: “the world can’t / hold / what is / the world / built for / exactly” — Melissa Broder on Starkweather’s LA LA LA


For Episode Five of STARK ATTACK A WEEK OF STARK ATTACKS, we move onto the second book of T4B with the firm and jubilant columns and poemreview joy of our own Melissa Broder talking about Sam’s LA LA LA. As an added bonus, we also get the last LA LA LA itself to accompany Melissa’s text!


snuka_top_rope-765661Joyce Carol Oates
or someone
said don’t
put yourself
in the review
fuck that
even if
I wanted to
there is no
omniscient god
of reviewership
only the white goddess
and the poet
and a pair of eyes
trying to jump
‘if you love me
unlock your phone
see those two lights
on the sea
that’s me
that’s me
that’s me’
some people
you just know
will be ok
the poet
is one
he says
his desire map
is running
out of room
mine is more
an ash mouth
either way
the world can’t
what is
the world
built for
‘the more animal
the less pain…
stagger to the edge
of the woods
suck the poison out’
I have had
to rescue
from the earth
and rescue
from the ways
I rescued
1000000 times
nobody gets
what they want
why not?
green paper
or something
‘blood on the keyboard
spiritual pop ups
dizzy by
bright lipstick’
I want to
but really
I want to stay
‘past black fields
that feel more
like memory
than memory can…
this life is super
fucking hard’
when you get
to the sky
there’s a sky
let me float
once so
that I know
once so
I remember

Melissa Broder is the author of two collections of poems, most recently MEAT HEART (Publishing Genius, 2012). Poems appear or are forthcoming in The Iowa Review, FENCE, Guernica, The Missouri Review, et al.



from La La La


who doesn’t desire
to break things
without reason
travel by submarine
then power out
some crunches
had hoped to see a beheading
from bed
but was forced
to get up
clean my rifle
and Skype my wife
the world will end
like this
or a commercial
for the clapper
where an old woman
claps her hands
then the lights
go out
and the plants’
dance party begins
putting the “a” back
in asexual
boredom bores me
why can’t we
have it all
in pill-form
make transformer noises
and bloom
into metal bodies
this poem
will not change
your life
it does
hope floats
the way dead
people do
patience comes
from outerspace
the crows know
sorrow comes
to all
one little iguana heart
at a time
tougher than hell
to chew
I watch the Rambo trilogy
before work
because there is no insurance
for certain situations
this is the part
where a Fiat disappears
into the distance
and a eucalyptus tree
participates in mystery
I invented a new
checkers move
called international-symbol-for-time-
people want to feel
does the fire
have its own exit sign
for the not-fire
I read on this dude’s tattoo
consumerism is natural
so is evil
the ache of the familiar
any dream as text
like the Constitution
on parchment paper
disintegrating when exposed
to human breath
or finding a Post-it
from a girl you loved
telling you to get your
own goddamn sample
of lobster bisque
with impossible patience
like everyone who’s ever died
sitting down in a room
would make a shitty
lifetime original movie
or metaphor
life is a river
with throat cancer
what a great place
to make camp
human taxidermy is legal
with the right permits
I’m walking against
the idea
we must die
towards Pittsboro
heading south
looking for anything
past black fields
that feel more
like memory
than memory can
kids it turns out
this life is super
fucking hard
love a run-
away sidecar
to no motorcycle
I want to go
where email goes
brave as the tiny birds
stuck inside JFK airport
chirping like a ringtone
afraid of nothing
dump trucks tend to feel
inferior is how
I wanted to start
this letter to you
but wasn’t sure
where to go
from there
according to the back
of the box
we all die piecemeal
science is the elimination
of dreams I aim for
the pain within
we are close
there is no mistaking
that bashful elephant
floating above us
or the nightmare where
we’re pecked to death
by baby birds
now back up
and watch me
nightstick the shit
out of this piñata
of light








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  1. Bill Knott

      you’re convincing me to buy the damn book

  2. Mike Young

      hurrah! if stark week can convince bill knott to buy the book, its powers know no bounds!! i just played tennis in the heat for 2.5 hours and feel so braindead that i almost switched know and no in that sentence!!! really that was useless information but i wanted an escalating series of exclamation marks!!!!

  3. Quincy Rhoads

      As much as I respect JCO, I disagree with the personal review thing. I only care about personal reviews. There are so many reviews floating on the internet that only the unconventional and personal matter anymore. And one-star reviews on Amazon. Those are pretty helpful.

  4. qiqi648


  5. Melissa Broder Online

      […] Starkweather and I did a collab thing at HTML for his new […]

  6. xinshi353