Our poetry editor, Joe Pan, has selected four poems by Sampson Starkweather for his series that brings original poetry to the screens of Hyperallergic readers.

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revolution: denied
transcendence: denied
I need a new debit card
and a way to say
in this unwilling
arm-wrestling match
with the world
what can I say
the phenomenon of nature
is coming
to a theater near you
like me
pretending to be
it’s performance
is astounding
and god knows
where it ends
life is a dress
rehearsal for
we nail it every time
like Kerri Strug
better bunny down
a poetics of autocorrect
won’t save you
angry at anything
we didn’t create
at last
in the after
to such sweet lack
I surrender
guns a blazing


imagine color
is a construct
imagine it
as music
what will fall
sounds like
a sudden gap
wedged into
the intellectual
not an argument
but a lynx
pacing around
the living room
this is
what it is
to be
with you
to be
of the
endless blur


the silent film
of our perspective
is burning
the problem
is memory
how to live
with what
we can’t keep
a flower
(a friend)
impossibly pink
the world
in black
& white
on the marquee
for the billionth
day in a row
but duh
this life
is on
a loop


Joy Revision

will tear us
the woods
are waiting
for me
to take a bow
come home
to a letter
from Heifer United
a bill from something
I don’t dare open
no emails
texts or links
will change the world
but it doesn’t
stop me
from waiting for
that nothing
that’s never
may be
…   …   …
the seemingly
infinite encore
of the trees
Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 12.30.34 PM

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Sampson Starkweather is the author of The First Four Books of Sampson Starkweather. He is a founding editor of Birds, LLC, an independent poetry press. His most recent chapbooks are Flowers of Rad by Factory Hollow Press, Flux Capacitor, a collaborative audio poetry album from Black Cake Records, and Until the Joy of Death Hits, pop/love GIF poems forthcoming from Spork Press. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

GIFs curated by Ana Božičević, and appear in the following order: Kerri Strug competing at the 1996 Olympics (GIF viagifsoup.com); Leif Podhajsky’s album art for ‘Innerspeaker’ by Tame Impala (GIF via tumblr); Macaulay Culkin wearing Ryan Gosling shirt (GIF via Photoshop battle post by /u/ericisshort on Reddit); Tao Tajima’s “Night Stroll” (GIF via tumblr).

Readers are encouraged to submit 3–5 poems in PDF form to Joe Pan for consideration at poetry@hyperallergic.com.

Joe Pan grew up along the Space Coast of Florida and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. His debut poetry book, Autobiomythography & Gallery, was named “Best First Book of the Year” by Coldfront...