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All Blacked Out and Nowhere to Go 

Wednesday, Jun 20 2007
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By Bucky Sinister

Gorsky Press (May), $12.95

Anyone who's quit both God and whiskey ought to get a free pass to write bad poetry. But anyone who's kicked firewater, a vengeful deity, and bad poetry ought to get a parade, a throne, and a key to the city of his choice, up to and including the San Francisco of pre-dot-com 1989. Local legend Bucky Sinister is one such conqueror, and he writes sad, romantic punk poetry with disgusting junkie details and jokes that make you laugh out loud on the bus. Unfortunately, he hasn't gotten his due in the way of public appreciation and/or time travel. Perhaps it's enough reward to have written the sharply observant collection All Blacked Out and Nowhere to Go, which includes the entirety of his out-of-print Whiskey & Robots. (For rabid fans: Yes, "The House That Punk Built" is in there.) In the book, Sinister displays the enviable ability to scratch out vivid lines like "She stared at me suspiciously/ with eyes the same color green / they use for church basement walls. / I wanted to walk down into them/ and lock them behind me," or "Home is the driveway with your handprints / Home is the drywall with your knuckleprints." Most of us are struggling along drinking, fearing God, and doing terrible things in the name of versification. Here's hoping that Sinister's intention to cross over into stand-up comedy brings him the noisy love he deserves.

About The Author

Hiya Swanhuyser

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