Ahren Warner's latest poetry collection is an incisive, darkly comic look at the tangled web of identity and performance involved in contemporary life.I’m totally killing your vibes is a book compulsively drawn to a world where the squelch and seep of feelings frustrate our safety nets of logic and ethics, and violence and inadequacy are so often the consequences of love.
It is a book of poems concerning the exuberant performance, and the manic dissolution, of the self. It moves through the slow, fragmented dissolve of a relationship, via a tableau vivant of assorted, itinerant characters, and an extended, darkly comic dialogue with the feedback of literary, academic, and everyday life. A final, long-form prose poem extends the book’s interrogation of consumption as our contemporary mode of self-construction, of masculinity, and of desire.
"A messy, disturbing triumph in the traditions of Arthur Rimbaud and John Berryman: how Le Bateau ivre or The Dream Songs would read if they’d been written today. It too could be the anthem of a generation." — Fiona Sampson, The Guardian
"There is a breathtaking sense of formal ingenuity, irreverent wit, and unapologetic erudition in Warner’s lines. As in his previous collections, allusion occupies an almost central position: the poet emerges a bricoleur of sorts as he generates a cross-hatched poetic landscape from disparate sources. Warner traces the performance and dissolution of the self through poems that are both ludic and sincere; manic and darkly comic; subversive and deeply vulnerable." – Shalini Sengupta, Poetry Book Society Bulletin, Winter 2022