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Sky Lounge

Mark Bibbins
I was reading about a drug that induces
immortality-but it causes a terrible rash...

As a wise man said of suicide by fire,
That would be something.
—from "Anodyne Slide"

In this restless and urbane debut collection, Mark Bibbins offers a virtuosic poetry. Its subjects are modern and flawed, corrupted by their own damaged glamour: a gorgeous rock star drowns, a C-list actor earns unspoken derision, a whore's snow angel stands up and thrashes her mother dead, "flattery" becomes an etymological "licking." These poems constantly question decency, the ordinary and unwitting acceptance of the status quo, and they dare to meet the reader, like the beloved, "at the fringes of respectability." With language and structures both formal and invented, Sky Lounge introduces an unpredictable imagination at the work of making irreverence, sex, and elegy into a provocative new music.

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Mark Bibbins revels in damaged glamour "at the fringes of respectability" in this exceptional debut collection.

About the Author

Mark  Bibbins
Mark Bibbins is the author of Sky Lounge, which received a Lambda Literary Award. He teaches writing workshops at The New School, where he also co-founded LIT magazine. His work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Yale Review, and in the anthology Take Three:3. He lives in New York City.
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  • "The attention to details however small is what makes Sky Lounge the extraordinary read that it is. . . Throughout this collection his wit's pen is the deft guide to a room of another world."—Cosmik Debris Magazine
  • “Imagine Vladimir and Estragon have changed their names, slipped into our century, and become so thoroughly distracted by piped music that Godot is the one who waits. This is the world Mark Bibbins has achieved in the phenomenal Sky Lounge. Here poems are narcotic ambles among prepositions that refuse to position, fix or point us in any final direction. Time, these poems rakishly understand, will never run out. Or it is better to run out on time than to connect the self to that which is mortal. A remarkable achievement.”—Claudia Rankine
  • “I love Sky Lounge. Mark Bibbins splices together idioms and idiolects into cool, smooth, transporting lyrics—compact monologues that also resemble plays, explosive and evaporating, with no wrong moves, and with a welcome surplus of charm.  He is an aesthete, but he is not obsessed with artifacts;  the objects of his regard are moods, as they manifest in words. His poems are exactly what I want to be reading right now.”—Wayne Koestenbaum
  • “Mark Bibbins’s poems zoom in on the minute gestures of social life and the products that attend them. In this world between desolation and wonder, “the orange smoke of the plastics/ factory is/ beautiful against the moon.” Under staccato rhythms and clipped everyday speech, an emotional depth gradually builds as its bright surface flashes by.”—Peter Gizzi
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