I’m totally killing your vibes is one-part phantasmagoria, one-part brutal document, with equal measures of irony and sincerity.
It is a book pathologically fascinated by a world in which identity and performance have become indistinguishable, where the squelch and seep of feelings frustrate our safety nets of logic and ethics, and violence and inadequacy are so often the corollaries of love.
I’m totally killing your vibes begins with a long sequence of poems – The sea is spread and cleaved and furled – at once travelogue and journal of the exuberant performance and manic dissolution of a self, floating from one beach to another, from one party to another, from Athens to Naples to Berlin to Istanbul, via curiously neurotic considerations of – amongst others – Nicki Minaj, Michael J. Fox and Andrew Marvell.
At the centre of the book, however, is the fragmented dissolve of a relationship, documented and woven amongst tableaux vivant of assorted, itinerant characters, and an extended, darkly comic dialogue with the feedback of literary, academic, and everyday life. A final prose poem – Serviced Living – extends the book’s interrogation of consumption as our contemporary mode of self-construction, of masculinity, and of desire.
'Warner’s verse appears to discuss this collocation of scarified surfaces – their bitty, cracked, granular noise, redolent of industrial disuse, and abuse – with the hygienic space in which art is consumed... this is poetry (it is poetry) of extraordinary poise and power.' – Vidyan Ravinthiran, The Poetry Review.
'As I read it I felt I had wandered from a party and stumbled into something vulnerable, something human and real beyond the clinking of glasses and fake laughter. That I had gotten the chance to hide in a closet and listen to a conversation I needed to hear but couldn’t quite access on my own… a conversation between the speaker and the other, and most importantly – a conversation between Mr. Warner and himself. What a strange joy to be invited in.’ – Matthew Dickman, on The sea is spread and cleaved and furled
‘Theatrical, toxic and oddly gorgeous… Warner moves from playful social observation, through reflections on memory and artifice, to a near-Baudelairean spleen, his games with language and ideas as serious in their investigations of the given world as any philosophy.’ – John Burnside, PBS Bulletin
These are not poems for the fainthearted, but they are balanced with a dry wit… an exciting evisceration of our present time. – Kate Noakes, The North