Book Cover

It Must Be Like the World




ABOUT David Starkey


David Starkey served as Santa Barbara’s 2009-2010 Poet Laureate and is Director of the Creative Writing Program at Santa Barbara City College. Over the past twenty-two years, more than 400 of his poems have been published in literary journals around the world. His most recent collection is A Few Things You Should Know about the Weasel (Biblioasis, 2010).

Pecan Grove Press

If art that mirrors our experience of the world is what we fall in love with, then I’m smitten with David Starkey’s new poems. They are awash with reports from the senses and in full-throated song about it all. Wise, witty, and wide-ranging, this is poetry that will reward the reader with the kind of delight one feels in the face of masterwork.

—Eloise Klein Healy, author of The Islands Project: Poems for Sappho


That was the year nothing could keep us apart,
our bodies chiming in concert like church bells,
our fingers interlaced like daisy chains.

Whatever the weather, we found it apt.
If it was cold, we stamped our feet with pleasure.
If it was hot, we embraced the sultriness.

We drank champagne for breakfast thirteen
days in a row. We revised our collective memory
to excise anything that hadn’t led us to the present.

A sprinkle of thyme and coriander on braised
artichokes. A goose garnished with wedges
of orange. I ate everything you cooked.

Then it crumbled, inevitably, we agreed, in hindsight.
What had once been as sweet as freshly cut sugarcane
now smelled as foul as a bucket of chum.

Your husband was back from the war, and you clamped
down on what you called “public distribution
of the narrative.” For weeks, a vein throbbed in my forehead.

In sum, you were no Clytemnestra and I
was no Ægisthus. I drove back, defeated, to Manhattan,
Kansas, bass drum thumping in my car speakers

like some monstrously overbeating heart.



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November 11, 2003

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