Oyster Boy Review 12  
  January 2000
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King of the Roadkills by Bucky Sinister

Jill Meyers

Bucky Sinister's collection of stories, poems and comics is visceral and violent—and shockingly touching. In King of the Roadkills Sinister populates his fiction and comics with mating decapitated heads, a suction-cup boy, and lepers (haunting images all), but his most affecting pieces are his poems. Standouts in a volume dedicated to the grotesqueries of cyberpunk, the poems keep to real-world tropes and spoken-word rhythms. In so doing, they become hyperreal, and pitch into the revelatory. These poems rise out of regret and grief; they are studies in the sad fallout of drugs and wrecked relationships; and they feature the collection's prize: a wistful, authentic narrator.

Narrators across the collection's genres buoy up tales of the damaged and the malcontent, the soured American Dream. Sinister's poetry shows them at their best, telling their troubles in steady voices. In "Love, Spilling out on the Floor," the narrator captures the pathos of his inability to end a relationship: "Like an old man / who refuses to remove his watch." These are keen-eyed, attentive characters, recognizing when a tag is an epitaph (in "Magic Marker Epitaph") or when a day without violence gels into something like prayer: "It was a beautiful day. / My nose was not broken / and I was not in jail" ("Last Weekend"). Worn but not worn-out, the voices in these poems send the reader caroming between gloom and euphoria, proving that Sinister is a master of contrapuntal cyberpunk.