The blog of author Dennis Cooper

4 books I read recently & loved: Gary J. Shipley Warewolff!, Eileen Myles Afterglow (a dog memoir), Ella Longpre How to Keep You Alive, Matthew Rohrer The Others



David Hoenigman: Who or what has influenced your writing?

Gary J. Shipley: A love of solitude and the study of philosophy.

DH: How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?

GS: C^0 is set primarily in the small seaside town in which I was brought up, and is peopled, in part, with individuals that have at one time or another inhabited the place. The rest of my books deliberately exclude almost all reference to locations you’d find on a map, or people that’d bleed if you cut them.

DH: Is there a message in your work that you want readers to grasp?

GS: Borrowing a fragment from Heraclitus, I’d say one of the key messages is that “[t]he hidden attunement is better than the obvious one.” I am celebrating enigma as an end in itself, an all-pervasive telos: the tangled spine of metaphysics, morality and aesthetics – enigma as driving force and (hidden) end. Like Heraclitus, I too write in the hope that my words will not be taken only in one sense (that which is most apparent), but that their variant senses will open up new, and possibly more rewarding, territories. C^0 and Theoretical Animals are the two novels in which this desire is expressed most concretely, as both books feature their own warped duplicates.

DH: What do you mean by warped duplicates?

GS: I mean that in both cases the text of the first half of the novel is used again, its original message manipulated and distorted, constantly taking the reader back into the work.

DH: What book are you reading now?

GS: In addition to various philosophical texts, I am reading the book I am always reading: Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet.


Thek Prosthetics
Gary J. Shipley @ goodreads
Gary J. Shipley’s articles @ Fanzine
Gary J. Shipley, Four Texts
Buy ‘Warewolff!’


Gary J. Shipley Warewolff!
Hexus Press

  • ‘A lyric, sick-humoured and immoral morass of a novel told through reportage from the least-illuminated corners of the human condition, Warewolff! is a lexicon-in-pieces. Amalgamating nuclear warfare, Paris Vogue, and ‘lavish deformities’, it merges bold experimentation with a literary sensibility and a pitch black, plague-bearing playfulness.’ — Hexus Press

‘Beyond horror or the fictional… these convulsions and reassignments called up from dark time can be thought of as twenty-first century probabilities: those current realities of public dreaming that we accept as our present conditions’ — David Toop

‘JG Ballard on crack — Stewart Home



I flirt with the dogs without teeth. I don’t run so fast. I walk as fast as that. I masturbate my message across pictures of women I see on the street. Pictures of women whose cone cells are made from pictures of other, different women. Women born folded down the middle. I troll my own disintegrated hunger. Its laser beam’s a gag. The drains are shouting. The airway’s open and empty and polluted that way. I have all the composure of a ballgown stuffed with birds.



We were underweight and filled ourselves from their fridges. Found some Third World vanity in the proliferation of mirrors. And it was fun for a while, ventriloquizing the head – working that fabulous mouth with our unsanitary hands. We had it lip-synch to Video Games. Some of us fans sang along. Knew the words like we knew now how 3-D was paraplegic. For one of us, finding her dead was a balcony job. He’d delayed it a few seconds to take off his shoes and socks. There by the edge, toes in line with the railing, off-white socks spilling out the tops like pig offal. She was a new kind of dead. A bit much to take at first. The eyes undiminished: tasered eggs of jet-lagged light. Her thin arms embalmed in soft furnishings. Not a single contusion on her. The victim of a planned kidnapping waiting to be set free. They were all gone in that block. The ballooned faces, the rods and cones of their eyes dead: a frozen sitcom of pearlized PoWs inflated with advanced kidney failure. The rich still put to sleep in different ways. For all its seeming blindness it knew the difference. But she was different still and barely dead. Hers was a Pixar death. A death lived out in pap-shot frescoes and aborted sex tapes. Like her soul had been adopted by the dream of some found footage confirmation of God. A death that stayed warm, that needed feeding and watering. A death with its own version of sleep. Worried about the onset of muscle waste, we got her up on her feet. Dragged her through chicanes of sofas and low tables. The girls force-fed her liquidized croissants through a straw. We all examined her for signs of recent surgery. Lacking reasons to leave, we stayed a week. Got down beneath the wetware of humans. Found her skin spray tanned on the inside. Her skull made of clear Perspex, its folded contents custom-made for a series of square frames. The cortex gleamed like glazed cow intestines, and it was a while before we saw the need for filters. Once we started we did them all: X-Pro II, Lo-Fi, Sutro, Toaster, Hefe, Inkwell, 1977… Some of us thought we saw a smile emerge from the evicted contours of her face. By the end we noticed her fingers becoming stiff like Barbie legs.



He came to us blaming the light. And we listened. He said he had no stories. That stories murder now to feed tomorrow. He had the proof of himself, he said. He warned against its given source. But no need to live like grubs in the earth. There were acceptable funds of illumination: refractive and artificial. He measured the room’s many mirrorings and passed for satisfied. He removed his gloves and showed us the arrested rot in his fingers. We were told to cultivate our hair. He took us back to the blood spill of Aztecan myth. He’d rather worship, he said, something he could control. Powerlessness and prayer were not coextensive. He’d done experiments and now all the cats he kept outside were made of wolves, the rats all spoiling in dogs. Even the lost women of Srebrenica got solarized in the spiel. We waited on North Korea, Somalia, and Syria, and they arrived, their fallen dismantled by the sun. And before any of us could come back we had his tactics for battle: rituals of bagheaded sodomy and localized cutting. There was a lag as he presented the fetus, plucked and reassembled, we were told, from 100 tins of corned beef. By its size we guessed it not long shy of full-term. Its eyelids stitched together with fishing line. To protect its sight, he said, stop it going blind. The skin was so pale it seemed to glow. In his gloved hands a miniaturized mass of squirming light. We became suspicious about the integrity of its rays. One by one our hands became blindfolds. We could hear him laughing. Its pitch began to spike. There was a gurgle that became a cackle. When I opened my eyes I could see the fingers inside my fingers.


Paul Cunningham ‘The Face Hole by Gary J. Shipley’

The Tongue-Tied Mystic: Aaaarrrgghhh! Fuck Them! Fuck You!

An asemic poem by Gary J Shipley & MK JCBSN





‘If you’ve read Eileen Myles before, you know that her new book, “Afterglow: A Dog Memoir,” is surely not going to be “Marley & Me” or “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” You’ll laugh, and you’ll cry, yes, but you’ll also think hard, as you work to pull together the many disparate, cosmic, and charming notions Myles sets forth.

‘In other words, this poet-novelist isn’t taking a bath in sentimentality about the loss of Rosie, the pit bull whom she rescued as a pup in the East Village of New York in 1990. Instead, with her quicksilver intellect and her whimsy fully engaged, Myles explores the parallels between “Dog” and “God,” whether Rosie, who died in 2006, is her father reincarnated, the existential strangeness of receiving a cement paw print of your dead dog, and how Rosie may have envisioned her. “Afterglow’’ is a challenging read that spirals up into big and little thoughts all inspired by her beloved companion, bringing in seemingly unrelated topics along the way such as the “self-war” of Kurt Cobain, libraries, gender identity, Abu Ghraib, George W. Bush’s farts, and, at some length, sea foam.

‘The book is structured as a series of essays, each somehow linked to the bond between dog and owner, many written in unconventional memoir formats, including science fiction, poetry, and interview. My favorite chapter, “Goodnight, Sweet Queen,” is an annotated list of Rosie-related things that Myles plans to toss in the aftermath of Rosie’s passing, including a plastic cone, dog painkillers, and a dog raincoat that still smells like her. The objects trigger memories, such as a blue food bowl that reminds her of throwing tomato sauce over Rosie’s food: “[B]ecause your face was white the orange sauce would stain your maw and you looked stupid plus beautiful. Sauce is makeup around these parts.” Throughout the book, Myles’ punctuation plays by its own rules, forcing us to sound out her sentences as we read them.

‘Humor is embedded in all of these chapters, not least of all the one named “The Rape of Rosie.” It’s an uncomfortable story about the time Myles tried to breed 2-year-old Rosie with a dog named Buster in her New York apartment. “It was sex that was impossible to ignore, yet bureaucratic somehow,” she writes. The scene, followed by Rosie’s nonstop gas, is indelible. Likewise the scene in “The Order of Drinking (3-D)’’ of Rosie disappearing at a meeting of what Myles calls “the club,” Alcoholics Anonymous. Myles is in the audience pondering just how brilliant her response to the speaker will be — “Surely I will be lauded and since I am true poet my language nature will inevitably vibrate on a higher subtler plane” — when she realizes the missing Rosie may well have pooped somewhere in the room.’ — Matthew Gilbert


Eileen Myles Site
Eileen Myles @ Twitter
Eileen Myles: ‘People just have to blow it up. That’s what I’ve done for 30 years’
Shining a Light on Eileen Myles
Buy ‘Afterglow’


Eileen Myles Afterglow (a dog memoir)
Grove Press

‘Prolific and widely renowned, Eileen Myles is a trailblazer whose decades of literary and artistic work “set a bar for openness, frankness, and variability few lives could ever match” (New York Review of Books). This newest book paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of a beloved confidant: the pit bull called Rosie.In 1990, Myles chose Rosie from a litter on the street, and their connection instantly became central to the writer’s life and work. During the course of their sixteen years together, Myles was madly devoted to the dog’s well-being, especially in her final days. Starting from the emptiness following Rosie’s death, Afterglow (a dog memoir) launches a heartfelt and fabulist investigation into the true nature of the bond between pet and pet-owner. Through this lens, we witness Myles’s experiences with intimacy and spirituality, celebrity and politics, alcoholism and recovery, fathers and family history, as well as the fantastical myths we spin to get to the heart of grief.

‘Moving from an imaginary talk show where Rosie is interviewed by Myles’s childhood puppet to a critical reenactment of the night Rosie mated with another pit bull, from lyrical transcriptions of their walks to Rosie’s enlightened narration from the afterlife, Afterglow (a dog memoir) illuminates all that it can mean when we dedicate our existence to a dog.’ — Grove Press


A dog shakes her way on a leash up a path and now she is gone. We see the empty path now with the wiggly hurricane fence coming up on the right and a green clump of bush frogged by lighter green leaves and below it all across in the dirt where paths and slopes meet but it’s light. Light meets everything and it’s where the color goes. It’s what’s left when it’s gone.

The dog is pooping now and it’s rude of us to watch the dog and the arched all fours of her state. The video is grainy so it’s hard to see detail, but we see the troubled look on her face: this is mine, so go away. Her tail uplifted is black, its tip is white.

Almost out of politeness the camera bounces and soon it is bouncing away. White and tan straw is surging like fireworks. The walk is melting away in the jangling camera work. And soon we’re on the path again and a common dark grey rock is as prominent and seductive as a jewel or a breast. We see dark green bushes and then we’re at the gate of the park. The dog stands in profile. Trees block her head. Her tail’s in the air, her shadow falls right next to her. Her entrance, her area is covered in light and the grass is bright green almost yellow and all that came before, the bushes and the way have cast an enormous shadow like the path we’ve just left and the past which is always gone.

The dog’s sniffy and we take this as an opportunity to look up: the trees of the park and the enormous possibility of day. We’re close on the dog, just her legs and her hind parts now. And then she’s further from us, turning left, her head slightly bowed (with age), her back sloped, and she drags her dark leash between her legs. The leash reminds us she is a reckless untrained and impetuous dog who does what she wants. She’s freely moving, sniffing and walking slow but it’s all one kind of jangle, like a rolling awkward dance, and we look up again to see the whole park. The houses and the hills looking down, the tall whitish trees and the explosion of green for smaller ones furthest away so the layered natural world holds us in this place. We examine the park in a circle like this is a crime. Everything is smoky and dusty which is another thing light does on a hot day when everything appears like mist.

It breaks for a moment and the shadows of the trees on the bright green grass look like a spidery hand. Puffy trees bob behind the houses, the whole complex of telephone poles and wires the houses just arched and arched and now the dog crawls past a couple of skinny trees and she dunks her head. She’s found a bit of food. Looks like a big clump of chicken, she’s eating it business-like like old people do; looking up for a moment her white face gazing. Suddenly a big mottled tree is jumping around. Flaying we see an aqua painted picnic table and we’re high on the delirium of shadows paint pot wild splashy dark grey no green like it’s lace all over the grass—tree to grass to tree to grass we’re bobbing finally landing on the stolid innocence of the stone picnic table framed in the valley of sun in the partially shrouded park. This is her throne room and she is either dog or day. We’re forced to look at that table again after prowling away for a moment. The older trees are speckled flecks of grey, a grey brown. And higher up what we call limbs tentacles and the full mushy cascade of leaves and some hazy stuff something dead. We go up and up and the browner and bluer and skinnier the tree goes it seems to darken in the pale blue sky. And single strands wave and flare out like, well, hair, or first I thought of a cat’s stray whiskers the unruly ones but these are heading for the sun. Then there’s nothing but blue a box of it and back to the fence. Where’s the dog. We’re examining the beige real estate behind the chain-link fence, evidently thinking about them and what they’ve got. Not even a walk. They live at the park.

We get her close now. In her animal print collar. We’re right on her dipping head, the rippling muscles behind her ear, the loose hair of the older dog. It’s her view: a flash of pink tongue and a lot of grass, soon there’s only grass a crew-cut, and it’s black and yellow and white you can see the grade, by the sunlight and shadows flashing off-on as she, a waving tail and a beige butt and those loopy legs are negotiating an excited run on a good day and she circles the tree itself; it’s ringed, its color and depth. For a moment you can see the marked slope of her back, its weakness but quickly cause why not she’s dipping into a female pee, an entire existence is making the letter, a mailman’s granddaughter she is.

She smiles because she’s happy galloping off jaw slack and the slopes of the park are a sea its variety enabling her watery legs to dance—with her rear legs getting a pass as the front does all the work and her ears in the air. The mottled tree blocks her and a surging carpet of grass fills the rectangle now cause we’re walking along following the dog I think.


Eileen Myles | Afterglow @ The Strand Bookstore

In Conversation: Lynne Tillman and Eileen Myles

Eileen Myles reads “My Revolution”





Some of your work has involved that kind of play with texts, like your created dialogues between artists (Elliot Smith and Edna St. Vincent Millay or Joan Didion and Hunter S. Thompson); can you explain what you find so appealing about ‘the dialogue’ as a form? Is this a new genre, or are there underappreciated classics of the dialogue?

Oh yes—Manuel Puig was a huge influence. Camus’s one-sided dialogue in The Fall. And Beckett seems to be always speaking to someone else in an empty room. The dialogues usually begin as an internal conflict, or a really heated imaginary argument with a friend—or when I come across texts that speak to each other, like the Smith and Millay “essay.” I wrote that one morning, reading Millay while listening to Elliot Smith; I realized that they sounded like two lovers on the way out of a relationship with their teeth bared a little.

You’ve also written that reading is itself a sort of dialogue, a collaborative effort between readers and writers. How much work should readers have to do to meet their authors? Is there a unique pleasure in trying to read something very opaque or demanding?

I think of reading as an archaeological activity. Uncovering something that’s been dormant for some period of time. But also because reading began, for me, as something you did on the floor in the hallway when a movie was on, or in a park after lugging a backpack of books on your bike. Reading can be physically arduous, even while it’s an unprecedented pleasure.

What literary strategies do you use in your own writing to help readers with challenging or unfamiliar territory?

I usually write for readers who are willing to do a certain amount of work. Sometimes I try to write pieces of cake or something very pleasurable and beautiful and it doesn’t really work—writing that feels right for me usually feels like doing math. But I do try to make some kind of offering or gift for the reader, because the acts of writing and of reading are really one continuous activity that requires both reader and writer as collaborators.

Are there common braids running through everything you write, or themes you find yourself constantly revisiting?

I don’t envision a theme for my writing, but I usually end up writing about loss, something that’s been lost. I’m getting fatigued by it, actually, and try to write things that are more fun, or angry, or obscene. But it works better for me when obscenity is a backdrop for loss. God, I hate that.

Obscenity is an interesting concept. When Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart was asked to define obscenity, he wrote that he “could never succeed in intelligibly doing so” but “knew it when [he] saw it”; can you give us that intelligible definition of obscenity, at least as it relates to your work?

Obscenity isn’t just, “you know it when you see it”— it’s also, “you know it when you say it.” Obscenity, to me, is almost sacred. It’s a powerful tool that is often all the powerless have, or it’s what the powerful deem the words of the powerless to be.


Ella Longpre Site
Ella Longpre @ Twitter
Ella Longpre @ goodreads
Buy ‘How to Keep You Alive’


Ella Longpre How to Keep You Alive
Civil Coping Mechanisms

‘How does one stay alive? This book asks the impossible question of how one maintains a separation between past and present, memory from self, and inheritance from present body. As objects and gestures from various chronologies collapse and conflate, as in dreams, one might then ask, what do our dreams tell us about our lives? Blurring the boundaries of fiction and nonfiction in a way that mirrors the attempt to capture what it is like to survive and to persist, How to Keep You Alive absorbs and sees the world through a lens of violence and trauma while struggling to maintain a present life in a body that continues to resist, to touch, to create rituals, to see, and to render the unseeable visually brilliant so the unsayable becomes a prayer. This book is that prayer.’ — CCM

‘I’ve never read a book like this in my life and I love that so much I could scream. Ella Longpre’s How to Keep You Alive is a genre bomb love letter to identity dissolution and reformation. I think I held my breath a few times when I felt lyric language kissing the fact of a body, meanings coming apart but then reassembling kind of like the dance that creation and destruction make. Or, more precisely, when we go to tell the story of our lives and our bodies we find that what can be storied can be destoried and restoried. That’s the beauty and terror of memory meeting body meeting language. This storymaking will undo you in the best way, and restory you toward a difference you didn’t know lived in you. We could use that right now. It could save our lives.’ — LIDIA YUKNAVITCH

‘Like a lucid past life learned of through aura photography, Ella Longpre’s exquisite fragmentation unearths the liminal locations that mediate our psychic being, mapping out a haunted pyramid-like map of what exists between the ephemeral and the timeless, technology and fiber, life and death. How To Keep You Alive indeed recovers a mystic, arcane air we by now need front and center more than ever.’ — BLAKE BUTLER

A house wrapped in contact paper. This rag is ten years of dust. Stacking cans of salted pork from the government in the cupboard. Rooms cleaned everyday by noon, someone might want a tour of the trailer.

This poverty distinguishes from the other kind: there are friends’ houses where I can’t go because bugs, because disease. is poverty insists itself a temporary lapse: it doesn’t belong to the other kind, at least not for long. The myth of this lapse, of poverty’s limited duration, articulated in our gaze outward, our aspiration to acreage. e weekly expansion / contraction of a savings account. The three piece suits haggled over at Salvation Army. Wheels on a house hidden by sheet metal skirt. e skirt torn, the myth disproven. Disproven by transgenerational inertia: the bitterness, illness, malnutrition, injury accumulated in the body, surfacing later, poking out through decades of second-hand clothes accessorized by education, gauzy at the seams.

They will reverse the trajectory a er the farm fails, we will nd ourselves behind the counter at a dry cleaners, a smoke shop, a Burger King. Desperation: sliding bills out of a register when no is looking. Paranoia: slowly feeding them back in. Fist slipping into a deep fryer, skin floating in a tub of water, stamped, She will never be able to wear a watch over the pink and white tattooed sleeve.

We wear our poverty and no is so distinguished by what she wears as a woman, that is, someone who is hunted. I am wrapped in contact paper, I am clean.


A piece of paper, ripped in three. Edges curling, the back is red. Writing hidden behind red. Some substances identified only by their response to heat.


You thought you were like your grandmother, her collection of madonnas, filling a room.


Often on the edge of escape I stay to protect the smaller bodies that haven’t yet been marked. Then something followed me down the hall this morning. The vent in the kitchen, inflating my skirt with warmth, in the hall a demon or some guide compressing the hairs behind my knees, compelling me toward the bathroom.

TV theme songs pulsing, concentric rings emanating through walls to my bed. Incomprehensible drone, a litany of threat. What remains of a song stripped of melody.

Sleeping under the pull out couch, sleeping on the trundle bed, an aerosol can (hairspray) hidden under the pillow. A hammer hidden under the pillow. Brothers sleeping on cushions. In the dream, the Mother has no eyes, I peel her egg shell covering. Morning, shadows moving on the oor. Something follows me down the hall. The locked door at the far end. Reaching the same point, and returning.

A concrete porch that bulges in winter. Peeling stairs. Something that could be a pipe or a bell, emerging from a broken tile. Stones dotted with weeds, cigarette butts. Wires everywhere, bisecting the lawn, delineating trapezoids part aluminum siding part sky. The clearing: I stop here, and wait. A broken light post, taped. Tape peeling. Edge moving, slightly. Trembling.






Elsbeth Pancrazi: Why a novel in verse/long poem? What writers do you consider the masters of this form?

Matthew Rohrer: One reason, and maybe the best reason, for ‘why a novel in verse’ is why not, right? I mean, I’ve written some other books. I’ve written lots of poems. I also love stories. I think there’s no question that I was thinking of the way people accepted things like this from poetry in the past. Byron’s Don Juan, or Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” or “Christabel,” or Keat’s “The Lamia” were all things on my mind. Someone recently told me that one of the sections reminds him of the long Shelley poem “Julian and Maddalo,” which couldn’t make me happier. Part of what I love so much about those books is the sheer imagination invested in them. I also love more modern long poems too, of course—Bernadette Mayer’s Midwinter Day—I read that all in one sitting on Midwinter Day by the way—or Whalen’s Scenes of Life at the Capital—but the difference is, those are much less imaginative in the old fashioned sense of storytelling, and that is what I wanted to do with The Others, to tell stories.

EP: How did you start The Others?

MR: I started it with what is now a scene in the middle—oddly perhaps for a book whose structure is a day-in-the-life. I started with a real-life experience I had in the workplace, which I think at the time I thought was so boring and un-imaginative that it would definitely demand my full attention to get it going.

EP: Is there something about storytelling and poetry combined that gives you extra power? In other words, what can stories do in poetry that they can’t do in prose?

MR: Well I think it’s just more surprising now to see stories in poetry. We expect it in prose of course. But people don’t expect to pick up a book of poetry and get an exciting adventure story, for instance, like they did with Byron’s “Childe Harold.” So I think ironically there’s a sort of revolutionary excitement to going back to that—to putting story and poem together in a way that used to be unquestioned, but has dwindled away.


Matthew Rohrer @ Poetry Foundation
Writing as a Kind of Improvisation: Matthew Rohrer in Conversation
Two Poems by Matthew Rohrer
Buy ‘The Others’


Matthew Rohrer THE OTHERS
Wave Books

‘A gripping, eerie, and hilarious novel-in-verse from poet Matthew Rohrer. In a Russian-doll of fictional episodes, we follow an entry-level publishing assistant over the course of a day as he encounters ghost stories, science fiction adventures, Victorian hashish eating, and robot bigfoots. Rohrer mesmerizes with wildly imaginative tales and resonant verse in this compelling love letter to storytelling.’ — Wave Books



Matthew Rohrer reads

Leo Chang: “Dog Boy” by Matthew Rohrer

Matthew Rohrer, “Poem”




p.s. Hey. ** Paul Cabine, Hi, Paul! Thanks a lot for coming in! Ah, yes, if it’d been a snake, it would have bit me, as my mom used to say, Thanks, man. Take care. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. It is indeed, i.e. Steve’s piece. Your costume is a little scary for me, and nothing usually scares me. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Yes, your Argento piece is extremely fine. Your pride in its deeply founded. Kudos. It enriched and reshaped my thinking re: his work. Thank you. I really hope the Village Voice gig pans out. Even with the canceling of the print version, I think a lot of the writing at the VV is really top notch these days. Curious about/wary of the new Todd Haynes, as always. How is it? Oh, I was mistaken about the new Godard opening here today. What’s opening today is a long lost film by Godard from the mid-60s that only showed once on TV and hasn’t been seen since, so that’s plenty exciting in and off itself, but apparently his new film is not quite ready. No, I never dress up for Halloween. I’m a looky-loo in that sense. No, when you do a general search for celebrity/Halloween costume images, the controversial ones come up on top for, I guess obvious reasons. ** MANCY, Hey, S! Yeah, it makes a lot of sense to me that you would appreciate Grandrieux’s work. I think he would really like your work too. There’ve been longstanding vague plans for he and I to meet, and I’ll alert him to your work when that happens. Yesterday I saw some of the raw footage from Mark G’s and Kiddiepunk’s recently shot film, and it looks amazing. Take care, man. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Yeah, in the real world that costume party would be my idea of hell, which made it it a cool thing to throw in unreality. Well, yeah, having confidence in something you’ve made is the best. I hope the reaction doesn’t put a dent in that, fingers crossed. Thanks for the mss. report. Good, it’s still looking for its home. Obviously, don’t let yourself get too stressed about the rejections, if you get any more of them. As I always say, my first novel ‘Closer’ got twenty-something rejections before a publisher accepted it. My day was, hm … Well, I am writing from my new laptop, which is very cool. This new thing which I guess they put on all new laptops where when you hit a key it makes a fake ‘click’ sound is odd. Typewriter nostalgia or something? Otherwise, we did the sound work we needed. I went to Michael Salerno (and Bene’s) place and looked at some raw footage of his new film, which he just shot in Switzerland, and it looks gorgeous. Not much else. I realized I’m super tardy in buying my plane tickets to go to California for that literary conference and reading I have to do, so I stressed about that and will force myself to buy the tickets today. Stuff like that. I hope that whatever Wednesday offers you, it feels like a grand prize. How was your day? ** Sypha, Hi. No surprise on your faves, ha ha. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. No, it’s not just you. When I was putting it together, I kept thinking, ‘Why am I doing this?’ Very, very best of luck on getting that award money! ** Corey Heiferman, Hi, Corey. Welcome, hello! Ha, my thought was that if I pretended I was Buzzfeed, my sensibility would magically imbue my picks or something, so cool. I almost pick that Conway/Trump image, but my nausea got the best of me. Yep, you nailed the ennui very well. Ha, wow, that UCLA party that I brushed by in that article. Much more the speed, but I did feel touristy. Thanks, Corey. Please come back as often as the mood strikes. ** Misanthrope, Thanks, G. That makes sense re: George Hamilton, right. ** Right. Today I present you with four more books that I recommend to any of you who are looking for awesome things to read. See you tomorrow.


  1. Wolf

    Dennis, my dude! A canine litfest, how wonderful! I really liked the Myles excerpt. I have thought a lot about how hard it is to write about dogs because they’re so drama-less and straightforward and beatific in the moment with nothing behind it, but maybe that’s just it, writing about dogs should be that way too. If forces simplicity and sensual presence into the words. It’s so hard to write precisely about smells though and a dog’s world is all smells.
    When are you going to California? I’m going there for work next month.
    Smelly hugs!

  2. David Ehrenstein

    Obscenity is “sacred” in a way because today it’s exceptionally hard to achieve. Everyone attacks everything.

    No — take that back. No one attacks Capitalism (the Ol’ Communist in me rises to the surface again like clarified butter)

    Love the pic of Peter Breck and Larry Tucker in “Fuller’s “Shock Corridor”

  3. Steve Erickson

    Democratic socialism is becoming an increasingly popular concept in America thanks to Bernie Sanders, and as a result I see people on social media, especially Twitter, attacking capitalism frequently.

    Godard’s mid-80s video RISE AND FILL OF A SMALL CINEMA COMPANY (I can’t spell out the whole French title), which I saw in 1993 in the context of a very complete 1993 MOMA retrospective, is suddenly getting lots of US exposure. It’s playing at the New York Film Festival’s sidebar of restorations of older films, then at the French Institute a few weeks later, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it plays for a week or two at a theater like Film Forum. I’m certain it’ll get DVD/Blu-Ray release here within a few months. Is this the film you’re talking about, by any chance?

    I’m seeing the Todd Haynes film tomorrow.

    Thanks so much for your kind words on the Argento piece. I put a lot of work into it – I started writing it at the offices of Anthology Film Archives when my home computer was in the repair shop and when someone who worked there look at the outline I had prepared, he said “this looks like the start of a book” – and it paid off.

    Have you heard the free album Leyland Kirby just dropped on Bandcamp? Funny that he named it with a Joe Jackson quote!

    This is 2 years old and unfortunately it’s circulating on Film Twitter largely because Luca Guadagnino disses several other filmmakers, but I nevertheless thought it was an excellent interview:

  4. Sypha

    Dennis, you’ve probably heard about this already, but Wakefield Press is reissuing 2 of Tony Duvert’s short story collections next month: Odd Jobs and District. They both look very short: collectively, I think in terms of pages they barely hit 100!

    Right now pretty much all my reading time has been devoted to a re-read of Stephen R. Donaldson’s 5 book The Gap Cycle series, which is my favorite sci-fi book series (I first read them back in 2000/2001). I started about a month ago and I’m currently on the final volume, so I’m making good speed. I do miss reading two books at once though, so I’m looking forward to the finish line.

  5. MANCY

    Really appreciate that, Dennis. Yeah, he’s one of those artists I knew would be essential from basically the first word I read about him. So of course it’s very exciting that I have most of his filmography yet to explore.
    Yeah, I got to read the screenplay for Michael and Mark’s film, very excited for that.

  6. Marcus Whale

    Hey Dennis, nice to see that Eileen Myles book in this post, I saw her read a couple from that at Basilica Soundscape aka gothfest aka my fave music/etc festival now probably. Something really nurturing about her reading, maybe it’s that the language is kind of rhetorical? Anyway it was great.

  7. Dóra Grőber


    I’ve been waiting for the next “4 books I read recently and loved” post and once again, it didn’t disappoint! I’m especially drawn to Gary J. Shipley’s ‘Warewolff!’ and Matthew Rohrer’s ‘The Others’. (Also, The Others’ minimalistic design is absolutely gorgeous.) Thank you so much!

    I definitely agree. It would be a real nightmare to attend a costume party like that, haha.
    No, I’m pretty sure the viewers’ reaction won’t bring your film or your satisfaction with it down! In my understanding, you managed to capture exactly what you wanted, and that’s what matters. In my experience, if it manages to reach just a small group of people but they really, truly understand it for what it is, it’s already a success.
    Thank you! I’m trying not to stress too much about it but words like these definitely give me a boost of hope and enthusiasm!
    Finally! Your new laptop is alive and working! Mine is quite old and it doesn’t have this… sound effect. It must be a bit weird. Can’t it be somehow turned off? Or it doesn’t bother you that much?
    Congratulations to Michael!
    The literary conference/reading is on the 15th, right? Did you buy your tickets today?
    I went to see an apartment today and finally, finally it was something I liked a lot! It’s in Szentendre but at a bit more travel-friendly part of the city than where I live now and its only disadvantage seems to be the lack of any kind of garden. We’ll see. As of right now, it put me in a pretty optimistic mood!
    I think it’s time to say huge, huge, huge congratulations, right?? Is ‘Permanent Green Light’ all finished and sealed? I do hope everything went as planned and you had a lovely, lovely day!!

  8. Jeff Coleman



    I’ve got that Warewolff! book on it’s way, looking forward to that.

    I particularly liked his ‘Notes for the Future of Unworkable Work’ which Fanzine recently published.

    Pt. 1

    Pt. 2

    (That image of the girl wearing a blindfold in the first part is from the first horror movie I ever saw, when I was about 6 or so years old. I remember watching it while alone, and it terrified me at the time. Particularly that scene, of the girl in a hall of mirrors. It burned itself into my memory. Anyway, I’d been wondering what the title was for decades, and finally found out after coming across Shipley’s piece on Facebook, and doing a reverse image search of the pic. ‘The Watcher in the Woods.’ It’s actually a Disney movie made for kids, which makes me somewhat embarrassed when I think about how frightened I was at the time, ha ha. Being alone was a big part of it, I think.)

    Haven’t finished many books recently, though I did finish and particularly enjoy ‘Mountainhead’ by New Juche, and Amygdalatropolis by B.R. Yeager. Both great.

    If you haven’t read Amygdalatropolis, I highly recommend it. When I tell people about it, I usually say something like “It’s like if Blake Butler and Peter Sotos collaborated on a novel about a shut-in kid who obsessively follows a hell-realm version of 4chan.” (“Hell-realm version of 4chan”… so, in other words, 4chan, lol.)

    Also been reading Atlantic Island. Enjoying it quite a bit so far.

    That reminds me… those two new Duvert books Sypha mentioned, from Wakefield Press, appear to have been published early. I preordered them, and just checked Amazon, and they’ve apparently shipped. ‘Odd Jobs’ and ‘District.’

    Not sure if they’re in stock already in Europe, but they are here. Anyway, looking forward to those.

    Take care!

  9. Steve Erickson

    I am seeing Griffin Dunne’s documentary on Joan Didion (to whom he’s related) next week and hopefully interviewing him the following weekend, although the outlet for which I’ll be doing so is still up in the air. I admire Didion’s work as much as you do, so I’m quite interested in this. Years ago, Dunne actually directed a film based on a script written by someone I worked at Kim’s Video with (and one of my co-workers at the time is now a successful director whose publicist asked me to review her film!)

  10. Steve Erickson

    Here’s my review of the documentary DINA:

  11. jonathan

    Hi Dennis
    Hope alls good in the Parisian hood and yay your new film is done! I cant wait for it to be out in the world! I hope you got the finest of cakes to celebrate!!!
    I wanted to read three of the above books before the post and now I want all four! been on a Didion kick lately also read the new Jarrett Kobek, which was really enjoyable, really like the Chris Kraus Kathy Acker biog too. Amygdalatropolis is meant to be great, my friend wrote the intro, I’ve got a copy somewhere in my tetris life. Oh I snagged a copy of Eden Eden Eden, theres a gallery in london that did a reprint but you probably know that 🙂
    My ears have been enjoying the newPan Daijing & Errorsmith lps and a bunch of 90’s jams lots of grunge & Kristin Hersh & related. Oh the new Klein ep on hyperdub is cool too. Got to see LCD Soundsystem last week which was epic, one of the best live shows ive seen.
    Other than that Ive been mostly busy with Work, work and other boring stuff that needed to get done. I did stroll into a shop yesterday & snag a SNES mini so that sucked most of last night and a bit of to today, revisiting super mario world and street fighter 2 and a whole bunch of other games. it was the 1st console i owned way back in 93. its gonna have to be used sparingly though. my eye balls where drying out from not blinking…

    massive hugs and love

  12. _Black_Acrylic

    I’m a big fan of Gary J. Shipley ‘s You With Your Memory Are Dead and have ordered Warewolff! immediately. Thank you for the heads up!

    I was very happy to get my application for the Dundee Visual Artists Award in ahead of today’s deadline. It was kind of a rush job but I’m hopeful that we can prevail and get cash for Alex’s Yuck ‘n Yum Seattle flight. If we’re presenting the work of Scottish artists around the world then surely folk will be throwing money at us to do that. I did include a line in there that I’m proud of – “Yuck ’n Yum is striving to again achieve full-spectrum dominance.” I’m hoping that one might raise a smile among the panel. We find out out the verdict in 8 weeks.

    My dad was called up to do jury service back in Leeds and I have some time off work coming up, so my mum is coming up to Dundee tomorrow
    for a few days. We’re booked in for a meal at the DCA tomorrow and who knows, I may even take her along to Tai Chi on Saturday.

  13. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Congrats on finishing PGL. All hope for the best success for you and Zac.

    Yeah, the big “G” on Kyle’s robe kind of clued me in. 😛

    I just want to make it through the week. I’m tired as fuck. Couldn’t get to sleep last night. Ugh.

    And I’ve got to go to an open teacher conference thing on my day off Monday (Columbus Day). You get 5 minutes with each teacher. Like that’ll do anything. But at least I’ll show I’m interested in LPS’s schooling and life. I mean, you and I know I am, but the teachers probably think otherwise, considering what a shit show his grades are so far this year.

  14. Steve Erickson

    I hope I’m not clogging up this day, but I’d be interested to see a follow-up to your psychedelia day focusing on the intersection between African-Americans and psychedelia. (This idea came from showing a link to that day to an African-American friend.) There’s a number of intersections off the top of my head: Arthur Lee, Jimi Hendrix, the Chambers Brothers, Sly & the Family Stone, early Funkadelic, Rotary Connection, Black Mer-da, and possibly some early fusion – I think BITCHES BREW would definitely count. (I’m listening to it right now.) I don’t know who would be the right person to put together this page (does Greg Tate have lots of spare time on his hands?), but I’m surprised no one has written a book on the subject – or if there is one, I’ve never seen it. I’m trying to think of contemporary African-American musicians who are working in a similar vein – there are are some fairly obscure ’90s rappers whose music, to me, intersects with psychedelia, like Divine Styler and New Kingdom, and there’s even a genre called “acid rap” but it seems to mean the same thing as “horrorcore.” I’m having a hard time thinking of African-American rock musicians who are doing neo-psychedelia – Lenny Kravitz has ripped off Hendrix and the Beatles, but, to my mind, done a terrible job of it. (The best example might be Spectrum Road, featuring Living Color’s Vernon Reid and Kravitz’s drummer, who devoted themselves to covering songs by the Tony Williams Lifetime and resurrecting the early promise of fusion.) If I dug through the entire archives of the Afropunk website and its music links, I’m sure I could find some.

    • Steve Erickson

      More hip-hop/psych intersection: the Jungle Brothers’ third album, especially the version Warner Bros. refused to release (which I believe samples both the Stooges and Stockhausen).

  15. liquoredgoat


    Thanks for including the Eileen Myles memoir, because I was just reading about it the other day, and after that excerpt I’m sold. I wish I could attend that reading of both of yours in SF soon. I’m sending people whom I know in SF though!

    The Longpre book, and her work in general, looks like my sort of thing,

    Also, my book is coming out on the 18th! I can send you the proof/manuscript if you want to read it.


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