The blog of author Dennis Cooper

4 books I read recently & loved: Thomas Moore & Steven Purtill Small Talk at the Clinic, Joseph Grantham Tom Sawyer, Peter Sotos Ingratitude, Michael Lally Another Way to Play: Poems 1960-2017



‘I’m obsessed with themes of representation, imitation, fakeness and memory. I can never explain it properly, but I can see a real bond and relationship between those sorts of things, and I like aiming at that stuff in my writing as a way for me to try and work some of it out. I never do, but I get a real emotional kick out of trying to sink myself into that stuff and trying (and also failing) to work it out.

‘I like how with memory, people’s brains reconstruct certain events in a way that they then trust and believe to be reliable, but really it’s just that – a reconstruction that isn’t the real thing, even though it has all this powerful emotional and personal baggage attached to it. And then with the various representations of things: a photograph isn’t the real thing, it’s a photograph of the real thing, the same thing with all the other stuff – the videos, the webcams, the character making real objects based on scenery from a video game. In terms of aesthetics, I just happen to think that that stuff is really beautiful too, there’s something really gorgeous and moving about faded VHS tapes, grainy pictures from a webcam, and so on. Because I’m so fascinated and confused by all that stuff.’ — Thomas Moore


Thomas Moore @ goodreads
Steven Purtill @ Vimeo
Thomas Moore interviewed
Steven Purtill @ Facebook
Buy ‘Small Talk at the Clinic’


Thomas Moore & Steven Purtill Small Talk at the Clinic
Amphetamine Sulphate

Full color art book.
Perfect bound, 76 pages. 8.5 x 5.5 in.
Strictly limited to 150 copies




BEWARE4 from Steven Purtill on Vimeo.

ACCEPT? from Steven Purtill on Vimeo.

TOGETHERNESS VOID from Steven Purtill on Vimeo.




Glen Binger: What’s your process like? Where do you produce the time needed to create? Are there any obstacles or roadblocks?

Joseph Grantham: My process is, I write when I want to write. And I usually want to write when I’m cracked out on coffee. So, chances are, if I’ve had a lot of coffee, I’m gonna start writing stuff down. Whether it’s on my phone, a piece of paper, or a computer. Sometimes I use a typewriter, which is dangerous because people will make fun of you. You’ll get your ass kicked. But it’s helped me out because it slows me down. When I’m writing on my computer, it’s too tempting to highlight everything and delete it. And also, I don’t have a printer, so it’s one way of printing shit out for readings, etc. In terms of obstacles, nah. I can always find time to write if I want to write. People like to make a big deal about that. But if I can find time to go to the toilet, I can find time to write a lil poem or story.

GB: On top of being a writer, you work for a bookstore, right? Does that inspire your writing at all? How about your work with Disorder Press?

JG: Yeah, I work at a bookstore in Manhattan. I’ve worked there for about a year, and I’m leaving in a few weeks to go live in West Virginia for a month. Not sure where I’m gonna go after that. Definitely not New York City. Working at a bookstore can be good, because you’re surrounded by books. I can look out for small press books that I care about, and try get them in the hands of people who might never pick up a small press book. But it can also be torture, because you can’t really read any of the books while you’re there. You have to be at a cash register, or shelving books. Always gotta be moving! Move move move! Keep busy! I always thought I was gonna get fired. But that’s probably just my anxiety kicking in, thinking everyone’s out to get me. I did write a lot of poems on bookmarks there, some of them were even okay. I like to complain about my job, but really it’s not the job, I’d probably complain about any job. Working with my sister on Disorder Press is fun. Editing and acquiring manuscripts, figuring out the design, mailing books, working with writers who become our friends, our family. That’s hard to beat. Hell, we put out Bud Smith and Rae Buleri’s book and right now I’m living with those guys. Basically, if we publish you, we get to come live with you. That’s our rule.


Joseph Grantham @ Twitter
The Talking Book Podcast #21: Tom Sawyer w/ Joseph Grantham
OTHERPPL: Episode 542 — Joseph Grantham
Buy ‘Tom Sawyer’


Joseph Grantham Tom Sawyer
Civil Coping Mechanisms

‘Written while working at a bookstore in lower Manhattan, TOM SAWYER is a book of poems about heartbreak, depression, family, role models and heroes, and growing up in America.

‘It is as if you approached Joseph Grantham while he was sleeping & nudged him & he rolled over half asleep & told you about all of the things that embarrass him, all of the people he loves, & all of the things that make him who he is.

‘It’s like a package of candy cigarettes or the Candide of the 21st century.’ — CCM



ask me anything

at bars
bartenders ask
what’s the name on your card
and i say
and they look confused
so i say
and they look confused
so i say
joseph grantham
and they bring me back
my card
and to life
and i give them a tip

at panera bread
they ask
chips apple or baguette
and i say apple
but i always throw the apple
or at someone

at grocery stores
they ask
did you find everything all right
and i say
everything wasn’t all right
but yes
i found everything


love poem

i love pickles
and you
you love pickles
and not me


things she told me on the phone

she told me
when i think
of you
i think
of the color
i thought
but i am
a dark blue

she told me
you’ve got
a kansas city accent
but only when you talk
on the phone
i thought
maybe my father
is to blame
but i lived there
for two years
when i was ages
one and two
maybe being born there
forever gave me
a kansas city accent

she told me
you need to stop
calling me
or maybe i just heard that
in her voice


dad poem

i have a father
he is my dad
he grew up
in kansas city

he was born
on the same street
as charlie parker
but it was a long street

he had a friend
called tuna
tuna shot hoops
and always played quarterback
in the pick-up games
tuna was a success
with the ladies
when i met tuna
he was an older tuna
but he was still shooting hoops

the sound of my father’s voice
is midwestern
and did you know that he has a small notebook
in which he records
the amount of dollars
and cents
he spends
on a tank of gas
each time
1he fills
his car
he has filled
multiple notebooks
with this information do you have a father
who does this too?

one more thing

when i am trying
to sound personable i put on
the voice
of my father
and it always works





FANZINE: Perhaps an odd place to begin, but how do you support yourself?

Peter Sotos: I work. Not that I think it’s such a good idea, but I always have. I don’t have a career. I do think it’s important that the books have no great commercial requirements and that my work isn’t split between lesser and greater degrees of seriousness — especially in regards as to who releases the material.

FANZINE: Any writing rituals?

PS: People sometimes ask if I write when I’m drunk. I do, sometimes, but it tends to get thrown out pretty quickly when I read it back sober.

FANZINE: Do you ever catch yourself writing for your audience?

Peter Sotos: I’ve heard how wrong I am for as long as I’ve been alive, it seems. So I have to weigh a possible audience’s possible arguments against mine all the time. But I don’t pander.

FANZINE: Where do you see yourself fitting in terms of literary tradition?

PS: I know where others say they see me fitting in. But, honestly, I don’t think in those terms at all. I don’t see anyone else doing what I do. Which sounds terrible, I know. But I don’t feel much kinship with contemporary writers, especially those who create fiction. My interest is in completely the other direction. There are writers whose work I love, of course, and it’s nice when some people make certain smallish comparisons. Sade, Dworkin… But nothing in terms of an ongoing tradition.

FANZINE: You mention Andrea Dworkin often. People might find the two of you an odd pairing, but on some level I guess you seem to share a notion of the humanity of victims.

PS: I disagree. I think Andrea Dworkin cared very deeply about her words being more than that – just words. I’m certain that I do, as well. But we don’t see the frustrating impossibilities of that action in the same context or towards the same result.


Peter Sotos @ goodreads
Peter Sotos books @ eBay
Peter Sotos books @ Amazon
L’horreur en lettres de Peter Sotos
INGRATITUDE is out of print but


Nine-Banded Books

‘Through the revisitation of a kept file of newspaper clippings, Peter Sotos blends formative personal history with an exacting analysis of criminal and victim case reports to render a pornographically freighted study of sexual compulsion and desistance, restitution, and the perpetual churn of memory. “It’s so easy to think you’re worse than you are.”’ — N-BB




I Played Splendor With Mitski: Peter Sotos Ingratitude

Peter Sotos speaking at the Pompidou Centre (2017)

Peter Sotos Untitled (Tick)





‘As I’m climbing over the rocks, the poems of Michael Lally, this incomplete utopia, a rugged landscape of a book, it occurs to me that what Michael takes on is nothing less than the feat of being alive and the exploding and strewn nature of that exactly on its own terms (living in a body) while this writer keeps trotting out his own arrogance like a family joke, and deep humility is in there, too, humility is the gas station of so much of what Michael Lally does and is, poet and man. Lally is mostly a straight guy, but you may viscerally experience the embrace of another man in “Watching You Walk Away,” which was dedicated to Gregory Millard, one man who died collectively—of AIDS, so there’s an imputation here—of being a survivor of love, even being a man of a certain age or moment who knows that being a loving man and loving men now has both its glory and its price. …

‘This collected poems or collected poem is constructed of similar yet all different mostly brave moments. It’s a compendium of what one is possibly brave enough to do—to labor, to fail, to lounge, to love. Lally’s not fessing up, but he’s proud. This is undoubtedly the book of a proud man. Proud to a fault, and he’s the first to tell you that as well. I mentioned family before. Yet what one more likely feels throughout the four-hundred-odd pages of Another Way to Play is that you’re kind of in a relationship with this guy. Whether you’re male or female. Which is kind of octopussy, but stylistically Lally is a dancer, habitually reeling from form to form. It’s a broken book in the best sense. There’s no whole here, the self is never resolved, but what’s delivered, weltered in poem form, is a novelistic series of impressions. It’s a real thing and a changing thing. An aesthetic and a biographical one. Years ago I read in James Schuyler’s “Morning of the Poem” that Schuyler approved of Michael Lally because he looked you straight in the eye. Here we’ve got an extended Lally poem (“The Jimmy Schuyler Sonnets”) that tells us much the same thing—that “Jimmy knew what mattered.” The men’s mutual admiration, their like for one another has a special feeling, a leveling affect. They invite us into their intimacy. Their public “like.” Which makes me want to step out too and acknowledge that I’m discovering that I’m extremely influenced by Michael Lally and I hadn’t thought so much about that until I was dwelling in Another Way to Play. Because his affect occurs through so many different gestures. In the most existential way, his poem is an act.

‘I mean I know I tried it. Was it after him. Perhaps. I think I tried fucking myself while writing. Inserting a dildo and then writing an art review. I’ve read in Chris Kraus’s biography of her that Kathy Acker sometimes wrote naked. And I kind of remember Peter Schjeldahl telling me a long time ago that he wrote naked too. And Peter wrote long naked poems. So naked that he stopped writing poetry entirely. The trick is to manage to stay in. And this, Lally’s, was a way. Michael began his poem like that. Naked. Yet it wasn’t about it at all. It was another way to begin again. Which Lally is always doing. Here nakedness kind of invented the studio of the poem. Just matter of fact. Which is the constant position in the work. He’s a working-class man so it’s a chore. To be real. And to make that new.’ — Eileen Myles


Lally’s Alley
The crowd inside me: Michael Lally in conversation
On Michael Lally
Four Poems by Michael Lally
Buy ‘Another Way to Play’


Michael Lally Another Way to Play: Poems 1960-2017

‘From a ’60s-era verse letter to John Coltrane to a 2017 examination of Life After Trump, Another Way to Play collects more than a half century of engaged, accessible, and deeply felt poetry from a writer both iconoclastic and embedded in the American tradition. In the vein of William Carlos Williams and Frank O’Hara, Lally eschews formality in favor of a colloquial idiom that pops straight from the page into the reader’s synapses. This is the definitive collection of verse from a poet who has been around the world and back again: verse from the streets, from the the political arena, from Hollywood, from the depths of the underground, and from everywhere in between. Lally is not a poet of any one school or style, but a poet of his own inner promptings; whether casual, impassioned, or ironic, his words are unmistakably his own. Here is a poet who can hold two opposed ideas in mind simultaneously, and fuse them, with pathos and humor, into his own idiosyncratic verbal art. As Lally himself writes: “I suffered, I starved, and so did my kids, / I did what I did for poetry I thought /and I never sold out, and even when I did / nobody bought.”’ — Penguin



My Life

I ate everything they put in front of me
read everything they put before my eyes
shook my ass, cried over movie musicals
was a sissy and a thug, a punk and an
intellectual, a cocksucker and a mother
fucker, helped create two new people,
paid taxes, voted and served four years
and a few weeks in the United States Air
Force, was court martialed and tried
civilly, in jail and in college, kicked
out of college, boy scouts, altar boys
and one of the two gangs I belonged to,
I was suspended from grammar and high
schools, arrested at eleven the year I
had my first “real sex” with a woman
and with a boy, I waited nineteen years
to try it again with a male and was sorry
I waited so long, I waited two weeks to
try it again with a woman and was sorry
I waited so long, wrote, poetry and
fiction, political essays, leaflets and
reviews, I was a “jazz musician” and a
dope dealer, taught junior high for two
weeks, high school Upward Bound for two
years, college for four years, I got up
at 5 AM to unload trucks at Proctor and
Gamble to put myself through classes
at the University of Iowa, I washed
dishes and bussed tables, swept floors
and cleaned leaders and gutters, washed
windows and panhandled, handled a forty
foot ladder alone at thirteen, wrote
several novels not very good and none
published, published poems and stories
and articles and books of poems, was
reviewed, called “major,” compared to
“The Teen Queens,” mistaken for black,
for gay, for straight, for older, for
younger for bigger for better for richer
for poorer for stupider for smarter for
somebody else, fell in love with a black
woman at 18, kicked out of the family
for wanting to marry her at 20, I sucked
cock and got fucked and fucked and got
sucked, I was known for being a big
jerk off, a wise ass, for always getting
my ass kicked so bad neighborhood kids
would ask to see the marks, for running
for sheriff of Johnson County Iowa in 68
on the “Peace and Freedom” ticket and
pulling in several thousand votes, for
winning people to the cause with emotional
spontaneous speeches at rallies and on TV,
for being a regular guy, a romantic
idealist, a suicidal weatherman, a bomb
throwing anarchist, an SDS leader, a
communist, a class chauvinist, an
asexual politico, a boring socialist,
proletarian man, a horny androgyne,
a a boozer, a loser, a nigger
a junkie, a boozer, a loser, a nigger
lover, a black woman’s white man, a
race traitor, a greaser, a fast man
with my hands, a hood, a chickenshit,
a crazy head, an unmarked thoroughbred,
a courageous human being, a Catholic,
a fallen away Catholic, An Irish American
Democrat, a working class Irish American
writer from a family of cops, a skinny
jive time street philosopher, a power
head, an underground movie star, a
quiet shy guy, a genius, an innovator,
a duplicator, a faker, a good friend,
a fickle lover, an ass lover, a muff
diver, another pretty face, a lousy
athlete, a generous cat, an ambitious
young man, a very tough paddy, a macho
hippie, a faggot gangster, a faggot,
a big crazy queen, a straight man, a
strong man, a sissy, a shithead, a
borne wrecker, a reckless experimenter
with other peoples lives, a demagogue,
a fanatic, a cheap propagandizer, a
fantastic organizer, a natural born
leader, a naive upstart, an arrogant
jitterbug, a white nigger, an easy lay,
a pushover, a hard working husband,
a henpecked husband, the black sheep,
a crazy mixed up kid, a juvenile delinquent,
a misfit, a surrealist, an actualist,
an Iowa poet, a political poet, an open
field poet, a street poet, a bad poet,
a big mouth, a voice of the sixties,
petty poet, a gay poet, a clit kissing
tit sucking ass licking body objectifying
poet, a gigolo, a jerk, a poor boy, an
old man, an assman, unsteady, immature,
charismatic, over confident, over 30,
impetuous, a rock, a pawn, a tool, a
potato lover, a great teacher, loyal
friend, concerned citizen, a humanist,
the bosses son, Bambi’s old man, Lee’s
husband, Matthew’s ex-lover, Terry’s
partner, Slater’s main man, the bishop’s
favorite altar boy, the landlady’s pet,
the class clown, the baby of the family,
the neighborhood stranger, the hardest
working kid, with the rosiest cheeks, who
was an instigator, a trouble maker,
too smart for my own good, too soft,
too distant, too honest, too cold, too
tactless, uncommunicative, anal retentive,
self-sufficient, shameless, unsophisticated,
too butch, too skinny, too
white, too defensive, too hungry, apologetic, in-
decisive, unpredictable, I never hit a
woman or woke up gloomy, I’m a light
sleeper, an affectionate father, a bad
drinker, a city boy, paranoid, compulsive,
and a terrific body surfer, I love
the hipness in me I thought was black back
in the 50s, the vulnerability I took for
feminine in the 70s, I hate the poor kid
act I’ve pulled on strangers and friends
to start them out owing me, I learned to
cook and to sew, stopped chewing gum and
biting my nails, I was a weather observer,
a map maker, a printer’s devil, a
carpenter’s helper, a glazier, a locksmith,
editor, publisher, promoter and critic,
I stopped dancing at 15 and started again
at 30, math was my best subject, languages
my worst, I’ve been knocked out several
times but only one black eye and one
fractured thumb, I’ve totaled several
cars but I’m an ace driver especially
in cities, I haven’t had an accident since
I stopped drinking, knock on wood, I’m
extremely superstitious, don’t speak too
soon, I gave up cigarettes and coffee and
using the words chick, spade and asshole,
I’ve read Confucius, Buddha, Lao Tzu,
The Upanishads, The Bhagavad Gita, The
Koran, The Bible, The Prophet, Thus Spake
Zarathrusta, Marx, Trotsky, Stalin, Lenin,
Mao, Che, Hesse, Proust, Firestone, Fanon,
Castenada and Davis, I read all of Joyce
and all of Dostoevsky in translation
at least two times through on night shifts
in weather towers through 1961 and 62,
I love all of William Saroyan, Van
Morrison, Jane Bowles, Samuel Beckett,
Joe Brainard, and Bertold Brecht, I’m
finally getting to know and like some
“classical music,” I went to my first
ballet, opera, and concert this year and
loved all of it, took my first trip out
of the country and was glad to get back
although it was great, I love the USA and
many of the people in it, I’m afraid of
my own anger, and any kind of violence,
I’ve been the same weight since 1957 though
I have an enormous appetite, my hair’s
turning gray, I’ve had it cut three times
since 1966, I spit a lot and pick my nose
too much, I could buy new shoes, eat ice
cream, chicken or chocolate pudding anytime,
I’m afraid of dogs and hate zoos, I’m
known for my second winds especially
when dancing or eating, I used to think
of myself as a dreamer, I had a vision
at 9 that I’d die between 42 and 46,
the image was me doubling over clutching
my stomach, whenever I’m embarrassed I
see that in my head, some of my nicknames
have been Faggy, Rocky, Spider, Brutus,
Paddy Cat, Newark, Irish, and The Lal,
I’m a father, son, brother, cousin,
brother-in-law, uncle, record breaker,
war child, veteran, and nut about Lauren
Bacall, James Cagney, Robert Mitchum,
Bogie and Brando, “Last Tango” and “The
Conformist” are the favorite movies of
my adult life, I’ve fallen in love with
eyes, asses, thighs, wrists, lips, skin,
color, hair, style, movement, bodies,
auras, potential, accents, atmospheres,
clothes, imaginations, sophistication,
histories, families, couples, friends,
rooms full of people, parks, cities,
entire states, talked to trees since
1956 and the wind since 52, between 56
and 59 I had few friends and a “bad
reputation” which made it difficult
to get dates with “nice girls,” in 1960
and 61 I had more friends and several
lovers, I was at the SDS split in Chicago
in 1969 and didn’t like either side’s
position or tactics, I almost cried
when I heard John Coltrane had died,
and Ho Chi Minh, Babe Ruth, Jack
Kerouac, Eric Dolphy, Roberto Clemente,
Moose Conlon, Frankie Lyman, Fred
Hampton, Allende, Clifford Brown,
Richie Valens and Buddy Holly in that
plane crash, the four little girls
in that Alabama church, the students
at Orangeburg, the “weather people”
in the town house explosion which I
always figured was a set up, my uncle
Frank and my uncle John, my grandparents,
lots of people, I did cry when I thought
about the deaths of the Kent State and
Jackson State students, when I heard
Ralph Dickey had “taken his life” or
the first time I heard Jackson Browne
do his “Song for Adam” or when Marlon
Brando as Terry finds his brother Charley
(Rod Steiger) hanging dead on the fence
in “On the Waterfront” and before going
to get the murderers says something to
Eva Marie Saint like “And for god’s sake
don’t leave him here alone” or when he
talks to his dead wife in “Last Tango”
or finds Red Buttons and his wife
have committed suicide in “Sayonara”
I’ve cried a lot over movies especially
old ones on TV, I’ve never cried at a
play but I still haven’t seen many, the
only Broadway plays I’ve seen were “My
Fair Lady” and “Bye Bye Birdie,” I
watched my mother die, I’ve paid my dues,
been through the mill, come up from the
streets, done it my way, had that once
in a lifetime thing, had trouble with
my bowels ever since I can remember
then in 72 my body became more relaxed,
I’ve had the clap, crabs, scabies,
syphilis, venereal warts, and unidentified
infections in my cock, my ass, my throat,
all over my body, I’ve been terribly
sunburned and covered with scabs from
fights and accidents, I only had stitches
once at 4 when I had my appendix out,
I’ve been earning money since I was 10,
supporting myself since 13, others since
22, I got “unemployment” once, been
fired several times, never paid to
get laid, I lost money gambling but
quit after I had to give up my high
school ring in a poker game at the Dixie
Hotel in Greenville South Carolina in
1962 waiting for my friend Willy Dorton
to come out from the room where he was
proposing marriage to his favorite
whore who always turned him down after
they lucked and she got most of his
paycheck from him, some of my best
friends were hookers and strippers,
postal clerks and shills, supermarket
managers and factory workers, heavy
revvies and punks, actresses and junkies,
who were and are the most difficult
of friends, art dealers and artists,
musicians and hustlers, dykes and critics,
shit workers and liberals, gringos and fags,
and honkies and bastards, queer and old
and divorced and straight and Italian
and big deals and dipshits, I know at least
six people who think they turned me on
to dope for the first time in 1960 in
New York City, in 1962 in Rantoul Illinois,
in 1964 in Spokane Washington, in 1966 and
67 in Iowa City, in 1969 in Washington
DC, I once was high on opium and didn’t
want to come back, I was a recreational
therapist at Overbrook Hospital in Essex
County New Jersey in 1966 where James Moody
wrote “Last Train From Overbrook” before
he was discharged, in 1960 I had a tremendous
crush on Nina Simone, I always wanted to
name a child Thelonious, I was sure
I was an orphan at 10, I wished I was
an orphan at 18, my father’s alive so
I’m still not an orphan at 32, I know
a lot of orphans, I once had an
orphan for a lover, I suppose my kids
could be orphans some day, I was never
good at planning the future for more
than a couple of days, friends have
told me I always do things the hard way,
my family’s response to tough times or
catastrophes was usually humor, I’m
grateful to them for giving me that,
I find cynics boring although there’s
a lot to cynic in me, I find
depression dull, mine or anyone else’s,
I’m no good at small talk, I feel
an undercurrent of violent tension
in most “straight” bars and on late
night city streets that intimidates
me, I find jealousy useless and
depressing, I know people who find
jealousy exciting and even rewarding,
something to live for, I’d love to
make love all the ways I haven’t yet
or haven’t thought of yet, with all
the people I haven’t yet or haven’t met
yet, although sometimes I could care
less about sex, I write everyday
and listen to music everyday and cant
imagine living without either,
libraries and hospitals intimidate me,
being around people who seem to feel
comfortable anywhere used to make me
feel insecure, I’m getting over that,
I used to feel obliged to apologize
for or defend people whose goals I
shared even though I might not like
them or their tactics, I’m getting
over that too, I’ve learned to love
or at least appreciate a lot of things
I used to despise or ignore, I’ve had
trouble getting it up and trouble
keeping it down, I’m tired of a lot
of things but curious about more, I’m
tired of this but that’s history now.


MICHAEL LALLY: I WANT TO CALL IT POEMS a documentary directed by Rachel E. Diken

Michael Lally reads Love Never Dies

Michael Lally reads Two Post-Brain-Operation Observations




p.s. Hey. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. When I saw “Performance’ back in the day, I thought it was silly, trippy, cool in parts, dumb in others. When I watched it again years later, I thought the same thing. I like it, but its mystique doesn’t translate to me, and I don’t get the reverence around it. The NY Times won’t let me in, but I’ll try to figure out what you were recommending. Ezra Miller seems like a cool guy, but I wish he’d quit giving uninteresting performances in uninteresting blockbuster movies because that seems like all he’s been doing for the past five or six years. I corresponded with him once a few years ago. He sent me a weird gif made by his boyfriend of the time. ** Misanthrope, The great influencers are rarely known or acknowledged widely, maybe because the great influencers are so often ‘artists’ artists’ as they say. I’ve never played a PS4. Oh, wait, at my nephew’s house once or twice, but that was just me watching him play, so, no, never. I can be a slob too, bud. You should see my desk. You do not look a day over 47 and in fact years younger. Those people are tripping. ** Steve Erickson, Naturally Marker is known for a lot more than his two international ‘hits’ over here. I am feeling better if not quite perfect yet, thank you. There’s no hard deadline on when the new, hopefully near-final draft of the TV script needs to be submitted. We’ve given ourselves a deadline of by Xmas, which I think we will meet quite easily. Two pieces by you of considerable interest. I look forward. Everyone, Here’s an essay Steve wrote about classic rock and recent reissues/archival releases (‘The White Album’, ‘Blood on the Tracks’, ‘Venezuela 70 Volume 2’, and here’s his interview with Pascal Greggory. ** GulfofKeaton, Ha. Hi. Dude, I don’t need to remind you to enjoy the fuck out of all that. ** Bill, Ah, you’re out east. Well, we here in the east call it the west. Well, we get called the west by those in the true east, I guess. Anyway, sounds fun. How long are you there? Are you performing or anything? My cold is retreating into … wherever colds crawl off to die. ** H, Hi. Oh, thanks, I’m feeling better. Just a stupid cold. It’s fading. ** James Nulick, Hi, James. I’m nearly better, thank you. Any hour now. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi. Yeah, that Fischer book is simultaneously too intimidatingly huge to consider starting and too compelling of a prospect not to. What to do. ** Corey Heiferman, Hey. Oh, I write and talk like that all the time, don’t I? Maybe I only talk like that all the time, and my cold erased the barrier. I am way into that proposal. I have thought of archiving the blog. NYU, which has my general archives, offered, but I’m on shitty terms with the head guy there, so I’m not sure. But, yeah, I should look into that. Thank you re: my recovery. I believe I’m all but recovered. I believe. ** Right. There are four books I read, loved, and am recommending. They include a fantastic book up top by the blog’s very own longtime gang members Thomas ‘Moronic’ Moore and Steven Purtill. Please consider the books one and all, then do whatever the right thing is for you. See you tomorrow.


  1. I remember Michael Lally. (Big sigh)

    I’ve said pretty much all I’ve had to say about “performance” Maybe if you’d met Cammell and Frank Mazzola as I did you’d feel differently. they’re both gone now.

    The NYT link was to a piece about Trump and the way his residency (not a Presidency) has bolstered anti-Semitism

  2. Great recommendations in today’s blog! I love “Performance,” and I’m one of those fellows who buy every book on that film. I think my interest for “Performance” is mostly due to my love for the Rolling Stones at that moment and time, but also fascinated with London Gangster culture and how it mixed with the Underground scene. And of course the visual aspect of the film as well. The Francis Bacon references, the Kenneth Anger touch, and so forth. Meanwhile, I need to check the books out that you so kind to show and expose. love, tosh

  3. Yeah, I can recommend the Thomas Moore/Steven Purtill book, read it last month, very enjoyable (like most of the Amphetamine Sulphate books). Nice to see Sotos is still putting books out, even though I gave up on him awhile ago (the last solo book of his I read was PREDICATE in 2005… though I did read the book he did for Kiddiepunk as well, though I really only got it more for Michael’s artwork than anything else).

    Some recent books I’ve read were written by people from these parts, like Jeff Jackson’s DESTROY ALL MONSTERS and Kyler James’ MERCURY’S CHOICE (both highly recommended). Recently I also finished reading THE LAST DARK, the 10th (and final) volume of Stephen R. Donaldson’s epic Thomas Covenant fantasy series.

    Oh, I signed the contract for HARLEM SMOKE last week. One of the things noted on the contract was that it would be published no later than Jan. 31st, 2019, so I guess now the January release date is set in stone. I might have to start working on a Day for it for this blog (if you wouldn’t mind hosting such a thing)? I’d try to be a bit more terse than I usually am, ha ha.

  4. hey deedee! i just ordered my copy of small talk at the clinic, very happy about it. so um a week and a half ago the hospital called and offered me surgery on friday just past and i said yes and now i’ve had my surgery! pretty crazy! it went really well apparently, i’ve been home since saturday and i didnt have to have the drains they put in the wounds for more than a day which is great. don’t have that much pain, but i’m walking around like a t-rex cause i can’t straighten my back without too much pain haha. now i can’t carry more than 2kg at a time or lift my arms over my head for 4-6 weeks and 6 weeks is literally the rest of 2018! i’m gonna die of boredom and forced inactivity like, fuck. on wednesday i have a follow-up appt so i maybe get to see the results and i’ll be allowed to shower after thank god. feeling a little crazy thinking about the time ahead and how that’s gonna go, but i’m happy:)

    you and zac in oslo in march sounds amaaaaazing!!! let me know when the deal is sealed so i can start to look forward to it for real. it sounds perfect to me! i’ll be all healed and huggable by then. how are you? tell me all about it.

    biggest love, k

    • Hi Kier, that’s fantastic news about the surprise surgery…. sure you’ll be healed in the blink of an eye.

      Your copy of the Yuck ‘n Yum Compendium was sent to Norway this morning so it will hopefully be with you before too long.

  5. I know Ezra has to make a living, but I agree with you: he gives interviews saying “I’m a radical polyamorous queer” while promoting his roles in a string of boring Hollywood films. I guess it’s progress that he can get cast in the latter while being the former (although we’ll see if this continues when he’s no longer so young and cute.)

    I took BURNING DOWN THE HAUS, the recent book about the East German punk scene’s role in bringing down that country’s communist government, out of the library today, as well as Saul Austerlitz’s book about Altamont (which goes into a lot of detail about Meredith Hunter and his family, and what his death signified about racism in the counterculture and rock music at the time). I’m going to my parents’ house tomorrow, and I hope to do a lot of reading and DVD-watching (Bruno Dumont’s JEANETTE, James Ivory’s SAVAGES, Juzo Itami’s TAMPOPO, plus a link of David Byrne’s TRUE STORIES in preparation for interviewing him by E-mail about the film).

    Do you know the Australian punk band the Primitive Calculators? I praised them on Facebook today after hearing their self-titled live album, recorded in 1979. for the first time, but if they were from New York or London instead of Melbourne and released more than one single and a few compilation tracks during their original incarnation, they would be a lot more widely known (speaking of rock music canons.)

  6. I have a couple of these, the TM/SP Small Talk at the Clinic book and the Sotos too. I’m gonna dip a little further into the Mark Fisher anthology before taking both on.

    Been tackling my short story homework this weekend and I’m finding it something of a struggle. I will break its back though, I’m determined. I have to write about a place that I’ve never been to and describe the location using all 5 senses. I’ve switched to the original photo I was given in last week’s class which was the Day of the Dead festival in Mexico, kind of a sensory overload that should be fun to write about I imagine.

  7. Hi!!

    Oh no! I hope you’re better by now! Are you? I’m almost entirely healed!!
    The TV script is coming along nicely, then! Just one more episode to go, right? And what happens when you’re finished with the initial drafts?

    Looks like my restlessness came from a creative source or at least burying myself in SCAB-work sated it quite nicely. I always say this but I think the next issue (coming in March) will be the ultimate one yet. So I spent a lot of time reading and editing submissions and writing e-mails to writers/artists and I also posted some new material on my SCAB-inspiration blog which I’ve been ignoring for months now.
    I finished the new season of American Horror Story too which was only worth watching because of one character, the teenage Antichrist, haha, played (quite fucking brilliantly) by Cody Fern. Here he is (if you don’t already know him), I think you’ll know exactly what I see in him.:3
    So, that was pretty much my weekend and today, I met a friend after work which was a much-needed change from my usual routine.

    How was your weekend? And Monday.
    I hope you’re rapidly coming out of your cold if you’re not out of it already! Have a great, great week, Dennis!!

    Oh, and today’s books! Yes, yes and YES!

  8. great timing because i just bought some thomas books. p.s. d, have u read the other pieces in KIDDIEPUNK COLLECTED 2011-2015? It’s a bit out of my price range atm but the Moore / Sotos / Cooper that’s in it has me …. tempted.

    Roeg’s performance is flawed and I always felt like Nicolas r struggled to unlock the mechanism that made him talented, really. I love Bad Timing thiugh.

  9. Noted. Digging it the most. Computer lost. Maybe 2 stories under the tree this year. Walmart has large inflatable trees out front. PM sneaking around the popular unc. found my doppelgänger I want to attack him he’s obviously a polished version also met this guy who delights me simply because he unlike almost all people. xoxo

  10. Dennis, Good stuff here today. Lally’s line breaks are fucking genius in that poem. And a kudos to my friend Thomas Moore, that star!

    My desk is a mess too. Yikes. 😛

    I thought I was getting the flu today. But maybe it’s a bit of a cold. Or maybe it’s this mesh in my stomach that sometimes makes me ill. It’s not the flu, I’m sure. My temp is 98.1, so no fever, though I’m chilled as fuck and it’s not really that cold here. Hmm. Really, I think I was just tired as fuck. I’ll rectify that tonight. Plus, I’m really looking forward to the 4-day weekend I’m getting this weekend for Thanksgiving. I took Friday off.

    Thank you, Dennis. This is funny and sad: so I’ve told a few friends/co-workers about these recent “You look old as fuck” experiences of mine. I find them funny. What’s really funny and sad is that nobody says, like you did, “You don’t look that old.” They just kind of nod and say, “Well, smoking really ages a person.” I’m serious. What the fuck?

    Of course, I do ultimately find it all very funny, and no, I wasn’t at all fishing for “You don’t look that old” or anything like that. But still…hahahaha, shit, I must look like George Burns right before he died. 😛

    But onwards and upwards. I still feel 12 inside.

    Did you see Franzen’s 10 Rules for Writers? The responses, many from writers themselves, are pretty fucking funny.

  11. Thomas and Steven, congratulations on the new book!

    Good to hear your cold is on its way out, Dennis.

    All these directions are relative, ha. I keep telling people I’m out east to enjoy the fresh air. Am hanging with my sister over the holiday, catching an event or three on the way. Caught a nice music and dance performance in Brooklyn last night, good catching up with old friends a bit.


  12. Thanks Sypha! Dennis, the post office told me that your package arrived in France on Saturday. So hopefully you’ll get it by today. I’ve been trying not to freak out, but my publisher said that he’s never had so many orders at once for a book on Amazon – so they’ve been sold out, which accounts for the huge delay posted on there. As friends have said, it’s a really good problem to have – so many orders, but not enough books! It just drives me crazy, but hopefully will be fixed soon. There’s a secret way you can speak to Amazon if you search in there hard enough, and they told me today that a large shipment is on the way – and hopefully, will be back in stock soon. Enough to drive a writer totally mad! (mad as in angry and mad as in crazy). Hope you enjoy when you get it!

  13. Thanks so much for highlighting mine and Steven’s book. What’s been happening with you, Dennis?

  14. Wow the “Small Talk at the Clinic” photos really are what memories look like. The normally even-keeled Brad Listi went boycrazy over Grantham in a podcast interview:


    “Ingratitude” reminded me of the Raleigh Slammer, an entire newspaper devoted to mugshots that I was horrified yet I admit also exhilarated to come across. A quick search found that it’s either on the decline or no more:


    Grantham and Lally read much better for me if I consider the writing as completely perhaps even cynically contrived to reflect a zeitgeist rather than earnestly expressing what it’s like to be bathed in it.

    I was stumbling around online in a vaguely work-related string of searches yesterday while I was helping a coworker write a pattern recognition test, and found out about route ciphers, a code used by the Union in the American Civil War that scrambles military dispatches into modern poetry. Seemed more out of a Pynchon novel than real history but maybe they’re not so different after all:


    You’re reminding me I’m about due to put in a big English book order. Perhaps on Black Friday, which seems to be everywhere now. It’s surprisingly hard not to look at my literary activities in English and Hebrew as engaged in some sort of zero-sum competition for my time and affection. Maybe it’s just fun sometimes to look at it that way.

  15. Been meaning to get Thomas Moore’s new one. ‘In Their Arms’ is one of the best books I read in the past couple of years – actually so is ‘A Certain Kind of Light’ – but I got to ‘In Their Arms’ first.

  16. BTW Primitive Calculators are ace. I live in Melbourne. They’re still playing and recording:


    Hey DC – check this out – I was pretty rapt to read this – very humbling – https://thebirdking.com/2018/11/15/gif-as-effigy-molten-centre-the-fiction-of-shane-jesse-christmass/

  17. d-

    ignore my facebook comment. all is apparently well here.

    how’s tricks? things are actually going well on my end. i’m moving to big bear on sunday. very excited.

    that thou track is dope. i am enjoying that album and the latest one by the body quite a bit.

    had no idea sotos had a new book out. will have to track that down. i’ve been trying to find a copy of ANSWER me!, as feral house (i think) recently reprinted it.

    hope all is well in yr world. oh! is PGL gonna see a physical release anytime soon?

    talk soon. love.


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