The blog of author Dennis Cooper

5 books I read recently & loved: Mike Corrao Rituals Performed in the Absence on Ganymede, Ursula Andkjær Olsen Outgoing Vessel, Big Bruiser Dope Boy Something Gross, Susana Thénon Ova Completa, Rikki Ducornet Trafik

Matt Lee: Reading Ganymede, I often felt this sensation that the book had a will of its own, like I was handling an autonomous organism, as you mentioned. A few pages in, it immediately struck me as a sister to Gut Text, albeit more sinister than its older sibling. Your writing tends to fixate on the relationship between body and text—“This event hurts you. As if your biology had been sutured to the text.” Your depictions of flesh and bone being manipulated are terrifically vivid, oscillating between the clinical and surreal. There’s a tangible sense of physicality in reading your books. What draws you to exploring the corporeal? What makes a text come alive for you, whether your own work or someone else’s?

Mike Corrao: I view the corporeal as something uncomfortably familiar to us. Every bodily ailment and injury is something we can imagine manifesting in our own body. I think the horror or viscerality of the book comes from the way that, no matter how surreal, you can project these events occurring across your own anatomy. It gives the text power. The book knows that it can make you react / squirm / uncomfortable. It knows that it has influence over you. And I think that makes it feel more alive than any kindness would.

Your label of the autonomous organism is great. I think it very much hits what I’m getting at. The aliveness of a text in part comes from its ability to respond to you / interact with you. It’s difficult to make something narrative feel alive, because it has a set path. There’s the potential for a reader to predict upcoming events. But when the text is an entity the reader isn’t trying to figure out what will happen. They’re trying to read expressions and gestures. It’s more likened to analyzing someone’s posture than to recognizing tropes / trajectories.

I think that there’s a certain ludological element here as well. Drawing from the interactivity of video games. A large part of the process is trying to create a means for the user to interact with the text. At times, this happens in Ganymede with pages that require the reader to turn the book ninety degrees, or text in the gutter that tempts them to pull the book apart. In other projects I’ve tried including dice rolls and pages that asked to be cut or torn. I think rooting the book in our world does a lot in making it feel like a living thing.


Mike Corrao Site
Mike Corrao @ Twitter
Podcast: Rejoinder: Mike Corrao – Rituals Performed in the Absence of Ganymede
“If He Vomits Then I Will Too”: an Interview with Mike Corrao
Buy ‘Rituals Performed in the Absence on Ganymede’


Mike Corrao Rituals Performed in the Absence on Ganymede
11:11 Press

‘To properly orientate oneself before entering Rituals Performed in the Absence on Ganymede, one must first think about the rituals suggested in the title as a physical act. Of course, all books require a collaboration between the text and the reader’s imagination, but the interaction here needs to be reframed as an act between two living organisms rather than one holding the other in its hand. Mike Corrao has created a text that bubbles from the page and wraps itself around the reader. Upon peeling it from their skin, the paragraphs will continue to grow and morph, easily outgrowing and crushing the microscope that it has been placed under. Corrao’s writing constantly mutates, mimics, and takes the form of other texts, websites and PDFs that it might have encountered, all the while revealing its true form – the concrete poem of a beast driving this chaos. All hail its dizzying and glorious reign of confusion!’ — Thomas Moore



New Body-Ware

GUT TEXT reading GUT TEXT by Mike Corrao




Morten Høi Jensen: You’ve studied musicology and worked as a music critic for many years. How has this influenced your poetry?

Ursula Andkjær Olsen: The music I know is the classical, European tradition which is fantastic and in some ways also kind of monstrous. If you think of a person singing a song as a kind of basic musical expression and then think of all the imaginative and “technological” power of the harmonic, rhythmical, and instrumental structures involved in a two-hour-long Bruckner Symphony played by more than a hundred people—you get the monstrosity. It takes a lot of abstraction and construction, a lot of math-like structural thinking, to go from this one person singing to the symphony. In that sense music is doubly rooted. It is related to both mathematical, even cosmic, systems and to the human voice—the most distant and the most intimate. I feel very connected to this double inheritance. Beyond that I think my whole way of thinking about literary form is something I’ve taken from music. I “compose” my books, work with sentences as if they were motifs, turn them and weigh them, repeat them, vary them, and often several voices emerge.

MHJ: I wonder if you could say something more about the structural choices—split lines, one-sentence poems, equations/equal signs, the role of italics, the all-capped words. You made up words too.

UAO: Since the book is an organ, a heart, it has a network-like structure in which every cell (every poem but also in the extreme: every word) is supposed to be connected with every other cell/poem/word. This is part of what I think of as the music-like structure of the book, but also what makes it a network. Musical form is maybe more than any other art form network-based because of its level of abstraction, of not referring to an outer world. The lines in italics are like the canal system of the book. The equations maybe also. The all-capped words might be seen as signals in the blood stream. I also think of the language and the structures in general as having a kind of clinical harshness to them. I wanted to make the feeling of the cuts—for instance the line breaks and the very short poems—all the more brutal. A biblical-clinical ambivalence.


Ursula Andkjær Olsen Site
Ursula Andkjær Olsen @ Action Books
Cellular Portals
Ursula Andkjær Olsen @ Poem Hunter
Buy ‘Outgoing Vessel’


Ursula Andkjær Olsen Outgoing Vessel
Action Books

‘Danish poet Ursula Andkjær Olsen’s compelling work travels through dark chambers of desire, power, and creation, conjuring up a feminist space where culture and nature wage war with one another, where psychology and anatomy merge to create a uniquely modern mytho-poetics. Katrine Øgaard Jensen’s masterful translation has a strong rhythm all its own, and captures the book’s jarring quality in a remarkably smooth rendering. By the end of this insidious text, the reader is just as “namedrunk” as the book’s enigmatic lyrical subject, and discovers that their own “heartspace,” too, has been torn open, dissected, and beautifully recreated.’ — 2018 National Translation Award judges’ statement

‘Like a supercollider smashing together exotic subatomic particles just to see what happens, Olsen accelerates language to the very limits, detonating it to watch what knowledge comes forth from ecstasy.’ — The Believer


so many dead
their eyeballs are filling this vessel


the earth is a slow fire

re: counting the dead:

I have a strategy in place



longing moves in all directions
like a spherical light scattered around me
I brush my hair in its circle

to be more concise:
human longing scatters like a
BIG BANG around this

around the human
out in the wet grass

it’s this BIG BANG that must be returned in its original condition,
an infinitely solid sphere;
must be moulded into a hard, smooth material
and placed in the hole below the heart

where it must remain



I have tied the knot with a
it’s taken 1,000 years inside me
I have wrung myself to create
the necessary loop

wrungness caused by external violence
wrungness caused by the exercise of violence
wrungness caused by flight
wrungness caused by care

It’s all there, in the loop created
when I lay my head in my lap

and close the gate



to have marble skin
not as an invitation
but as a bulwark
the strongest there is
the most comfortable
the sacrosanctest




I’m thinking of training my body
until it becomes a rock
that is my objective
the most precise expression of it

it’s better to cut a new one,
to cut anew, and hew from it
a perfect orb
any shape I want
hew from it a
rectangle, cube, almond, moon
AND THEN move in
once it’s done



Ursula Andkjær Olsen: Poetry of Tentacles and Threads




Nathaniel Kennon Perkins: Do you expect your readers to “understand” your work? Does that matter?

Big Bruiser Dope Boy: I don’t know what there is to understand in my work. The words are there and the reader reads the words and they have that experience. If a reader feels they understand my work, or understands something from my work, then that is their understanding that they have. People are trained to be shallow consumers of simple, entertainment-oriented art. They want to understand. They want there to be a purpose, a point, a meaning, and become frustrated and feel as if their time is being wasted when they can’t find one, dissatisfied with a lack of distraction.

NKP: Tell me about the history and vision of Gay Death Trance.

BBDB: I wanted to start a website that looks good to me and publish writing on it that I like. Giacomo Pope, the guy who created Neutral Spaces, helped me design it and taught me how to do the basic HTML necessary to add work. There will be t-shirts soon, courtesy of Steve Anwyll.

NKP: What living poets, early in their careers, do you admire and recommend people read?

BBDB: I don’t admire or recommend people read living poets with careers.


Gay Death Trance
69 Remakes
Big Bruiser Dope Boy @ goodreads
“Walking Through”
Buy ‘Something Gross’


Big Bruiser Dope Boy Something Gross
Apocalypse Party

‘This genre-defying account (novel? narrative poem?) of the troubled love of a young man for an emotionally stunted older one in the bars and apartments of megalopolitan Denver is written with such a spooking purity of line and with such an audaciously stark, grave wisdom that it already feels like a classic of its kind. Big Bruiser Dope Boy’s undecorated, indecorous sentences cut right through you and into the soul you might not have even known you still had. Something Gross is his most triumphant book yet. You are sure to wish you had written it.’ –– Garielle Lutz


When my mother drove out to celebrate my finishing school, four years after she retired, she got lost forty-five minutes outside town

She could only describe her immediate surroundings, and not very well

“I’m by a . . . uh . . . um . . . a biiiig uh-place—there’s a uhhh—siiiign”

My upstairs roommate’s boyfriend, who grew up in the area, deduced that she was parked at a school he knew of

He was right, we found her

She was standing outside her car, looking exhausted and confused

Beautiful gray hair hovering and swirling in high plains gusts

“I’m gonna drive, mom”

“I can drive”

“Yeah I know, but you’ve been driving all day so I’ll drive”


Peaches and I took her to a show at a dinner theater

A show about Patsy Cline, one of her favorites

Sitting across from a mother, father, and a clearly gay tweenage boy

All wearing Disney attire

This family said they had been to the parks, both land and world, over a dozen times

whiteI’m crazy, crazy for feeling so lonely

Driving back, my mother straddled two lanes in the dark, and I pointed it out to her

It was night, she said, and old people had a hard time driving at night

Fair enough

Peaches and I were broken up and trying to show her a good time

She was loudly singing fragments of songs


A few days before Peaches broke up with me, I was FaceTiming with my mother

Telling her our plans to move to New Orleans together

She was so happy, she was crying

Telling her that he broke up with me was intensely painful

I wanted her to feel like I was going to be okay in life

And now I could not give her that, because I was not sure if I would be okay in life


My mother gave me my late grandfather’s watch as a graduation gift

We both cried when she gave it to me

I never ended up completing my degree, letting my I/Fs expire over the summer

I did not take my academic advisor’s condescending advice and “use the energy” of my breakup

I did not graduate, but I finished school

I was finished with it

I knew I was the best writer in the program at the time (which was not saying much) and probably one of the best writers to ever go through that academy of mainly boarding school brats


Naropa University

Founded by an alcoholic, drug-addicted, womanizing cult leader and his lost, beatnik/hippie devotees

Chögyam Trungpa

And a pedophilic poet

Allen Ginsberg (look up the essay he wrote about becoming a NAMBLA member, or just look at a picture of his face)

A flea clinging to the silver nuthairs of Walt Whitman

Bob Dylan’s coattail jockey

He wrote one, maybe two good poems in his entire life

“Howl” is not even that good

“Kaddish”? I would rather get deepthroated by a daikon radish

Howl-about you go fuck yourself?

He Kad-dish it out, but he cannot take it

Oh, and while I am at it, suck my dick, Elf Boots

You know who you are

You pompous, vest-wearing douche

Your reading voice is repellant

You have published one book

I have published two, and I am your teenage son’s age younger than you

I am writing my third right now

They are all better than yours

I got your “outrider lineage” right here, pal (cups genitals)

I hope your school attains nirvana (goes bankrupt)

I am never making another loan payment

Broke for life, son

My human karma explodes hell into heaven, drags clawing and yelping the devils of delusion back into the reality of God’s heart where they were all along

Some people call me Big Bruiser Dope Boy, others call me Ben

You can call me dad

It is nice to meet you

You are late


I am playing

Nobody is good at writing


Big Bruiser Dope Boy At the Inkwell

Sam Pink / Big Bruiser Dope Boy / Samuel Robertson MOON PALACE BOOKS




‘Susana Thénon (Buenos Aires, 1935-1991) was an Argentine avant-garde poet, translator, and artistic photographer. The daughter of the psychiatrist Jorge Thénon, she was a member of Argentina’s Generación del ’60. Although she was a contemporary of Juana Bignozzi and Alejandra Pizarnik, Thenon was not part of any literary group. She affiliated within the marginal construction that works in her poetry, without adhering to any reigning movement.

‘Her relationship with other poets of her generation was minimal, with the exceptions of Maria Negroni, who later became one of the compilers in Thenon’s posthumous books (La Morada Impossible I and II) and the aforementioned Pizarnik with which she frequented, and along with that published in the literary journal Agua Viva (1960), which was perhaps one of the few signs of her openness to the poetic environment. A gap in her publications occurred between 1970 and 1982 when she was actively engaged in photography, although she continued to write during that period. Thenon also wrote some essays.’ — collaged


Susana Thénon @ Wikipedia
Susana Thénon @ Ugly Duckling Presse
Two Poems by Susana Thénon
ST @ The PIP Blog
Buy ‘Ova Completa’


Susana Thénon Ova Completa
Ugly Duckling Presse

‘Susana Thénon (1935–1991) is a key poet of the ’60s generation in Argentina. In OVA COMPLETA, her final, most radical collection, Thénon’s poetics expands to incorporate all it touches—classical and popular culture, lyrics to songs and vulgarities, incoherence and musicality—embodying humor and terror while writing obliquely of femicide, Argentina’s last dictatorship, the Malvinas / Falklands war, the heritage of colonialism. Or, as Thénon writes, “me on earth; me with the others; me ignorant, rude, all mixed in Latin, Greek, shit, noodles, culture and barbarism…” OVA COMPLETA is a collection full of stylistic innovation, language play, dark humor, and socio-political insight, now available to English-language readers for the first time.’ — udp



god help us or god don’t help us
or god half help us
or he makes us believe that he’ll help us
and later sends word that he’s busy
or he helps us obliquely
with a pious “help yourself”
or cradles us in his arms singing softly that we’ll pay for it
if we don’t go to sleep immediately
or whispers to us that here we are today and oh tomorrow too
or tells us the story of the cheek
and the one about the neighbor and the one about the leper
and the one about the little lunatic and the one about the mute who talked
or he puts in his headphones
or shakes us violently roaring that we’ll pay for it
if we wake up immediately
or gives us the tree test
or takes us to the zoo to see
how we look at ourselves
or points out an old train on a ghost of a bridge
propped up by posters for disposable diapers

god help us or not or halfway
or haltingly

god us
god what
or more or less
or neither



who’ve read Dante in folio
you let yourself drift
through those little drawings
so-called illuminated miniatures
and you swallowed it all
from ay
to bi

but it’s a lie

that hellish bin of complications is pure rubbish
made on purpose to make you waste time
calculating in which circle
the bones of your soul
will end up

and you know something?
this famous inferno
has an admirable simplicity
it’s not for nothing, the master’s cunning

you get there and they tell you

you’re free
go ahead and do as you like



Y Vos También

there’s saccharine here
the flock of albatross
or what do I know
I mean about albatross
about albatrosdollars
I never saw a bird pishing that’s not saying much
the canadians pish even if you don’t see it
and the fish
the fish pish the sea
you’re a poet, no?
or Sappho hecho en Shitland
don’t you see she’s a woman?
come on woman
and if you don’t get the chance to talk to God
why ask him if I ever
I’ll tell you honestly
in fact
at some time or other I’ve stopped adoring you
but English is more practical
you make plans all over
in other words in the pudenda
do it———–don’t
and even if you pronounce it poorly
they’ll still understand you
do it————don’t
or express yourself with gestures
if you’ve seen how you do it
how you learn to do it
how you don’t get used to
how you make do how you want
it how you


Ova Completa Book Launch and Reading with Rebekah Smith, Silvina López Medin, and Asiya Wadud

Biografías de la literatura: Susana Thénon




George Salis: You have a novella forthcoming from Coffee House Press titled Trafik. What can you tell us about it?

Rikki Ducornet: Trafik was written in warp drive and provides a wild ride through the galaxies with Mic, a robot with a passion for Al Pacino and Al’s plumbing, and Quiver, an astronaut in love with a virtual redhead she glimpses when running each morning in a virtuality called The Lights.

GS: I would be remiss if I didn’t mention an interesting factoid. This comes from Wikipedia and I was wondering if you can shine some light on its veracity or lack thereof because, as you can see, some citations are needed: “Ducornet is the subject of the Steely Dan song “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.” Steely Dan singer Donald Fagen had met her while both were attending Bard College. Ducornet says they met at a college party, and even though she was both pregnant and married at the time, he gave her his number.[citation needed] Ducornet was intrigued by Fagen and was tempted to call him, but she decided against it.” Additionally, the lyrics of the song seem quite problematic, particularly these lines: “You tell yourself you’re not my kind / But you don’t even know your mind”. Is this something that has bothered you, particularly because you can’t reply in defense?

RD: We met in the coffee shop. Why the heck would he have known I was pregnant? I had been going to listen to the music at the Red Barn; it was phenomenal. He gave me his number, I lost it, but! whenever I walk into a sushi restaurant or an airport and hear it, I think of it as a koan, and I think he was right. At the time I did not “know [my] mind”!

GS: Lastly, you’ve talked about a flattening of the arts, of culture, and more. Has it gotten flatter since or are you beginning to see some formations of dimensions? Is the future bleak and bleached or is there something that can be done to counteract the flattening, to give it color and depth?

RD: My apologies! I am answering your questions after too many months, and so much has happened. Answering in the time of COVID-19. The flattening is palpable in a country suffocating beneath the knee of a madman who is at war with everything alive. But we are also seeing an extraordinary awakening, the realization that we must reconsider everything, that we have lost our way, lost it long ago, and that there is very little time to come together as one people, to salvage what we can, to learn to embrace the other, to cherish the world’s children, the creatures, the creative thinkers, and save our one very small planet, a planet unlike any other. I fear we cannot animate a graveyard; that we have no choice but to find a new way of being—and find it right away!—inspired and inspirited by loving kindness and rooted in a fearless looking into ourselves. As Bachelard said, “Poetic revery, unlike somnolent revery, never falls asleep.”


Rikki Ducornet Site
A Conversation with Rikki Ducornet By Sinda Gregory and Larry McCaffery
Rikki Ducornet @ Conjunctions
Rikki Ducornet @ goodreads
Preorder ‘Trafik’


Rikki Ducornet Trafik
Coffeehouse Press

‘Quiver, a mostly-human astronaut, takes refuge from the monotony of harvesting minerals on remote asteroids by running through a virtual reality called the Lights, chasing visions of an elusive red-haired beauty. Her high-strung robot partner, Mic, pilots their Wobble and entertains himself by surfing the records of the obliterated planet Earth stored on his Swift Wheel for Al Pacino trivia, recipes for reconstituted sushi, and high fashion trends. But when an accident destroys their cargo, Quiver and Mic go rogue, setting off on a madcap journey through outer space toward an idyllic destination: the planet Trafik.’ — Coffeehouse Press

‘Surrealism meets space opera in Trafik, Rikki Ducornet’s startlingly original look at a post-human and non-human pairing wandering through space while obsessed with the scattered fragments of a world they never knew. At once funny and absurd, Trafik peers at our own time through the lens of the future to reveal what we should regret losing and what would be better gone.’ — Brian Evenson


Gracefully folded into her hamok, Quiver says: “Mic. I am overcome with longing. I am longing for a sky that never stops moving. I am longing for cumulous clouds; I am longing for a buttermilk sky.

—– I am longing for a clamor of children. Lamplight in a cabin by a river on a fall evening. To pick oranges from a tree. I am longing to see a freshly laid egg. A river of fresh water enter a salty ocean. The animals of Africa. Above all: a tiger! But also bees! Pollinating flowers! A beetle making its way across a bank of moss.

—– I am longing for a small planet, a green planet, a blue planet. I could use some city congestion. I could use a cantaloupe, an artichoke, a microscope! If we had a microscope, we could, at the very least, watch things moving about!”

—– “I move about!” Mic says it defensively. “I may not ‘be alive’—but I am as alive as I was intended to be; I do my best, and—”

—– Admirably, Quiver unfolds, leisurely steps down from her hamok, languidly moves toward Mic and, seductively, in human fashion, and gently caressing what stands in for the top of his head, says: “Dearest Micosan. We have been through this a thousand times. You know how much I appreciate your bountiful—bountiful! Mic!—capacities. I am stir-crazy is all. I am needing to move about. I am not fed up with your company, but my own.”

—– “Ah,” says Mic, filling the sounds of Home Free with Habib Koité. “You need this.”

—– Together, they gaze up at the Plonk Sidereal Atlas. An abundant number of significant destinations litter the path forward. Far dexter a planet appears blinking. “What is it?” Quiver asks just as the Atlas pings, clears its soundbox, and speaks:

—– “You are swiftly approaching AM Locus, the jewel of a magnificent helical galaxy, the breathing shrapnel, lava and rock of First Beginnings.”

—– “Oh, for MAGA’s sake,” sighs Quiver.

—– “AM Locus,” the Atlas continues, “is the very planet where the first seeds of extraterrestrial multigenesis—conceived and elaborated by Rosalind Von Pfeffertitz, were made manifest!”

—– “Von Pfeffertitz!” Quiver mumbles. “I have heard of her!”

—– “Who has not heard of Von Pfeffertitz!” the Atlas continues. “Her unprecedented collection of genetic variants survived terrestrial collapse. It is here, on AM Locus, that the process of multigenesis was not only perfected, but accelerated by Von Pfeffertitz’s brain after her demise!

—– Quiver winces. “Am I the only one in the universe who finds this drivel aggravating?” she asks Mic. “And look—see the date there? This drivel was imbedded ages ago—so, who knows what’s ahead of us!” She gasps as the Atlas’ Space Eye is, in its entirety, overtaken by a virtual brain as wrinkled as the skin of what was once called a Shar-Pei—not that they could know it.

—– “This,” says Quiver decisively, “is not an option.” Mic, too, is not eager to get any closer. He, too, is stretched to his limits and out of sorts. His ferroelectric transducer barely glows, and he notices an alarming surge in the oxygen vacancy, a sudden decline in the Wobble’s dialectic permittivity.

—– “All systems are faltering!” Quiver shouts as, despite their best efforts, they are irresistibly drawn to AM Locus, its unwanted mysteries and dubious artifact—Von Pfeffertitz’s brain.

—– The Atlas’ high resolution spectroradiometer compounds their frustration, for now they see every knurl, pock, cyst, and gyre of that troubled terrain, and the grim towers of a campus built of extemporaneous and biologically modified (and they could not be uglier or more cheesy) printed potluck pavers, tiles, and bricks. So powerful is the planet’s magnetic attraction, Quiver’s face—cheeks, lips, and the lids of her eyes—swell so badly that for a quik or two she looks like a fish (Mic). As for Mic, he is harassed by corporeal statik, his basal zipper perilously hot. All this settles down, however, as they approach the designated landing strip. A shiver, a shudder, a thump—and they come to a stop. Once hydrated, oiled, and suited, they step out into a manageable frost.

—– AM Locus has a fabricated atmosphere, humid and breathable, unexpectedly dense in the organic compounds of living things once there in profusion, but now long gone. Of the landscape, all that remains are deep creases and ridges gyring in all directions, with barely a trace of biological activity. They note what appears to be wormholes, the dens of small mammals, the sorrowful collapse of any number of greenhouses, an artificial lake in need of water, an array of what might well have been the mounds of disorderly—if innovative—termites.


Mic and Quiver now come to a dusty path that takes them to the abandoned campus directly—a pretentious edifice built of the detestable potluck (Mic)—its grand front gates askew—and enter a lounge illumed by skylights and furnished with faded sofas, the upholstery overrun by the creatures of Von Pfeffertitz’s imagining—all hopelessly coneco (Mic)—bushy tailed and smiling. The walls surge with sporadically functioning surface Lights all manifesting clusters of enriched transcriptomic motifs: flossy, fleecy, and google-eyed enough to trigger a hyperglycemic crisis.

—– A large virtual head now appears suspended in their path, sputtering in fits and starts before managing to cohere. It is the head of Von Pfiffertitz: florid, rosy cheeked, and round as a beach ball. Welcome it says in any number of languages, known and unknown, imminent, inevitable, likely and unlikely. The welcome is apparently endless, and as they have examined the Lights and the furniture, they move on avoiding bloated descriptions of terrains and creatures that for a brief moment flitted and soared, swam and surged, google-eyed, bushy tailed, and smiling on AM Locus.

—– “Enjoy your stay!” the head calls after them. “Levitating,” says Quiver, “like a forking blimp.”

—– “Be sure to explore the greater org of Rosenblatt and WeiWeiSing—named after my two husbands, yes! The very husbands who invented and perfected pseudotemporal myeloids! And be sure not to miss the small chamber, its green door—to the dexter as you are leaving—for everything you are about to see began there.”

—– Like a silent and old-timey terrestrial firework display, the head appears to explode and then it is gone. It does not take much poking about before they locate the green door. At their approach, it opens.


CalArts Writing Now Reading Series: Rikki Ducornet

Painted Scrolls by Rikki Ducornet & Sculpture by Margie McDonald




p.s. Hey. ** Dominik, Howdy!! Yes, the hacker is still at it full speed without pausing. The only question is whether they/it will gradually figure out my password or whether it’s just being mindlessly assaultive. I would think that if they’re going to reschedule their tour they’ll announce that fairly soon since we seem to finally be in the easing out of the hardcore restrictions phase. Did you see your friend? I hope that was joyous. My weekend was a big fat almost nothing other than working on stuff and a bit of outside time, but that was okay. If I was a betting man, I would say the dungeon was indeed that slave’s destination. Ha ha. Love deposing every world leader and replacing them with teenaged furries, G. ** David Ehrenstein, Lucky you indeed! ** Misanthrope, Yes, he or she or they started out -aphasia, that’s right. I remember C, of course. I always hope the old timers will pop in to say hi, but they almost ever do. They’ve outgrown us. Oliver did pop in here, oh, years ago now, to say hi. I tried to engage him, but he vanished anyway. atomic too, right. I would kill, almost literally, to have an amusement park as my immediate surroundings. ** Damien Ark, Hi, D. Thanks, I’m happy it hit your obsession. Totally get the cave obsession. I could totally go there. I am obsessed with secret passages, which is sort of in the ballpark. xo. ** John Newton, Hi, John. No, I’d like to believe in chaos magic, but I don’t, although one of my novels, ‘Guide’ was built partly using chaos magic principles and has sigils hidden in it. I have a couple of friends who can talk forever about the exotic worlds that DMT allowed them to travel in. I think, for some people, once you’ve done the handmade/super low budget film thing and moved up, you don’t want to go back, I don’t know why. I’m friends with John Waters, and he couldn’t get anyone to finance his films at a certain point, and I among many others suggested he go back to his original cheap method, and he said, ‘no, been there, done that.’ I’m  counting on international travel being possible by late spring at least. We’ll see. No, I actually hate the taste of liquorice. It’s weird, but I can’t stand it. I ate a lot of frites with mayonnaise though. And rijsttafel. Boy, I miss rijsttafel. I think I deal with my over-obsessions by writing about them. Milking them, in other words. You and yours? ** Jack Skelley, Jack of Skelleyville! Right, John, I think I knew that, duh, right. Oh, my god! Wait, maybe we talked about our mutual Napili history years and years ago? Faint memory. That’s nuts! We Mauian people considered the Napili Kai to be where the fancy people stayed. The Mauian was sort of like the peasant huts next to the castle. Wow. Didn’t see the Fargo series just because I haven’t really watched TV since I moved over here other than some French reality shows occasionally. I’ll try to get over my TV aversion long enough to check it out. God, even going to Vegas sounds so dreamy right now. There’s more puff where that came from, Smokey. *devil horns*  ** Kyler, Hi, Kyler. Nice to see you. Ah, Regardie is in your realm, of course. My pleasure, and, I presume, 5strings’ pleasure as well. I hope you’re doing great through all and sundry. ** Steve Erickson, Yeah, the Grammys were never cool or wise or fair or anything, at least in my lifetime. I’m still waiting for France to lower the age limit re: the vaccine. It’s still 75, I think, although the rumor is it’ll be fairer soon. ** Mark Gluth, Hi, Mark, great to see you, maestro. Oh, sure, I’m very happy to. Everyone, the great writer and dude Mark Gluth asks you to please help with a very worthy cause if you can. Here’s the cause: ‘A pal of Erin’s (and I’s to a lesser extent) has started a Gofundme to raise money for a legal defense to fight his being deported to country he last lived in when he was 8. I wont bore you with the details here but he’s an awesome, kind person and in no way deserves any of this crap. Not that anyone does.’ Dalibor’s Defense Fund. Please help out if you can. ** Brian O’Connell, Hi, Brian. Do people call you Bri? Nice, nice, yum re; your Ghibli watch, even if it was only the one example. There are so many, many reasons to go to Japan, I’m telling you, man. It’s so great there. I think your weekend pretty much ruled. Still does. Mine was without relatable interesting occurrences, but oh well. The week ahead could scarcely be any younger, so … May yours and mine be the exciting kind obstacle courses. ** Okay. I read and loved 5 books recently that I hereby suggest you might love or at least like. Give them a chance, please? See you tomorrow.


  1. David Ehrenstein

    Lotsa good stuff on view here today.

    Regarding John Waters, I know how he feels. Having gone so far forwards there’s no reason to go backwards. Moreover the distribution and dissemination of films is more difficult today than eer before. Thans to the pandemic everything is “virtual” and that’s no way to go. I long to see movies on big screens again, especially suchgreat aorks as “Lola.” “La Cicatrice Interieure” and “Playtime”

  2. Dominik


    I do hope it’s the latter about the hacker but either way, it’s really frustrating and depressing at this point. My mind keeps going round and round in the completely futile circle of “I can’t believe there’s nothing they can do about this.”

    It’s really, really good to hear that you might finally be coming out of this mess! Or at least the hardcore restrictions part of it. Obviously, we’ve just started going in. As of today, we’re in full lockdown again. A My Chem concert would be dreamy.

    Yes!! I saw my friend, and it was so lovely! A real person, haha; I almost couldn’t believe it!

    Actually, the world might work better then – world peace and all that while all the leaders meet up for kinky furry conventions, haha. Love dropping everything and running out to buy Big Bruiser Dope Boy’s book and thanking you profusely for today’s post, Od.

  3. Tosh Berman

    Is your hacker even a human being? At this point, it sounds like an evil machine at work. Thank you for the recommendations/exposure of new works. It has been a horrific year I think for everyone, to certain degrees, but one thing that hasn’t failed is art. Whatever it’s literature, music, visual or films – they really come through in these dark days. I cling to the Criterion Channel like an old but distant friend. I have seen so many great films on that space. And today I’m getting the Johnson & Johnson one-shot vaccine. Then directly right after that shot, I do a live online interview about my dad’s film “Aleph.” Fingers crossed that everything works out OK. Information on my Facebook page. 4 pm this afternoon, west coast time, and 7pm east coast, and god knows what the time will be in other parts of the world.

  4. Damien Ark

    Mike Carrao is an alien. 11:11 is a UFO. Such a great press. O.O Wish I could afford more books right now. Idk if they still do it, but they were giving books for free to read for a bit, actually. Because economy is a dumpster on fire.
    Also out on AP is No Tiger by Mika, a real good Twitter friend of mine. Give her book a read sometime. 🙂

  5. Steve Erickson

    75, holy shit!

    The latest word from NY state is that they have 400,000 vaccines a week for 12 million eligible people. So I don’t expect to get it any time soon.

    I know that Waters probably couldn’t make any money off a low-budget film, and that it would consume a great deal of his time, but I’d love to see him try it – not even attempting to return to PINK FLAMINGOS and FEMALE TROUBLE, but making something these days on his own terms.

  6. Jack Skelley

    Dennis Coopers are cask makers. 1 – Dig Thomas Moore’s description of mutating text. 2. Inventive Ganymede layout. 3. A trailer for a book. I want that! 4. Trafik sounds up my alley. 5. There were no prior Maui discussions, so you’re having déjà vu, dude. 6. Do you recall Napili Bay itself? Both times I’ve stayed there, insane waves would randomly swoop away sunbathers. But the shallow water was kind of safe so everyone treated them like a ride. 7. Dude, party me out to a place of false memories! (See 5, above)

  7. Mark Gluth

    Dennis, thanks so much👍❤️

  8. Gus

    Hey Dennis, it’s Gus from Australia – the one who plays music as California Girls!
    Hope you’ve been going okay, between the hacker and the pandemic it sounds like an awful time full of various viruses. I’ve been really loving the blog and find that, since I read it in the morning, it’s a much better alternative to the newspaper while I have a coffee. I also just finished reading Wrong and its really incredible work by Diarmuid, maybe a bit weird for you to read being the subject but I thought it was really comprehensive. I was also really stunned by the I Wished excerpt you read on Youtube, which was really powerful and got me even more keen to read it once it’s out.

    I saw you talking about Iceage on the blog recently and know you’ve been a fan from a while back. I’m prepping to interview them for a magazine tomorrow which is exciting but really overwhelming because Elias was the love of my LIFE when I was 17. In preparation, I was listening to this interview with him on this Australian podcast called Mont and he talks about these journals he wrote when he was a teenager where he “sketched out plan for an art movement where meaningless crime would be the art and when the crimes would find their way into the newspaper that would be the art being framed and when it was taken to police that would be the gallery… Eventually they would see a link between these crimes but they’re meaningless” I thought that was pretty incredible, a perfect piece of juvenile destruction as visionary art.

    Finally, as everything I write here endlessly seems to return to Cubby Branch, I wrote this fiction thing for a new poetry journal/publication in Melbourne called no more poetry which I thought might be of interest since it came to form through reading your liner notes for Sister and going deep on that album for the first time since I was a teenager. I was really obsessed with the “Stockton Arsonist” who turned out to be these two teenagers in California in the late 80s who used to set fire to houses and make these videos of themselves in wolf masks and corpse paint doing these invented rituals and trying to seem scary. I was thinking about their actual lives left out of the newspaper articles that only saw them as satanists and psychotics, and I know how easy it would be for me as a bored teenager in the suburbs to be won over by some charismatic arsonist, so Cubby kinda became a vessel for that. If it’s of any interest here’s a link, but obviously there’s no pressure at all for you to read it –

    Very sorry for stealing Cubby ! Also, if the spiral from that is appealing at all, I also made a short piece of fiction that I’m sending to a few magazines which came out of this really awful workshop I did about making performance work out of these early sociological manuscripts about cruising but it became this bigger thing thinking about a failure to transcend in life and this obsession I have with Yukuio Mishima, so here’s that –

    ANYWAY, sorry for the ramble and self promo-ing myself to you but hopefully some of this brings some kinda excitement or enjoyment or something ! Sending all the best from Australia and hoping you get some relief from all the madness

  9. Misanthrope

    Dennis, Another stellar lineup. Congrats to all involved. And yes, I did read the excerpts.

    Man, I’ve thought about that before when I’ve been at amusement parks…living there, you know. I think I could do it. Especially one with different worlds/countries in it. All in service of making me happy all the time, hehehe.

    Ugh, this week is another killer at work. But it’s my job. :'(

  10. Brian O’Connell

    Hey, Dennis,

    A typically wonderful coterie of writings for us to explore today. I’m especially intrigued by “Something Gross”, the excerpts of which made me laugh. Added to the list. Hmm, sometimes people call me Bri, usually teachers or close friends. But I don’t really have a regular nickname or anything, which is a little disappointing, because I think “Brian” is a tad dry. Yes, Japan is a major stop on my list of must-visit places, next to Berlin and Rome or something. It’ll (hopefully) happen eventually. Sorry your weekend lacked exceptional interest. My Monday was much the same, only I’ve resolved to take a mental health break of a day or two from Twitter, a minor challenge for an addict like me, but I have to do it for my mind. We’ll see how long I last or if I turn out to be weak-willed. That’s my project for the week. Also school writings, and movie-viewing, etc. Anything brighten your Monday? Or anything pleasant ahead? Merry Tuesday.

  11. John Newton

    Hi Dennis,

    For my obsessions I also have found writing about them helps, as does watching films about them or viewing pictures of them, or reading about them. I also will indulge in them such as researching subjects, people, places, things, languages, etc. I am interested in. I also will use obsession to get work done such as editing, or genealogy that I’ve been doing since the late 1980s.

    I miss the rijsttafel or Indonesian food as well. Did you ever use DMT? How many times did you take LSD? I never used DMT as I saw how it sort of made some friends sort of get too out there using it a lot, joining cults, having bad trips with mental breakdowns-the one friend basically completely stopped taking psychedelics unless it was a low dose of LSD without any visuals that was more of a stimulant or body buzz to him, etc.

    Which amusement parks in Germany are the best? I have seen pictures of the Ferris wheels for amusement parks and carnivals in Southern Germany in Bavaria but roller coasters are a lot more fun.

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