The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Cal Graves presents … an assemblage of quotes, poem (sections), lyrics, images, songs and videos floating around when i write, that i would like to share


“I am no man as I am every man.” – Caligula

“To forbid is forbidden.” – Sade (or a paraphrase of Sade, I read it in an article about Sade’s relation to French protesters in the 60’s)

“..so one person out of two is born in shit.” – Gaspar Noe (describing childbirth, which he filmed for an early film)

“I always knew we’d get AIDS together.” – a close friend of mine

“Suicide is all theory until you fall in love with a piece of shit.” -Sean Kilpatrick, in a review of La La Land

“Judy would.” -Overheard conversation

“Dont fuck nobody who looks like your cousin.” -Overheard phone conversation

“An abnormal reaction to an abnormal situation, is normal behavior.” – Hannibal on the instance of a man sewing his social worker into a horse

“Vivo! [I live.]” -Caligula’s last word



“Existence, as we know it, spins
A fatal warp, a woof of woe.
There is no place for God or soul.
Works, hopes prayers, sacrifices, sins
Are jokes. The cosmos happened so:
Innocent of guide or goal.
Else, what were man’s appointed term?
To feed god’s friend, the coffin-worm!”

Aleister Crowley, Images of Life: Prologue sec. III


“You never liked the thought of being human anyway.
Death is one more option to explore.”

From Bent Knee’s “Being Human”


Anon, with each pronunciation
Banners were smoldering, then dying
And burning my intestines
Taking away, alas,
All that kept me alive
Hast thou not crept up upon me?
Cruel poison of Life!
Thou hast taken everything.
But what hurts me is that
You’ve slobbered filthily
O’er the delicate lips of a delicate girl

From maudlin of the Well’s “Gleam in Ranks”


Brownish spider,
Brownish leaf
Confirms my deepest held belief.
No more spider,
No more leaf,
No more me,
No more belief.

From mewithoutYou’s “Brownish Spider”



Courtyard of Lunatics – Francisco de Goya


paintings by Zdzisław Beksiński


Aggravation (1896) – Briton Rivière


In Hoc Signo Vinces – Zdzisław Beksiński



Heaven’s Gate propaganda, specifically “Last Chance to Evacuate Earth (Before It Is Recycled)”




In the Name of Satan – and other Bob Larson anti-satanism propaganda


The Pig Fucking Movie



The Republic of Wolves – “A Weather Vane”


Sun City Girls – Horse Cock Phepner (full album)


Kayo Dot – “Marathon”


Giles Corey – “The Haunting Presence”


Killer Fox – “Killer Fox”


Golden Avant-Garde – “Born to Be Wild”


Philemon Arthur & The Dung – “Om Ni Tycker Jag Undviker Er”


Pearls Before Swine – “Translucent Carriages”



p.s. Hey. Today we get the great pleasure of sharing in some inspirations and writing prompts and muses of the fine writer and d.l. Cal Graves. A special look behind the scenes for us DC’s cognoscenti, both insiders and bypassers. Please enjoy and talk shop in whatever ways you like with Cal, okay? Thanks! And ultra-thanks to Cal! ** Monday ** Rewritedept, Well, hey there, Chris! A sight for sore eyes you are, sir. Yeah, busy on my end are the words. But good busy mostly. Oops about the call center thing, but it sounds like the oops resulted in an upgrade so, cool. Fun sounding stuff with your friend. Oh, I don’t really know Ween’s stuff much at all, no opinion. Deerhunter, well, you know I like them guys. Thanks for your 90s list. Good stuff, some very interesting, unexpected (to me) picks. I only heard one track off the new Chavez so far. Reminder to get it. Yeah, lots of casting and other work for the film. My time is gradually being completely occupied by the film stuff, which is necessary. Still waiting to hear about the TV series. We’re told by the end of this month, but I’m not holding my breath. Knife story: yikes. Okay, yeah, awesome to see you, buddy. Take it way easy. ** David Ehrenstein, Good morning, Mr. E. ** Damien Ark, Hi, Damien. I don’t think they have Satanic sex cults in France, even mythical ones. I wonder why. I’m going to ask around about that. ** Nick Toti, Hi, Nick. A great pleasure to see you. The Mike Warnke thing was particularly interesting to me among the stuff in that post. I’ve been thinking of tracking more down about him, so your info re: him is super interesting. Obviously, yes, indeed, I would love a Mike Warnke Day on the blog, if you want to do that. That would be fantastic! Thank you a ton for the offer! I’m good, and I hope you’re good too at the very least. ** Steevee, Hi, Steve. That’s both very interesting and obviously unfortunate about the difficulty you’re having connecting with your parents on that awakening in your identity. It sounds like they have a lot of complicated built-in roadblocks and that you’re causing them to deal with a lot internal stuff of their own that they’ve already built barriers around and don’t want to access. That’s a tough one. I personally never expected or wanted my parents to understand me or or who I really am, but I know that desire is deep in most people. It sounds like you’ve done what you can for now, and now you have to wait and see whether they’ll engage with you and, more importantly, with themselves about that? Which might take some time? ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Thanks a bunch for engaging and taking to Bb. ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. I swear, like, 80% of everyone I know has a bad cold right now. I started to get one a few days ago, and then it seemed to decide that I wasn’t an interesting vessel and took off. I hope you’re feeling more up to speed by now. Are you? ** Tuesday ** Chris dankland, Howdy, Chris! Yeah, tricky/trippy/silly/serious project, right? I’m glad it tweaked you. Hugs from France. ** Ferdinand, Hi. ‘Lallend flees’ sounds quite intriguing. Maybe I’ll pick it up and try to use it to try to reawaken whatever remains of my ability to understand Dutch. Sometimes I suspect there’s more hiding inside my head than I think. Thank you! ** Bernard, Hi, B. Yikes! The jaw/grafting thing. Although I suspect the operation’s power of suggestion is far more alarming than the thing. But still. Jaws, disturbing things … ? Whatever do you mean, Mr. Welt? Oh, wait, I suppose the jaws are somewhat involved in what springs to mind when you suggest that. Cannibals must have amazing jaws, no? ** B, Hi, Bear! You good? Me, I would defnitely choose immortality. I guess how the physical aging thing works in that situation would need to be figured out first, but I’ve always wanted immortality. I think it’s objectioonable and unfair that I have to die. I know that’s weird. I think maybe I feel that way because I’m so interested in and excited by new things? And maybe it has to do with the fact that a lot of my closest friends are younger than me, sometimes much younger? I don’t know. But, yeah, if you ever bump into someone who has the power to bestow immortality, feel free to give them my contact info. Ha ha. Thanks, man, and I hope everything is flying high on your end! ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Wow, another Bresson related book. There’s been a windfall lately. What’s going on, I wonder? I’m so excited for the new Godard film. I think it opens here next month maybe? ** Steevee, Hi. Well, finding out if he’s gay seems like the big first step. Personally I don’t see how it would be weird at all if you see if he wants to have dinner. Or at least a coffee if you want to play it safer. ** Bill, Hi, Bill! Things went very well in Bas Normandie, thank goodness, yes. Snippets of their hands! I like the sound of that. I really like that. Ooh. ** Wednesday ** David Ehrenstein, Strangely, yes, right? ** Bernard, That is a sweet New Yorker cartoon. Ha. Thanks, B. ** Steevee, Hi. Yeah, like I said, I think maybe just accepting that you’ve said and done what you can say and do and now waiting to see if they want to access this new truth about you or not is all you can do? But, again like I said, parental understanding is not something I ever expected in my life. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hey. Cool, glad Mrs. Claus, wherever he or she is, sublimed you. ** Thursday ** Dóra Grőber, Hi, Dóra! Oh, let’s see … Well, the possible ‘Tim’ had to cancel for Monday, so we’re seeing him tomorrow instead. But we did officially sign up the guy who will play another one of the main roles (Guillaume). The Bas Normandie trip was very successful and quite exhausting. We now have more of our cast in place. We filled four roles, three smallish and one fairly large. And I think we might have found the guy to play another of the four main roles. We’re bring him to Paris soon to try out with the actor playing the main role, but I think that’s going to work out. And we scouted locations in Cherbourg for a very long day and found some very good places. Now we have to wait and see if the owners of the houses and apartments we’d like to shoot in will agree to let us or not. That’s a big question. But we nailed down a wonderfully terrible little nightclub for one scene, and we found a lot of the outdoors places (park, streets, a mine, a carnival/fun fair, etc.) The hardest one is a river. We need a pretty-ish river with a spot that’s big/deep enough to swim in for one scene. There don’t seem to be any rivers like that around Cherbourg, so we’ll have to look further away. Anyway, it was a very successful trip. My head cold died out fast, thank goodness. No apartment news yet, and my stress about that is getting bigger. Ugh. I’m looking at yet another possible place today. You started writing a book! That’s huge! Awesome, really exciting! As is the new gig with you being a co-leader of the transsexual self-help group! When does that start? Do you have to prepare for it? So, you’ve been doing really, really well since I last got to talk with you! Fantastic! Did today follow suit, and how? ** Kier, Hi, Kier! I’m good, a little pooped, but not too bad. How are you? Oh, wow, Rimbaud was the winner. That’s funny, that’s fortuitous. I’m really glad my weird little idea clicked. My reading is tonight. I’m going through my usual ‘why the fuck did I agree to do this reading?!’ pre-event anxiety but hopefully it’ll be okay. Oh, and Zac and I will be in touch soon about the next step of our wondrous collaboration with you! Loveliness to see you, my pal! ** David Ehrenstein, Thank you, I will use that Fassbinder link wisely and greedily. ** Jeff Coleman, Howdy, Mr. Coleman. Oh, wow, New Juche’s book is official announced! Everyone, Superb writer.artist and d.l. New Juche’s new book ‘Mountainhead’ is coming out in April from Nine Banded Books, and we’ll be doing a birth celebration around that event here, but, in the meantime, if you want to look at the cover or pre-order it, you can do that by first clicking this. Yeah, I think it’s funny and interesting that Chip Smith is wisely publishing writers who hang out here considering that he used to despse me and everything I stood for. It’s a nice, unexpected ending. ** New Juche, Speak of the non-devil! Hi, Joe, My week was productive and good, yeah, thank you. Great about the day job being largely behind you. How are you going to use and decorate your remaining down time there? The apartment situation is unchanged, and the fear grows, but the determination remains, so, yeah. Yes, the Kiddiepunk Reader should be really good. I’m cool with ‘French Hole’ being reprinted. It’s a very particular thing, probably only of interest to people who want greater access to the secret substrucrure of ‘The Marbled Swarm’. It’s like a little book of cookies and clues. Very, very exciting about the April release date! Whoo-hoo! ** Bernard, I noticed that a Facebook friend of Mr. Dallesando’s alerted him to the post’s existence yesterday. It’s exciting to imagine him scrolling through it. ** Steevee, Hi. All sounds good with your actor, cool. Do you like prepping with the actor? I kind of really like starting to work closely with the actors in our film. It’s an interesting forming relationship. ** Raymond, Oh, my god, Raymond, I’m so sorry. That loss is just unimaginable. I don’t what to say. I send you all the love and support and hope for strength for you and your wife that I can. Jesus, I’m so incrediby sorry and sad to hear that. ** Okay, wow. Um, please enjoy thinking about Cal’s creative inputs today, and speak to him in whatever fashion you wish. Thank you. See you tomorrow.


  1. Great stuff, Cal. Especially the dude with the guitar.

  2. Hi Dennis,

    Yes, I’d be happy to put together a Mike Warnke day for the blog! At the moment, I’m in the middle of scrambling to get this short film made next month, but after that’s cleared off my plate I should be able to dig through my box or Warnke paraphernalia and pull out some goodies. Having never done a post for the blog before, how do you like having stuff sent to you?

    Oh! Also I had a new article on the animator KOKOFREAKBEAN published on Hammer To Nail earlier this week. It’s more of a narrative piece with the criticism sort of sprinkled on top: http://www.hammertonail.com/editorial/digital-gods-9/

    Talk soon!

    Talk soon!

  3. I think the root of my parents’ problem with Judaism is the fact that my mother’s parents wouldn’t go to her wedding because she married a Gentile man and this has made her very bitter towards the religion. My father is just ignorant; I don’t think he’s anti-Semitic, but he doesn’t care to learn about it and isn’t afraid to tell me that . I can’t do anything about their hang-ups, which have nothing to do with my life and choice of identity but affect it nevertheless. I’m not going to talk to them about it again. I told them I’m willing to celebrate next Christmas with them for the sake of keeping the peace (phrased more politely in my E-mail.)

    It was great to talk with the actor in my film, especially because he’s very terse in E-mail. I think it’s good to get to know him a bit, and I told him earlier who inspired the script, so I think it’s important to go over just what extent it is and isn’t based on reality.

  4. Hi!

    Congratulations! So many good news about the actors and locations! I’m really happy for you! I hope you’ll be just as successful tomorrow with the actor! Please do tell me about it! And about the river: does that mean that you’ll have to make another trip a tad bit further from the original area or you’ll have someone to do that for you or…? Anyhow, I hope you find the perfect location soon! I’m very excited and curious about your movie already!!
    I’m also glad the head cold died out! Good.
    How was the apartment-hunt today? I keep my fingers extremely crossed!!
    Thank you! I’m thrilled because this is the first time in my life when I really know that what I’m writing is a book, not just some bits and pieces.
    We start with the group tomorrow. We did prepare for it, we’ve got a Plan A and a Plan B, haha, and we hope everything will go well. I’ll tell you about it!
    I wrote quite a lot today and basically I’m just trying to organize my thoughts about tomorrow’s event. I’m not nervous. Yet.
    If I’m not mistaken, you have your reading tonight, right? How was it?
    And how’s everything else? I hope you had a lovely day!!

  5. Cal – I like Briton’s dogs too. Also, I saw Sun City Girls live at a festival maybe 20 years ago now, today is the first time I’ve come across any reference to them since then.

    Dennis – Good, The Marbled Swarm was only the second book I ever read of yours, I’ll get the KP Reader for sure. The original cover of French Hole is lush by the way. And Thanks – it will be an honour for Mountainhead to have a day here! The thing took 6 years to write, it precedes all the other stuff of mine in the public sphere, and I was doubtful it would ever go anywhere. It was my birth as a writer certainly, and nearly my death too, and I’m grateful it’s being published. And wtf – Chip used to despise you?! What was that about? This is news to me.

    Now I’m out of the woods with work, I’ll go through my new book manuscript a second time for editing before going home. Looking forward to this, its been sat undisturbed in the oven for three months or so.

    I also have to give some talks here in the UK and in Bangkok on my way back home, so I need to prepare for them. I fucking hate public speaking like most people, but the talks pay well and I usually get into it as soon as I’m up there. You know what I mean I’m sure – you have a reading tonight right?

    My best


  6. @ Cal, I love this show and tell. Any space that has quotes on the wall from Crowley and Caligula is bound to be an inspiration.

    @ DC, here’s hoping your reading went down a storm which it surely did, right?

    Today was the first of four days off for me, so with this one I went along to the Tai Chi/Qi Gong class for an hour. From there I tried to walk down the street to the DCA which was maybe a bit far for spinal-fracture-impacted me, but I eventually made it and saw the reissued Blue Velvet which was of course as mindblowingly great as ever.

  7. cal, very cool peak into your head! the social worker inside the horse is a classic.

    hi dendrobium, what did you read at your reading? it’s really exciting to hear stuff coming together for the film. i’m crossing fingers and toes for your apartment hunt, moving’s the worst and your situation sounds nightmarish on top of that. i’m just gonna keep everything crossed until you’re sorted. say hi to zac for me. hugs k

  8. Well done, Cal Graves. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Dennis,

    Thanks for putting up my post today!

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