The blog of author Dennis Cooper

For which viewers aboard guided vehicles travel along a predetermined route through a sequence of darkened spaces involving scenes that typically contain briefly glimpsed visuals doctored by intermittent lighting and special effects (for Zac)




p.s. Hey. ** H, Hi. I like my apartment. The neighborhood here is doable and the metro access is good, but the area itself is just kind of colorless to me, which is ultimately fine. Having no nearby cafe sounds tough. I don’t think I could handle that. But Paris social life is really organized around sitting and talking in cafes, so, yeah, that would be a problem, I guess. Anyway, I’m very glad you’re happy where you are. That’s what matters. ** Bill, Hi, Bill. Yeah, the guestbooks have been on fire lately. Comment trolling has reached even the seemingly far flung, exclusive joints. ** Armando, Hi, man. I’m good, busy, good. Obviously very glad that escorts were so entertaining this month. Laughing rules. Inglewood is not the most scenic and beautiful area of Los Angeles, on that I think all Angelenos would agree. I kind of don’t want to talk about Charlottesville and the Neo Nazis and all of that here. You or anyone else can, of course, but I really like that this place is one of the dwindling places online where we can talk about other things. I’m not the kind of person that needs to vent about the world online. No interest in or compulsion to do that at all. So, anyway, I’m just going to stick to talking about other stuff if possible and leave you guys to hash that stuff out if you want. Our film has been on a short break, which ends next week. Everything is finished except for the titles, end credits, subtitles, and, most importantly, the sound edit and mix which will take up most of September. I love our film. Frankly, I think it’s pretty great. I’m very, very sorry to hear how bad your depression has been. I am of course glad to hear that you have managed to get some writing and work done. That’s the best cure for depression for me. I’m up to working on the new Gisele Vienne dance piece right now. Zac is on holiday, but when he gets back next week we’ll plunge back into the film. Not sure what I’ll do today yet other than the aforementioned. Hopefully do the stuff I need to do. Take care, buddy. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. I’m glad you pointed out that escort’s text because it was a fave of mine and Steinian indeed. ** Steve Erickson, Hi. Actors I know often use the world as a kind of acting class, a place to play and study and rehearse at times, just as writers and visual artists do in our own way. Or bored, imaginative people working retail jobs. Or escorts! Yeah, I don’t think I have anything to say about your situation with the waiter that would be useful to you, so I hope you resolve that however is best. You yourself say that you’re basically using your comments here as diary. Diaries are meant to be written, and read if they’re public, but not necessarily to be interacted with. So I’ll just read and respond when you write something that asks for a response, I guess. Ha ha, Renaud Camus a philosopher? Where in the world did that come from? He’s a fiction writer who writes often quite opinionated articles and reviews for magazines and stuff sometimes, but philosopher is a quite a bit of a stretch. Well, I think you should at least consider delivering the monologue. It won’t be like that interview. You can take whatever time you want to prepare your delivery. It’s your film, your call. ** Nick Toti, Hi, Nick. Yeah, Zac and I are determined to keep making films with low budgets. Our first film, ‘LCTG’ cost $40,000. ‘PGL’ cost 140,000 Euros, which was a lot for us although very little compared to other films, even ‘indie’ films here in France. That’s partly because, obviously, low budget films are hugely easier to make, and also because the low investment is preventative re: outside interference in the films since there’s not much money at stake. France is dreamy for this kind of thing because there are, relatively speaking, many ways to get funding for films. It’s shocking to me how incredibly difficult it can be in US even raise small money for films. Wow, you have all kinds of fascinating sounding projects in the works, filmic and otherwise. I’m glad you’re restarting your great column, and hopefully Fanzine will be wise re: your piece for them. A Jarett Kobek adaptation! Great! I like Jarrett’s work very much. I don’t think I’ve read that early book, though, Huh. I will start tracking that down somehow today. Obviously, it sounds very fruitful. Awesome, Nick. What you’re up to really exciting. I look forward to hearing about the progress of the those projects if you don’t mind sharing. Me, I’m also working on a new collaborative dance piece with Gisele Vienne that will premiere in early November. There’s also kind of a huge project I’m involved in that I can’t talk about until next Wednesday when it will hopefully be cemented. And Zac and I are about to start writing the script for our next film. And, a bit longer term but already in early motion, I’m co-writing an ‘opera’, again with Gisele and some other collaborators. So I’m busy and happily so. Thanks a whole lot, man! ** Brendan, B-ster! Good, your rants are more like melting butter. Ha ha, wow, where did that come from? But you get the idea. The Dodgers making the playoffs is not a concern, but them going all the way is just a bridge too far to contemplate crossing given their collapsing thing. But, hey, I’m starting to vaguely almost hope, it’s true. I’m finally gonna get to your email tonight. I’ve been a soldier in Gisele’s army, but I think I get … what do they call it when soldiers get to go home and pet their dogs for a few hours? I forget. Love, me. ** Jamie, Hi J! Thanks on behalf of the escorts. Yes, the ‘crabby’ … ‘mouth’ one was a big favorite here in the blog headquarters. My day was good. Spent all of it in Nanterre working on the dance piece. It’s getting there. I’m not worried. Lots and lots of detail work. Oh, good, miracle of miracles about the Skype workshopping. And, you know, no surprise at all about your ideas making the grade. Yeah, I am/was with you on ‘HoL’. My feeling about that guy in general is that he’s an idea man without the chops to go the distance. Could be worse. Yes, I loved ‘Hospice’! Gregory used to be a commenter here pretty much daily for years. Awesome fella, awesome writer. Excellent that you’re reading him! Here’s hoping both of our Wednesdays will make Wednesday itself kneel. Bucked off a horse love, Dennis. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi, Dóra! That’s very heartbreaking. Words fail. Death is so often so horrible. I’m very glad you’re holding up. It’ll be okay. It’s so strange that it’ll be okay, but it will. Very good that you’re getting SCAB close to the finish line! Giant yay! Remember that I would love to use the blog space to alert everyone to its worth and existence if you’re still into that. The dance piece is getting there. It’s a very complicated work, and the dancers are being amazing about how hard the work is for them. There’s a ways to go, but I’m confident it will be in excellent shape by the time of the premiere. I hope your today is really, really, really good. What happened? ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Thanks. It kind of was, wasn’t it? Wow, that Visions building is one ugly building, ha ha! All the better to hold up inside and do amazing work in a place that no one would ever expect amazing work to be made based on a glance at its facade. Just a an ongoing and growing hooray, man! Can’t wait to hear about what you guys do and then see it! ** Misanthrope, Yeah, but SolidGold thinks words are powerful, and you’re a writer so … personally, I can already hear the wedding bells. I have implanted within my brain a signal to pre-edit the word ‘the’ whenever I say Ukraine from now on. Whew. Kyler’s the psychic, man. I’m just a lucky dog. You know it. Glorious Speck would be a good name for something. Hm. ** Okay. I made a new GIF work for Zac and for you, and there it is. See you tomorrow.


  1. h

    Hi Dennis, a very nice work with flickers and important colors. It’s so impressive and dreamlike, I’d like to think about it all day. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    Today I’m going to watch Derek Jarman’s Jubilee in a theater here, and really look forward to it. I saw a floating one online but I think it can be different in a theater. Film Society here has been my favorite cinema in the city for films like that, so it will be nice. I might read its script also before I go there. I hope you have a productive and relaxing day there.

  2. Kyler

    Dennis! You know I love, love, love these! I made a comment last night about you being psychic, but deleted it – see? You really are, haha – you got my comment anyway! And you definitely are immortal.

  3. David Ehrenstein

    It’s “Paranormal Activity: Dennis Cooper Edition”

    “Jubilee” is pretty special. It was widely denounced by the right in its day, largely because it was making a “Confessed Unrepentant Homosexual” famous. The film itself is about Magick and Elizabethan history. When “Chariots of Fire” came out its producer, David Puttnam, told its star Ian Charleston to scrub “Jubilee” from is credits lest he be associated with that “Confessed Unrepentant Homosexual” Charleston’s career came to a quick end after “Chariots” as he died of AIDS. Puttnam briefly ran Columbia studios stateside — aking a totalhash of it. Don’t know where the creep is today.

    I sympathize with “I kind of don’t want to talk about Charlottesville and the Neo Nazis and all of that here.” but our Racist Fascist President makes that impossible. Thins are really dire. People are terrified. o me its Chickens Come Home To Roost.

  4. Chris Cochrane

    Love love love the post today and sending nothing but love to you. crazy times over here. Begin collaboration with Yvonne Meier tomorrow, lot’s of other projects. Did I tell you that Val, my boyfriend and I are going to Cambodia, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand for the month of February, Can’t wait to leave this crazy place. Are you finished work on the film, any plans to visit NYC soon. xoxo

  5. Steve Erickson

    David is right about the political climate in the US now. I don’t want to talk about this stuff either, but its led to a level of anger that affects my personal life, and I’ve also repeatedly found myself in the weird position of defending Arabs and Muslims, even though I’m a Jew who’s 1/2 Finnish and 1/2 Russian. The only good thing is seeing my entire Twitter feed simultaneously attack Trump, racism, anti-Semitism, neo-Nazis, etc. I know a lot of this is performative, simplistic, doesn’t translate to the real world and all that, but I do really feel a sense of community and solidarity when I look at that. But I’m sorry if I’m occupying your space with things you didn’t want to discuss.

    I called Camus a philosopher because the article I linked did so. I had never heard of his book TRICKS and had no idea he was gay when I read that interview – when I posted the link on FB, Bernard and David informed me about his history.

    Anyway, I’m interviewing Eliza Hittman by phone at 10:30 AM. I love her film BEACH RATS and have had some pleasant exchanges with her on Twitter. I am really looking forward to this. The interview will appear in next week. Unfortunately, I will have to devote most of the day tomorrow to transcribing it.

    I had spent a lot of the weekend listening to classic punk albums by Wire, X and the Clash and trying to get inspired to work on re-writes of my monologue. Instead, it had the opposite effect – I felt like I could never possibly write something as powerful as this music. I realize now that I was listening to some of the best rock music ever made, and indeed I can never equal it. It’s probably better to listen to mellow instrumental music, as I do when I write film reviews, instead when doing screenwriting.

    • Bernard

      Beach Rats. Way to go, Steven.

      • Steve Erickson

        The interview was a bit weird. At first, she replied to my questions with two-sentence answers and I got frustrated. I realized that in order to get something useful out of this, I had to turn it into something closer to a conversation. I think I succeeded, but I will probably wind up editing out much of what I said and just leaving in what she said. (I’m devoting 4 or 5 hours tomorrow to transcribing this.) She took half an hour out of directing a TV episode to talk to me and said that she finds it very alienating to work with TV crews that are almost entirely white and male. Her next film will be about “abortion tourism”: a road movie about 2 girls who travel to NYC to get abortions from a state where this is really difficult.

  6. Bernard


    Hi. Long time. Yeah, I’ve been busy and traveling again, but also a little bit furloughing my own self cause I got back from Paris feeling like I needed to push on writing. I was really happy establishing a working rhythm there, and I wanted to maintain it as the routine of my life from now on, pretty much. You are as always constant inspiration and I find myself all the time thinking of artists like Dostoevsky and Schiller and Tsvetaeva who said art is the most human of activities and we must keep working even as we engage in political action.
    I totally agree with you about spaces that are respites. But I also agree with David E: What’s happening in the US now is so extreme and critical that we can’t turn away from it for a moment. Some of it’s just like this big festering pimple that’s popping so all the nastiness some people had the privilege to ignore is forcing itself on them; and I’m worried that people take the constant expression of outrage as some kind of action and leave it at that. But for me, I’m still shocked to find that even the most obvious things about the regime are not said, even by people who deplore it, which means the disinformation and chaos strategy is working very, very well, so I end up feeling that I have to say them, and that is a kind of writing, too.
    Anybody I know here who wants to hear what I have to say can find me on Facebook and Medium.

    This weekend I’m heading off to somewhere where I can see the eclipse in totality, which is hugely exciting for me, except it looks like it might rain.

    Great work on today’s featured work. But I really wonder about posting a warning, if that’s of any use; I had to flip away quick from some images because I got faint so quickly.

  7. Tosh Berman

    It’s very hard to shut off the noise that’s out there now. And perhaps that’s good in the long run. I can totally understand people’s frustration/disgust with regards to what happened over the weekend. A lot of my depression is caused by President Moron/Psycho, and it sets a tone for the rest of the day. The blog you run on a daily basis is great because it’s your sensibility/aesthetic/awareness and those who contribute an essential visit every morning for me. It’s like taking the perfect bath, and that feeling stays for the whole day. Until I read ‘so-so’ and the misery starts up again. So thank you, Dennis, for keeping the light on this doorway that leads to your blog.

    Superb (today’s blog) work by the way. You’re a fantastic editor! The work has incredible rhythm. I love it.

    Also, I think someone writing a book length study/analysis/riffing on your blog would be fantastic. That’s a book I would pick up from a shelf in no time!

  8. _Black_Acrylic

    Another righteous GIF stack, yay! I enjoyed the ravey ones, and they provoked much longing for my youthful nightclubbing times.

    I completed my screenprint today at the DCA Print Workshop and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Named after the street outside the studio window, I give you Perth Road Acid Flashback.

  9. Nick Toti


    Another great GIF entry for your one-man genre! I love these so much…

    Your collaborations with Gisele Vienne always make me jealous on multiple levels: jealous I can’t see them in person, jealous my pool of collaborators is limited, etc. I love the idea of working with puppets (which I’ve never really done in a movie but have some adolescent experience with) and always look for excuses to add dance into movies. The best experience I’ve had with that latter was working with a burlesque dancer to create a thematically relevant striptease for my Raft of Dead Monkeys documentary. If I can ever get the Mike Warnke movie together, I’d love to get a choreographer involved to help dramatize the satanic rituals.

    Yeah, the adaptation of the Jarett Kobek book is fun to work on, but I’ve warned everyone involved that it’s going to be more or less unwatchable. It’s way more conceptual than most viewers are willing to endure…which, given the book that it’s based on, is totally appropriate. The book is called “If You Won’t Read, Then Why Should I Write?” if you’re interested in tracking it down.

    Thanks for the support re: my Hammer to Nail column. It’s a relatively thankless job most of the time, but I think it’s worth it. For whatever reason, that’s the project that seems to drain me the most. I think it’s because writing is sort of a secondary impulse for me so I always have to psych myself up for it. I like to do the column in 10 article installments, so that becomes a relatively big investment of my time and mental energy.

    Thanks again for the new GIF piece! Talk soon.

  10. Dóra Grőber


    Thank you so much for another terrific GIF piece! I actually think this is one of my favorites so far. To me, it’s got a very consistent and strong atmosphere which sucked me right in. Congratulations!

    Thank you. I’m sure it really will be okay, I just need some time to wrap my head around it.
    And once again, thank you so much! I’m getting more and more excited for SCAB and I’m so grateful for your generous offer! Do you think I should write a “guest post”? Or should I send you the issue when it comes out and you’ll make the post? I’m absolutely up for each and every option!
    I’m really glad to hear the dance piece is coming along nicely! It’s always a pleasure to work with people who actually take what they’re doing seriously!
    I spent most of today working on SCAB again so I feel one step closer to the finish line!
    How was the day on your end? I hope it was lovely!

  11. tender prey

    Stunning – I think my favourite gif passage of all so far… fuck yeah! I also wanted to say I really enjoyed the Cam Scott piece you linked to about the novels the other day – so good to read something that delves deep and acutely into what a work is actually doing… I found his use of theory really insightful.
    Awesomeness incarnate to see you in Paris! We’re fully back here now and London isn’t so bad… hope to catch up again soon .

  12. Jamie

    Hey Dennis! This is absolutely beautiful, my friend. Really and truly. I think is my fave of all the gif pieces of yours I’ve seen too. On a purely visual level it’s a total treat, especially for someone who loves bright colour the way I do. There’s a point where it goes from bright colours to black and white flickers that’s pretty heavenly. There’s something masterful about the way you do these now, if that’s not too wanky a thing to say, but you do arrange and select the gifs in a virtuosic fashion (and not ‘masterful’ in a tasteful way, more about control but still with noise and violence). And some of those repeating and morphing motifs are just lovely. And that’s me just looked over it a couple of time, so I’m sure I’ll be finding much more under the surface. First time I read it was on my phone on a train today – I’m sure you’ve said computer screens are better for gif stuff, but there’s something about the lack of anything else around the gifs on the phone screen that made the phone-viewing of this really pop. Thank you! Good title too.
    How are you? Were you doing more Crowd work?
    That’s cool that Gregory Howard was a regular commenter here! I’d no idea. Yeah, Hospice is giving me such pleasure. I frequently forget to focus on what’s going on in the story as I’m too busy enjoying the sentences.
    Shit, I feel like I’m an “idea man without the chops to go the distance”. I always have good ideas then kind of cry off before the end. Danielewski’s done ok though, eh, or has he?
    I’ve spent a large part of today looking for illustrators that are good yet affordable, for some possible new animation. It’s been very enjoyable.
    How’s your day today looking?
    Hope you had a winning Wednesday and you have a thrilling Thursday.
    Cold-eyes-of-a-masticating-polar-bear love,

  13. chris dankland

    a new gif work !!

    this one felt especially spooky to me. i kept thinking about it as some kind of trip through the afterlife, like The Egyptian Book of the Dead or something. or a really strong acid trip. a death experience. some of that interpretation is probably projection because i spend so much time thinking about that subject, but also the lack of words in all these swirling sudden images is so oneiric and primal and dream like.

    the other day i was reading about how William Blake defined poetry as something “addressed to the Intellectual powers, while it is altogether hidden from the Corporeal Understanding” and that was going through my head while reading the gif work too. how certain art works get deep under yr skin by avoiding a concrete meaning but also activating the drive to search for meaning, so that ur in this prolonged actively wandering state of mind. i think a lot of yr novels have the effect on me too, i really like that about them.

    the title put the haunted house ride premise in my mind, but i also felt a bit unsettled imagining the gif work as a representation of something much more cosmic. the hallways made me feel that way too, hallways are very cosmic images to me.

    i thought the black spots contrasted with the sudden flashes of light were very effective, a good haunted house trick

    i especially liked the gif of the guy with the red flashing thing in his mouth. him appearing twice made me feel nervous. he was very memorable

    on a similar note i enjoyed that believer article the other day

    today was the first day of school, aka the quietest school day of the year, when all the students are atypically reserved — it went well though, it was a good day

    i also emailed u a guest blog post, if ur interested

    keep making these gif works, please !! i really enjoy getting lost in them

    take care !! sending hugs

  14. Misanthrope

    Big D! And you said you were going to keep your amusement park designs in your head! Yes, I think the stack today -to me- is DC amusement park ride. That was my first impression and I’m sticking to it.

    RE: SolidGold…on the other hand, he thinks money is important, and I’m a writer, so…

    A little devil’s advocate there. What’s funny about his words is that I think he knows they’re totally unimportant and smoke and mirrors and that’s oddly what makes his words so important. So yeah, I should look him up. 😀

    Though, as you know, I’ve got this bugaboo about the commodification of sex…besides, I gots plans and I needs all the monies I can gets for them. (You should read that last sentence in the voice of a cartoon baby mobster with a five o’clock shadow and a cigar hanging out of his mouth.)

    Hmm, now you must use “glorious speck” in something someday. You have my permission, haha. Roll with it.

  15. Jeff J

    Hey Dennis – This is a fantastic GIF work. The way you used the black squares to create the rhythm of the piece. The first third felt like I was moving through a physical space in a way I haven’t experienced in the other GIF pieces – it had a visceral amusement park ride feel; the last third really captured a club-like feeling for the me. The middle felt more expansive somehow while also occasionally folding-in on itself. My very primal reactions, whatever they’re worth. I need to spend more time with this when my eyes aren’t acting up (there’s a delay with the new glasses).

    I wanted to put in a vote for re-creating some of your favorite poems, novels, and short stories posts from the old blog — maybe expanded even?

    Everything look like it’s there for the Cortazar post? If not, I can dig around some more.

  16. Steve Erickson

    Seeing NOCTURAMA again was fucking amazing, and at this point I think GET OUT is the only superior film I’ve seen this year. It baffles me that Canadian critic Adam Nayman wrote an excellent review of it talking about how many people he knows who hate it and how that was his initial reaction. I saw it with my friend Bob, who was seeing it for the first time, and he loved it. In fact, I only know one person in New York who doesn’t love it. I like the video for “I Don’t Like” due to its unconscious homoeroticism, but in general, I find the song idiotic. It sounds perfect in the movie, even though “shit” and the N word literally seem to consist of 20% of its lyrics. Has anyone made a better film about the impossibility of escaping from capitalism and consumerism inn the culture we live in, even if you’re so opposed to them that you’ll blow up a bank’s offices?

    I thought the film I saw last night, THE NILE HILTON INCIDENT, was made in Egypt. It’s a detective story set in Cairo against the backdrop of the Arab Spring. I google it and learned that the film is basically a simulation of an Egyptian film actually made and acted by Swedish Arabs. It was shot in Germany and Morocco, the financing came entirely from European sources, and the director was born in Sweden to Egyptian parents. After learning all this, I had a weird flashback to those slogans about “Jews replacing us”: and the stuff Renaud Camus spewed about Muslims replacing white Europeans. Maybe I’m babbling and engaging in geeky cinephiliac connections, but I think the existence of this film and the people who made it are his nightmare. If European Arabs can make something that’s basically the modern equivalent of a Jean-Pierre Melville film, please let more of them in!

  17. Brendan

    R & R, maybe? Well I hope you are getting some R & R. Being in the army ain’t no fun.

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