The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Please welcome to the world … THE MOON DOWN TO EARTH by James Nulick (Expat Press)



This DC’s post is dedicated to my friend Elizabeth ‘Eris’ Aldrich



James Nulick’s prose in The Moon Down to Earth is extraordinary, once harsh and tender, flaying and consoling, yet also enlivened by wit and erudition. The results are deeply revealing of the body’s incantatory rhythms, the somatic thought-forms. In this manner he delves with his reader to the limit of his characters’ souls.
—Jonathan Lethem

James Nulick is among the best living prose stylists. At the very least, he absolutely destroys every other small press author at writing those labyrinthine heartbreak sentences.
—Christopher Zeischegg, author of The Magician



A note from James
Of all the books I have written, The Moon Down to Earth is my favorite. I really enjoyed the characters, especially the kids. I hope you do, too. Love, James





Beautiful people always get what they want. Thin people always get what they want. I am neither thin nor beautiful. My only advan¬tage is my sex, but even my sex is invisible, because when people see me, they only see fat, a fat woman. She is a fat woman. She is a disgusting woman. She is lazy and unattractive, and in the way. The words are always the same, and possess the same intent, to make me invisible. But I am here, with your children, in my small office with your children. I spend time alone with them, likely more time than you do. I listen to them, document their lies, their becoming. The older children, the eleven and twelve year olds, are sexual animals brutally navigating the outer perimeters of the adult world. I hear the cruel jokes, observe the obscene gestures. I watch them twitch in their seats, their bodies hard and muscular, their small breasts cupped by unseen hands, a projector in the dark briefly illuminat¬ing furtive movement.


I catalog their desires, their fears. Who hovers over them at night? Who touches this boy, whispers lies to that girl? I gently place my hands on either side of their scalp and split their heads open, like a melon, to see what is inside. I am trusted, a paid professional, I possess the correct pieces of paper, the documents that proclaim I belong, and yet still I walk through the world as if there were not another soul in it, as if I alone survived a great cataclysm. I am here, and because I am invisible, I am free to document its lies, its iniq¬uities. I do this with the carefully scribbled notebooks of the car¬tographer, the human heart a map I have underscored many times yet still do not understand. Those who claim to understand it are liars. I smooth my dress, tamp my collar, put on a human face, and open the door. You do not see me but I am here, with your children.


I was born thirty years too late. My time is not my time, and I do not belong here. Mother says I have a 1940s sensibility, and I agree. She should know, she was born during that time, when World War II was winding down. The future had been upended, yet the State prospered, and in that prosperous time, a great many people were born. Mother is one of those people. I arrived in the great hereaf¬ter, a time of cocaine and selfishness. I prefer dresses, hats, modest makeup, a complete covering of the body. Too many are willing to divulge the secrets of the body too quickly. There is no mystery left in the world, just show and tell. Those who show the most get the most stars, the most clicks, the most votes. Some even vote for themselves. What the star-gatherers don’t realize is one becomes very old very quickly when one is chasing emptiness. When I was a teacher, before I became a counselor, I preferred the darkness of a classroom in early summer, when May is in full bloom, when the children have just a few weeks left of classes, and the clock is sitting at 3:15. I prefer solitude, and quiet, and people who do not tell me things upon first meeting them. Mother and I enjoy cards, double solitaire, our packs north and south of each other, across the dining room table, or on nights when mother is restless, thirty-one, though I am not competitive or a gambler by nature. Mother and I also like game shows, and singing contests, where the star-gathering is light¬hearted and artificial, and everyone on screen knows their bound¬aries and respects them.


Some would say I am exceedingly plain. Others, ugly. It must be a terrible burden to be beautiful, to have others look at you with only one thing in mind, yet it is what I have always wanted. We always want what we cannot have, at least that is the general consensus. I don’t believe it, though. Mother says if we can visualize it, it can be ours. To be a slab of meat on a hook, to be massaged and brushed and waited on like the special cattle in Japan. Secretly this is what every woman wants, to be waited on, to be a princess in her room, surrounded by beautiful things. I have friends who exist outside my door, real friends, and they all say the same thing. He swept me off my feet. He was so handsome, and he told me I was his princess. I got married in a white dress on the beach… But must a woman define herself by a man? If a younger woman is alone, a woman in her late twenties or early thirties, she is suspect, yet when a man in his thirties or forties is alone, he is called a bachelor, or restless, or on the market. It all comes back to being a piece of meat on a hook, which is what we all want, if we are honest with ourselves.


I am not a Beth, or a Liz, or the dreaded Lisa. I am Elizabeth. My last name, Salas, is a palindrome. It has a slightly satanic look to it, don’t you agree? I am the same today as I was yesterday, alone. I have mother, but Mother never wanted me. She has told me this on several occasions, usually while we’re arguing over some ridiculous small nothing. You’re just like your father, Elizabeth. I don’t want to watch this program, change it. You are so stubborn, Elizabeth. I’d tell you just wait, just wait until you have children of your own, but of course you won’t, what man in his right mind would have you? What man would want you? Your father was an idiot, he wanted children but he couldn’t even keep a steady job. You’re just like him. You want the child but you have to find a man first, my dear. I told him I didn’t want children but he didn’t believe me, as if not want¬ing children was somehow an ungodly thing. What kind of wom¬an doesn’t want children? She must be the devil! Your father was a fieldworker, and every time I look at you, I see him. You’re both so big and stupid. He’s probably dead now. Mother! Too dumb to stay alive. It’s the truth dear, and the sooner you accept it the better off you’ll be.


I am a counselor. I counsel children. Certification K-12, though my certificate is Elementary K-8. I hold a Master’s in counseling, spe¬cifically an MEd, a Master of Arts in Education, School Counseling, though for brevity, and to save parents the embarrassment of won¬dering what an MEd is, the North Hill District has placed the words MA, NCC (National Certified Counselor) behind my name on my business cards. I have a nameplate inlaid with my name, gold etched in black, attached by adhesive to a solid block of white marble, the shape of it resembling an expensive, dusty Toblerone, which I pur¬chased from House of Trophies shortly after I earned my Master’s, as a reward to myself for having survived two years of sustained misery. The name on my nameplate is simplified – Elizabeth Salas, MA, NCC. Titles don’t impress me, having earned one. At most they say you’ve spent many years ignoring the people around you. People most interested in titles are often the people who don’t have one.


I am a roving counselor, traveling between five schools. It didn’t use to be like this, when I first became a counselor, one could survive on an educator’s salary. That is all gone now, so many educators have second jobs. I have a small office in my primary location. My home school is Greenwood Meadows, nicknamed Ghetto Meadows by the students (and privately, the staff) because it is in an undesirable part of town, on the Northwestern edge of Río Seco, in a Hispanic neighborhood, the green grass of the school yard bleeding onto the cement slab of the veranda, and beyond the six foot tall chain link, which reminds me of a prison yard, the small tract houses of North Hill. The grass is greenest in winter, though it is always summer in my mind. There are also blacks and working-class whites, which is to say poor whites, and there are carports with dusty cars on blocks, their wheels and tires long removed, the fingers of hubs poking the darkness, the undercarriage of the vehicle sticky with spider webs. I live here and feel safe here, in North Hill. I travel to satellite schools during the workweek, to counsel children. I always feel like an intruder at the satellite schools, using an office that isn’t mine, talking with administrative staff who nod at me as if I were not in the room, just a phantom in an oversized dress. The teachers are the worst. They treat professional staff, counselors, speech therapists, as if they are underlings to be spat upon. Oddly, paraprofessionals are treated with more respect than licensed counselors. I’d walk into the teacher’s lounge and the old women would clam up, speaking in tongues about such and such, who was the dumbest child, how awfully young and ignorant Miss _______ was, how many pallets of _______ they bought at Costco the previous evening. How quickly the memory fades. I used to be one of you. Now that I’ve earned an MA in counseling they want nothing to do with me, the old women as cliquish now as they were when they were in high school a hun¬dred years ago.


I began in the classroom as a teacher, grade five, taught in the class¬room for seven years, earned a Master’s degree in counseling while teaching, including nights and weekends, which meant I didn’t have the nights or weekends other teachers did. I attended a real universi¬ty, most of my counseling studies performed at a satellite extension of the university here in Río Seco, the university two hours north of the city. It was real work, which took time away from my life, no online diploma mill fakery. I have been an elementary school coun¬selor for eleven years, and here I am, forty-three years old, single, living with Mother, and never having once felt the touch of a man. When I was a teacher I didn’t like a single minute of it. The children are animals, cataloging and giving voice to every fault. You’re so fat, Ms. Salas. Your fingers are so fat, Ms. Salas. Why do you have so many freckles, Ms. Salas –


It is during the early teens when children truly begin learning how to lie, holding things back, and always for their own preservation. It comes with the first blood ruining an innocent pair of panties, the first ejaculation in the privacy of a bedroom, hovering over an im¬age on a phone, forgetting how to walk. A girl forgets how to walk and she turns dark, has boys on her mind, and never again will she trust another woman, including her own mother. These are skin¬ny girls, of course. Even tomboys eventually get away with murder once their breasts push through their shirts, loud as Jacaranda in spring. But a fat girl, an ugly girl, a girl with heavy ugly eyeglasses and a wardrobe from Goodwill, they will forever be invisible. And yet women are still evil toward other women. There is no distinctive class, no sense of communalism, not even a reading club. I walk through a school hallway on my way to my small grey office and it’s as if I’m not there. Children scatter, grouped in clans and lost in their cell phones, and adults look to an invisible point on the hori¬zon, their lips pressed tightly against the natural urge to say hello.


I have very few friends, and they are only acquaintances, if I am honest with myself. There is Jeffrey at my home school, a wisp of a man who teaches fifth grade, and sometimes we have lunch to¬gether. I watch him as he straightens his tie, his eyes lost on a boy’s behind. He has a partner, an anonymous something lacking any distinctive facial features. He has short hair, I remember that, and talks about Manhattan as if he’s been there, but I know he’s a liar from Minneapolis. Other than Minneapolis and Río Seco, I doubt he’s been anywhere. I’ve met him a few times, have passed a pleas¬ant evening with him, but we sit across the dinner table from each other and commit to nothing. I don’t want another queer in my life, I want a man.


Mr. Goldhagen leans across the table, his voice a whisper. He speaks so low he’s difficult to understand. I nod my head in agreement, though his words weave in and out. I once had a student come into the classroom while I was reviewing afternoon lessons, they were at lunch, and in walks Marcus, who is, you know, a dumb sort of hand¬some. Mr. Goldhagen, my zipper’s stuck. I have to be good, I try to be good, but here I am fidgeting with this kid’s zipper, my knuckles brushing against his you know what, and I’m kind of getting excited by it, thinking if someone walks in right now… You’re so silly, Jef¬frey. I see the evil behind it because I am invisible, I do not figure into anyone’s calculations. Queers are no different than straights, some old straights want little girls and some old queers want little boys. Is there a real man out there who can love me?


I am less than nothing when the day is tallied and forgotten. There are others, a woman who teaches a fourth fifth combination class. We occasionally have lunch together. She is thin and unhappy, mar¬ried to an unpleasant man who is cheating on her. I don’t know what to do, Elizabeth, we’ve been together nine years, and I don’t want to lose Bill. Have you thought of counseling, I suggest. She shakes her head, thinking of the unpleasant drive home. I am se¬cretly happy knowing it is possible for a thin woman to experience unhappiness. I am pleasant, and I smile, knowing she will go home once again to a terrible man and I will go home to nothing, only Mother’s accusations and a cold laptop.


The small insults one suffers daily. The hangnails, the knees that no longer work properly, the gradual betrayal of your body, you need to lose weight, my doctor says, or both your knees will need to be replaced, him having said this before they were both replaced, the same soft flat black shoes I buy over and over again, the world’s largest ballerina, wondering just once what a pair of heels might feel like, younger teachers flitting to and fro on heels that betray the laws of physics, a child blatantly calling me fat. Why are you so fat, Ms. Salas? Stubbornly unmoving in his seat, dirty hands tucked under each armpit as a band of heat tightens around my head, a small tyrant in a district chair. Different people have different bod¬ies, Luis, surely you must know that by now? But why are you so fat, a smile pulling across his very white teeth, a blank screen on which girls see their reflection. His teeth nestled in the pink seat of his gums, a small tongue already capable of so much damage. I wonder at the skull beneath the cinnamon skin, so round, perfect, and white. We all have different bodies, Luis. You must learn to respect other people’s bodies. I place a hand on his knee and he pulls back, visibly startled, the fat woman daring to touch him. If you don’t learn how to respect other people’s bodies, you’ll end up alone. No I won’t. Someday someone beautiful will leave you – No they won’t – and I stop there, having moved into territory the Dis¬trict would never approve of, the child is protected by law against such behavior. Someday when you meet that special someone you should remember they deserve respect, just as you do. Maybe, he says, pulling his knee out from under my hand. He is handsome and he knows it, his only gift in a migrant trailer park life, his mother catering to him because of his looks, because he is her favorite, be¬cause of his perfect teeth, and already he is ruined…




All these people bouncing around, shepherding amoeba. There is a presence in my room. It hangs in the corner, observing everything, even the darkness. I’m usually not afraid. I brush it from the wall, it sticks to my fingers. I’m in a trance. When I move to another room, my blood moves with me, I carry it in my fingers, my legs, my heart. My feet are seventy inches from my head. When I touch a keyboard the blood in my fingertips kisses the plastic and music is made. The plastic rises to greet my fingers, as if it senses the blood below the surface, the music already there. I bend into the keyboards, the keys becoming more human than plastic. The music slowly chang¬es, takes on a less metallic quality. It possesses warmth that can’t be achieved without folding into the machine. Sometimes when I’m on the bed with Choco, my brindle pit, I stare at my toes, my socks off, and wonder how my toes got so far away from my head. Does the head need to be that far from the feet? Do people without legs think faster than people with them? Less travel time? Is the blood in my toes the same blood in my fingertips? Blood touches plastic to bend waves of music across the room. My body, a prison, ware¬housing thoughts best unspoken, emotions unfit for display, and the me-ness rushes into my body when I wake. If we wake someone abruptly in the night, someone sleeping next to us, how long does it take before they become them again? Is it dangerous, the moment they are becoming?


Reality is a video game created by your brain. The game is ON from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to sleep. At night the game goes into sleep mode. The cycle continues perpetually un¬til someone or something turns the power OFF. I gently remove my head from my body, bounce it from hand to hand, and pull back the supple Flesh. My thoughts, exposed. I move my head behind my back and slowly let it travel up the spine to the shoulder blades, two great peaks meet in the valley of desire. I see my body as Nicole sees my body, I move over curves known and unknown, seen from this angle, with my floating head, everything appears as delicate and smooth as mountains on Mars, turning over in bed, a nipple becomes Alba Mons, the depression of my sternum between two outcroppings, Tharsis. Choco lifts his head, tilts it at a slight an¬gle, wondering where I have gone, buffing my kneecap with his wet nose. I lay my skull to rest in my Lap, everything looks bigger down here, I conveyer-belt my head between my legs until it rolls to rest at my feet, Emerson’s wandering eyeball, wishing Mama were here with me. I miss Mama and Papa together, the old times. But she is only an exaggeration, a hallucination, yes? Mama wouldn’t recog¬nize me now, with my head off, lying in bed with Choco, Nicole tapping on her iPhone, where are you? Me ignoring the three dots, I’m busy. Enough of this nonsense, where is your head? I soccer-ball my head off a kneecap back onto my neck, where it quietly Ziplocs into place, order restored. My iPhone rests in the smooth valley of my sternum, Nicole’s fingers beating in time to my heartbeat, her heart a quasar in the darkness, a Morse code message only I know how to decode.


My blood is a spider, see it move from room to room? The beating in my ears is the ocean. Our blood contains the same elements as the ocean, we are tied, the moon, the ocean, the stars, my feet in my Vans, on this sidewalk, my butt on this seat, my shoes, on concrete, on the linoleum of the restaurant, connected with other people, my feet connected to the floor through one inch soles, and other peo¬ple, the floor, what if everyone had their shoes off? We didn’t used to be like this, everyone with their shoes on. I have a tattoo, a black spider, on the crook of my arm, the soft inside, and the spider be¬comes visible when my arm is down, not too big, maybe the size of a quarter, and some people have said why get a tattoo, no one can see it. People are ignorant, and I could live a thousand years and it wouldn’t change, we are not yet ready to flow freely into the imagination, Terence says, at least not as a group. We’re still too fo¬cused on sex and skin color, that’s what Andrés* says, and he’s right, humans still bickering over land, land that can’t be owned, yet we plant stakes in it. Only the individual can flow into the imagination, when it’s time, but have we learned anything when the time comes? What if we are unprepared? I also have a tattoo of a dagger on my left calf, a dagger that looks like an upside-down cross. Are you a Satanist? Javier asked. What of it? I said, which scared him. Or is it my hair he’s afraid of? I like BMX, and Death Cab, and Kendrick, and it throws him off. He doesn’t know how to classify me. When I look down on it, on the dagger, I see it right-side up, my eyes turn it upside down in my brain, and what we’re seeing isn’t real anyway, nothing beyond the skull is real. We’re always producing our own reality. People don’t like it when you don’t do what you’re supposed to. The world is a big place, and there isn’t enough love in it…

*Andrés – pronounced ON drace



Jace Tunes

1). U2 – Zooropa

2). N.E.R.D. – Lapdance

3). CLIPSE – Grinding

4). RADIOHEAD – Idioteque

5). DON CHERRY – Brown Rice

6). TALKING HEADS – Crosseyed and Painless

7). TOM TOM CLUB – Genius of Love

This song is for my homeslice BABY

8). SPYMOB – Half-Steering



These selections are {{{ stroboscopic }}} so please be careful

9). MARK BURNETT – Subrosa Griffin Line

10). THE NEPTUNES – The Eighth Planet



Death is not a frightful thing, it is freedom. Our death empties us into the imagination of the universe.





p.s. Hey. Today the blog again puts on its red carpet drag in order to form the groundwork leading up to a dawning book, in this case the fine scribe James Nulick’s newborn novel ‘The Moon Down to Earth’, which enters the realm of availability as of today. Your task, should you choose to accept it, is to explore the related introduction put together by Mr. Nulick himself, and then, yeah, get your hands, etc. on the thing itself. Sound good? Thank you for entrusting your bells and whistles to this platform, James. ** _Black_Acrylic, I hope you’re still feeling right as rain this morning. ‘The Ripper’, eh? I don’t have Netflix, but there must be another way in. ** David Ehrenstein, I did look for stuff on LA’s Basic Plumbing, and there was nothing, zip. There doesn’t seem to be any big nostalgia about it which surprised me since everyone I knew who went to such places went there. ** Ian, Hi, Ian. Thanks, pal. I’m very glad you liked ‘Modern’ and ‘Berg’. Two highlights for sure. My pleasure re: the introductions. Yeah, I see that North America is pretty snowed in and frozen out atm. Or the eastern part at least. No such luck here. Do you not have any pals whose eyes you would entrust to check out the current state of your story and give you an objective read? Maybe you just need to turn away from it for a short time and refresh yourself somehow? I know I can get to points where I’m almost too locked into something I’m working on and get kind of too clogged up to see it straight. Be patient, man, you’ll get there, no doubt about it. ** Sypha, Ha ha, I can see you liking that sex club art. That’s interesting. That blue lion is very you. Somehow. ** Tosh Berman, Hi, Tosh. It’s true. How great it would be if one could walk by buildings and see what they’d been. Just recently I happened to look more closely at the facade of an outlet of The Gap that I walk by all the time only to finally notice a plaque indicating that what is now The Gap was once the place where the very first ever movie (by the Melies maybe?) was publicly screened for the very first time. ** Misanthrope, I have been to sex clubs, yes. Not for a long time and not as frequently as people probably assume I have. And I never had sex in them. Wait, unless brothels count. I did have sex in brothels in Amsterdam way back. But otherwise I never found them sexy. Or I didn’t find public sex sexy. I used to go mostly to observe and take notes. Mental notes. Yeah, I mean $600 is a ridiculous fucking pittance for what people have had to go through. I mean wtf. So the CT scan was like trying on a hat. Glad that’s now forgettable history. ** Steve Erickson, My mom used to go to Plato’s Retreat after, and I think during, my parents’ divorce. Mm, your snow storm. Saw pix. I’m holding out a very shy hope that we get at least one of them before winter exits. ** Brian O’Connell, Howdy Brian. Thanks. Yeah, I think few sex clubs will survive the pandemic. It took years for them to re-arise after the most hellish period of the AIDS crisis only to be smitten down by another enemy of the libidinous. In school I was fine with Math until it turned into Algebra and Geometry and worse even stuff. I would have to say French must be one of my tough spots too since I’ve lived here for ages and still only have a barely rudimentary understanding of it. It’s a wrap! Congratulations, sir! This calls for champagne or whatever your preferred inebriant may be. The miniature Buche turned out to be extremely disappointing in the looks department but it tasted swell. On to the next candidate. Happy Xmas-y Friday to you! ** Corey Heiferman, Hi. I used to see that ad on TV, and, yes, I think it was either extremely late at night or on a Public Access channel. Excellent that the excellent company made the excellent decision. Stability is no small help towards one’s creative aspect, so big up in theory. Well, I wrote the first draft of ‘TAP’ in one draft. I did fiddle with a lot though maybe less than I usually do. Thanks about it. If there’s ever a ‘Best of Dennis Cooper’ book ‘TAP’ should definitely be in it. It sounds like the best idea for you is to get back to Tel Aviv under the circumstances, yes, as internally complicated as that departure will surely be. Um, I’ve always felt I was a pretty picky reader. I do think whatever tolerance I may have once had for conventional, ‘literary’ fiction is completely gone. SciFi is one my hugest weak spots as a reader. Barely read any and never have felt a lot of inclination to for reasons unknown. I only really know the really obvious stuff: K. Dick, Gibson, Delany, Ballard, some of the Cyberpunk 80s stuff, … ** Right. Give yourselves over to Mr. Nulick’s novel’s pre-show please. Thanks. See you tomorrow.


  1. _Black_Acrylic

    Yes! Been waiting on this from Nulick for quite a while, and it will be instantly sprung for. The man’s a prose master.

    The new episode of Play Therapy is online here via Tak Tent Radio! Ben ‘Jack Your Body’ Robinson brings you Cosmic Disco, Electro, Coldwave and all sorts of miscellaneous other stuff too.

  2. David Ehrenstein

    Lovely stuff Mr. Nulick. o be savored at length.
    Saw George Cloosey’s latest “The Midnight Sky” Rather impressive. Clooney has several sci-fi spectaculars to his credit including his remake of “Solaris,” and Cuaron’s “Gravity.” This one is about the end of the Earth as a habitable planet and the search for a new place for everyone to go. Very complex as it involves time slips andcharacters who may well be hallucinations.

  3. Misanthrope

    James Nulick, Congrats! Mr. Champagne has been hyping you up online. That’s a good thing.

    Dennis, Yeah, thanks to the wonders of the virtual world, you can usually register online and fill out all the paperwork before your appointment and then you just go in and they’re ready for you. It’s a plus, imo. Same way with doctors these days too.

    Originally, they were talking about no checks people in this stimulus and just focusing on small businesses (who do truly need help too). Looks like they’re going to go ahead with $300 a week supplemental unemployment for people too. That’s not a bad thing. Of course, if you’re married and have kids, you’ll get more than $600.

    Too bad there’s not a way to find out who needs what the most and then target it. I mean, there are a lot of us who’ve been fortunate enough to stay employed and get a regular paycheck throughout this, and frankly, we don’t really need a check. Others, on the other hand, yeah, they need it more than us others do.

    I don’t know that brothels count, hahaha. Really, I feel like I’d be the same re: sex clubs. Would just take mental notes. The public sex thing doesn’t really do anything for me either.

  4. James


    Thank you for being the officially authorized host of the MOON LANDING !!

    Shit Dennis, I just realized I didn’t remove the printer’s marks from the galleys when I created this, that’s my fault, sorry man!

    Hopefully your loving readers will gloss over things like “wom¬an” and “fo¬cused” and not be too distracted by the lunar weirdness. REST ASSURED, these printer’s marks DO NOT appear anywhere in the printed version of the novel, LOL !!

    Thank you again, Dennis! You are always such a kind and gracious host! The DC’s MOON post looks great!

    I’ll mail a pair of MOON BOOTS to you for your troubles 🙂

    Love to all,

  5. Sypha

    I had the pleasure of reading this book in a pre-publication state near the start of the year when James asked me if I’d consider writing a blurb for it, and it really is great stuff, very much looking forward to reading it again (this time in its final published form).

  6. Bzzt

    Hey Dennis! First of all congratulations James on your novel. He and I follow each other on Twitter, he always leaves nice comments on my tweets & whatnot. Second of all congrats to you and Diarmuid, there are two great reviews of WRONG out this week. One in ASAP Journal and one in the Boston Review. I was so thrilled to read them! I’m friendly with the author of the Boston Review one (thru the Internet of course) so it was great to see him championing the book! Have you gotten a chance to read the pieces yet? Is the attention a little overwhelming/agitating or do you appreciate the recognition?
    As for me I’m very meh. I did manage to send my MFA app out, and I spent like two weeks writing a personal statement. These sorts of things are kind of daunting for me, like talking about my work, “selling” myself. I feel like people get the impression that I have lots of confidence, because doing things like submitting and pitching etc takes a great deal of courage, and because I do it maybe it looks like I’m quite audacious. But I just see it more as a necessary evil; I get so much anxiety from having to write personal statements and “thematize/explain” myself as an artist or whatever. Have you ever struggled with any of that?
    In the statement I actually wrote about you and Ed and Kevin Killian and how I look up to you three. Ed gave me the advice to be as honest as possible, and so in the end it was actually a productive exercise to be forthright and not pretend to be something I’m not. I wrote about how I discovered your work before I was aware of the “cut-up” method, and in my stories I try to create my own version of the cut-up method. I actually really enjoyed coming to that conclusion and think it does describe my process…It just sucks to think that it might be enough, I don’t know. I’m gonna try & keep in mind what you said about the agendas with these programs.
    Otherwise I’m working on a new story. I’m not really in the swing of it yet; tomorrow’s Saturday and my boyfriend has a client (he’s a hairdresser) so I’m gonna burrow in his basement & crank it out. I’m definitely not adjusting to winter so well, I’m groggy and irritable all the time. But I have a pretty positive attitude about 2021, even if I don’t get into the MFA program I think it’ll be a positive year. Plus my boyfriend & I are getting along super well lately, we’re pretty much inseparable which I didn’t expect. So romance is good!
    How are you doing? What’s your plan for the holidays if any? Hope you stay warm & enjoy the final weeks of 2020.

  7. Jack Skelley

    Good writing! Thanks for the recommendz, Dennis. I’ll check it out. And for the tuneage!

  8. Damien Ark

    Some beautiful excerpts (read the first one before, but still amazing), and the music makes this so fun and eclectic. Fitting. Can’t wait to read it. Congrats and much love to you, James. <3

  9. David Ehrenstein

    Randy Newman for y’all

  10. Bill

    Congratulations on the new novel, James.

    That was a sad and nostalgic lineup of sex clubs yesterday, Dennis. I’ve only been to one of the 25, and my memories of it were not particularly inspiring. Still a bit sad it’s gone though. We’ll probably lose more after this pandemic thing is over.

    The buche selection around here are not terribly exciting to look at. I’m overdue for a run to the neighborhood traditional German bakery, which has some awfully fine cakes that even a German cake snob like me might approve of.


  11. Brian O’Connell

    Hey, Dennis,

    Congratulations to Mr. Nulick on the release of his novel, which, if this post is any indication, looks to be absolutely wonderful. Making a mental note to pick it up at some stage.

    Indeed, RIP to the public sex clubs. Something new, and probably weirder, will take their place. I was middling-to-fair at some of Algebra, but Geometry and Pre-Calc were my worst nightmares. I feel frustrated re: French, because I really would like to learn the language: it’s so beautiful in and of itself, and also I’d then be able to read the literature in its original tongue (we’re never getting an English translation of “La Nouvelle Justine”). Same goes for German. But it’s not in the cards for me; I have no aptitude at learning new languages at all. Alas. Yes, I’m celebrating the end of the semester, although I personally abstain from intoxicants. Seeing people tomorrow will sufficiently mark the occasion. And I’ll probably bake some brownies, to go with the film, naturally. I’m sorry to hear your Bûche didn’t live up to the advertising, but glad that it suited your palate. Have a wonderful, wonderful weekend.

  12. elizabeth aldrich

    fuck yes!! <3

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