The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Son_of_James_Benning presents … Lonely Link *

* (restored)

























































p.s. Hey. ** Lucas, Hi, Lucas. I hope you like ‘…Pigeon…’ My favorite Bergman is ‘Hour of the Wolf’. I’d give that one a try if you want to give him one more chance. It’s very strange and dark, and it doesn’t have that preachy thing, and it’s only an hour long. Well, I’m glad the shitty, shit populated school is on fade. I’m shy too, no worries. Plus, if you come to Paris, we’ll already know each other to some decent degree by talking here by then. I hope the therapy visit did what it was supposed to do. My week has been sort of mixed, good stuff, seeing friends, mixed with some stressful film-business stuff, but it’s okay. I’m hoping the stress stuff will be better over the weekend, and, let’s see, I’m going to this big annual zine/wild indie press fair called Paris Ass, which should be fun, and hopefully there’ll be surprises as well. Do you have potentially uplifting weekend plans? ‘Fire Walk With Me’ is certainly an excellent fall back plan. Did you see anything in it that you hadn’t seen before? ** Dominik, Hi!!! Is that true about ‘wizard’s sleeve’? I’d never heard that, but then when and how would I have heard that. Well, a prolapse is the male ass equivalent, I suppose, so it works. Huh. Your yesterday love sounds like my kind of guy. I look forward to meeting him. Love making the person Zac and I saw hanging around outside an event we were going to attend last night who we really didn’t want to run into not have noticed us walking towards the event, spotting him, making a 180 degree turn, and walking rapidly away, although I think the person did see us, oops, G. ** Jamie F, Hey, JF. Think how different their lives would be if they considered themselves artists. Or maybe not. I do romanticise the artist’s life. Yeah, I think CMBYN was too sappy for me among other things. I also have a really hard time with conventional filmmaking and cinematography that uses a lot of arty filters in general. But oh well. Yeah, I mean, emphasising what you liked to your friend is the way to go, I think. Then they can wonder why you didn’t talk about the other parts of the novel and maybe question them as a result? I guess there’s also the ‘not really my thing’ way of criticising sort of pleasantly? Oh, sure, I read ‘Notes from Underground’. Really a long time ago, maybe even in high school. It had a strong impact on me too. Huh, maybe I’ll revisit it. Thanks, pal, about the film. Our hopes too. We’re really confident about the film, but it needs official help getting born, so ideally some good festival will agree with us, haha. ** _Black_Acrylic, I loved loved loved the new PTv2 episode! So many sweet and scary tracks, and the flow seemed especially exciting and invisible. Killer, buddy. It boosted me a bunch, and, let me tell you, I needed it yesterday. I’m really glad you like Andersson. I’m about to watch ‘About Endlessness’ for the first time in the next day(s). ** Cletus Crow, Hello, Cletus Crow. I really like your name. Wow, thank you kindly! When you say ‘more low brow’, I think ‘more bold’, which is, you know, good. Of course I’d love to have the book. I’d be honored, among other things. I guess write me at my email — — and you can either send me a pdf or whatever, or I can give you my mailing address. Thanks a lot! Thanks for entering here too! ** Tosh Berman, I’m so happy you love his work. ** Steve, Yay indeed! I hope you’re in and outta there smoothly. I know a number of people who are at Cannes. Apart from one friend who texted me last night to say he loved ‘Megalopolis’, I haven’t heard any reports yet. Yeah, that’s who I meant when I asked about the Sophie moniker. Great about the access. Curious about the Eilish. I’m really hoping it’s a big swing in a different direction than her last album. Pray tell when it’s time. ** Sypha, Ah, so you are kind of a difficult author! Not that a shitty cover is something one should roll over about and feel nothing but grateful for. Okay, Pleasant sounds precisely like what I was imagining it would be. I like the sound of that. Obviously curious to read what you do with those strictures. ** Oscar 🌀, Andersson is definitely worth a try. You’ll know pretty quickly whether it’s in your interest area or not. I think parrots are kind of fascinating, but I’m not a parrot person, no, no worries. I like animals. I don’t have a pet, and I don’t want one. I grew up with a series of pet dogs when I was a kid, and every single one of them died young and very tragically, and that was enough for me. I have a fondness for pigeons. They’re okay, right? I like your cat already. I always have a song stuck in my head. Yesterday it was ‘Nothing to Do’ by Sparks. And a Guided by Voices song, ‘Face Eraser’, has been bashing in and out of mind daily for about five months. I don’t know ‘Sleepyhead’, and I’m kind of afraid to listen to it now, haha. I think my morning has been more spacey than funky, which is ..; preferable? I hope that the time span surrounding whatever point in the day that you’re reading this is like a living dream. ** Harper, Yeah, no, that’s totally fair. It’s ultra-important to find your own turf and mark it. I make least favorite lists in my head, but I’m a person who really doesn’t like arguments and disagreements and so on, or I guess I mean I don’t like facilitating them, so I try not to go down that dark road here on the blog if I can help it. But, if we ever meet, we can exchange least favorites because it is a quite fun exercise, and it is certainly valuable to figure out one’s own standards. And I’ve definitely been known to walk out of some movie or something and turn to a friend and say, ‘Kill me if I ever make something as terrible as that.’ Oh, it’s not really my business, but Jamie F said hi to you in their comment if you didn’t see it. Have the loveliest ever day. ** Justin D, Hi, Justin. Yard work. So you have a yard? My building has a courtyard, or a vestibule as they’ll call it over here, but it’s just concrete or maybe stone, so it doesn’t need me. No, I’ve never heard of ‘And Then I Go’. Huh, I’ll go see if I can find it. I read a Jim Shepherd novel, but I can’t remember its name. Thanks! Oh, Powells, envy. It used to be my pick of the best bookstore in the world, and I haven’t entered it in years, but I can imagine it still is. What did you buy (if anything)? My day: looked at art, ate falafel, drank a lot of coffee (cafe allonge), worked a bit on the new script, made a blog post, … I think that’s it. Did your plans pan out? ** Mark, Hey, hey, Mark! Oh, maybe I’ll get lucky and be there for the LA Zine Fest. We’re still trying to finish the film and bring it there for the cast/crew screening. June seems likely. I’m doing Paris Ass tomorrow. I’ll look to see if your masterworks are there. Cool new zines you’re making, obviously! No, I don’t know Caroline Rose, but I will investigate, thank you. xo. ** Uday, Hi. You know, the only thing that matters is that the film mattered to you. The rest is just opinions aka noise. I love things that all kinds of brilliant people don’t, and them not getting the power I got from those things is their loss, and same with CMBYN. Haha, about your impetus for ceasing your poet identity. I’ve seen ‘Berlin Alexanderplatz’, but I don’t think I’ve actually watched the entire thing. So, I’m with you. It’s a time commitment, that’s for sure. I still haven’t watched Season 3 of ‘Twin Peaks’, which is ridiculous of me, but spending that long on something I’m not personally making is daunting to me. Weird me. ** Okay. Years ago someone who called themselves Son_of_James_Benning, but who is pretty certainly not actually the son of James Benning since I don’t think Mr. Benning has a son, made that beautiful, Benning-ish post up there, and I always liked it a bunch, so I brought it back to life. There you go. See you tomorrow.


  1. _Black_Acrylic

    Was never into Zelda but I look at these scenes and cannot fail to be moved.

    Leeds United won their game in the playoffs last night 4-0! We will play the final in London at Wembley Stadium next week. The whole team was magnificent, including young Archie Gray. Here he is stood in the centre circle after the match, resembling Link just soaking in the atmosphere.

  2. Charalampos

    Hi. Seeing your Berlin Alexanderplatz comment, I wonder if you have seen World on a wire. It’s one of my faves by him. I feel it’s very special. That’s a lengthy one too but not as lengthy as BA. I feel it’s 3-4h? I am thinking of doing a rewatch. Hi from my new tidy room looking cool as fuck and me reading The marbled swarm carrying it with me around using the mysterious card as bookmark so there are way less or way more chances for me to lose it?
    Hi from very dull Crete happy weekend ahead

  3. Jamie F

    Heyy DC 😀

    It’s funny because in my last comment I debated calling you DC for a split second but decided not to, and you’ve just called me JF like you’ve read my mind, so I guess it’s appropriate to call you DC now!?

    I really like this post! I’ve only played the recent games but yes Link does seem very lonely! I’d never really thought about it before. I think it’s because he lives in a world populated by obvious NPCs. Makes me think of God Jr actually, haha. Maybe if he got stoned.

    Re: my friend’s novel… I wrote out my whole feelings about it like an essay and looked at it and just thought ‘this is too mean’, so I’m going to edit heavily before I send. He’ll get the ‘nice’ version. The thing is, being mean or cruel is never my intention when I deal with others, I don’t like it, I’m actually very sensitive… but it comes across that way, sometimes.

    Although, in my fiction I allow myself to be mean and cruel. Fiction isn’t hurting anyone, right!?

    I can’t believe you read Notes from Underground in school! Was it part of the curriculum or did you read it independently? (Am I dumb?) I might reread it, I remember it being dark and vindictive and weirdly relatable considering… 19thC St. Petersburg. It made me stop and reflect on my own life. Glad it had a strong impact on you too, an early influence, perhaps?

    Fingers crossed for the film! Stressful but also exciting, I guess?

    Also thanks for mentioning my shout out to Harper, haha. I like that you referred to me as they, either you didn’t want to assume, or you’ve already figured out I’m nonbinary. I like to think the latter, somehow!


    • Harper

      Hey Jamie, sorry I didn’t see the nice shout out until now.
      I personally think that you can be somewhat unflattering in your depiction of people if a lot of the other characters are that way. I really don’t like when writers feel like they are on some kind of moral high ground and present themselves as perfect. At the same time it’s difficult to make generalisations about that kind of thing, because characters can be devices for several things.
      Cool to meet you,

      • Jamie F

        Hi Harper 😊 just in case you don’t see this… I’ll mention you and reply in my next comment. cool to meet you too

  4. Mark

    I’m super bummer we aren’t in Paris – c’est la vie! Our friends James Unsworth and Pol Anglada should be at the fair. Caroline Rose is pretty interesting. Her music swings from pop to folk to hints of post punk. She’s a real song smith – knowing how to get into a song and get out of it. LA Zine Fest is Sunday, June 23rd 11am-6pm.

  5. Sypha

    In some ways I think Link might be his loneliest in the very first Zelda game. After all, in that game, there are very few friendly NPCs to interact with, aside from a few merchants hiding in caves and the occasional fairy. At least in the later games he has allies and more friendly faces around. But in the first game he’s pretty much on his own.

    Dennis, in some ways I find writing Pleasant material much easier than writing horror stories. With horror stories you really have to focus on atmosphere and dramatic buildup and the “scary” moments but don’t really have to worry about that re: Pleasant. The only real problem with them is they’re pretty undramatic I guess (something that bugs Misa: I forgot to mention it yesterday but the “Oregon Trail” story was his least favorite in the collection, basically the total opposite of how Justin felt about it ha ha). But it was an interesting experiment, and at least proved I’m not a “Jonny One Note” when it comes to short fiction. Somewhat perversely a large bulk of the first drafts for them were written during the 2 month long Covid lockdown back in 2020.

  6. Bill

    What a curious project today, Dennis. And that Toto boy a few days ago, ha. I have to admit, I first thought of the band. And it’s funny how Frankenstein is now almost always linked with the Universal/Karloff makeup.

    Work was cramping my style bigtime, but I’m getting a breather or 3. Caught “I Saw the TV Glow”, loved the first hour, the rest could use some umm intervention. Wonder if anyone has reworked movies using 3D animation systems to “fix” problematic endings. I’m tempted, but I don’t have the 3D chops.

    The folks from Microscope Gallery in NY were in town to present their Avant-barb program of Barbie-related shorts. The highlight was Joe Gibbons’ “Barbie’s Audition”, the creepiest thing I’ve seen in ages. Gibbons has done some wild stuff, like robbing a bank and filming the process.


  7. Huckleberry Shelf

    Hi Dennis,

    My first time posting here but big fan–of your writing and the blog. Love this post, definitely very Benning, also very like the Phil Solomon Grand Theft Auto movies. It’s cool to think about something as meticulously constructed as a video game as raw material to be made into something else like this.

    I just read a book that made me think of your writing. The Clerk by Guillermo Saccomanno, have you read it? If not, you should. It’s very dark but in I guess a casual/frank way which reminded me of your books. I don’t think that’s very articulate, but so it goes.

    Anyways, I’ve been meaning to comment on here for a while but even though you’re so welcoming the act of writing to you has felt scary. Your writing has been extremely influential to mine, so thank you for that. Super excited for your new book.

    Best, Huckleberry

  8. Dominik


    What a serene post! I really love it.

    I’d never heard the phrase “wizard’s sleeve” before I looked it up yesterday, either. But the internet told me it is what it is.

    Oh, no! It’s horrible when you run into someone you really, really don’t want to run into, escape the situation, but are left with the feeling that it didn’t go quite as seamlessly as you hoped – especially if there’s any chance the person will later let you know they saw you. Awkward as hell. Is it likely that that’ll happen in your and Zac’s case?

    Love granting one of your wishes, no questions asked, Od.

  9. Lucas

    Hi dennis!

    really love these screencaps. I’ve always found the zelda games (mostly botw, as it’s the only I really spent time with) weirdly melancholic. hope link doesn’t jump off that bridge!

    your plans sound far cooler than mine, I have another long weekend but all I have planned so far is quickly dropping by a family reunion tomorrow (if I’m going at all lol) and doing some more studying. what kind of surprises are you hoping for at that press fair?

    watching fire walk with me with a friend was surprisingly enjoyable considering the content of the film, so maybe I’ll do something similar again. I talk way too much during movies but it’s fun. I’ll check out hour of the wolf asap, I’ve had a little bout of insomnia recently so maybe I’ll make use of that later tonight.

    I only noticed some new little details in fire walk with me: that laura’s rape is one of the quietest scenes in the movie (save from her screams, I guess) and how well that contrasts the pink room sequence, the way donna turns away when she sees laura crying at the bang bang bar, bobby’s hilarious look of horror when he shoots the mike-lookalike, little things like that.
    and maybe it’s because I’ve seen it four times and I’m way too well-versed in twin peaks conspiracy theories but I’ve realized that it’s one of lynch’s most straightforward movies to me. I know it was booed at cannes for being too weird but that’s never, ever made sense to me. did you watch it directly after it came out and how do you feel about twin peaks in general?

  10. Harper

    Hey Dennis! Yes, it’s best not to go down the route of airing your dirty laundry in public. I like eavesdropping and gossip though, even if it has nothing to do with me or anyone I know. Still, I always resist the urge to provoke it. But yes, I would be cool to talk over that kind of thing with you. I unfortunately don’t see myself going to Paris anytime soon, especially since the Olympics are coming up. I’m going to Barcelona in the summer for a short trek and considered a weekend in Paris on the way back to see what was going on, but that would have been a crazy idea. I went to Lisbon last summer and I just happened to go the week the pope was visiting and there were all these Catholic teenagers on a pilgrimage hoarding the streets and public transport. Most of them were half asleep and were either drunk, high, or making out with someone. If it wasn’t so hot and crowded I might have found it funny. Anyway, if you’re ever in London sometime in the future that would be cool as well.

    I’ve been doing viewings of my place for potential renters when my flatmates move out. My landlord is letting me doing it myself so I can find people I get along with, but I found out he’s trying to sell my room behind my back so that’s great. Luckily I’ve found a lot of people. As I’ve said, I’ve been stressed as of late, but I’ve been looking up when I consider that at least I’m not bored.

  11. Steve

    I hoped this would be James Benning’s Zelda film!

    I had a root canal this afternoon. I learned that I cracked an entire tooth last week, so while I’m in less pain now, I need to go back to the dentist to have the tooth extracted.

    Based on one listen, the Billie Eilish album is closer to her debut. Most of the songs are quiet and subdued, although there are many shifts of dynamics and genre. “Lunch,” which has become the single, is a lot more upbeat than anything else.

    • Steve

      Thanks to TikTok, Pavement’s “Harness Your Hopes” just went gold! Did you hear their recent singles compilation? Was there anything new to you?

  12. Darby🤯🪓🤬 😲😮😬

    noo they didnt include Link’s ball physics 🙁 How could they not. You remember that clip? If not here ya go!
    Hi how are you? Frankly I think I could be better. but I’ll keep trying. Oh speaking of frankly…Frankie, I took pictures of us two the other day because I spent the day with her in my room the other day and it was just fun messing around and she’s so warm idk how she does. No one in the world loves me as my cat does, if I was hospitalized, maybe its true no one would get the chance to wonder where I went but I know my cat always does.
    But then again, she probably just wonders, “god im starving, where’s the human feeder?”

    I sewed a doll the other day. That was kind of cool. I realize that I am kind of boring, Or at least right now, because in the past like highschool I guess it was just chaos anfter the next and now its chaos but its only internal, occasionally coming out from torn fabric and idk I guess very tall places. Very tall places.

    Oh ive been listening to The Melvins Houdini a lot lately. Did you see the space launch today? Well it was in Florida, but am sure if you stood on your toes.
    I start school the 20th. Unfortunately all my classes are online. Damn.

  13. Justin D

    Hey, Dennis. Yes, a yard I’m desperately trying to get someone else to take care of. I really liked what you wrote about your building’s courtyard being stone/concrete and it not needing you. Poetry. I’m totally with you on the coffee front. I practically run on lattes, hot and iced. I’ve never had a cafe allonge. Sound good, but probably not sugary enough for me. I went into the city today, but didn’t make it to Powell’s, unfortunately. You’re right, it’s such a great store. Did you ever do any readings there? I really like today’s post. It has this lovely melancholic vibe. Like Jamie F, it made me think of ‘God Jr.’. Which I adored, obviously.

  14. Uday

    I think about the opinions I’m big on metatext being part of the experience+am always finding people who love things I don’t and I see the light (various reviews of Jarrell) or love things I love in different ways (Benjamin on Kafka). Rarely, they will persuade me that a thing I found value in didn’t deserve it, but this pales in comparison to the benefit+helps edify nevertheless. On the length thing, how long has this film taken you to work on?
    Having a Harry Smith Day over here at the Galerie Uday. Last year I was fortunate enough to attend the 15th (16th?) ever screening of his Mahagonny adaptation. I’ve never fallen for a movie quite like that. The Kurt Weill connection helps. So today I re-watched Heaven and Earth Magic and also the early animations. So delicious.

  15. Oscar 🌀

    Hey (x3) Dennis,

    Living dream vibes very much received. Woke up around 6am rather than the 5am start I’ve been cursed with lately — so that was super chill. It’s nice and lovely and sunny here already, and everyone in the house (i.e. my boyfriend and our cat) is sound asleep and will be for a while. I don’t know if you live with anyone else or anything, but solo morning time is just – ugh – 10/10. This post was a nice little morning coffee companion piece. Also pleased to confirm that pigeons are more than acceptable, even preferable.

    Also, I’m pretty sure I think I remember you mentioning it to someone the other day, but I finally caved in and watched ‘Poor Things’ last night. Honestly? It was really, really good. I liked the first half an hour or so the most since I had absolutely no idea what was going on and I always love that, but the rest of the film is great too. Recommend it for sure (when the hype dies down a liiiiiittle bit more).

    Today it’s going to be 23 degrees and sunny (feel like I’m doing David Lynch’s weather report), so hoping Paris can gift you something similar! See ya see ya!

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