Loser Occult

by on Sep.30, 2010

I have the pleasure of being included in the new 2nd Avenue Poetry dedicated to the occult. It’s a very ghostly and spooky format which obscures all the names of authors and even blacks out some of the text. However, if you can perservere with the format you can read my essay. Here’s an excerpt:

Loser occult is a rejection of any concept of literature still trying to worship at that old altar of patrilineage, of literary inheritance. Do even poets, the most marginalized, penniless and emasculated of cultural producers, have to work day and night in the salt mine of that old sexist and property-obsessed hierarchy? Yet we, more than almost anyone, are supposed to celebrate an exclusive, narrow and harrowing traditionalism. We’re supposed to be its guardians, after all, like those old ladies sweeping the streets in Soviet Russia with twig brooms, as photographed for Newsweek magazine. This generation did this, that generation did that, this old man was the forebear, this young man is the inheritor. The loser occult knocks that edifice down, hangs out in the rubble huffing, hallucinating, gossiping, making out, wasting time, confecting new and obscene humanoid and nonhumanoid forms. Loser occult envisions a kind of leveled, ambivalent, invisible perpetuity without precedence or antecedence, not based on permanence but on decay, infloration, contamination. It rejects youth, youthful promise, power, vigor, resonance, and shared experience but allows for the possibility of weird mutation, arbitrary reanimation, coincidence, corrosion, drag and psychic twinship.

I, Miss Ronald Reagan: I have to live in squalor, (chewing noises) all day long playing hide and seek with odors. I want to be uncommercial film personified. That’s the…. oh wait… have to live in squalor all day long playing hide and seek with odors… no kidding folks. They love dead queers here. (music) [Jack Smith, ‘What’s so Underground about Marshmallows?’]

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4 comments for this entry:
  1. dan citro

    what a pleasure.

  2. dan citro

    Hey Joyelle. I only had a moment to give the essay a look before. And it’s rad. This loser occult sounds like the mall. Or Limbo. Or like they’re huddled in a bunker playing cards. No, it’s we’re. Or the war’s over, and there’s nothing doing. Useless, useless. Said Wilkes Booth, then he died. That is to say, became unsuitable for use. I’m into this space where the rotting Reagan face meets the dandy’s velvet coat, where boredom sorta sticks its thumb in the gears. You present a kind of trans/multi/inter-decadence (is this how you see it?), sprawled across time, like the giggles or like rot, I guess. Rot. Or that has knocked it into no time like the present. And we’re already after. Hanging round. That is to say, books of the dead.

  3. Monica

    but dc, you’re on a boat and it’s sunk. guess we can thank them for sinking.

  4. Robb

    Am I way off in reading some of Paul Mann’s critical writing into this?