Author Archive

COME OUTSIDE

by on Jun.13, 2011

Speaking of contamination…

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Closed-Loop Obstructions

by on May.09, 2011

SUNDOWNERS

Body trauma is my look. I’m so good at this one of the nurses asks if I work in the medical field. I’ve got tubes in every orifice. I haven’t eaten in like a week. I keep getting texts but I’m like NO WITNESSES. The only way to do this right is to assault time on all fronts so I’ve been basically giving an hj to this morphine pump ever since I woke up. I’m hunched over my IV stand facing a floor-to-ceiling window. Watching the sun set over the city until everything is quiet and dark. I don’t turn around. I know the sundowners are rising from their slumber, confused as shit. I know a few are just now beginning their aimless, terrified wanderings. I can already hear their collective wail reverberating against all things sane and young in this world. These are my people.

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from THE BOOK OF DAN | RARE MASTERY

by on Apr.23, 2011

A couple of months ago I was in Destin, FL with my family. One day we went to this place that served gross food. There were alligators there. Anyway they also had one of those things that are filled with stuffed animals that you try to rescue with a scary mechanized claw. The stuffed animals looked like they’d been in there a long time. In particular, there was this space monkey smashed against the glass. He was in an impossible position. There was no way he would ever be saved by a mechanized claw. This was his life, for ever and ever. And yet deep down he knew that even if he were rescued, even if he were free, this would still be his life. He knew, deep down, that his life was analogous to all life. To be trapped against the glass for all eternity — this is life. This is what it is to be free.

Also, for those who’ll be in NYC this upcoming week and ARE ALSO interested in poets who exude rare mastery of the craft, look no further:

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People Are the Disaster

by on Apr.01, 2011

Footage from The Allnighter (1987), starring Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles fame, directed by her mother.

Disclaimer for those heading to their Netflix queue: video makes movie seem more exciting than it is.

Music: “The Sound of the Crowd”, The Human League.

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For those of you in the Amherst area this weekend

by on Mar.29, 2011

Please come experience my poetry live @ Flying Object on Sunday, with Dredd Foole. Should be a good time — here’s a sneak peak of what you’re in for:

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SWF: An Introduction

by on Mar.27, 2011

[Disclaimer: Intro based entirely on the trailer and a vague memory of this movie]

In the summer of 1991, Terminator 2: Judgment Day broke box office records with its techno-apocalyptic vision of the future declaring war on the present day. The following summer, audiences were treated to another sci-fi action horror fantasy about utopian technology and the impending end of human beings. This movie was Single White Female. Its premise is a warning to those of us living in the future: Propagate your image at your own risk. As the plot of this piece of work indicates, a life and the image of a life cannot live at the same time, and so it happens that what validates one’s existence may also eradicate it. The image starts by making demands. It asks where the hell you’ve been. It sleeps with your boyfriend. Finally it burns your clothes and comes after you with a meat hook.

Tonight we’re going to witness a prophetic allegory of the Facebook era, distributed by Columbia Pictures in 1992. Twenty years later we are all celebrities, in love and at war with our image. Tonight, we are all single white females.

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Red Dawn: Too Red or Not Red Enough

by on Mar.17, 2011

You may have heard that a remake of the 1984 U.S. patriotic action thriller Red Dawn was in the works, with the villain upgraded from Soviet Russia to the People’s Republic of China. You may have also heard that bankrupt studio MGM was shopping its completed-but-unreleased remake to rival studios as part of a financial restructuring effort. You may have also heard that this shopping effort was unsuccessful due to fears that being associated in any way with this anachronistic/prophetic xenophantasy would probably deep six your remaining opportunities within the Chinese market, and might also lead to sanctions from the PRC government. And just this week, you may have also heard that MGM subsequently performed a situation assessment and determined that the most appropriate course of action would be to convince potential audiences that the Chinese villains in Red Dawn are in fact North Koreans.

Read the details over at the L.A. Times

Key findings

The difference between China and North Korea can be monetized at less than $1 million. “People close to the picture said the changes will cost less than $1 million and involve changing an opening sequence summarizing the story’s fictional backdrop, re-editing two scenes and using digital technology to transform many Chinese symbols to Korean.”

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Survival Is the Apocalypse: Britney Spears, Bataille, and the Phantom Zone

by on Mar.13, 2011

Aside from the iconic “…Baby One More Time” and Christina’s “Genie in a Bottle”, I really can’t handle the late ‘90s / early ‘00s incarnation of pop associated with Lou Pearlman. It all feels like a bad hangover from the late ‘80s, with the early ‘90s as the blackout at the end of the night. But while the stars of Christina and Timberlake have since spiraled in opposite trajectories (with Pearlman sentenced to 25 years for being a total asshole), Britney Spears has (de)stabilized into something of an anomaly within the pop constellation. More electron than star, she occupies a kind of probability distribution rather than a specific nodal point, manifesting as this or that image whenever an observation takes place, and only then. I’m an unapologetic fan of late career Spears, which at this point comprises just two albums, Blackout and Circus, and is about to include a third, Femme Fatale. But Blackout had the misfortune of being released during the apex of Spears’ extended public/personal meltdown, culminating in her disastrous performance of “Gimme More” at the MTV VMAs in 2007:

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Baby Zeno and the Paper

by on Mar.01, 2011

I don’t mean to bury the other March 1 posts by propagating an internet meme, so please scroll down after this meditation on pre-Socratic philosophy.

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FREE DRUNK | PUBLIC

by on Feb.19, 2011

PUBLIC

I’m in public. I’ve got that pulsing thing in my right temple. I’m basically tithing 90% of my thoughts here. I roll in with this fishbowl feeling and head straight for the people who look least drunk. Someone tries to strike up a conversation but I’m being really standoffish. Everything feels translated into Sanskrit. I’m like retarded and operating remotely. I think about staring hard into a mirror someplace private but it’s like there is no bathroom only a line to the bathroom. Some people I know are floating around like a Greek chorus so I bail. Try to hail a cab but I can’t even deal. I’m walking south toward the bridge eating an energy bar splashing bottled water on my face. I feel the sky pressing down like a positively charged void. I feel so sick. I feel impossible. I feel like after-birth.

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THIS IS MY BRAIN

by on Jan.27, 2011

I wanted to clarify what I mean by “nothingness” but it got boring real fast, so I made this video of my brain instead.

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THE PIN-UP STAKES: Clarifications

by on Jan.24, 2011

* This is a post-script of sorts to my original post THE PIN-UP STAKES: Poetry & the Marketing of Poetry. [for the below I’m paraphrasing and reorganizing replies I made in the comments field of the original post, as well as in the comments field to Mike Kitchell’s post about The Pin-Up Stakes on HTML Giant – thanks especially to Jackie Wang for her engagement]

WHY A MARKETING MODEL?

The central concern of a marketing model is the communication of an idea (or thought, or vision) via the image. This is precisely the concern of the image artist. I would argue, for example, that Jon Leon’s poetry is not poetry but the idea of poetry. As he’s said before, “Poetry is not why you come to poetry.” This is a strategic insight shared by Leon and marketing VPs, and they share a set of tropes as well: in place of Stevens’ palm at the end of the mind we have Leon’s “Beverly Hills of the Mind,” in which the idea of Beverly Hills is more Beverly Hills than Beverly Hills is. This is not to say that Leon is engaging in some kind of trite ironic critique via appropriation. I would argue that he is not critiquing this strategy or these tropes at all. In fact I think he uses them because he feels they are effective. He likes them, and follows Stevens’ adage of “It must give pleasure.” You could argue that many people won’t be able to tell the difference between what Leon is doing and what an ad agency or some asshole is doing, and that this approach could easily lead to a reinforcement of the status quo. I would not disagree with this, but it misses the point. What matters is that his objective is to assert the infinitude of thought, and his tactics are slyly and not-so-slyly disruptive all along the audience expectation spectrum, from staunch conservative to radical leftist. This is what makes him a prototypical pin-up artist. He welcomes and fucks with everyone.
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THE PIN-UP STAKES: Case Study on Jon Leon

by on Jan.19, 2011

* This is a follow up to The Pin-Up Stakes: Poetry & the Marketing of Poetry

“I say sorry, I’m the part where everyone’s dream becomes real.” – Jon Leon, Kasmir

When it comes to the pin-up stakes, the poet is not a prophet or oracle, but an apostle. Not a visionary of things to come, nor a cipher for the voice of God, but a strategist whose thought-practice is oriented around a universal truth. This truth is the impossibility of life itself, and the impossible as the fundamental stuff of reality. Everything is mundane and a miracle at the same time. Whether we’re referencing Rimbaud (“Christmas on Earth”) or Belinda Carlisle (“Heaven is a place on Earth”), the spirit of infinitude is what is most accessible, most dangerous, and most often dismissed.
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