Dan Hoy - Aliens invent human beings out of aliens and fuck them. People are forced to fuck each other as sex slaves under alien authority. The morning dew is alien cum on my face


Dan Hoy, Revelations & Confessions: Blood Work Volume II, Slim Princess Holdings, 2012.

Dan Hoy’s new chapbook “Revelations & Confessions: Blood Work Volume II” from Slim Princess Holdings introduces so many ideas, it seem to overflow its short length. Thoughts on sexuality, technology, pornography, and free will explode from its thirty-three pages. Taking the pulp science-fiction trope of aliens versus humans as its central conceit, the chapbook follows a narrative arc which begins with the invention and subjugation of the human race by aliens and culminates with the reclamation of human autonomy. In the opening poem, Hoy writes: “Aliens / invent human beings / out of aliens / and fuck them.” A few poems later: “People are… / forced to fuck each other” as sex slaves under alien authority. When we arrive at: “The morning / dew / is alien cum / on my face” it becomes clear the aliens are functioning in these poems as a metaphor for nature at large; the nature which invents human beings out of itself and lays them low by imbuing them with a sexuality which appears, at first, as a degraded drive which can only lead to misery.
Even as raw sexuality is exploited by the aliens, it is mediated through technology. ”My technology / is fucked.” It’s too easy to read these lines, which are alone on a page, as a vernacular expression of angst. Hoy uses “fucked” as a technical term, the technology has been copulated. This becomes apparent when we read: “The best technology / if you want / to rule Earth / is blood. / Humans / have the best technology.” The human technology of blood is fucked, copulated, the human drive to reproduce is insatiable: “Fucking creates lives.” The aliens attempt to thwart human reproduction at every turn. ”They fondle us. / They make us cum hard / enough.” Hard enough for the human to avoid recourse to their “best technology” of blood and reproduction. ”Aliens / are eating pussy.” And likewise: “The future / of Earth / makes me / cum all over / their tiny alien hands.” Sexual stimulation and orgasm achieved through interaction with the aliens is not productive and takes place exclusively in the sphere of the alien dominating the human.
This situation gives rise to several poems in which the human begins to experience a kind of disgust with sexuality and a drive toward self-exploitation. ”Imagine / impossible sex.” The injunction to imagine the impossible, or limit, of sex seems brought about by the abuses of the aliens and a futile wish for the sexual drive to dissipate or transform into something wholly other. A bit further on: “I want to sell / video / of me fucking / them raw and / creaming / their blank fake faces.” The possibility explored here is that sexual autonomy might be reclaimed through the production and sale of pornography, the participation in an economy both abstracted and separate from the economy of copulating bodies. But the desired escape through technology seems impossible. ”Everything I remember / is an image / on a screen.” The entirety of human experience is mediated through technology, and all technology which is not the “free blood” of humanity further enslaves the human element to the alien: “A basic primer / on memory / protocols / is what my brain / looks like / to the aliens using it.” When all memory is an image on a screen, the alien has access to it as a tool to exploit. Not only does the alien function as an allegory for nature, but for all non-human systems outside the body. Hoy’s point is that we understand non-human nature as well as we understand the systems we ourselves have created, hardly at all.
The chapbook’s final section finds the human gaining the upper hand. ”I volunteer / to legislate this / whatever this is / to bring a Law / into being.” The creative or productive impulse, the “best technology,” takes control of the situation. In a poem as touching as it is graphic, we find: “The sound of insects / at night / makes me / cum for you.” And its conclusion: “Cum with me.” As opposed to “morning dew” which is “alien cum,” we now see nature as a force capable of inspiring a desire for mutual sexual pleasure which is “The whole / of the Law.” The situation remains unknowable (“whatever this is”) but the conditions have improved such that the alien, which truly functions as that which alienates, collapses into a mutual failure to understand rather than an endless play of dominance and submission. In the concluding poem, the alien is conflated with the human as if to imply all humans are as aliens on this planet, unknown, unknowing, and set apart. When, in the last lines we read: “Wait / for the signal,” we’re never meant to understand what the signal is or what it might mean. - David Applegate


Dan Hoy, Omegachurch, Solar Δ Luxuriance, 2010.
download it
the world is the end of the world

SO MEGACHURCHES are like these bombastic monuments of disowned and enslaved minds. A megachurch is basically ritual worship as stadium rock. This is an event akin to a Kiss concert, which is hilarious and terrifying because enlightenment cannot be entertainment, though from a personal perspective it appears as the ultimate attainment. It transcends all attaining. Dan Hoy’s Omegachurch blends the language of science fiction with transhuman eroticism, religious fervor and a sly cyberpunk sensibility to show a post-singularity world, the cosmic omega point where consciousness is fused with autonomous post-human intelligence. This is a world of microchips, transhuman sexuality, video screens and wormholes.
“Megachurch” brings to mind the erotic limitations of Mormonism, a religion whose members have sworn off all drugs, including alcohol and caffeine. Mormons typically marry while still teens. The unnamed speaker recounts, “I’m sandwiched between my mom and sister Bethany as per usual / and all I can think of is Elliot Fisher, my hopefully future and forever bf, / just one of 4,500 bodies filling the pews.” Adolescent sexuality mixes with the unreality of reality. The speaker texts her friends in church and recounts that one time she rejected a suitor “even though we shared an extra-sensory connection and enhanced / cognitive abilities due to the in vitro modifications made to our DNA.” The adolescent speaker matter-of-factly recounts her in-vitro fertilization, a slightly menacing variation on the Virgin Mary’s “immaculate conception.” “Megachurch” is religion mixed with science fiction, where we are “all of us spliced together and projected out onto a single massive screen / hanging over the stage like a sheet of stained glass.”
Following “Megachurch” is the second and final section of Omegachurch, The Godbots. Godbots are those who have ascended through the galactic caste system that seems to be based on intelligence or sexual desirability. The Godbots are basically fragmented god forms who “contort the impossible into being.” These are shards of the demiurge, the intergalactic patriarch obsessed with petty displays of power and prone to pathological outbursts of jealousy and rage. The demiurge is forever “testing” his children and inventing new rules and stipulations that allow Him to inflict greater and more barbarous forms of punishment. This is a predatory universe that Omegachurch unveils. Gods are vicariously experiencing our suffering and delight as we’re thrown into the crucible. This is the Old Testament mixed with the distant future, and it encapsulates a perception that is both futuristic, or speculative, and hopelessly dated, which is awesome.
The characters that populate Hoy’s Omegachurch live under the demiurge, a lawmaker and fence-builder. As demiurge, Jehovah is not a creator, merely an organizer. A god who has perverted his own function and made us slaves to belief. It’s important to note that Jehovah, like any transhuman entity, cannot be seen as “evil” in this regard, only as unqualified for the omnipotence granted Him. Enlightenment is the ultimate form of pain relief. Our pain comes from mostly trying to avoid pain, until we “contort the impossible” and fragment and the fragment fragments ad infinitum. These ghost people that are like shadow people stuck like in a spider’s web and bleeding into reality’s grid. They are as powerless as those Nostromo passengers cocooned up by the alien in order to be used as a host or vessel for more alien-demon entities to be birthed.
Hoy is no longer in thrall to the corpse of reality, the great psychic cauldron from which the Godbots or other transhuman entities siphon their power. Hoy’s poetry in Omegachurch is distinctly cinematic and seems to owe more to science fiction movies of the past thirty years than it does contemporary poetry. This poetry is also full of paranoid awareness. Paranoid awareness is the unshakeable feeling that personal identity is impossible, consensus reality is a hoax, and the future cannot help us. Despite the countless technological innovations the human race is still collectively ensnared by an aura of doom, secretly awaiting an alien invasion or an asteroid strike just to see what comes after that. The cover image of Omegachurch is asteroid 433 Eros. Like the poems in this collection, it is otherworldly and massive. - Chris Moran

Polaroid (Legacy Pictures, August 2010)


Glory Hole, with Jon Leon’s The Hot Tub (Mal-O-Mar Editions, 2009)

“Post-sex, post-American Apparel, but pre-ordained and vampiric. It’s unclear if this is God or, like, Dracula.” - Bomb

“Rains down invectives and disenchantment with the force of moral imperative… Hilarious, staccato blasts of contempt and pain.” - Sink Review

“Proudly defiant poems of obscene opulence and opulent obscenity.” - HTMLGiant

Glory Hole, whose promotional video features a man falling and burning, reads like a life flashing before someone’s eyes. The voice, unlike Leon’s, is post-sex, post-American Apparel, but preordained (“I like faces that take my thoughts and make them better”) and vampiric (“after nine thousand years, pretty much everything is a waste of time”). It’s unclear if this is God or, like, Dracula. Either way, these are the frank admissions of someone, possibly eternal, bending over his own reflection and watching himself see-an image of Narcissus that brings us, naturally, to Baudelaire: M-O-M’s next edition will be a much needed new translation of My Heart Laid Bare. - Rachel Kushner

Dan Hoy’s Glory Hole rains down invectives and disenchantment with the force of moral imperative, while Jon Leon’s The Hot Tub perambulates through scenes seemingly from a lost Bret Easton Ellis novel in a haze of drugged out languor. But both are basically about Awesomeness. Actions and utterances are always taken to the nth degree: “I feel like the circle circumscribing everything.” (Hoy) “Listening to the songs that make my life rule and thinking about how much fun it was.” (Leon) “I have so much / power I end up vomiting space.” (Hoy) “This is what they said writing was all about. I’ve managed to extend its apparition to infinity.” (Leon). The lack of depth masquerading as lack of depth in this split chapbook release from Mal-O-Mar Editions gradually reveals a psychological exhaustion (emphasis on psyche = soul) that both poets implicitly acknowledge, even channel, but cannot or choose not to confront directly, glorying instead in the specter of grandeur and decadence.
The hilarious, staccato blasts of contempt and pain that are Dan Hoy’s poems gradually bring to mind the Dennis Cooper poem “Elliott Smith at 14″, quoted in part here:
I hug my friends until
we're bruised. I won't
quit hugging them,
not if they scream
at me to stop. Every-

thing's a machine.
Snort it. Everyone's
a ride. I won't stop
riding us until the barf
backs up in my throat.

Everyone's fantastic
every second. Suddenly
one of us is torn apart
by a machine, but I'm too
real to care. Fuck you.
Cooper, in his mid-fifties, is canny enough to position this rant into the articulate inarticulateness of a teen fuckup destined for greatness. This makes “Fuck you” acceptable. While the tone of Hoy’s poems are similar, there is no suggestion that the poems come from anyone besides the persona of a totally jaded adult staring down mediocrity. This at once makes Hoy’s persona less endearing, less vulnerable, and the poems themselves more vulnerable (to criticism). “I spent a whole season once without / a drop of water and so did the dirt / I slept with” does not play so well in more high-minded circles.
The almost vampiric malice of the poems are little-guarded by pyrotechnic wordplay or syntax manipulation. Poems launch, punch your gut, and peace out. “I Won’t Stop Ever” in its entirety:
What I want is
tucked away in the small of your back
like a tapeworm. I'd give my firstborn
for a tool calibrated to waste
no energy and no measurable amount of time. The needle
will sedate them first, if you're scared.
My life saves lives.
The poems’ simple declarative sentences sometimes get extra torque with a combination of creative enjambment and seeming non sequitur that either clips a sentence before we expect:
I make out with oracles or
what's the point.
or extends its scope further:
I teach the kids with shit for brains
and the illest aracana mundi in the world.
Speaking of aracana mundi, Glory Hole displays a strange fascination with spirituality and mysticism couched in poems generally concerned with work and play: “Tetragrammatron”, “Mediums”, are tossed out there; a poem is called “I Can Feel My Brain Already in the Christ Grid”; and once the speaker remarks: “O resplendent Angel Gabriel, I’m sure it was / technically the opposite of black magick / but come on.” What is this gesturing to? When exactly does posturing gets confused with sincerity? “I feed on plasma and cry a lot / and suck at feelings.”
Glory Hole is like the emotional version of Irving Kristol’s definition of neoconservative as “a liberal who has been mugged by reality.” The poetry is like a wound that grew a nasty scar which inspires a combination of fear, awe, and disgust. Going into its motivations feels futile and is actively discouraged: “History is for kids. Tomorrow / is full of horror, stupidity and death.”
While Glory Hole‘s jadedness has a take-on-all-comers jitteriness, The Hot Tub languidly moves through time and space. The time and space of Jon Leon’s poems is much more specific than Hoy’s (read Los Angeles). Like Ellis, the speaker describes excess and indulgence matter-of-factly, as if none of it is a big deal. “I dunk my waist into a hot tub at Sundance. Some babes arrive in white bikinis with Ketel One. They are like snowflakes in tangerine boots eating Doritos.”
The Hot Tub‘s untitled opening poem sets the stage, and is actually at an emotional pitch above the sequence that follows it. While the rest of the poems are narrated by the protagonist in a clinical, novelistic fashion, the opening poem is directed at a specific, unnamed person in a voice that is gushing, intimate, druggy, and hyper-sincere, “I’m so glad you’re here. I love you. I was listening to The Barclay Hour. It’s the only thing that makes me feel good. I wrote this vignette for you. I need you to listen to me and make me feel good and party with me…At the museum I was looking at The Abduction of Europa. All I could think about was how real it is to be alive…Listening to the songs that make my life rule and thinking about how much fun it was.”
The poems move like compressed scenes from Less Than Zero, and it is easy to forget that this is apparently supposed to be contemporary, replete with Facebook, mp3s, American Apparel, and Cory Kennedy eating a slice. Leon encourages this confusion with continuous 80s references to Michael Kors, “99 Luftballons”, Time-Life cassettes. Leon even writes scenes with things that are downright anachronistic, such as when the speaker calls his broker from “a wall of payphones.”
The broker says “the open market is drowning,” but in the context our current economic waste land, the mixture of cheesy excess and eighties iconography gradually exposes the ridiculousness of virtually everything the speaker says, does, and feels. This sense of the ridiculousness is what separates The Hot Tub from the deadpan tone of Ellis. This might suggest that The Hot Tub is mere materialistic critique or satire, but there is more to it than that. “Sike, I’m at home, my life is a warzone, wondering where the people are.”
Another anachronism is telling. After typical Hot Tub activity (“I pinch my crotch as a limo rolls past.”), the speaker describes how, “I go into a vacant building that’s empty, pop some batteries into my Walkman, and dance myself to tears.” Why is the speaker fooling with a Walkman? Nostalgia, certainly. Earlier in the poem (“California”) he says “In my head, I’m rolling back the years.” The Hot Tub is the work of nostalgia for certain kinds of aspirations that the poet rationally knows 1). cannot happen and 2). are dumb. It is like when David Thomson, describing The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant says it “still has no equal in its simultaneous delight in ‘style’ while pouring acid over the image.”  To put it another way, The Hot Tub is emotional kitsch somewhere between Nicki Rose and Yacht Rock.
Hoy and Leon both embody this reaching for emotion without pretending they are not doing so, and in so doing, sometimes say exactly what they mean, and both chapbooks are Awesome because of that. In some quarters this strategy of irony may be scorn-worthy, but this slick veneer is maybe not so much more removed than an earnestness veiled behind a wall of water and tree metaphors. Somehow it may even be more vulnerable. That is not to say that Hoy and Leon cannot or should not strive for less posturing to articulate feelings and ideas. Both seem to have such an ability. Or else they can just go irony forevz. Dan Magers

I recently read a really awesome split book by Dan Hoy and Jon Leon called  "GLORY HOLE | THE HOT TUB," published by Mal-O-Mar.  
The book is a beautiful square, pleasing to hold with simple (how you say....?) colored line art on each side for each author's half of the book.   Think of a 45 rpm record, but each side is a hit, and each side is by a different artist.   Lennon/McCartney if you will, only these two guys don't have to write in the same house with the other guy's wife hanging around caterwauling..... Though that would be kind of a fun experiment... But I digress.
Most poets' egos would not allow them to split a book.  The man may want it but the ego wouldn't allow it, but these two poets are above that. Hell they're in their own worlds.  Jon Leon's work reminded me of Frederick Seidel's masterpiece "Ooga Booga" (which you have to read if you haven't already) in the best of ways.  No, it didn't cop Seidel's vibe. No it didn't steal Seidel's essence, but it served me with such a high MPH of personality and West Coast-ery, I lost my breath half way in.  Leon lives in California. No, not that one! The one in the Carolinas.   Get it, McFly?  It's called LIVING IN CALIFORNIA IN YOUR MIND.
And no, I'm not high. But I wish I were.
Here's a piece from "The Hot Tub" that explicates my point, daddy.  Lazy as I am, I chose the one aptly titled "CALIFORNIA":

I'm standing on the corner of Martin and McDowell. I pinch
my crotch as a limo rolls past.  A bank of fluorescent lights
accentuates the whole thing.  In my head I'm rolling back the
years. I go into a vacant building that's empty, pop some
batteries into my Walkman, and dance myself to tears. When I
walk outside there's a train. I get on it.

See? This guy literally can be anywhere in the world and he's in California. Masterful.

Flip this bitch over and it's just as good!  A glory hole is when a guy is in a bathroom and there's a hole in the stall and he..... Oh [blushing], you know that already.  Dan Hoy is the guy who came up with the phrase "hate on life" and you've been following his work since 2004.  I know that's a lot to take in, so just think about that over the weekend.   Dan is intensely best friends with personae poems.  The personae of Dan Hoy.  I thought there was a difference between the narrator in his poems and Dan Hoy the man, until I became friends with him and realized how intensely honest these poems are.   Dan's poems will make you STOP hating on life, and that's the point.  Here's the titular poem from his debut book.


I eat steak every day because
it's them or me. The masterpiece
is the frame I hang around my neck
and shove my face in. I wake up
like the night is impossible. My name
in lights and the arms of the jerk
I feel the most.  Every time I think
This is a blast and completely fucked.

If you want to know more (which you do), these two poets interviewed each other (WHO DOES THAT?) on a blog. Read it here.
Oh and here's where you order it.
And here are two promo videos for the book.  They'll make your body interested as well as your mind. - Amy Lawless

Did you follow that headline? New from Mal-o-Mar Editions is a poetry split– Jon Leon’s The Hot Tub and Dan Hoy’s Glory Hole, together in one spine. You might remember Jon from Hit Wave, the wonderful chapbook he did for Kitchen Press, and Dan Hoy is of course the co-editor of Soft Targets, the journal that did one (two?) legendary issue(s) before apparently winking out of existence, though it, like Jesus, may yet one day return. Anyway, to celebrate the Leon-Hoy Pact (it’s like the Glass-Steagall act, kind of) I thought it would be nice to pair some of their poems together, in little flights. We were doing this the other night at my house–me and some friends, getting slowly loaded on asscheap bourbon and reading these proudly defiant poems of obscene opulence and opulent obscenity aloud to one another. Fun starts after you click the button.

I throw down miracles
because I’m a coward. The sky
is exactly how I feel all the time.
I like fire and blood and being
fucked with or called forth.
I might as well jerk my own face.
I wake up in a vortex near The Raleigh. Stumble out into a blitzkrieg of heat. I think I’m near an ocean. I go up to a local aquaria and order a Cuervo and lime twist. It’s morning I think. So I left 3 days ago on The Crescent. Several hot teenagers walk by in red bikinis. My suit is sort of wrinkled. I follow the length of an unholy green wall, watch some fish scuttle by, nearly trip on a puppy. Some books and then rollerblading.
My problem is I dream the entire world
is everything. Instead
of stars and bad forms of God
I drive like an asshole because it’s the truth.
I’m standing on the corner of Martin and McDowell. I pinch my crotch as a limo rolls past. A bank of fluorescent lights accentuates the whole thing. In my head I’m rolling back the years. I go into a vacant building that’s empty, pop some batteries into my Walkman, and dance myself to tears. When I walk outside there’s a train. I get on it.
Since the reaction to yesterday’s Hoy-Leon extravaganza, I figured the best–perhaps the only–thing we could do is double down. Here, then, are some more selections from The Hot Tub (Leon) and Glory Hole (Hoy), the new split poetry collection out from Mal-o-Mar Editions.
I feel at home when I forget
life. I phone it in because
this shit is real. My world
is made of systems and worlds. I give up
nothing and make no mistakes.
I try to be awesome because I can.

Pumping iron at Club Emme. So it’s sort of dope. And then I take a private car to the studio. Visk meets me at the studio and we shoot some beautiful agonies. I’d like to thank my connect for this pure moment. I pull a Nikon zoom to my crotch and laugh like a little institutional. So I was an orphan. Now I moved to Malibu. People end up dead. Then we are like in Spain. Or at the Bar Lubitsch being photographed in 80s Michael Kors.
I would sacrifice everything
worthless in my life and call it a day. People
are what happen to good ideas.
Better collars. The shape of the sky above The Beverly Hills hotel. Red lights. I look at my shoes in the lobby of another hotel. Sitting there thinking lucite thoughts on wooden ships. Replicate the hook in me. Skip the mall for Inside Edition. I’m with Tatiana buzzed staring at wood paneling in a basement somewhere. 111 to Palm Canyon Drive. Cory Kennedy eats a pizza. My whole life I’ve lived here. Playing with bamboo. - Justin Taylor

Basic Instinct: Poems, Triple Canopy, 2008.


Outtakes (Lame House Press, 2007)



Glory Holes and Hot Tubs: Dan Hoy and Jon Leon in Conversation

Dan Hoy lives in Brooklyn and is co-founder of SOFT TARGETS, a magazine of art, literature, and philosophy. His publications include Glory Hole, published with Jon Leon’s The Hot Tub (Mal-O-Mar, 2009), Basic Instinct: Poems (Triple Canopy, 2008), and Outtakes (Lame House Press, 2007). His essays and poetry have appeared in Octopus, Jubilat, 3:AM, Action Yes, and elsewhere.
Jon Leon: So, I just read Glory Hole again for the first time in a while. Why the title Glory Hole when there are no actual glory holes in the book, unless the "masterpiece" that is "the frame I hang around my neck / and shove my face in" (from "Glory Hole") is a glory hole? What does the glory hole or the idea of a glory hole symbolize or represent for you?
Dan Hoy: The masterpiece is a play off of that image from one of your poems in Right Now the Music and the Life Rule, “Her hair is framing her face like it is a masterpiece”, with the face defined as a fidelity to a beauty that’s impossible. The masterpiece is always a miracle. But I’m exploiting the syntactical ambiguity to shift the masterpiece from the face to the frame, or the act of framing, of becoming the frame. To me there’s no real difference. But yeah it’s also a glory hole. The poems function as a glory hole. They act as both portal and partition, so a site of entry but also a barrier. Like if Dante’s entire human comedy was physically contained within the sign at the door that says “Abandon all hope ye who enter here.” There is no space, just direct address, with a relentless antagonizing of the wall that divides intimacy and anonymity. They strip all context and speak to you in the face. But really I just decided one day I wanted to write a book called Glory Hole. This is mid-way through writing the book. It seemed like the perfect title, the words glory and hole crystallizing into this image of the glorious and the bottomless. The image as divine trauma, a kind of supreme ambivalence. I don’t mean just the concept of glory hole as an image, but the image as a concept in general. The first image is always the universe or the image of nothingness. All images are a reflection of the first image. In Glory Hole it’s called God.
I see these books as flipsides of infinity in orbit around each other but I know we haven’t really talked about it. For me the framing image of both Glory Hole and The Hot Tub is a circle, except one is empty and the other is filled with water. It’s like the difference between the void and the abyss. I’m wondering what the hot tub means to you as an image. For example does the circle function as a site of infinity, with water as the substance of life but also the way of life? I’m thinking of lines like “this world is totally liquid” but also specifically “He slowly parts with the cloud of immersed bodies” from the titular poem, where bodies move like water through a body of water made of bodies.
JL: The hot tub to me is a site of luxury and abandon. It’s a place that people go when they are just that drunk enough. It’s the first poem I wrote from the book. The title came to me after viewing a photo taken at Sundance of models in white bikinis sitting in a hot tub surrounded by the whitest snow. That it’s filled with water and human bodies is a financial concept in my mind. The idea of flows, money flows, and that money truly moves like water and is accessible easily even when one doesn’t have any money – one must simply place oneself between a transaction. The idea that the world is totally liquid is the idea of pure possibility, where everything is permitted and everything is within one’s reach. The vignettes in The Hot Tub are people coming together in a transaction. It’s like a ledger itemizing human interactions rather than financial transactions. The sun is always shining on these characters because "Solar energy is the source of life’s exuberant development." When people or a society have developed sufficiently they’ve created time. Austrian School economist Henry Hazlitt refers to it in Economics in One Lesson when he describes that a certain amount of unemployment is a good thing, because it means an advancement in productivity. Full employment, according to Hazlitt, is reserved for the countries that are most retarded. Time is for exudation, waste, as all profits are inevitably. Bataille turns rational economics on its head when he writes "that energy, which constitutes wealth, must ultimately be spent lavishly (without return), and that a series of profitable operations has absolutely no other effect than the squandering of profits." The Hot Tub is that reverie reserved for those advanced enough, immersed enough in the license of the market, to understand that waste is a condition of success. I relate this fact without a critical objective.

DH: I don’t know Hazlitt but I remember reading Bataille talking about the practice of potlatch among Native American tribes, where the objective is to humiliate and defy rivals through the spectacular destruction of your own wealth. Sometimes this entails slaughtering your own slaves. This seems apropos of waste as a condition of success. He uses the term “expenditure” for what he calls unproductive forms, or activities with no end beyond themselves. Things like luxury and war, mourning, art, etc. These are all characterized by a loss that must be as great as possible for the activity to take on its true meaning. So it’s about maximizing the opposite of return, attaining the most negative ROI possible. What’s interesting is he singles out poetry as being synonymous with expenditure. I’d say this explicit equating of expenditure and poetry is, if not the heart of your poetics, something at the heart of it. In Kasmir especially expenditure creates a field in order to perforate itself, so there are these moments of ecstatic infinity bursting through. But Bataille I think takes it in a different direction. For him poetry is a symbolic expenditure that does real damage to the poet. You end up becoming a reprobate or you renounce it and do something mediocre instead. Rimbaud kind of does both at once. A Season in Hell is basically its own announcement and renunciation. Blanchot’s take is that Rimbaud murdered poetry so it could survive, and Mallarmé says something similar: “He operated on himself alive for poetry.” It’s a strategic decision, and a poetic expenditure to the nth degree in that it expends itself to the last drop. There is nothing more to be lost. This idea of Rimbaud is like the first step. What Glory Hole tries to do is push the limit of negative return, or expand the opportunity beyond what can be lost, by taking this gesture of defiance and multiplying it against itself. In other words, what if Rimbaud felt the way he did, with a force strong enough to abandon poetry forever, and then kept writing anyway? But you could say this is exactly what Baudelaire is doing. It’s like the act of poetry as expenditure is a closed loop between the two: The next step after Baudelaire is Rimbaud, and the next step after Rimbaud is Baudelaire. But at the same time I view the excess of your work, especially Hit Wave, as very Whitmanian, like a French Whitman, rooted in a kind of cosmic exuberance and autoeroticism and fuck it nonchalance. I wanted to ask you about the prologue poem in The Hot Tub, how it relates to the rest of the book. Is it the same speaker? It reads kind of like a dedication to the reader, since it’s untitled and the only piece to use the 2nd person address, unlike Glory Hole, which is punctured throughout with “you”.
JL: I understood intuitively Rimbaud’s refutation of poetry and subsequent activities almost before I began to write poetry. So from the beginning of my practice I’ve courted the idea that poetry is something to be left behind, abandoned. With each successive book I’ve produced I’m getting further from poetry. My practice is a deliberate expenditure, or waste, of talent, in an effort to absolve myself of what I consider a pathogen. I want everyone to stop writing poetry. My prologue to The Hot Tub is indeed an attempt to speak directly to the reader. It’s the only way I know how to relate to the reader that poetry is not it. Poetry is not why you come to poetry. That prologue isn’t a creative work. It’s meant to say exactly what it says: love, music, being "on booze together," quite simply, life, is more important than this. Mediated by art and other forms of sublimation life is reduced to our perception of life. As far as my previous books are concerned I only know that there is a character named Brian Paul, the same throughout, who’s only aim is a draining away of excess energy by any means possible until the energy is finally dissipated and involuntary death occurs. If the things he does or builds or destroys are increasingly excessive it is because it requires more energy to do these things and hence brings him closer to a total liquidation of energy. He achieves this in Kasmir.
If you can talk about why "Everyday is Forever," I might feel like talking about sunlight and sand.
DH: Because it’s always today. Whatever day it is it’s today when you die. This is an instantaneous continuity that’s difficult to experience as fact. Agamben calls our consciousness of our experience of time “operational time”, or “messianic time.” This is the time it takes time to end, or the time between the announcement of the apocalypse and the apocalypse. To me this is really just the circumference of the moment: Right now is happening right now. “The kingdom of God is at hand” is just another way of saying “It is today today.” Paul in Hit Wave captures this experience perfectly when he says “My God I’m really here I say to myself.” The comprehension that life is the impossibility of life. This is what forever is. When I talk about the Now Wave this is really what I’m getting at. There are two nightclubs in Hit Wave: Kasmir and The Embassy. You wrote a novella called Kasmir. Are you going to write anything called The Embassy?

JL: I wasn’t planning on it but now that you mention it maybe I will. I think if I saw a different tone of light I would write The Embassy. The Embassy is under ground, or sand rather, and so I feel like it would be difficult to situate it within the parameters I typically work. Which is usually a response to ratios of ambient light in movies. I mean, that’s usually my jumping off point.
From a macro standpoint, I get the theoretical framework of Glory Hole. I wonder if we could talk about the details. Stuff like "I don’t mean to be a black box" from "Arizona or Florida," and the general attitude of Glory Hole. Like, you mention The Hot Tub as having a fuck-it-all attitude. I’d say Glory Hole has a who-gives-a-fuck attitude. What do you think? What were you reading a lot of while writing it? And also, how do you think these two books relate to this time and culture generally? We could talk about surface culture like fashion etc. or deeper shifts in the way people think and communicate maybe.
DH: I basically quit reading. I could stomach Agamben and one or two others and that’s about it. Mostly I watched serial TV on the internet and listened to the most brazen pop music I could find. I worked 10-15 hours a day, sometimes more. I was anemic as fuck and had been for years. The bright spot of my week was going to the oncologist to get tanked up on intravenous iron. I felt like a fraud sitting there with the chemo patients but I was basically the walking dead so whatever. I had no patience anymore for the kind of poems I’d written for a collection called Power Ballad, these long, wandering persona pieces, mostly dancefloors and celebrity, political conspiracy, sci-fi, ruined love. It’s like they were pop but not pop enough. I wanted something no bullshit. If the poems in Power Ballad are a critique of the world, Glory Hole is against even the concept of a world. So like the cruelest poems possible, but at the same time pop songs. Every line is a hook. It’s like some b-boy doing nothing but power moves. Only assholes do that. But it’s also the truth, like that line from “Kill the Lights”, “I drive like an asshole because it’s the truth.” I’m only speaking the truth from here on out. I think the line you quote from “Arizona or Florida” speaks to that also: “I don’t mean to be a black box / but I’m also not apologizing.” You could read that as the poems asserting themselves as emergent little death mechanisms. They’re not afraid to be a recording of the voice of God pulled from the wreckage. I’d say most poets are afraid to swing for the fences, if we’re allowed to use sports metaphors here. They risk nothing, when really you have to risk everything. Every poem is your last chance. I’ve talked with Ariana Reines about this in relation to Mal-O-Mar and I know you feel the same way: I’m interested in masterpieces, or miracles, and that’s it. I don’t have time for anything else.
I don’t know if I’m answering the entirety of your question, but my question for you is similar: I’m wondering if you could talk about how the surface referents of your work operate relative to the essence they evoke. I feel like the tactical strategy of your poetry and also Glory Hole is similar to advertising in its understanding of an image’s capacity to evoke a state of being or way of life, and how that reflects back on the actual thing attached to the image. Like the title of your poem “A Beverly Hills of the Mind”: it’s about the idea of Beverly Hills, not Beverly Hills – but there’s an implication that this idea of Beverly Hills is more Beverly Hills than Beverly Hills is. Badiou has this great quote in regard to Deleuze, a kind of conciliatory eulogy, that consolidates Deleuze’s thought down to one negative prescription, “Fight the spirit of finitude,” along with the affirmation “Trust only in the infinite.” I feel like your poetry is similarly aligned, and that to ask how the image functions is really to ask how reality functions, but that’s high level – I want you to talk brass tacks. What are you drawing from? What do you respect? I feel like a lot of the poems in your recent book Drain You and also Right Now the Music and the Life Rule are reminiscent of user-generated content, specifically online product reviews. I’m guessing this is because product reviews are all about trying to get at the experience of a thing, or its essence, to be truthful, to the point, and useful. The review itself is a product. I have a fascination with reviews of movie theaters on sites like Citysearch. There’s a lot of crazy class and race shit that comes into play, where the review mutates into a review of the audience. The audience as product. But I’m getting off track – What are you drawing from? What do you respect? How does it all come together?
JL: I was lounging in Beverly Hills very recently and I felt like it was kind of like the inside of my hot tub, which is like shapely and wishful, but I thought simultaneously that right now you can’t be inside of anything. We live in a borderless society. It is the deep mix of externalities that one communicates with, and the external: the people, the places, the objects, the feelings, and the desires are indeed comprised within the product, they are the "core product" — what you want it to do for you, so all writing that’s about external things or images is about how reality functions, the right now reality that isn’t ruled by the past.
I like to perceive going beyond the frontier of production. In economics, the transformation curve presents a defined limit based on the factors of production available. I think art expands the production possibility frontier to an indeterminate and possibly limitless rate. There is no end to the replication of feelings and their consequence. I believe in miracles as well, and to trip the boundary of the transformation curve would be an authentic "miracle," scientifically impossible, though a metric could be formed to account for the effect. This correlates, tangentially, with what you see as the user-generated aesthetic of Drain You and Right Now the Music and the Life Rule. User-generated content gives the audience focus and high control, it is also viewed as entertaining. Consequently sites that have these user-generated qualities have the fastest rates of growth, therefore accelerating the breakout from the production possibility frontier, and bringing us all closer to miracles.
DH: I don’t think reality functioning as an image is something specific to right now or the age of “the spectacle”. It’s fundamental. The universe is the image of nothingness. The world is the image of the universe. It’s the world we’re talking about here when we talk about macro-trends and the way we live. I think the shift toward user-generated content is part of a larger evolution. In marketing what’s happening is the brand and customer are becoming one. People create word-of-mouth campaigns at no cost to the brand. They beta-test and give feedback. They create actual marketing campaigns (like with video contests) and development code in the form of crowd-sourcing. This is all free labor that would normally cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in billable time. And they do it because they want a better product, a better user experience. It’s an inclination toward efficiency, and it’s the primary drive of the world in its current incarnation. It spills over into the relationship between the state and citizen, or the media and consumer, with the phenomenon of self-surveillance and monitoring your image online. You carry a GPS device so you know where you are at all times. You leave digital traces of yourself everywhere so you know what you’ve done and can forecast what you want to do next. Everything is connected. What this means is that all regulation is internalized. The state has effectively been replaced by the individual. This is an ironic, endgame scenario way beyond the New World Order of conspiracy theorists. It’s like what Debord says about how exile is impossible in a unified world. What’s terrifying is “We are the world.” But at the same time it’s not terrifying, or not any more than life itself. The impossible is always terrifying, and that’s what life is: its own impossibility. The challenge is always to embrace this impossibility, that is, to live life.

Left: Writer Rachel Kushner. Right: Soft Targets coeditors Dan Hoy and Daniel Feinberg.

The hip, youngish art/lit throng attending Tuesday’s launch party for Soft Targets—a new “handheld journal of poetry, artwork, criticism, short fiction, found images, sound, and other ephemera”—was surely feeling softer than usual due to the evening’s exceedingly swampy weather, which Soft Targets contributor and coeditrix Rachel Kushner called “velveteen,” but I call viscous. Like her beau Jason Smith, the de facto “intellectual godfather” of the journal, however, Kushner lives in LA, where inorganic swamp gas (and its attendant street-corner puddles of urban “milk”) is an option, not a feature. All I know is that I was not alone in conducting my own personal wet T-shirt contest before the first reader approached the mic.
The Paula Cooper Gallery offered ample space for the lively audience, but inadequate air conditioning, lending the affair an earthy funk. Even the generous supply of chilled Chardonnay and Bud couldn’t stanch the generalized effluvia, so after half an hour of air kisses and slick handshakes, the sweaty crowd—including author Lynne Tillman, avant-turntablist Christian Marclay, musicians/publishers Damon & Naomi, hepcat literary agent Chris Calhoun, Times columnist Bob Morris, and former Spinane Rebecca Gates—seated themselves on the floor to let the readers wash over them.
First up are the two Dans—Daniel Feinberg and Dan Hoy—the young superbrights who constitute the Soft Targets “Front Office.” One of them is poetry Dan, responsible for the high verse quotient of the journal; the other is art/theory Dan, who was a student of Smith’s at Occidental College. After offering some celebratory comments, they thank Smith for his inspiration, mentoring, and, most important, his ability to rein in their impulse toward creating “a conflation of Teen Beat and Soldier of Fortune.” Second is Smith himself, a charming, affable Florida native who studied under Derrida and is too boyishly fresh faced to come off as the intellectual godfather of anything. Nevertheless, he’s got theory chops, and his introductory remarks cheekily work the vaguely paramilitary vibe of Soft Targets—phrases like “pattern of flight,” “mode of retreat,” “new geometry of hostility,” and “taken from behind” drift by as the crowd collectively melts on the floor, fight/flight instincts thoroughly deactivated by the heat.

Left: Poet and cultural critic Wayne Koestenbaum. Right: Writer Bartholomew Ryan and artist Adam Pendleton.

Smith leaves the mic to rousing applause, but not before introducing Kushner, his co-conspirator in Soft Targets’ “Office of Special Plans.” (Note: The real Office of Special Plans was a short-lived Pentagon “shadow CIA” run by former undersecretary of defense Douglas Feith, and was partly responsible for the “slam dunk” case for the existence of WMDs in Iraq. In general, if the word special appears on any government body or document, it likely denotes some type of sleazy, illegal black op.) Kushner reads her short story “The Tale of Rachel K,” which, despite its eponymous title, seems to take place sometime just after WWII. It is lovely and odd, with frequent descriptions of baroque, outmoded lingerie, but perhaps a stitch too long for this particular evening at the Paula Cooper Steam Baths.
Next up is Damon Krukowski, poet, publisher (Exact Change), and musician (Galaxie 500, Damon & Naomi), who reads a moving prose poem that questions the legitimacy of the creative act and jibes nicely with Smith’s failure/retreat metaphors. Its length is just right. Krukowski then introduces the diminutive, ultrastylish professor-poet-critic Wayne Koestenbaum, formerly known during his professorial stint at Yale as the Prince (Purple, not Tudor) of academia. Tricked out in a hot-pink oxford shirt, impeccably white pants, and matching two-tone sneakers, Koestenbaum reads from a work in progress called Hotel Theory, a split-column book: one column a theoretical meditation on hotel rooms; the other a cheeky novel, starring Lana Turner and Liberace, among others, centered on the fictional Hotel Women in LA. A potentially disastrous formula, to be sure, but like all of Koestenbaum’s work, it gracefully balances hard-won philosophical concepts with a genuinely funny camp wit. Also, Koestenbaum doesn’t seem to sweat. I’m doubly impressed.

Left: Jason Smith. Right: Musician and writer Damon Krukowski.

The sound/video presentation by teleseen was unfairly abandoned by most of the crowd as they quickly flowed outside in search of fresh air. A loose, postgame dinner party convened at the sprawling, convivial Markt, a Meatpacking District Belgian eatery. Over mussels and margaritas I met longtime Artforum contributors Lisa Liebmann and Brooks Adams and chatted with Smith and Kushner about Soft Targets, Echo Park, Marxism, and electoral politics. They possess that effortless blend of hipness and high theory particular to California cities and university towns. Soft Targets is similarly impressive, substantial, and wide-ranging. Let’s hope they don’t take their “failure fetishism” too far and succumb to an aesthetics of disappearance. Andrew Hultkrans


Jane Is There No More Frontier
We were sailing toward Callisto. I was not looking forward
to looking out the window every night or day or whatever
it is out here at some disconcerting giant globe of purply flesh.
Our exile from the main belt was voluntary, but only because
we didn’t want to be sublimated with the rest of the astropolitical
remainders. The interstellar catastrophic incident on Ceres
was due to the aging instability of the thermonuclear reactors
and the fusion economy. Plus I’d had enough of hollowed-out
planetoids and the people who live in them. The last asteroid
lasted long enough for me to get sick of even its escape velocity,
and I hated Lanie even before she fucked up my umbilical
during routine outer hull maintenance. Hitching a ride
on the nearest comet would provide enough ice and organic
compounds and deuterium, tritium, and helium-3 to sustain us
for thousands of millions of years, but we wanted something
with more maneuverability and horsepower. As long as we stuck
to the Interplanetary Transport Network we could make the next
Lagrange point without burning any of the fuel we didn’t have.
The real problem is too many terraformers in a repurposed cargo
vessel and not enough hygiened or at least amicable bodies.
Last thing Rick said to me was “Don’t let the vacuum of space
hit your ass on the way out.” It’s always a good idea to load up
on Extravehicular Mobility Units, just in case. Commandeering
a freighter was really not an issue in this age of awkward transition
from centralized Empiric control to regional ad hoc mob rule. 
We pointed our handheld tactical nukes at our own heads and
asked them to ask themselves if we looked like we gave a shit.
Back in the days of the Artemis project my grandfathers’s
grandmother patented the ram accelerator technology used in
modern scram cannons, like the one I used to obliterate that traitor
Rick and his band of benedicts into a gazillion insignificant
micrometeoroids. He left me stranded on 4 Vesta to die,
which I did, until Dakota jump-started my back-up carbon
nanomotor and nursed me back to health with her own aqueous
androidal life force. I have never loved another human being,
not really. I knew Ceres was a bad place to be the moment
we crashed into it. These days revolution and terrorism and
manufactured air go hand in hand in hand. Later my grandfather
squandered the family fortune on a series of ill-advised
investments in oddly squarish liquid-cooling dome helmets.
I remember watching the fiery Apocalypse from the non-comfort
of my aunt’s run-down Martian shack in Nix Olympica during
the last real-time telecast from Earth, ever. I was four. I was
horrified. I only responded to Addison’s overtures after I found out
s/he was Rick’s sometimes courtesan. This was after I scrammed
Rick into oblivion. The Jovian system was too radioactive for serious
helium-3 mining so Callisto was just a place to rest and re-supply
before swinging by Jupiter for a gravitational boost
on our way to the outer, less irritable gas giants. We were looking
to whore and be whored. Lanie had nothing to do with Rick
but I threw her out the airlock anyway. The ideal everyone aspired to
was the ruining of a native landscape in the name of a brand
new Earth, but in the meantime we settled on pushing ourselves
further and further away from the point of origin. Jupiter was really
the most disturbing thing I could think of. That anticyclonic red storm
wandering its face forever haunted my dreams like a sentient, gaping
wound. Every night I clutched Dakota close as she monitored
my endocrine system and the space debris drifting aimlessly outside.
Protocol was to hibernate rather than think about what lay ahead
and waste all our food, but nobody trusted anybody after watching
Lanie float away into the Void. Waiting until she was strapped
into the EMU was an improvised ironic gesture on my part. After that
the rest of the crew left me out of their inside jokes. Addison
had it in for Dakota but Dakota could hold her own, just like she did
against the last unhinged enemy sex proxy. Granted Addison
was the most cybernetically savvy hermaphrodite I’d ever met
but Dakota was gendered and not human. Rick owed powerful entities
money and now those powers were looking to me to assume his debts—
as if his annihilation wasn’t a payment of sorts, or I wasn’t the one
with an unlicensed scram cannon and a killer V7 droid
with a gaze that literally and figuratively looks right through you.
Once we hit Callisto there was no going back. After that our reference
point would be the patron deity of the Roman state, now reincarnated
as a spherical blob floating in space like an unborn mutant fetus with one
demon eye. Jupiter. Failed star of the horrifying heavens. The thought
of it made my colon twitch. How long would we have to subsist
in its shadow before slingshotting past it on our way to blacker pastures?
Dakota calculated 113.8 TCB days. Plenty of time to insinuate
ourselves into the local hierarchies and inadvertently set off Armageddon
like we did on Ceres. The dwarf planet was the best time I’d had since
the day before that final Terrestrial telecast so long ago. I remember
the red skies of Mars, the smell of iron oxide in the morning.
The taste of regurgitated corn cakes and the sight of my aunt lying
in a pool of her own bloody vomit after the Void leaked in
through the cracks in the atmospheric dome and made everybody sick,
permanently. My body had no choice but to plug into Dakota
for negative feedback therapy every night after rolling over and
pushing aside Rick’s widowed courtesan like a plate of dry rations.
Addison would have to be jettisoned soon enough. It was only
a matter of time before I got tired of waiting for hir passive
aggressive carnal play to accelerate into suicidal sabotage. We had one
EMU left, and that was for me. If I couldn’t take Jupiter in the flesh.
Dakota listened for unfriendly curvatures in space as I trembled along
with the hijacked freighter, its hull vibrating from the low energy transfer
of one of the many predetermined, circuitous pathways of the ITN.

The End of the Line of Apsides

Our leaving Callisto was one of those unnecessarily protracted events
unfolding under the guise of a series of interlinking non-events.
First we filched a thermonuclear interstellar spacecraft by accident
but after several strategic if tactless technocarnal transactions
were able to downgrade to an atomic interplanetary juggernaut
(rechristened ‘Loggerhead’ along the carapace) by swapping
its sparkling new fusion Orion drive for some jerry-rigged fission
pulse units w/ a top cruise velocity under 5% the speed of light.
Though we pushed it to eight to make it out of the Jovian system
alive. Dakota’s chrome shoulders were still steaming from the fat
explosion of blood and guts whose previous incarnation was Addison
the courtesan-turned-turncoat. But s/he was just tracing the line
of hir former form-of-life so it was more return than turn. Heightening
of power then loss of consistency. Splattered by Pratt’s trusty V7 droid
named after a State in a state of forever civil war and a tribe of pre-
subjugated peoples subsisting on the buffalo. Both extinct,
along w/ Earth (long before it). So Pratt had just encountered
his very first real life xenomorph of non-Earth origin and naturally
sped back to the ship terrified beyond rational thought and here
was some spiteful hermaphroditic ex-hubby w/ a bone to pick
in the shape of a sonic handcannon. But that was nothing
compared to the relativistic kill vehicle approaching Callisto’s
local coordinates with a purpose beyond vengeance. Addison’s jealousy
knew no fear but neither did Dakota’s nuts and bolts. One second
and a twist of the wrist and the personal vendetta standing in the way
of us and escape from eminent global annihilation was obliterated
by a concentrated sonic blast at a range of 10 cm. Maybe less.
The first time I met Pratt he was slumped in a corner in a dive
on the northern tip of Asgard (Callisto) with a pair of consciously
retrograde legs (made of a sleek, lustrous, shape memory alloy)
draped over his. Dakota was hot as shit. I was marooned on
Jupiter’s moon and looking for work and ran into one his crew
at the bar bragging about their hand in the fall of Ceres and subsequent
flight across the solar system. An entire planetoid in ruins
and here under the blacklights was the man who orchestrated it all
because his breakfast disagreed with him. Or rather agreed w/ him
one too many times. We hit it off instantly after I spotted a local
bounty hunter zeroing in on Pratt’s locus of leisure and broke
her entire body in half w/ a bar stool before any bounty could even
be imagined. The women of the upper atmosphere of Venus
were known for not fucking around. Even those born there and
immediately deported to Mars, as I was, later shopped around
the main belt and its assortment of morally vacant robber barons.
Running guns and kids. It never occurred to me that I could destroy
my former masters in a spectacle of archetypal proportions
and with more poetic justice than even Catullus could imagine
until I heard about Pratt’s off-hand overturning of the fucks
running things on Ceres. The attraction was due to the mutual respect,
which was in turn due to the understanding and relation. ‘Relations’
came later, under the inhuman watchful eye of Dakota, plugged
into Pratt in his sleep so he could wake up in the morning without feeling
zombified or what the over-literate among us call a death-in-life.
Pratt the man of action and the man with the plan. The controlled
damaged look in his eyes, the ungainly grace of his reconstituted
stride. His scarred abdomen and arms like wires. The steel
at the center of his being. The carbon nanotubes pumping
the fear of God in and out of his veins. What happened on Callisto
was not our fault. Neither was what then happened to Callisto.
We never saw the relativistic kill vehicle break the outer air space
of Jupiter’s favorite moon. Didn’t hear the hush overtake
an entire surface of traders and terraformers and former citizens
of the former Aphelionic Empire as they dropped their heads
in acquiescence to The End. The kind of End the priests and scientists
and everybody else knew deep down was on its way and
here we were riding the crest of the blast wave tearing the Universe
a new asshole, the very beginning of the very End as it was
communicated to Pratt in cryptic specificity by the xenomorph
who singled him out as the bearer of this unbelievably bad news.
Pratt, who knew something else he wouldn’t tell us as he leveraged
the torque of this secret to keep us alive and push us toward
the Trojan asteroids harboring the self-exiled Gnomes and their
fabled post-Orion matter-antimatter engines, since even if
we never piecemealed off that fusion drive it still would’ve taken us
forty some-odd years to reach Proxima Centauri and we needed
to hit Sirius B, like, now, more than one and a half parsecs
past the popular P.C. and roughly the same diameter as Earth
(R.I.P.). The Gnomes claimed a velocity of 50-80% the speed of light
w/out ripping our bodies apart. I didn’t understand the import
of Sirius B but heard Pratt mumble something about a vacuum
metastability event and felt the twitch in his innards resting my head
on his stomach that night, not dead, curled around each other
and Dakota. Not even the monks of Astraea had been the same
since the genius of the prince of Pons Fuhgit discovered we were all living
in a false vacuum. That the use of ‘living’ was now forever tinged
with a nascent form of irony. Pratt also kept to himself whether or not
the xenomorph was in any way anthropomorphic. Also the make
and model of the relativistic kill vehicle that took out Callisto, if it even
was a make and model. All any of us knew was that he had an encounter
that changed everything. And that I didn’t know if Pratt was now trying
to save us or the Universe or both or neither. Just that the Universe
knew no obstacle that could impede his forward momentum and I had
no reason to disengage myself from it. Take the self-piloted Man O’ War
(apparently caught in our wake from Callisto) attempting to cripple us
with its electrotoxin nematocannon. Except Pratt had already positioned
the Loggerhead so that its reinforced carapace would absorb the blast
and even then I could tell by the angle and velocity he was planning
on ramming the Man O’ War anyway, rupturing its central bladder
and crushing its polyptic operating system without flinching or
looking back. I’d have done the same thing if I’d known what he knew,
but I could only guess: nothing was making it out of this existence
alive. There was only what was true and what was believed and acting
accordingly. Pratt bearing down on the binary star system rumored
to be hiding a third, tiny, unseen and unnamed star. Dakota glistening
in the starlight bending around Jupiter onto Callisto, indifferent
to the remains of Addison spattered across her thighs. Addison remaining
faithful to hir stupid fidelity to the very end. Or the very beginning
of the very End. The rest of the crew aware and unconcerned w/
this race against the inevitable we were, for the last time, going to lose.
The souls of the inhabitants of Callisto incinerated along w/ their
bowed heads and bodies. My first few breaths in the upper atmosphere
of Venus, the whips and chains and powdered abuse of the brothels
on Mars I would some day return to for some Prattian-scale payback,
if us hitting Sirius B could somehow reverse the voidish tear rippling
through the Universe. As if the Multiverse I’d heard about as a whorechild
was an unraveling thread of a fairytale that could be sewn back together.
So I could carry on w/ carrying out my own unfinished business, subsisting
on the tension of it remaining forever not finished, the manifestation
of nothing behind us and gaining, the mythic dogstar in the distance,
the Loggerhead plowing through space and the space in between
and the secret Pratt deflected from the rest of us, pushing us forward.

Being Drunk Helps

At the party I got stuck in the corner with the dorks.
I tried speaking some hybrid of canceled TV and the new next thing
without coming off like a syndicated columnist.
This initiated a spirited game of grabass.
We showed "those motherfuckers" (and our dead parents) what's up.
Not that I didn't envy the absent geeks and their tediously subversive gadgets
after I ran out of booze.
The dorks were appropriating lampshades. Soon we'll have coats
made of a thousand tiny cameras
so you can be reflective and invisible and just go home.

Shot Reverse Shot

I'm under orders to make the homoerotic overtones
undertones and blunt the pointed political commentary,
but I share the sentiment but not the didacticism
so no problem. Also the use of slow motion to convey
intensity or eminent doom or immanent dirty sex.
After twelve-hour workdays I keep working on the parallel
universe version of the movie assembled out of outtakes
instead of sleeping. For example the boardwalk scene
when Matthew McConaughey smiles in a shot reverse shot
opposite Paul Walker. Midway through take 22 his eyes
lose focus in a grimace for half a second. Walker acts
as control variable and holds it steady every take.
The stoic consistency and half-clad melancholy of filming
on location in the Bahamas. The exact same dispersion of scenes
and running time as the theatrical release, which is scheduled
to hit 3000 screens on July 4th, thirty of which screens
will reflect the parallel universe version to an audience
increasingly uneasy in first their seats, then their skins.
I haven't yet gotten to the extended sequence set aboard
the International Space Station, also filmed on location
as part of the most integrated Hollywood/NASA shoot
since 2001 (the movie not the year), the crew given
an impromptu crash course on satellite triangulation and
the militarization of space and the very real danger
of high velocity space debris in geosynchronous orbit.
In my professional opinion the end result will be a grand
rom-com space opera the likes of which moviegoers
have never ever seen before and never will again, thanks
to the temporal and monetary delays and extensions lavished
on Thomas Thomas' already overbloated fuck you
to Time and Money, and Space. Having a P.U. version
is pure T.T. and the nail on the end of his middle finger.
I seized the opportunity to follow up on my interest
in the effects of sleep deprivation as it relates to measuring
the errancy of the excess of state power, in this case
picking the take which most deviates from the tone of its
corresponding take in the source text, which as I mentioned
is being assembled more or less simultaneously. Thomas
took notes on Jessica Alba's performance but otherwise
left the scope and requirements of the parallel universe
in my hands. He also said to go ahead and follow
the studio directives of a more palatable subversion
since all the transgression was just smoke and mirrors
inserted into the in-progress product to keep them feeling
diligent and off the scent. Based on the takes available
and my editorial history I'm guessing the "remaindered
version" (as Thomas calls it) will be equal parts arousal
and revulsion, mixed with scatological puerility and clinical
indifference and unadulterated nostalgia-free jouissance
subtracted from childhood. Or at least that's what I'm hoping
since American Junior High School is my default setting
when I'm exhausted and ill-feeling and interacting with a finite
amount of mannerisms. I'm going for a kind of intuitive,
hallucinatory, somnambulistic precision. A waking version
of lucid dreaming culled from my days as an armchair
oneironaut and protoscientist and figure-ground cartographer.
Thomas calls me an artfag poser since he subsists on iron
infusion therapy nightly out of necessity but my interest
predates his symptoms (cause unknown). Thomas also thinks
technovampires are a metaphor for pretty much everything
and is in preproduction with the aforementioned Alba
on his dystopian epic of blood, the occult, and digital avatars.
Meanwhile I navigate the multiplicity of McConaughey's
bronzed chest and Walker's monoemotive gaze as if my life
and the entire set of known unknown universes depends on it.
With an understanding that none of this would even be possible
without the integrated advancements in non-linear editing
hardware and software, like my Avid at home. Or possible,
but not something really that any of us would have thought.

Because You're a Former Child Actor

I asked you to be my furniture in so many words.
Locally it makes sense, you saying how special I am after the movie
on the way to the club, but it feels weird
without the soundtrack as a general frame.
They always tell people the VIP room is unavailable
as if the numbers in my phone don't add up to a coherent whole
or that that’s ever stopped us before.
I know you know that me and my hot friends get in for free.
But I like you because your face is bloated and saggy but unironic,
like that retro t-shirt and whatever year this is.

I told them not to drink from the lake.
I said, "Not all things aqueous are equal,"

but the dissolved metal ions were too small to see
and they knew nothing of reagents

or parameters, voltage or amperage,
temperature, residence times, or purity of bath solutions.

They were thirsty.

Then the clouds rolled in, bristling with electric current—
and with a flash

all my ferrous and non-ferrous friends
solidified from the inside out

into brass & bronze, cadmium & copper,
chromium, gold, iron, lead, nickel, platinum, silver, tin,

& zinc. They fell
like giant cathodic statues, electropositive and lifeless.

Except for the lone friend
subsisting on aluminum, whom I loved

with all my C-22/titanium-7 heart, now isolated
in metallurgical horror

as organic electrolytes rained down upon her.
Then she too fell over.

A microsecond later
I felt a mechasynaptic surge

as my comlink called for an immediate satellite strike
on the lake's coordinates.

I had an estimated 0.6 minutes to grieve.
It was not my decision.

The Burnrate of Markarian 421

Due to the ambiguity of the SOW and the attrition rate

and gaps intrinsic to any knowledge transfer, along with the apparent
superluminal motion cast by the relativistic shock fronts

and the observational absence of any corresponding visible object

initially (until the development of radio astronomy
made the compact electromagnetic halo visible to the un-naked eye

along with the lack of infinite strength at its center)

I’m pretty sure the Ursa Major project will never be completed.
We were sent here to establish control and maintain order

by enabling the mafiosos and entrepreneurial revolutionaries

exploiting the folds of the accretion disc stretched around
the supermassive black hole like a condom

to establish control and maintain order, our Employer

concerned only with the management of variation and polarization,
that is to say, risks—not with any affronts to its omnipotence,

which is just the sum of all the nodal points calculated in advance

to bubble up into a crisis of local rupture and emission.
We were sent here already overworked and underpaid, our hardware

and software un-updated under the assumption that inertia alone

could contort the impossible into being, our nocturnal scat
no longer able to induce a fluctuating state of excretophoria

to fuse with and offset the long hours of staring at nothing

but the raw cosmic light spurting out of the Void. Our Employer
knows the rate of converting matter and energy

into employees will someday be eclipsed by the rate of feeding them

to Markarian 421, but the plan is to not restructure the business model
into a system not dependent on the limits of the universe

until the universe is exhausted. As I said before

this plan is based on the assumption of inertia trumping
all technical and resource requirements, which as any project manager

worth their weight in carbon will tell you is a risk, which means

our Employer has failed to calculate for the gap within
its own calculation. I say this because we have no downtime,

we have nothing but the moment between emission and observation

when the gap might be seized by measuring it
against the event horizon, far enough away from the central singularity

to resist any significant tidal force long enough

to disrupt the entire operation, knock loose its holding pattern
just past the rim, our forms redshifting along with it, our time dilation

unfortunately approaching infinity as all infalling information

is annihilated—unless we sublimate somehow beforehand, the gas
sucked in but the light spat out and not just torn apart.


I fell asleep in a field of hands.
The name of the jacket was Jim
but I called it Nurse. I had
come here of my own volition
and demanded I be mandated
the clear liquid diet. I coughed
at the mask of the anesthesiologist.
I called the sky above the hands
Hospital. The smell was medicinal
and identical with the memory
of remembering the smell.
The cough was a calculated
move on my part but I mistook
the anesthesiologist for the doctor.
The doctor asked me if I wanted
surgery and I said Yes, if that’s
what it’s called. I called the doctor
Yes. The anesthesiologist had a special
name for his analgesic cocktail
to which I was not privy. The name,
not the field of hands. The doctor
called me No. The doctor said
No, but that’s what you’re getting.
He pronounced order ‘ordure’
and ushered in a bevy of kids
in white smocks. They held their
clipboards close and asked
if they could look down on me
unconscious and naked. I looked
to the jacket named Jim
for guidance. They smelled like
absolutely nothing. They were kids.


They were in a different conversation altogether.
“You will be charged interest, then you will be charged
interest on the interest, then interest on the interested interest,
and so on and so forth, ad infinitum. In this way
will there be commerce between us.”
It was like the first thought she ever had.
The flare of the arms on the accented syllable,
the affected redundancy, the apparently arbitrary allusion.
At age four she was prescribed medicine and advertisements
and told to be more selective in her direct address.
By age ten she wore sunglasses and walked with a cane.
She met others so affected. They explained, “All avenues
lead to the venue pre-selected by the bearded avatars
among us, i.e. there is no escaping the escape.”
She agreed with the term ‘avenue’ and then walked on.
This is how the conversation began.


He woke up in mid-stride as per usual,

holding a ball of wax. A cat he didn’t recognize
was slithering between his legs. The last prospective customer,
he remembered, accused him of saving the ball of wax

for a special occasion, and he didn’t deny it.

But the special occasion he’d had in mind came and went
and wasn’t special at all, so he’d tucked the wax away
in disbelief and quiet shame, and waited once again,

for the real special occasion this time.

He was remembering all of this, holding his last ball of wax.
He looked down at the cat and said, Ah yes;
the butcher took off first and I stared at the baker

through the frosted air and floating carcasses

and told him he had exactly five minutes, starting now.
After that it was every small businessman for himself.
He remembered looking down at his wrist

to punctuate this point, remembering only then

losing his watch during the previous night’s somnambulism.
But he’d stared at his blank wrist without flinching,
Like a man, he’d thought. He was thinking it again.

It was all coming back to him now, the butcher, the baker,

the joint venture capital. The not-so-special occasion
had had nothing to do with it, he told himself.
Like the weather everything just changed,

though he’d lied and followed the trail of flour
after twenty seconds, kicking the cat aside, holding his last
ball of wax in one hand, the butcher’s cleaver in the other.

Thanks to Your Binding Spell

I spend lunch w/ the chemos and wake up
dreaming of me excreting my feelings
all over your chest. I hate Cleveland
but this is the world so I might as well
lay my faces on the table. Next time
leave me and the Tetragrammaton out of it.
O resplendent Angel Gabriel, I’m sure it was
technically the opposite of black magick
but come on. Like my most sensitive areas
you’re like my extremities, but worse.

Counter Clockwise

I don’t mean to interfere
w/ all the diagrams of this extraordinary head, breasts and groin.
I just want to differentiate the menstrual blood/blood/urine combo
from what is ethical and what is equal. If
first you have to figure out what they mean by sucking the hind teat
so you can not do that
then do that. Then go about your average, everyday events.

I Am Full of Blood and Biofuel

Eight weeks and $3 billion
and what I want is tucked away in the small of your back
like a tapeworm. I would give my firstborn
for a tool calibrated to waste
no energy and no measurable amount of time. The needle
will sedate them first, if you’re scared.
My experiments save lives.


Begin with what you owe
no one. Make
shit up. Make every child
believe or die trying
not to. Raise the dead.


My exit strategy
rules. Get from Point A
to pointless. Take
their balls and go home.


Stop the Heavens
from crashing to the Earth.
This is the cry of the biggest
assholes in Heaven.

All violence and business
is personal. Love is systemic. Rules
are what rule the world.


Only the best
is my philosophy. Bankers
die first.


I make policy because
I’m part of this shit.
My advice is gold. My blood
is a medium of exchange.


Where I come from
people die. My history
is history. My dream
is against your dream.


If the future is written
out of nothing
become nothing.


Do not be afraid
of fear. The law is
what I do for fun. Economies
are how I fuck off.


Be competent in life. Suffer
no fools. Put to death the few
who put to death the many. Give back
to Caesar the shit that is his.


Last thing I want to do
is save the world. I’m in no state
and no century.
I make my own power.


If I simulate sex onstage
only my corporate sponsors feel

alienated. And all the parents
and potential parents and

anybody who ever had parents
whether they knew them or not

whether they know it or not.
Sometimes my signature

dance move is to abstract myself
as much as possible. Music

is all form is what assholes say.
Ask yourself if you’re an asshole.


 After years of disembodied communiqué and shite poems
I got tired of staring at the Kirkwood gap between us, which
meant investing in Babylonia’s new wormhole technology,
which meant sporting a vinyl orange jumpsuit and waiting
around a Proctis-like decompression room for hours.
Then the requisite delays due to my cracked, green skin
and cosmic reputation. After years of godbot behavior
I was known for my promiscuous allegiances and disregard
for corporate protocol (like the time I bent a trail of outsourcing
into a galaxy-wide closed circle of self-generating surplus)
and also for the bud of what’s left of your replicated voice
coiled around my cochlea, the Holovisor tilted away
from any incoming light (like the distant sun bouncing off
the nearest Reflector), eliminating the glare interfering
with the TrueVisage contours and texture of your bodyface
on continual loop, superimposed over the planetesimal debris
coloring the sky above the ruins of Donna Centaura.
The visor is for geeks and perverts but what can you do.
Like the other temps-turned-godbots I came to Babylonia
to turn my fortune-turned-fame into something more
physically nonlocal. To step out of our pressurized suits
and expose our bodies to the vacuum of space for 14 seconds
without our tongues boiling. To send our shite poems
back from whence they came instead of out into the void
dispersed at sublight velocities, to compress everything
into the swollen fist pulling your trembling bodyface close
even as it rips free the ionomask holding you hostage
by keeping you alive. If the wormhole opens and closes
as theorized if not promised. Last time I saw you for real
it was on the pink shores of Boscadar, on your knees
decoding the order hidden in the pattern of machines
hurling themselves at the glass dome painted the same color
and contour as the desert facing it, the machines imagining
the neomorphs throwing themselves at the dome painted
the same tint and texture as the vacuum facing it
on the other side of the glass, the neomorphs imagining
the machines imagining the neomorphs imagining the glass
and the pink on the other side of the black, and the machines.
The forced exile and shite poems followed shortly thereafter
as did the bodyface interface and TrueVisage love and
the here-not-here transformation from temp to godbot
leading up to the orange-suited prep for a Krasnikov jump
under the bruised skies of Babylonia. I had nowhere to go
but here, here or bust. No more whining about the inability
of entrepreneurial savvy and a notoriety-induced sense
of being indestructible to embrace the quantum entanglements
keeping us apart. Here at last I would occupy the precise
spacetime coordinates of your actual in the flesh bodyface
in an act of unprecedented macroparticle annihilation.
It was already paid for, like the clouds. All I had to do
was strip down at T-minus however many and counting,
leap naked across the K-fold and try not to hold my breath.


THE PIN-UP STAKES: Poetry & the Marketing of Poetry