Bruce Hainley

  • Billy Sullivan

    Sunshine—darling!—splashes on the pool’s surface, glints in your hair, which I want to tousle for some electric charge, flowers the garden. Drink it down like iced tea with mint, sip it like Veuve Clicquot La Grande Dame 1985, cut swags of it for the crystal vase—peonies, dahlias, hollyhocks. “In times of crisis, we must all decide again and again/whom we love.” And what we love, too. Frank O’Hara decided to list all the stars, heartthrobs, and walk-ons in his life, and those who had moved him, and his love of their glamour was a love of light and shadow, flickering, glowing, a way of saying,

  • TV


    Shoe First, Ask Questions Later

    The screen is on, it’s flickering, making a blur of static. It’s watching. Nixon dreamed of this: a TV that would watch you while you were watching it, and even when you had turned it off. It’s not clear whether or not he achieved this dream; they say not, but who knows? William Burroughs knows. Because now the static is cleared, and a screen falls out of the sky, and Burroughs is there, inside the box inside the box. He is watching you watching him. Now listen: Burroughs is talking.

    He says, “Technology exists to free the body, not to enslave the

  • Wolfgang Tillmans

    “Will you miss me when I burn?” The Palace Brothers sing this question—pure acetylene. Will Oldham’s voice is torch possessed, soldering the hellishness of the lonesome to that of the famous, a steadfast seam. In the end, denial may be the surest way to fuse something to something else.

    Most discussions of Wolfgang Tillmans’ work have been quick to distance it from the context of fashion photography, as if it were something that could maim him—or his career. Beholden as Tillmans is to fashion photography (whatever that might be), often first publishing his work in fashion mags (he has supported

  • Jack Pierson

    Check in to jackness as into a hotel, because the jack in Jack Pierson has the same Schiaparelli dazzle as the jack in Jackie O., deep-lilac perfume of tragedy, too; spunk of jacking-off and of Jack Russell terriers; sweet immediacy of porn, delicacy of violets, pansy expanse of Jack Smith. Jackness is a fraction, Diane Arbus divided by Diana Ross; all the roses here buzzing pink divided by all the roses long gone. Lover and ex in the same lovely body. Laughing until crying.

    I wish all the pages about Pierson’s esthetic of the pathetic, as if his work were only a blueprint of dejection, would