TABLE OF CONTENTS

TOP TEN

Precious Okoyomon

Precious Okoyomon is a poet and artist based in Brooklyn. Her book of poems But Did You Die? is forthcoming from Birds, LLC, this year.

  1. ELYSIA CRAMPTON

    Talking to waterfalls in other dimensions, Crampton maps portals to heaven on earth. We time-travel with her through soundscapes of nonlinear riffs. Everything is open and unfurling into that which we really are, which we always were: rhizomatic and abundant, quanta entangled in an ultimate vision of love.

    *Two stills from Elysia Crampton’s 2018 video _Oscollo_, directed by Addison Willis and Edaan Brook.* Two stills from Elysia Crampton’s 2018 video Oscollo, directed by Addison Willis and Edaan Brook.
  2. MISSION CHINESE FOOD

    Truly unhinged and terrifying: That’s what I think of the food at Mission Chinese. Danny Bowien is my favorite chef. The ecstasy of eating ten insane spicy chicken wings makes me feel like paradise.

    *Danny Bowien in the kitchen at Mission Chinese Food, New York, 2012.* Photo: Mark Peterson/Redux. Danny Bowien in the kitchen at Mission Chinese Food, New York, 2012. Photo: Mark Peterson/Redux.
  3. THE DEATH OF JOHN ALLEN CHAU

    Chau was a twenty-six-year-old American missionary who, in mid-November, ventured to North Sentinel Island in an attempt to convert the indigenous people to Christianity—and was swiftly killed on arrival! What Christ taught us best was that dying can be sexy and fun.

  4. VALKYRIE DRIVE: MERMAID (2015)

    I’m obsessed with this Japanese anime show, which has big dyke energy. Two groups of girls are infected with the mysterious “A-Virus," and they react in different ways: The Extars (bottoms) are capable of becoming weapons when aroused, and the Liberators (tops) can use the Extars’ weapons to “drive” (have very intense sex). Young lesbians are liberating themselves from the government through shape-shifting fucking. Big same.

    *_Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid_, 2015,* still from a TV show on AT-X. Season 1, episode 5, “Giant Girl, Little Heart.” Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid, 2015, still from a TV show on AT-X. Season 1, episode 5, “Giant Girl, Little Heart.”
  5. ALICE NOTLEY, BENEDICTION (2015)

    I found this book like magic. It came into my life this year and I melted into it, regenerated, pooled my ideas of discrete personhood, lay wide open in the terror of vulnerability, felt my animated soul leak out, and still have not recovered.

    *Cover of Alice Notley’s _Benediction_* (Letter Machine Editions, 2015). Cover of Alice Notley’s Benediction (Letter Machine Editions, 2015).
  6. ARTHUR JAFA, MY BLACK DEATH, FROM ON THE BLACKNESS OF BLACKNUSS (PUBLICATION STUDIO HUDSON, 2015)

    “to the central conundrum of black being (the double bind of our ontological existence) lie in the fact that common misery both defines and limits who we are.” Desperation is interesting if it remains unfulfilled. Jafa’s pamphlet is a prophecy in a cyclone of everything we already knew we didn’t want to know.

    *Cover of Arthur Jafa’s _My Black Death_* (Publication Studio Hudson, 2015). Cover of Arthur Jafa’s My Black Death (Publication Studio Hudson, 2015).
  7. HANNAH BLACK’S TWITTER, @nanpansky

    Apparently, Black has been temporarily deleting her Twitter. It was the best thing in the world. So sad you missed it. Maybe it will come back. Catch it if you can.

    *Tweet from Hannah Black’s Twitter feed, November 17, 2018.* Tweet from Hannah Black’s Twitter feed, November 17, 2018.
  8. XU LIZHI

    My very smart and very beautiful friend Quinn Harrelson showed me the poems of Xu Lizhi earlier this year. Xu was a Chinese migrant worker employed by Foxconn who killed himself in 2014, after the eighteen highly publicized attempted suicides in 2010 at the company’s Shenzhen factory. His was a fatality of capital, and the poems he left behind are like snake blood turning blue, scissoring death. They are power in alienation.

    *Xu Lizhi, date unknown.* Xu Lizhi, date unknown.
  9. HAYLEY SILVERMAN, “PROTECT ME FROM WHAT I AM,” SWISS INSTITUTE, NEW YORK (2018–19)

    This was one of the best shows I’d seen in a very long time. Being is suffering and humans’ loveless industrial operations just rehearse the song back and forth, but this exhibition brought me a strange rebirth. It was absurd and void in a completely freeing way.

    *Hayley Silverman, _Assimilation_ (detail), 2018,* plastic religious figures, taxidermy birds, wooden wreath, 50 × 38 × 38". Hayley Silverman, Assimilation (detail), 2018, plastic religious figures, taxidermy birds, wooden wreath, 50 × 38 × 38".
  10. ANICKA YI, VERBATEM? VERBATOM? 4, 2014

    For her show “Divorce” at 47 Canal, Yi injected live snails with the hormone oxytocin and left them in a cardboard-and-resin box made aesthetically accommodating by the addition of scattered moss. It split my heart in half and reminded me that life is better when you are cruel.

    *Anicka Yi, _verbatem? verbatom? 4_ (detail), 2014,* cardboard, resin, snails, oxytocin, moss, 18 1⁄2 × 18 1⁄2 × 18 1⁄2". Photo: Joerg Lohse. Anicka Yi, verbatem? verbatom? 4 (detail), 2014, cardboard, resin, snails, oxytocin, moss, 18 1⁄2 × 18 1⁄2 × 18 1⁄2". Photo: Joerg Lohse.