Slant

  • SUNRISE: January 6, 2018

    A MEATHEAD CARTEL LORD walks into an S&M brothel with a genial jetsetting billionaire. The brothel is “over the border” in some more lawless territory and it has a hardcore; excellent reputation. The meathead is well-known there, they treat him like royalty, call him by pet names, mix his favorite cocktails; the billionaire might have been there once or twice, but he travels so much he can’t say exactly when. The Brothel’s Yelp reviews are all like “Holy fuck” and “I’ll never be the same again.” This is a fairly new bromance, but thoroughly in the old odd couple buddy flick tradition. The

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  • SUNRISE: January 5, 2018

    I’VE LISTENED TO THIS POEM a couple hundred times. And read it over & over too. I never get used to it.

    It induces a kind of hypnosis; a lucidity on the edge of total oblivion. It’s not an easy effect to describe; I think it has to do with magic; I think it casts and means to cast a spell. And yet it is descriptive, direct, etched, and bright, like the plain narration of a thousand-year hallucination, like the Wikipedia entry for a dream.

    Peacocks started showing up in my life in the summer of 2013. How do I explain “showing up”? All of a sudden I was seeing them, like they were everywhere in

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  • SUNRISE: January 4, 2018

    Behold!

    Whose multitudes are these?

    The children of whose turbaned seas,

    Or what Circassian land?

    —Emily Dickinson

    EMILY’S “TURBANED SEAS” have been roaring through me lately. I think because the thought of binding up the ocean is the kind of coil of imagination that seldom happens outside childhood and picture books—and so it calls to me, but also because it has been so cold in New York that when I close my eyes I see oceans roped in white ice, turbaned, as it were, bound up in some mystic freeze.

    But it’s also, and possibly mainly, because just after the solstice I started doing

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  • SUNRISE: January 3, 2018

    MORE BAD and really good (John Giorno)

     

    There was a lot more than this the other night at The Poetry Project: CAConrad’s poem about human pelts; Eileen Myles, our genial dean in a twenty-gallon hat; Patricia Spears Jones’s stately sequence full of well-spaced air; Pierre Joris & Nicole Peyrafitte doing something confusing and sexy and great wherein Nicole ate black chalk & drew a red line down the center of her face etc; a dancer with an edible costume whose existential hunger turned out to resonate as basically the predicament of everybody in the room; Penny Arcade in the sovereignty of herself

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  • SUNRISE: January 2, 2018

    Born without distinction & alone as was proper, emptied, the insides of your emptiness all polished & shining

    Even having shared an egg conserving a certain apparent boundary

    Human pelts meow like Conrad said

    Dividing a truth from its advertisement

    Or your constellation from the frothing lip of the beer

    Brans & ryes, seriously any or all the old ways, all the exhausted weights & measures

    Intoxicants like air & light a silvery effluent that hardens into frost on uncollected garbage

    Alien machinery laying down the wheat

    A pyramid of norms

    Hippocratic clouds advancing new textures of hair and

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  • SUNRISE: January 1, 2018

    THE VEINS on the backs of her hands were raised and blue. To attain raised veins on the arms and hands. It seemed slender and remote; the prize of cruelty withstood; it had charisma. She was stretching her hands across an octave of piano keys or holding a menthol cigarette. No she was typing on a keyboard with the cigarette in her mouth. Blue smoke over the dining room table, trees out the window, the mound below her thumb: muscular, not to be argued with; she is waving a hard peach around, talking. The authority and relaxation of a grown person at her pleasure. Holding sour fruit is her

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  • On the Ground: Saskatoon

    THE REMAI MODERN opened on October 21 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. A city of 250,000 founded as a dry temperance colony, supported by stores of potash and oil, and frequented by hobby hunters dispersing into the great Canadian prairies, Saskatoon would seem an unlikely place for a 130,000-square-foot beacon to modern and contemporary art. While a precirculated press release notes that its “launch aligns with the international trend of world-class museums opening in unexpected destinations”—boilerplate become gospel in the first weekend’s official ceremonies—there is much that such an

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  • On the Ground: Dubai

    DO YOU REMEMBER THE DIALUP HANDSHAKE? Numbers being punched, assorted squeal-y gurgling, a series of high and low tones, and then the extended white noise? Dubai’s past decade of overtures towards the international art world felt a lot like this. The initial plaintive trilling gave way to a charging, moneyed insistence familiar to anyone on the global art circuit. We’ve finally logged on, and now it’s time to turn inward for phase two.

    In the mid-2000s, I would drive past a massive billboard hugging the side of the highway. It depicted a rendering of a new downtown development with scooped-out

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  • Reinventing the Lyre

     The world’s full of children who grew up too fast

    Gil Scott-Heron, “A Sign of the Ages”

    WITHIN A FEW HOURS OF HIS BIRTH, Hermes had already become a cattle thief, invented the lyre, & innovated the art of divine worship. “The alphabet, numbers, astronomy, music, the art of fighting, gymnastics, the cultivation of the olive tree, measures, weights, and many other things” were among his inventions, according to Plutarch. Hermes was both the herald of the gods and their psychopomp, as friendly with the ruling powers on Mount Olympus as he was with the living and the dead of our kind. He managed

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  • Life As We Know It

    I MOVED TO NEW YORK WHEN I WAS SEVENTEEN. During the first few years I lived in the city, men came up to me daily, and often many times daily, asking to take my picture. Even at the time I was certain this was not because they considered me beautiful. I felt that I must look vulnerable. I knew that I looked vulnerable and I cursed myself for it. I needed to become tougher. But I also wanted to be beautiful and desired, to look like a blushing creature of whom a parent might say, “If he so much as harms a hair on your head.”

    I had no parent to say such a thing to me. I was an orphan and it showed.

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  • The Unbearable Lightness of Paris / I Know What I Did Last Summer

    Since I’m already screwed

    Here’s a message to you

    My heart’s wide open

    I’m just not getting through to the lover in you

    Yet I’m still hoping

    That tonight, tonight, you’re gonna turn down the lights

    And give me a little more room just to prove it to you

    THAT’S HOW SHE PUT IT ON “SCREWED,” the eighth track of her debut album, Paris, released in August 2006. Screwed, with an open heart and hope for a little more room, that’s as much as any femme is allowed to be in this world.

    Bio: She was born in the 1980s in Los Angeles to wealth and privilege. Her middle name is Whitney. Her middle name is Katharine.

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  • Infernal Affairs

    God’s Justice! who could ever paraphrase

    the agonies and tortures that I saw?

    And why did I feel guilty as I gazed?


    —Dante Alighieri, Inferno, translated by Ciaran Carson (2002)

    1. THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG

    I’M AT AN artists’ colony editing a book about fowl and infinity. Every night the chickens here get sung a lullaby written especially for them by a Pulitzer Prize winning composer. It’s an insipid little ditty but it works. It is sung seven nights a week by two to five highly accomplished artists of the almost always female persuasion. Right now I’m one of them.

    Singing to chickens is like a parody

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