Apr 10 2012

An Infinite Jest Done In Bad Taste: Mark Leyner Nails America’s Discombobulated Zeitgeist


Upon reading the first three pages of Mark Leyner’s new novel, The Sugar Frosted Nutsack, in which Leyner lays out a sort of creation myth for our times, albeit starting with the declaration There was never nothing followed by a typically leyneresque, dense, electrifyingly poetic description of the universe gaining some sort of context or “relative meaning” from 3 teenage girls “mouthing a lot of high-pitched gibberish… [with] their wasted pallors, acne, big tits, and T-shirts that read ‘I Don’t Do White Guys'” and as the next three pages continued to ping pong virtually from one word to another between descriptions of cosmic creation that might have been written by Carl Sagan if he’d inhaled a little bit of Wordsworth and ketamine and contemporary grotesquery like “obese jogger’s nylon track suit” and oh yes, I’m back in Leynerland…  and for those of you who missed the cracked delights he spewed forth in the 1990s, I encourage you to catch up…  and as I was saying, upon reading those first three pages or so, I gamboled over to Amazon and posted my comment:

It took exactly 3 pages of this book to make me realize that I’ve been ever so slightly bored with every other book I’ve read… since Leyner’s last book. This is the divine comedy.

Little did I know that this opening creation myth would repeat and iterate and accumulate funny funny funny all american pop cultural banal references and occasional desperate lunges at cosmic transcendence partly in the person of an unemployed butcher in Jersey wearing a wifebeater t-shirt who is the chosen one among the gods along with other similarly fast furious riffs that repeat and iterate and how dare he write this conceptual novel.

So I’m a little embarrassed now because Leyner actually intends… sort of… to bore us… to torture us, to give us the feeling of all that is and ever was including all that’s fine about humanness and culture collapsing and infolding upon itself into one dense and crushed and barely coherent pileup (or mashup) of banalities… much of it spoken in the language of vacant Facebook youths watched over by Gods high on Ketamine, Ecstasy and “The Gravy.”  But even then, Leyner can’t help but display his facility with hilarity and wordy fusillades filled with random bits of obscure knowledge, tv, pop music and porno references, and again, also, those glimmers of transcendence.

And so — despite Leyner’s clear attempt at driving us crazy — this still may be the least boring novel I’ve read since Leyner’s last novel. And I’m thinking that just maybe this is the novel of the zeitgeist, the avant novel of the 2010s that doesn’t tell us but shows us where we are today as Americans (and we’re all Americans) by its very nature… a near-infinite google-sized pile of just barely connectable and relatable shit that’s infinitely clever and stupid and amusing and very much like one of Beckett’s desolate landscapes but rather than being empty it’s full of crap and pointless activity… and at the same time, emptier even still.

I don’t think this is gonna be a big seller.

Feb 26 2012

Rub Out The Words: The Letters Of William S. Burroughs (1959 – 1974)


Edited and Introduced by Bill Morgan

Dear Brion,

Enclosed please find money I don’t necessarily need to be bequeathing other nabors but anyway human philanthropy is illusion or so says the Artificial Organism Society.  Erections stimulated when electroencephalography waves aimed directly at the hypothalamus are apparently lesser productions than those in your pants fun and games what.

Speaking of, some young thing I paid for sex recently asked if I were schizophrenic to which I countered who Nellie the Disconnecter or Lady Sutton Smith?  Was My Creative Energy Really Abducted For Years By Methods Of Cutting Up? In Which Event Let’s Make Paper Money Collages Where Queens And Presidents Are Replaced By Hassan-i Sabbah Slaying All The Bad Book Editors (Maurice Girodias?) With E-Meters Shooting Sperm And The Slogan “The Human Body Is But A Gimmick Out Of Date”

Still I wish myself above taking censorship personally, particularly in regard to Scientologists:: in seeking that second religiousness as the colonial liver Keroauc called it:: my mother that hideous rank of matriach Inc. could certainly benefit from a good audit of the rusty dusty:: Whole areas of neurosis mapped and eradicated in mass therapy, hallucinations removed by direct brain intervention … the addicts vs. the viruses and the time machines …  then to all out war between officers of poetry and the perfect curse ie women:: infra sound social structures molded by guerilla tactics:: revolutionaries the most pigheaded people on earth.

Suppose one could call me a transhumanist.  Sex boxes that cure cancer Wilhelm Reich?  Augmented realities by docu-photographing every which way beneath programmed soundtracks streaming on an ecological consciousness, cityscapes looped for all the family beside the simultaneous absorption of reading arguments and counter arguments like a newspaper that keeps you locked in time and word?  Art as nonstatistical quality material and a way out to Space?  Regrets not to have shared a multilingual intersection with Arthur C. Clarke?  WRITE.  SHOCK.  EMBARRASS.  BUSY STAYS THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WOES.  EFFICIENCY.  DUPING?  BUT NO WRITER CAN BE MEMBER TO AN ORGANIZATION… 1965 STILL A DEPENDENT BUT LOOK MA.  SORRY MA.  HOW’S THE GRANDSON.  WRITE.  SHOCK.  OPEN FIRE.  BAD NEWS.  DEFENESTRATION, TRICHINOSIS, CRIPPLED DOW JONES, METAL SICKNESS.  And oh the wretched idiot inhabitants of our benighted planet and criminal politics and at least I try to encourage my progeny though equally blighted by literary calling.  Word for stupid ugly word.

Dream machine’s been fed new pet monkeys called APOMORPHINE .  Did I mention it’s previous employment for the treatment of erectile dysfunction and homosexuality?  Hummmmmmmmmm Well scripts tend to write themselves.  Ask Terry Southern.  Despite disappointing Turkish bath dreams in alien landscapes I find I like storyboarding gay porn, only mushrooms don’t compare to mescaline and mon dieu Tim Leary’s fat family and I want to write a children’s book.  See if you can tell how I employ iteration in letters to alternate recipients.  So much quicker to read colors than words.

Oh, and after 25 uh years of playing the uh spurned nomad outerspace citizen, I seem to have found myself uh famous in America. Even the interior manufacturing, distributing, and collecting on a book prior to advent of skype and other e-dig about as fun as lips on a female soft machine. I think I’d have liked to Tweet, on the first few trips anyway.  Underground methods better press.  Then look at Libya.  But when tape recorders occupy slithers of humanic brain (per Gerald Heard) can I still lay Jeff Hawkes in 2D?  Are 2D lunches at all fabulous postulates Izzy?

Remember both homo and heterorealities are illusion.  All alpha waves and reactive minds and contradictory commands.  Although I find I prefer straight narrative now, as straight as a tea and critic hazzled fag can expunge.  Find out who your friends are (Allen Ginsberg) and who they aren’t (Mickey/Michael/Darling Portman at least in a few incarnations) though he never claimed my parasitic hypothalamus as you do Mr. Gysin. Brion Burroughs.  Baby Daddy.

Etranger qui JAMAIS passait,

William S. Burroughs (s.m.)