Friday, November 18, 2016
Kofi Fosu Forson
In the Christian prayer “Our Father” we say “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The common understanding of how we engage in a co-existence with others should be a reminder of how we are not alone in this world, physically, as a calling to will and want, symptomatically, within the human cult of karma, trance and love/hate.
We exist on differing plains but once exacted we realize there are ties that bind us, from generations, race, gender, societal circumstances as socio-politics, international politics, social media, gossip, suicide, crime, death.
The air we breathe is made of visions, dreams, nightmares we tap into just by existing and being alive. These are the harrowing realities we come to terms with in the inner world meeting the outer world.
Metaphysically we revolve around the topics of love and fear. The very thing we admire we shun. This is the idea behind what is new and foreign, we fear.
Given the politics of love a woman when attracted to a man she can’t pin down or figure out, she runs away. Within the body-sizing in the streets a person is quick to hate and explore anger towards someone he immediately respects or innately is in disagreement based on judging of, inability to perceive. All of this stems from the order of instinct, perception and reaction.
Along the ever-winding streets where most of these games are played out, the notion of “snuffing” somebody out is a suggestion from the animal kingdom whereby one is quick to react and pounces on another they deem weak.
Unlike the animal kingdom humans are able to make peace, forgive and turn away from. It’s a universal understanding that love wins out and how we are able to placate one’s emotions by imbibing the notion of human love.
One would be forced to think “It’s a dog eat dog world”. We as a modern society judge others more than we show love. Especially among men and with women as well there is a constant need for self-pacification. Either that or there’s thirst and need to satisfy the ego, build a crust of libido and need and want to be thug.
In that very same Christian prayer there’s talk of “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”. What we are taught is that we are all made divisible by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. That one great test and its result certifies the fall of mankind.
The act of temptation plays on the original idea of instinct and the need to have by all means, to bring about a sense of personal gain and satisfaction. It is more or less greed and lust.
Areas where our greatest temptation draws to a close are situations where money and sex is involved.
The thief robs and the slut fornicates.
Overwhelmingly temptation plays on our fears as well. Suicide and death stem from paranoia. To be pulled into the notion of the world is closing in and one can’t breathe and is suffocating, fear would cause a person to want to kill themselves. That is the one most egregious example, being tempted into ending one’s life.
Elements of hypersensitivity and hyper-vigilance revolve around the artist mind and inconclusively serves as the one constant as far as how and where inspiration is brought about, relevant to gaining power from weakness, courage from vulnerability.
Due to the hyper-relevance of sensitivity outside the means of making art, the artist living in an urban setting draws from the power play in the streets. Navigating the streets at a time in his or her history the artist reforms from much damage having seen and witnessed a lot.
This is relevant to the topic of temptation, sex, paranoia and death.
Conclusively, the artist in his or her existence is an amalgamation of psycho-sexuality, the erogenous zone, fear meeting paranoia. Temptation in this respect is a scenario where the person bases what is happening in the moment to memory.
Our mental database is an entity which excites and causes a reaction in the moment. All that we are we have been and will continue to be. How we manage growth and maturity determines our ability to manage ready-made plans which protect us because of our alertness, wit and legerdemain.
Monday, November 14, 2016
HYPER-EROTICIZING of Flesh/ The PROGRAMMABLE Self
The reforming pervert is a live wire, blind folded with a gun.
Much like an inmate from an institution he wants so much not to resort to old habits. But in desperation he is constantly tempted.
During the early 80’s of New York’s Public Access television, adult programming were broadcasted after-hours. These shows featured orgies, strip shows, vignettes from porn films, and a magazine show with interview segments of adult film stars, previews of adult films and a pseudo pornographer who walked the streets with camera and sweet-talked and seduced women into exposing themselves and off and on engaged in sexual activity.
These were what became of internet porn, post artist and muse relationships whereby the art muse became sex muse. Fetishism and design porn of the 90’s quickly elevated into websites which promoted videos posted by the general public of sexual conquests. The pervert was given political freedom with publishing of adult magazines like Playboy.
At once it was okay for him to lust after nude photographs of centerfolds. The idea of prisoners pasting images of naked girls on cell walls became a revered activity for the pervert to write in with sex stories, buy with regularity these adult magazines which featured interviews with celebrities to give a sense of importance. A reformed pervert in history was also celebrated artist.
Fetishism took on prospects of high art expressed by photographers like Man Ray, Helmut Newton and later Richard Kern. Man Ray gave off a sense of stylized imagery and often surreal portrayal of nude women. His art went beyond suggestion of perversion as he was indeed an amazing photographer more than just someone whose art gave way to titillation.
That was more expressed in Helmut Newton’s photography. He pushed the edge of sexuality by politicizing issues of class, power and hedonism. There was always a sense of empowerment and wealth in his photographs.
Richard Kern on the other-hand promoted the barely legal, hot-shot pics of young women, seemingly old enough to pose naked but impressionably young. Although these images come from sex and smut, they are undeniably works of art, as Richard Kern manages a rawness of an expressionist painter and conscience of someone drawn to the chronicling of young sexuality much like Larry Clark.
Sexuality and surrealism have always been concurrent as seen in paintings by Dali and films by Bunuel. Visual text as well as the literary text pertaining to surrealism inspires a highly conscious and stimulated state, perhaps brought about by use of drugs, mania or enlightenment.
The yuppie movement of the 80’s brought about a conditioned state of stupor and sexuality as witnessed in coming of age movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High but also the early into mid 90’s produced adult Hollywood films including Basic Instinct, featuring the crossing and uncrossing of Sharon Stone’s legs to reveal pubis.
9 and a ½ Weeks and Wild Orchid heightened the sex appeal of actor Mickey Rourke.
The shock of sexuality in modern Hollywood films has a long history, Midnight Cowboy, Carnal Knowledge, Body Double, Crimes of the Heart.
As often as most men enrich their sexual conscience by looking at sexualized images and watching adult films, the pervert is ruined by such activity and it is more or not less an accentuating of his neurosis. Internet porn within a span of years quickly became the go-to-fix of most sexual deviants.
Hyper-eroticizing of the flesh is attentiveness given to the human body. Importance of the erogenous zone is central as to how the human body emits light, transformation and conscientiousness.
In its detail hyper-eroticism manages an arousal based on care given to the body, physical stature, emotiveness and sensitivity, sense of arousal, intellectual stimulation, priority expressed in the interpretation of art, perception and instinct plus the will with which we react and respond.
The sexual organs are important to the supposition of eroticism, the phallus, vaginal and anal cavity. Copulation as a suggestive act is not of concern. Understandably two bodies merging in the sex act is the total determination of a heightened erotic state, the individual in his or her abstinence can and does incite a means of self-arousal.
Masturbatory activity need not be definitive of the hyper-eroticized self. Sexual prompts can be remedied with actualizing of sexual tension by creating works of art. Knowingly, the sexualized state is an innate drive in the human person. Fornicating is an act of instinct more than conscience, but in order not to criminalize the act one is led to prioritize the behavior with which we communicate, show of respect, concern and honor for humanity.
Making art as inspired by a sexual drive is the cult status of the reforming pervert. To art (verbalizing of the word art) is a prompt much like the insertion of the erect penis into the moist vagina. Rather it is determined by the artist in his isolation.
How then does the perverted artist come to terms with his perversion?
He either suffers from the predicament of Marquis de Sade or triumphs over such ridicule by becoming film director like Woody Allen. Pornographers are those who are obsessed and possessed. Respected filmmakers can and often use sexuality and indeed pornography as art to articulate an overwhelming platform.
Quentin Tarantino is one filmmaker who uses violence as pornographic prompt.
With the aforementioned de Sade, literature is important in creating feelings of a hyper-eroticized self. Perhaps the eroticism of Anais Nin contributes to this. Somehow intellectualism and sexuality, at least the sexual appeal driven from reading intellectual literature has been relevant over the years in books by Simone de Beauvoir, Roland Barthes and Jean Baudrillard.
The self as programmable is a time when through a trance or meditation the body can sense and emit mental images and captions, these are non-representational and are not part of the prompt to make art. Instead they encourage stimulation and hot excitement from the body as machine.
Friday, November 11, 2016
Masculinity and the Black Artist/ Self-Empowerment
Thought is given to history of our black selves as slaves. Predominantly our manifest has either come from colonization, imperialism and freedom from slavery.
Much of my conscience is fixated on my country of birth, migration from the very place to New York, how I have evolved and the great attempt to uphold success based on what I presume to be magic, determining of what is good and or bad – that assumption derived from Biblical history, the born again scenario and the ability to promote a livable reality given stress and hilarity of modern day living.
Understanding of who and what is black can and must be brought to the hardened reality of how we evolved from slavery, colonizing of African countries, gaining independence and what circumstances people from these countries enabled a livable reality, those who migrated in terms of family and or education and employment.
Circumstances would prove the mindset of the African American over time, Emancipation Proclamation, Jim Crowe, Civil Rights Movement influence on popular culture, from rock and roll to Blaxploitation to Hip Hop, and understanding of white supremacy as order of the day, differentiates from the idea of independence and nationalism of an African person.
Quite early on in my stay in New York as a newly placed citizen of New York, I saw clearly how African Americans felt a resistance. Perhaps it was because I was embraced by the many whites who gravitated towards me. I think of it now and I react to it as a form of “fetishism” – what the Euro-American sees in the actress Lupita Nyong’o and have imagined of African musicians like FELA and Manu Dibango.
This resistance was a cause for fight, body sizing which led to calling of names and mimicking. I never attempted to unite in that solidarity of a life as an African American. I upheld my difference as someone who came from another country and in essence had a history separate from the African American living in America.
Although I had a rude awakening living with a host of addicts, criminal and diseased types. Circumstance of an experience with being situated in community housing.
A small suggestion as faking a British accent when cornered by an African American student as a boy speaks volumes to me now because it was an affront, a challenging of my identity and I knew it then as I know now, “I am African”, most importantly I am Ghanaian.
The spirited African man much like the African American came into his own as a boy working out situations with other boys whether through sports, coming of age scenarios as turf wars, girls, machismo and sexuality.
For me it was time spent with my classmates at Ghana’s Royal Preparatory sketching and making drawings of athletes playing football (soccer) and equestrians riding horses, kidding amongst ourselves talking about girls, signs of puberty, talking about and exposing of our male musculature.
Overall schooling was prioritized. Otherwise the role of being a boy was gradual maturity and responsibility, chores, errands, church, discovery of sex, role of father and mother, brother to brother(s), immediate and extended family.
Culturally there was a lot to work with in managing a life at that age. An African American boy in today’s America will be hemmed in.
Growing up in New York in the 80’s there were organizations as Fresh Air Fund and Children’s Aid society which gave care to the well-being of children growing up in underprivileged neighborhoods. (The idea of arranging for trips into the country or days out at Amusement parks was very common.)
Black masculinity must therefore be looked upon based on place of origin, upbringing and uniqueness of coming to terms with identity and place in society.
What is celebrated now among young black men and is evident in the older black male is the supposition of who is thug or “savage” and who has credibility as an O.G. or gangsta.
Evolution of the black male in history is central to this. It can then be impressed upon as how we as a black culture do enough to pull each other down. To draw a line between who is tough and who is not falls back on what separated slaves as men, those who played up to expectations of their master and others who fought and revolted, suggestion of a “house nigger” and “field nigger”.
Understandably in the modern sense most black men world-wide know of the importance of Hip Hop and how overall many black men lay claim to this time in history as the beginning of the modernizing of the black male – how he learned and earned reputation from gang and drug culture, experience with violence, his cult of existence whether as drug dealer or rapper, lady’s man and his knowledge of street culture.
I explain role of the black man and female to a certain point as thug, pimp and intellect.
Thug in the black male governs how he deals with other blacks in the streets, a form of defense and entitlement. Pimp brings about the impression of him as lover and how he uses the female to gain an advantage. Intellect is how he engages in “black speak” or dialogues about black politics.
All these impressions are played out in prison culture where many black men find it all too familiar in how they manage a life in the modern day whether they have done time in jail and have come back into normal living with struggle to find balance.
Black masculinity can therefore be understood as an acceptance of black circumstance, poverty, crime, addiction, disease and manifest from each and every one – how is it evaluated in every black man. (What does he do to encourage growth and maturity?)
Problem then becomes the built in façade to put up a fight. In my day it was carrying a knife and now it is a gun. It is however evident when a person grows up in absolute stress and constant threat he finds it manageable to have a weapon for protection.
Somehow it is not in the use of the weapon but the idea of having one which gives personal authority. Otherwise the criminal or drug dealer has the weapon in accentuating his power and will to carry out a crime.
Black masculinity is a form of judgment in how the black male expresses his cult of toughness, whether as athlete, thug or lover. These ideas are given a redirect in the streets.
Who and what the black artist is and how he has operated on the grounds of masculinity falls back on the life of Jean-Michel Basquiat. He is outrightly a hero because he grew up at the time of the Hip Hop movement of the 80’s. As graffiti artist he was on the cusp of street culture and yet engaged the fine and erudite behavior of the Euro-American male.
Commercially he is the one known black artist in modern history who every fan of modern art refers to as black artist not having knowledge of the wealth of black artists who have played roles in art history. In this the social media and internet age more people are at an advantage to learn about art, certainly how black artists manage the experience of being artists.
The black artist of my generation having grown up in middle class families, seen the popularity of Hip Hop merge with commercialism, drug and crime culture, the A.I.D.S. scare, has always understood in order to “make it”, one had to prop themselves up within the known existence of other artists, meaning white artists.
With graffiti and hip hop there were street battles, tagging of names, break dancing. That was the form of defense in asserting your credibility and reputation. As artists who studied art in schools and as a part of education we were inundated with talk of art history as a Europeanized experience, certainly the artists we discussed came from a European upbringing.
As a form of detail, models we drew from and painted were often white art models. Our classmates were white and certainly at most openings, parties or events we were often the only black people present.
This wears on the conscience. The great manifest from the whitening of one’s conscience is personal, different from the reality of battling another graffiti or Hip Hop artist.
The black artist’s circumstance with respects to masculinity is determined by his evolution as person. He is not ever far off from the overall perception of blackness. That is ingrained in the conscience. The fight then is how he evolves from whiteness. That supposition is however never discussed or articulated. It is credited to social experiments, some of which is placed upon the artist by himself.
In doing so the black artist is confronted with the idea of gender and identity, sexuality and racism. Societal norms have been broken and now we are confronted with what is “black on black” crime and the overall tug and pull of white supremacy.
As much as the black artist promotes culture and intelligence and however he manages knowingness and politicizing of art ideas he is always reminded of the ever balancing of white nationalism, hate and entitlement with his own diversity, blackness and origin.
The great fight becomes the manifest. As often as body sizing continues in families, society and on the streets, the black man has to realize our competition is now international.
Knowledge is still king. We have to look beyond onto the horizon and far reaching world outside to come up with solution.
A revolution begins with self-reflection. Society as a whole does not care for the individual on merit and circumstance alone. His endurance in life becomes credited when he takes a chance and develops skills and tools for survival.
Forward into the future, semiotics and use of language in this our modern technology, politics, society and governmental structure, the black person has to manage a defense for white terrorism and that can be won only with self-will, education and counterbalancing of thug with intellect.
Hence, the black postmodernist thug…
Saturday, June 04, 2016
Carter and Maria in the Desert
My heart is a broken flower. Fuck me. Don't do that. Do it this way
That is how The West was won. Hollywood cowboys cutting into film
In screening rooms they cuss, cut create what we know as blue noir
Belle Fleur was her nom du plume. She envisioned The Golden Age
L'Age d'or, Bunuel hysteria. Suicidal chefs making chocolate roux
She had a room with a view overlooking an archway within a garden
Where she snail-tapped her way thinking male gender emasculation
Mundo civilizado. Long drives along lonely Los Angeles highways
In bloom, face like lilac, she listens to Cage the Elephant remixes
What is this the press to play gee whiz affectations of entitlement?
Must clouds creep so low - not while in our bathing suits we vent
Cram disposable logic inside hot breezy quips that qualify as gizz
Jazz. Thelonious Monk's Epistrophy. We zoom in and out of scenes
Roles heartthrobs play man-sizing. Their star-lit lovers fib and faint
Young Warren Beatty would do it differently. So would Paul Newman
Perhaps the wife beater exposing his American flesh. Jack Lalanne
No, a young Paul Newman wouldn't walk the floor porno pathetic
He'd play her down like a boss man with a bow and an upright bass
Watch him grip the fold of hair, tilt her head back lightly, breathe on
With these words he'd say to her commands from a Southern beau
Looking at a Ruscha painting and knowing where you came from
This is Hollywood. North by Northwest. Mann's Chinese Theatre
We fight among the cinematographers, grapple with our posture
Friday, May 20, 2016
Bluest eye. Comment c'est. Pence to plus. I am a Muybridge
Human heck silhouette figure sprinting from white euphoria
In the arms of Bangladeshi woman I recall Marjorie Christie
How else do Black Europeans dissimulate their whiteness?
I murder roses place them ceremoniously over Brian's grave
Jonestown Massacre. Blood red lips murmuring "Rosebud"
Bonanza. Caribbean cowboys incognito emulate Roy Rogers
Becoming Buscemi. There were once Rastafarian cavalcades.
We now worship Wiz Khalifa. Long live King Jeru the Damaja!
Aburi Hills, the night sky as Nina Simone glamorizing meth
Music is a whore named Telula! She reads aloud The Bell Jar
How the girls at Cal Arts cut into their skin the word "Awula"
Ghanaian wunderkinds paint themselves dressed as Napoleon
Lady Days at Bellevue Psyche with smells like cooked snails
Mad men impersonate Emperor Selassies and Indira Gandhis
In this world a black goth girl is considered bipolar case number
Give me your industrial disease! Trade you for my hypothesis!
Where the punks on dope smash guitars I inherit my ubiquity
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Of a Lesbian Body in an Episcopalian Church
of stone. that bronzed element yet lily at heart fluttering. as if his feathers were of rooster at fight. king no less mirroring me, a pugilist shambling. poet collecting words like geese possessing the sky. he opens dictionary page words starting with letter "d" fixates on the word "diphthong". an example of which "oi". (oy) is it a punk as pig or does the word "pig" make you think of pig Latin?
prospectus erectus "rospectuspay erectusway". opening paragraph Nabakov's Loilta. have you ever undressed a word to find its cult or key? have you ever heard of Throbbing Gristle? there's a great noise coming from the interim. I read Portnoy's Complaint as an alternative to shafting.
bestowed upon me is the question of thus - am I an incorrigible thing? perceived as jaundice, nearly putting in verse dialogue for our conquest. much of what is said is unretractable. I am of this. it is my sermonology. you speak words hot in happenstance. we are not lovers. in this I possess you. taste of Camembert on the tongue.
your phraseology, unnurtured, carries with it murmuring of a submissive interlocutor. in this our wrong-doing the reflective "I" purports a feminist stance. is it the "she" I sense in the ever-governing me? what I usurped from her spirit, her lesbian body as she stood before me, an Episcopalian in the church of God questioning my chi.
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Death of Black Pageantry/Neo-Politicizing of Blackness
Kofi Fosu Forson
F. Scott Fitzgerald's Tales of the Jazz Age wouldn't suggest the flamboyance of Duke Ellington, genius master compositions of Dizzy Gillespie, genuineness and human accordance of Louis Armstrong or the elegant beauty and well-founded blues in the voices of jazz singers such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn among many others.
There is the supposition of jazz as black musicians entertaining a white jet set, much of what became of black culture as a means of hilarity and enjoyment for white commercialism. That black people found relief in self-expression, it became the undoing of what was the black element in the cultivating of popular culture as was the decimation of blacks and the roles they played in science, politics and art.
What is black pageantry?
It can be proven in the resistance of self-denial, renouncement of bondage and slavery, the black person found a revolt in his promotion of glory made present in music (blues, gospel or rock and roll), theater and story-telling. These were times when a bond was created among those rejected, made poor or rendered as family by circumstance or genes. Whether in the form of a gathering on a field, at home or church, the black person always found reason to celebrate, reform from emotional or physical pain.
This very idea of black people rejoicing was brought about to the level of the black slave entertaining the master. In its most commercial relevance black musicians would be presented by means of professionalism, adorned in suits and gowns respectively to perform before a white audience.
That was and has always been the idea behind control and performance where a greater and more powerful white entity manages the successes of performers. The idea of black movements in music from bebop to MOTOWN has always been sold as black imports to white communities. Whereas black people valued these movements as progress of black productivity they were often prioritized given a white "newness" and manifestation.
The idea of a black family getting ready to go to church, choosing what to wear, performers deciding on tailored outfits, presenting themselves as G.Q. or cover girls has always been a part of black pageantry, the idea of presenting the self as an example of one's imagined and heightened conscience, at times hilarious, exaggerated but overall conditioned to make one take notice, admire or hold in the highest regard.
Harlem Renaissance was time when black artists reflected the talent and conscience emanating from what was "black thought." It reached a means of excellence in the works produced by fine artists, musicians, performers in theater and film. The idea of pageantry remained current in how these artists presented themselves with fashion and costuming. Overall much care was taken in the defining of one's persona as charismatic.
The 70's was a revolutionary decade having survived the explosion of rock and roll and the birth of the hippie. Black musicians gained a sense of pride with their self-ownership as expressed in the music and presentation of stage acts by performers. Parliament Funkadelic and Labelle were among those who put on legendary concerts celebrating blackness with an emphasis on sexuality and originality.
The decade fueled by the war in Vietnam, Civil Rights and blaxploitation films added a concentration on the evolution of the black performer owning up to his genius as was evident in Isaac Hayes' music, Gordon Parks' film and photography and the literary works of James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. The black performer as Hollywood star had been given merit earlier in the performances by Sidney Poitier and Diahann Carol.
The 80's became a point of awakening in the death of blacks as a result of the drug culture which gave way to violence. The idea of a community killing its own carried over through to the birth of RAP and later Gangsta Rap which commented on the activities within black neighborhoods as News Feed, current affairs and pop journalism.
Rap as a movement and concentration on black culture brought an awareness to black pageantry more than any movement in history. From its origin in neighborhoods like Bronx, New York to what it has become internationally, Rap as hip hop has increased the awareness of black marketability, wealth, fashion and influence on the youth.
Music videos first brought to the homes of those unknowing and ignorant what was happening on the streets. With the success of MTV, the selling of what was blackness became a commercial success. By now Hollywood was also taking notice. Spike Lee's films affected the American conscience. The role of the fashion designer was important in what to wear to the award shows.
Black pageantry was always an example of the collective conscience and pulse of what was black. Marketability has given way to the success of individuals who see to their own advancement. This has become the black response to what was the D.I.Y. movement better known in the black community as "Do You."
As black philosophers as Eric Dyson and Cornel West write books which further black thought and conscience, a young group of black men and women have become politically savvy in the creation of The Hands Up movement as well as Black Lives Matter.
The Neo-Politicizing of blackness has brought consideration to what is a Post Racial Society evident in President Obama's election. Circumstantially the presence of a black family in the White House alone inspires success.
Socio-political activism in music as far back as James Brown and Stevie Wonder and what became Public Enemy brought the plight of the black person to the forefront. We see it now in the death of unarmed black men.
Somehow what can be suggested as a Post Racial Society is the articulating of what is black individualism. Overall the assessing of black unemployment, crime, lack of education and housing can be transcended by what has always been the black spirit in times of struggle and turmoil.
Blackness is less a conscience as it has become a reflection on death. Celebrations like AFROPUNK or the Jazz and Heritage Festival are now accounts to the reality we as black people are still alive, that we come from the post cryptic notion of death.
Our evolution is a manifestation from death. But such is the Christian perception.
We die off our false selves.
What then is our true self?
Wednesday, May 04, 2016
Photo taken of Original photo Tanga Moreau in Jeans Street Print Ad
Bird Man's Bronzed Coq
Out Sir! Come out you he-body bruvva man!
Resurrection from bones of this American Horror Story
White Heads of Southern California claim your pigs
Punk these gasoline thirsty barbarians with lead pipes
Surf water serenading life guard - An Albino Dennis Hopper
Auf wiedersehen - blue boys and gigolos on Venice Beach
A demain - body builders and hustlers in bell bottoms
To you I preach Easton Ellis monologues, Basketball Diaries
We are at a breach between what is god and what is gutless
The librarian claims our conversations are lovemaking actions
A poet-thief who dreams Mastroianni's dialogue in La Dolce Vita
Marcello! Marcello! Come si fa?! Come si diventa una celebrita?!
Bird man from the Bronx speaks the part of Brando in Godfather
He soliloquy's early morning as a police car circles the courtyard
At night gang warfare erupts stressing Abuelitas walking Nietas
King Felix tonight paint the corners like Georges Rouault
Hank's men answer to me wearing pinstripes and baseball caps
I call them ceremoniously one after another to the batter's box
Standing smitten if I were woman I would flash my Double D's
Ambrosia! Ambrosia! I the masculine feast on the femur
The feminine at her post pubescent erotic grotesquely mature
Haves at mon coq voluptuous grind bounces the buttocks beat
Heart palpitating breathing strong breaths aroused hallucinating
Thursday, April 28, 2016
At Martha's Vineyard love lives in trees. Come let us go
We are acquiescing tempestuousness of middle-age coitus
With neuroticism we seduce clit-lit bimbos in fuck and kill cafes
Virtual misogyny where ghost like funk captures our imagination
This is Ibiza by the sea navigating news feeds and timelines posts
Where imago suicidal Dorothy Parkers cut blow as poetic verses
Sanguine sun-night scintillating luminescence lifts my conscience
Arabethic sexo-disciplinarian. God is country I claim citizenship
Inside blue rooms I house corporate-cuntus fantasy girls meditating
I was projectionist of these NC-17 brain wave art documentaries
Colors of Vermeer paintings brought to life becoming faux nudism
Narcissistic up and over I sensed cataclysmic voyeuristic terrorism
Her caterpillar cat eyes under black hair ferociously piercing screen
Catch and catapult I made muse-sense of her Warholian profile pic
Fleshed out her Freudian body within mental pornographic celluloid
Hunger for carnal knowledge envisioning us approximating intimacy
Like Grade B movie actress modeling for a photograph by Weegee
Come alive during sex scene of a Margaret Thatcher era British film
She posed an American Anais Nin looking into me province of He
Aromatic essence beauty captured by the face lamenting desire
Red hues encompass each frame brilliantly and painterly evocative
"Who would be magistrate of our mutual harassment kinky torture"?
Potentially psycho in its inception we met death one shot at a time
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Celibate Celebrant's Diary of Worship, Song and Pornographic JPEGS
Dune lover - of this desert I navigate improprieties, a failed quest. That you were born incarnate plum picked, the female narcissus, be forgiven. Let not your origin perverted by Blue Irises give wake to your dying concupiscence
Malaria tint in the sky, dry sinuses - blood drip. With parched throats lungs quake to polluted air. Consequence diagnosable, weed's loom, white paper, no pipe. A breath's pull brings sensation, cancerous, cancellable
Hours programmed, detailed as vice - Magnum pistol hangs by cord. Bottled prescription pills, insular thug empties tank. Walls' white cracks, mildew gathers under sink, an inefficacious livelihood. Virtual sex, starvation
Numbing conscience - subjected to torture, he feels leather belt on skin, watches peripheral knife. Looped messages emit from answering machine. He prepares for lone shark's indeterminate arrival. Gangsta dialogue, muffled words presuppose agoraphobia
Melophobia - after months celebrating street samba, rock and roll dissonance, the chanteur, an alcoholic experiences marijuana smells, sex as drug, jpegs of inexorably schizoaffective sluts, conducts a conversation alone, panicks
This desert, street malediction - counselors' conference bargaining. For what merits death is a toboggan careening out of control, a client off medication threatening the silence, a boy pornographically diseased
Monday, April 18, 2016
Erotic Asphyxiation of a First Born
You killed a ghost in me - I saw yourself descending, that sinning self. Bodification Sister Lorde would have made a thesis of. Black Country mothers, their sons surgically attached, black skin, a suit worn at birth, Mars Black Paint covering the face. In that suicide weather they took their own lives. Hot boys, hood hysteria burnt into them, flawless and fierce, fight-hungry, stepped to the unsuspecting and pitiful.
Africans acerbic gossip, menstruation to masturbation. With this their soils are fertilized. What land now possesses feet once rooted in sand? All God's men leave home. I have come for the fatuous meat, bodacious behinds on troublesome women. Let love live! The heart is a paradiddle!
United Nations of scandalmongering, ambassador wives with kitchen knives. The world's children coalesce. No more female genital mutilation. No more girls sold into slavery. What percentage of gold must be pocketed in the orifice? These are hearts that want liberty. These are minds that long for language, the gilded-she addressed and undressed within universities.
Mothers of faux-flavored boys becoming... Trend setters at the all-boys-school for wunderkinds. Kokoschka art genius painted nude models from pages of Playboy to studios of SVA (Svah). She loved him princess-boy, surrogate husband. He chose his lovers white shock disease, muses, literary bimbos. Oscar Micheaux soap opera. She massaged death in his bones, Fatima to King Kunta.
The Rachel Papers, white literati-wet dream. Moist music made him sleep. He dreamed clairvoyance. Killed off parents in his prose pieces. Female of which tortured him, shouting throughout his subconscience. Tete a tete. Interview with a Vampire. Bloodless, breastfeeding twins simultaneously. Sexless incest, emitting venom into his pours. He walks ghost-house, exorcising the body that died inside, deposited by a mother fleeting a narcoleptic nightmare.
Wednesday, April 06, 2016
Black Vampires of Cell Block 8
In the underground the black literati get drunk, do drugs, kill time telling stories about Amiri Baraka. Who is your favorite black revolutionary? Is crack your cure or do you drain blood from potential victims?
Vampiro Negra. He blows kisses at the soft boys. They hustle kitchen knives and cotton balls.
Come Casey Jones. Place your pubescent head on my chest. Let me tell you stories about Cell Block 8. Shake, Rattle and Hide when they close in for a killing. Lock arms with your battle-whipped boys. Build a wall that'll keep the goons from getting skin.
Letter to WASP. Keep it real. This ain't my deal. When I'm done I'll break out walk into your world a stronger man, catch thieves with my bare hands. Stone cold rassling. Ripped in my jeans, cut at the sides, I flex. Steroids and barbed wire. Pumping iron to the sounds of Rastas spitting rhymes.
In the heat of the day when the guards go stomping. I rise. I rise. Atilla. Nominated as 'Un. Mobbing the hard wood. Hammer and nails I build you a cupboard. We move merchandise, collect books on numerology. Your cult or mine. Cuss the great divide. We are animals among men. Make this into a covenant.
We worked the wars from Hosanna til Good Friday. Called up the gangs and woke the name Jesus. Resurrected ghosts from these walls. All God's men are numbered from one to the end. No shepherds walk these halls. The no name wolves make murder of the minds of those who refuse to sleep with their eyes closed.
Awaken. Awaken to the sounds of death. There's a new line a'coming. Fresh faces from fortunate lives having gotten a dangerous deal. We are all innocent then. Who's to tell me these hands are mine? It has folded bed sheets. Hung colorful shirts on a clothes line. How then could it suffocate, bludgeon, beat down the bones of a ne'er-do-well? I have worn gloves then, left no imprints as I do, made minced meat of the haves and have-nots.
Wise men know enough to keep away from here. If for some God-forsaken reason you find yourself among the incarcerated give up the weapons with which you fight. Let the Lord handle your pistol grip pump. Pull at the wounded souls with your eyes. Learn to watch and heal. Hold each moment as if it were a lesson, a way into life walking backwards. But with your eyes closed you can see. You can breathe breath into this, this dark world of broken souls.
But beware. It is not a life you are living. It is death. Be good at not wanting to die. Much like the world you came from march don't walk. Wish the pain of others away from your soul. Meet your enemy at the door. Don't let him enter. If he does, let wisdom carry you to the many hills you have yet to climb. Fall back gracefully.
This is your fight. Don't ever surrender.
Thursday, March 31, 2016
In the mode of a 70's Eric Bolan, Peter Frampton rock star, this born to ruins black guitar-thief revved up the engine of his Ford Mustang
Sour girl - love detective he bangs left-overs from the congregation, loners from patched up relationships, divorcees and distinguished single moms of eccentric high-school girls
Gore galleries, artists who make sculptures from skulls, pieces of human flesh, finger nail and toe nail filings invite him to their cadaver exhibitions
The fecal photographs show opened and closed on the same night. Ten born-again-Christians rumored to set fire to the gallery started smoking cigars blowing smoke dangerously onto oncoming faces
Trigger-happy Houdinis kept hands primed and positioned ready to unlock a glock. With different colors streaked into their pompadours they hung in corners where light-bulbs had dimmed to total darkness.
Hilarity and girls on pharmaceuticals drinking wine unadvisedly collapsing in the middle of the room. Some hung on to shoulders of boyfriends, slouching like a hick dragging a dead body.
A rock show where people start suiciding and promoters catch a fit. Lead singer gets on a mic and tells every one to settle down. Riots ensue as bouncers lift bodies one by one onto the stage.
Cops arrived night sticks in hand carefully leading people out the door. Others stood by patrol cars watching the crowd disperse onto the sidewalks never wanting to interfere
These men in blue captivated by the art-glory, caught in suspense of the visualization of what happens when the rich and sophisticated get high and drunk, want to rule the world
Dozens upon dozens filled the cafes, bars and restaurants brought business to the already fashionable five star eateries. Mixed and matched corporate clientele waited on orders, caught glimpses of what was the art-stressed underbelly
Like the Romeo Blues living the day as artist models. At night they work lounges as dee-jays and bartenders. What they became was no more or less Jewish-empowered than jazz. Black Rock and Roll was a hit.
Black Gothic family where the mother smokes pot unbeknownst to her friends. It's a husband to wife efficacy when the daughters are away. They walk in to the smells. Mother works the Lysol, stoned as hell offering cheese cake before dinner
In the Black Gothic family mother was raised on Siouxsie Sioux. She has lived in London where she fucked and blew White boys. Dating them was never accepted but she did as an offense to her parents
College was a riddle she fought herself to solve. But now she's well paid, works as a psychologist. At times she's abnormal when and if she hasn't been on vacation or her husband hasn't been gigging. That being a jazz musician helps pay rent is a mystery after all
In a black family if I'm doing good everybody better be doing good. God damn the politics on what it means to be poor and black. Prince said money doesn't matter tonight. From Benmont Tench to Bernie Worrell I cut and cuss pieces of American music into my jive soul
So pour some House music into this. Let me shimmy and shake. Cut patterns on the floor. Shoulder surf with my fingers tap tapping like a Fats Waller. We make hoochies out of proper girls. So check your chastity at the door. Come lose some blood, on your knees on the wooden floor or in the stall bent over
Black brothas scheming to get paid. The hustle has always been different. White boys raised on Thomas Jefferson let lose at the books on art and philosophy. For them it's a redirect. How to parlay white supremacy into a wine tasting, coffee table book affair.
The only black man at a loft party hugging the walls. To them he seems safe. At an opportune moment a total stranger mirrors him, uses him like a belly or pillow, rests his ideas and torture on him. White privilege. White predominance.
In the art world you breathe white hot air, beat harangue into a willing participant. It's often some one you like, some one you want to fuck, some one you want to impress. Like the gods in the bars it takes a little liquor, a touch of red or white wine.
But you are from the best schools, you are well spoken. You know the difference between "I am married. Do you want to come home with me"? and "There's my husband. Do you want to join us for a drink"?
In the art world death is a rumor. It's not who you killed. It's who you got to come to your one-man show. So let's not piss on art. Let's not shit onto art
Let us draw up a sizable plan where dead artists are no good. If I'm to die before I make a sale, let me sell my soul to my biographer. Let me pay my dues. Let me talk of crimes I committed, people I paid off. Let my biography be a best seller
In a few words I fell in love with God, my hit man, drug dealer, pimp
I'm married to him. Like the threat of a new day I walk into it:
Wednesday, March 30, 2016
God Funk of Otherworldliness
Generous. Genius. God funk of otherworldliness. Beatitudes. Bodhisattva. Bodhisattva by the beach. Einstein amenities. Hair plush. Warhol's wig. Being Jim Jarmusch. Otherwierdliness. Punk is a father from church having seen God. He hands him his long-neck rifle walks out into the streets a threat. He is spooked. He is Spocked. He is spectacular. Ghosting.
That ghost thing on my computer screen when I know you are there, watching me. Maybe not watching me for real. But like I see you are there, somewhere sitting down watching me watch you. It's a synchronicity thing. It's a ghost thing. When your significant other self, that self you send out into the virtual sphere fucks with my mind. Like a ghost fuzzing, moisture gathers within my pupils. I imagine you in all your fantabulousness. Figure. Firmament. Fermentation. Fraction of your true self. This is your self possessed. Poisoning my senses with your particular poise for pretension. Pussitraction. Post Traumatic Sensual Domination.
Fiction. Friction. What is genius but the stranger in a strangeland. An environmentally conscious garbage collector. Iranian gastroenterologist. A Wittgenstein Mohammed. La langue d' Africains Cosmopolite. Interpreting Pirandello. Why American literature is a house before the housewarming. Burroughs without heroin. Hunter S. as a chaste Charmanda. Bukowski without the three vices.
A Mohawk walks into a bald men's shop. Getting away with murder is a foot fetishist working as pedicurist. A man named Lynch hogtying his lover. Harpooning an obese mermaid. Beseeched upon by two overweight lovers in a menage a trois. Paul Gauguin in Tahiti. Helmut Newton Carnal Brute. The female body as a murderous association. The Choker. Garter Belt. Ball Gag. Fuck machine. Belle de Jour. Brigitte Bardot in ... And God Created Woman.
Blue Velvet as a hyper eroticized cinematic version of a song by Prince. Darling Nikki era if and when before or at the time of the Black album.
Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde. Woody Allen's Stardust Memories. The American Walt Whitman. He stands tall in height, stature or regard for the masculine - the enchanted lover, wise beyond his years, of history he is dependent upon wit, joie de vivre, whitenest pride.
In the Irish James Joyce he lathers in a non pithy fleshing out love of etymology, like the adulterous massage, political love affair, sex on a cruise ship.
Oscar Wilde is self-bathing, latherous washing of skin. Flair with which one attempts a seduction.
Long embrace. Lament in a kiss.
Like a lover's post orgasm, leveling the intensity by hanging ten, grinding against the sexual cavity, waiving the arm in the air as if with a hat, a flag.
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Tarantino Wannabe Film starring a Girl named Tarantella
Boom Shack-a-lacka Boom Shack-a-lacka Boom! Base sounds. Hard rounds. Talking European football with a mess of a man. He sits upright like the Eiffel Tower. Drunk at end of bar is a Leaning Tower of Pisa. Come a Come a Camaraderie. Take a look at these London On and Offs glistening like Christmas lights. Was it the bitters in their gin/tonic. Or the pepperoni in the pizza. Half of one eye closed she has at the slice as with gritted teeth she pulls at the Parmesan. The topping with cheese and tomato sauce drips onto the table floating over the bartender's concoction. This is not a Sunday night. This-is-a-how-the-hell-did-I-end-up-here-kind-of-night-before-Monday-morning-when-I'll-be-expected-to-be-showered-and-groomed-suit and tied-holding-office-on-the-fortieth-floor-of-a-building-mid-town-where-the-cab-drivers-drive-sarcastically and the-hot-dogs-taste-rubbery. Robbery. He walks in sawed off shotgun. Arms up in the air! Arms up in the air! Turn the music off! Turn the music off! He don't like mariachi. Or was that Joe Strummer and the Mescalaros. Pimp Pomp Adore! It-would-be-much-easier-making-money-off-a-would-be-has-been-never-really-made-it-but-he or is-that-she-comes-around-opens-up-a-tab-gets-wasted-sits-there-singing-along-to-the-jukebox-cat-calling-strangers-until-closing-time. He throws a potato sack at Harry and orders him fill it up with cash. I'm almost expecting Lucy to sashay over to this speck of a man run her hand around his shoulder say something Luciferian coming from a chick of course, "Looks like you haven't been laid in a while. Why don't you come over to my end of the squat and make like we've known each other for a long, long time." Not Lucy she's shitting bricks. So Harry does the thing he was told to do. He tosses the bag at the man. He makes a nice catch, fires a shot in the air and like a cat makes a dash out the door. Somebody must have texted 911 'cause out of nowhere we hear sirens as someone yells, "FREEZE!" Balls to the wall they'll tattoo his face against the bricks, handcuff him, stick him in the back seat off to penitentiary. As for the money I say a round of drinks for everyone. A hard one for Tarantella. I want to get her drunk unload my junk in her trunk. Whiskey Sour and lime for me. I am liberated, inebriated, cash diamonds in my pocket. I'll thumb her neck until three then I'll tap my teeth on her wrist. It'll be time to go put the rubber to the road. If I can't see maybe it's dark and I got on my darkies. Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Life is risky. She's my business. Tonight I'll make it like in the movies. You know some choreographed Nijinsky shit. Les Russes! She smells of vodka. I am liberated, inebriated, cash diamonds in my pocket.
No New Jimmy Choos
Andre Leon Talley, Pardon moi Monsieur, introduce me to that country place of Von Herrs, White Sugar Daddys. Tonight I speak French. Tonight I call up Vincent. We smooth talk hood negresses. Hit up NYC kitchen cupboard queens of underground literati for colloquialism. Like a cocksure East Village Jesus in a Hugo Boss working on a dissertation. We'll turn the Fuck You's into Parlez-Vous. Tall boys in order. Perhaps a shot of Alibaba. Burn smoke into this. It was branding before the white girls got funny about all this got sleeve tattoos and clit rings. Shamama, psychic-kill! Facial exfoliation turning Yoruba housewives into Nollywood Barbarellas. Bronxville flat of a Latino film critic. The fellas get with the others talk New York politics, German Expressionism. I sell them nude portraits of an Italian house sitter. Go where the girls go Iko! Iko! Your NO WAVE, New Wave trend-setting got me noticed. I became Isaac from Bukom. Subliminal Afro technique. Blonde girls doing cartwheels in Harlem shyster basement drug dens. T'is the citizen from Le Frak cut-creating the rewrites for his soon to be urban crime detective novel. Some say love is dead. What do you know about sex you never been a Guy/Gal Friday. You never sold sex to a puppetress, one hand inside her Buddhist husband, the other jerking off a parliamentarian. In the hot decade I god-swiped cafeteria girls from their mothers impressed them with my knowledge of Burt Bacharach. You say Liberace I say La Cucaracha. Some nights she prefers Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti. I like Black Coffee in Bed. Listening to Delphine Blue on WBAI. I make mixed tapes for my love girl. Black appropriation. Even the Polish girls talk honey into me. Brooklyn orgies where the dee-jay plays Johnny Cash hands out condoms covered with graffiti. This is not Anti-Folk. This is country come to Ludlow. This is not Antietam. These are dead bodies dumped into the East River. Candelabra! Candelabra! Dinner with art girls at Shakespeare's Fulcrum. Tomorrow it's Kostabi's kitchen. When they waltzed us all out of our rent-controlled it wasn't with a gun to our head. We got the message. Whatever happened to Kate Spade? No new Jimmy Choos. You'll celebrate your birthday tonight dancing barefoot, pedicured and manicured drinking mimosa with a Brazilian model. Cheers, Ambrosia! Here's to Balthazar Getty! Here's to James Spader! Here's to all them white boys who made your little negra ass bounce.
Thursday, February 25, 2016
Thirty is a Round Number
(for Gabriel Don)
30 is a round number dispossessing its righteous owner becoming desperate
Body half-centered from days when you ran in circles, groupies thumb and fist
Concupiscent charlatans, art thieves who fashion themselves after gangsta poets
Modern day messiahs tripping on psycho semantics, moo shoo lunch specials
Who done what with whom, call it distribution of postmodern feminist literature
No more gossips about suicidal goons, lost boys from the borough of beat down
Come Casanova, come King Cobra walk your diamond girl through shyster bars
Uber cars carrying her to the land of misbegotten lives, she slays dragons dead
Pen for sword word for word, this is a countryside where angels fear to thread
Literary mamita carrier of the essence of a neurotic gene, December’s demoiselle
Danced among barbarians at the lounges and after hours in the Lower East Side
Freedom fighters followed you, semiotic soldier boys born on the saddest day
Dressed in suits and sandals, posed like Svengalis, romantic artisans, triple threats
This day when yesterday’s rabble-rousers hide inside air conditioned catacombs
In the arms of matrimony you are safe, ongoing gender warfare, ego bashing
Midnight mothers cradling their drunken lovers at all night orgies underground
Thousand voices thirst, is it wine that crosses their lips, do you offer them breath
Christina the restless possess us now through your sensations and transcendences
We have come to redeem ourselves, get lost in the magic of remembrances
A life once lived as hoodoo poetess; we watch as you levitate, circling the room
Vavavoom, The Mad-bitten Cunnilinguist
I say yes to the va-va-voom in me. Mad-bitten cunnilinguist. Brossa by bar light, she courts Pakistani queens, mellifluously wagging tongue, tit-talking her way into getting diamonds. I long for the literary bimbo, lesbo-a-go-go. In my dreams she is Susan Minot reading passage from LUST. Mary Gaitskill at Texier's loft canoodling a kitten. Sometimes I rehash memories from failed attempts at making it. Instead of the quick in - out, I dick-tap like Vladmir draft-typing Lolita. Amoureuse d'amour! Je regarde les femmes en le train. God-whipped! Torn between the cold showers and handfuls of torturous ass
Street hassle – Peripatetic Latina outside my window on the grounds with the broken trees and dried branches doing her normal inspection. She phones the super and complains about lack of sanity for a view. Overheard her on the phone tough-talking somebody about wanting to come over and kick their ass. Deadpan delivery of mamita talking tough gets me so hot. Makes me think why sweat some art entitled chick when "miss thing" outside my window is like what?
Sitting in waiting area of public office in the Bronx, early to mid- twenty something black girl walks up leaving. I nod hello. She smiles. I think to myself to win her over I better have a good paying job. Take her to parties in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island. Saturday nights we better be at the club. Sex better be good. Mature black woman walks up leaving. I say hello. She responds in kind. I think to myself. I don't have to try to win her over. One look in the eye and she knows what she wants. I can be myself. Uphold an erudite stature. Live like a King to her Queen. What was the Euro American art girl! I compete with her ego. I stress art. I stress sex. I stress my status as an art persona. I endure friendships with pseudo intellectuals. I'm paraded around openings and parties as "Kofi", Magical Negro, Afro Futurist
how a subway ride becomes testimonial as to how I have elevated my status checking out girls thinking maybe in a past life I would have but sitting in the here and now looking at you thinking of a romp it feels like reading an American novel written by a super entitled woman with no true sensibility, lack of imagination and I'm tired and feel a little sickened by it as if I drank warm white wine when what I needed was a failed attempt at a pick up line from a stranger who suits me because she made an attempt and what makes love interesting is when someone takes a chance, makes a move, not the forced suggestion, rather something sincere which makes you feel special, wanted, admired
Monday, February 22, 2016
Part One of a Two Part Interview with Tama Janowitz
By KOFI FOSU FORSON, FEB. 2016
Tama Janowitz shot to fame with the publication of Slaves of New York, a collection of short stories about the 80’s New York art scene. This catapulted her into a reign as an IT girl which endured appearances on magazine covers and talk shows. Her guest spots on Late Night with David Letterman were legendary. Since her last novel They is Us in 2009, Tama Janowitz has disappeared from the literary scene except for impromptu appearances at parties or openings. Her memoir Scream will be released by Harper Collins later this year in August. I recently discovered her on Facebook where I requested a friendship.
The following was formatted via e-mail.
Kofi Forson: I have to say, Tama, you are late to the social media party. What prompted you to join Facebook?
Janowitz: Perhaps I am late to the social media party. I have been on Facebook for five or six years I guess. I had about ten or twenty Facebook friends. One day about six months ago, five thousand people asked to be my friend. I was frightened. Suddenly, it was a deluge of people. I don’t know how these things work. It was peculiar. I am not kidding. I was there, just mumbling along to myself, thinking “I am on Facebook.”! J-Lo asked to be my friend! I said, “Ok.” She sent me pictures of herself in a bathing suit.
I had to drop her. I was sad, but I could not think of her as my friend. SHE wanted to be friends with ME! If we are friends do NOT send me a picture of yourself in a bathing suit, addressed to “All of my fans”.
Forson: I guess the last we heard of you was that you had moved to Ithaca, New York. Do you care to say where you’re living now?
Janowitz: I’m not far from Ithaca, in upstate New York. I’m in Schuyler County, not Tompkins County, where Ithaca is located. I came up to look after my mother. My mom was a brilliant poet and Professor at Cornell University in creative writing and English. After her death I no longer had interest in being in the city. I ran out of munitions.
Forson: You always had love for animals. How are your horses?
Janowitz: I did ride a tiny bit as a child but living up here I got very addicted. I have a quarter horse mare. I believe a quarter horse (an American breed) is called a quarter horse because it can run a quarter of a mile before it gets tired.
There is also a half horse. I trail ride in the Finger Lakes National Forest. It’s a huge forest with endless miles of trails. I ride for pleasure. When I ride, I play music from a little speaker and an iPod tied on Fox (my horse) and we get very groovy depending on what music is playing. She likes ‘70’s Reggae and also (this is a bit sad) old polka music. Sometimes we gallop. It’s been a very pure form of happiness for me.
Tama Janowitz during a guest appearance on David Letterman
Forson: And you’ve always loved dogs.
Janowitz: I only have one dog now but I’ve always had dogs. It’s a commitment though. Having a dog makes it hard to go anywhere, to just throw stuff in a bag and travel. You can’t leave your dog behind. You have to find people to take care of your dog. A dog needs food. A dog needs water. You need to have someone to throw a ball for that dog. What if, while you are away, that dog needs to go to the bathroom?
What if that dog suddenly wants to breed? You have to make sure all of these concerns are taken care of, if you go away, when you have a dog.
My little dog is getting up in years now, probably my last. It is a neuter dog. It is a neuter poodle. Its gender SHOULD be nebulous. But that is not the case. When this neutered dog gets excited and overwhelmed (particularly by the smell of horses) it wants to ‘breed’ or ‘make love’. It becomes attracted to ‘my leg’. But, my leg does not want to breed or make love. Then I have to tell my poodle to get off my leg – for my leg cannot and will not speak for itself.
Forson: Your memoir "Scream" comes out later in August of this year.
Janowitz: Writing the memoirs has been extraordinarily painful. It’s not just that I don’t like writing but there’s no fun in reliving a grim existence. What’s up with all these people working on themselves in a Zen way to ‘live in the moment’ or ‘the here-and-now’? These are ugly times.
On the other hand, the Past is, like, super depressing! And the Future, uh-oh. Forget about it. What if – in this so called ‘Future’ -- you break your leg or get a tumor? What if, in the future, you run out of money? So, what you want to do is find a way to live that doesn’t encompass any of these situations. And if you’re busy writing a memoir, that makes it even harder.
Forson: Your last novel was "They is Us" in 2009.
Janowitz: I had a lot of fun writing THEY IS US. Laugh! I remember I had The United States protect itself from Mexico by setting up a wall of used clothing. It was a permanently flaming wall of used clothing. Now I am halfway through a new book and have just completed my memoirs.
Forson: You are one of the more prophetic in your early concerns both literarily and in your outspokenness about what New York was becoming. What is your take on New York now? I mean when Patti Smith tells young artists not to come to New York something crucial and damning is happening.
Janowitz: Patti Smith?
Forson: Let me start with They is Us, your dystopian view of the future. Much of what you fictionalized is rooted in global warming, the food industry, ecology, animal husbandry and economics of home life. How do you keep safe and protected from this vision of the world?
Janowitz: In THEY IS US the rich people lived in a protected fenced-in area that is the size of Idaho. It IS Idaho, but California fell into the ocean so now the rich people have beaches and skiing and many other amenities. Genetically modified fur bearing animals just keel over and die in the middle of their prime, leaving behind through natural death lovely pelts to be made into fur coats. The poor suffer greatly, but they don’t really know it, due to their poverty. An example would be, do you miss terribly not having a private jet? I would miss hot and cold running water, available on demand – but not if I lived in 1850 in the middle of the country. You can’t miss what you’ve never experienced.
Forson: Centrally you deal with the American family and you have for some time. How far have we come from the nuclear family, American humor and television sitcoms to where we are now with reality shows?
Janowitz: The best thing I think is the acceptance – more and more – of homosexuality. I can only image the tortured existences people used to lead when it was so taboo and illegal if you were homosexual. You would think, though, that American television and humorous sitcoms would be a unifying force for American people. Although we all watch the same shows, the people up here where I live are very different than people in other places.
It’s a different society, a different culture, for the local people. One example would be, SALAD. Here, a SALAD is usually made from cooked pasta, Miracle Whip Salad Dressing, and salt.
Forson: You’ve escaped social media until recently. I must imagine you are privy to the noise outside or does being a celebrated writer allow you to forgo the manic-panic, hyper sensitivity of today’s world?
Janowitz: It can be noisy here. Hunting season is a big deal. The people like to hunt deer and go on snow-mobiles and drive big trucks while listening to Country Western Music. Unlike the 1960’s, however, marijuana is socially acceptable. And there is, apparently, a big crystal meth problem. I don’t smoke marijuana. It makes me anxious. Nor have I tried crystal meth. It sounds horrible. Otherwise, things are fairly quiet.
Forson: How do you prioritize the activity of sitting down and writing?
Janowitz: I am really an expert in procrastinating. I could have a job in procrastination. Yet if you are a writer you can’t be waiting for inspiration. You have to get up and do it every day whether you think you have anything to say or not. It is an exercise, like exercising. It is a job.
If you get it together and write, say, a thousand words a day, at the end of a year you would have three hundred and sixty five thousand words. A few of them might be good, or a starting point, for a revision. And that is where the work comes in, during the revision process.
Forson: How did you feel about the emergence of female writers other than yourself during the 80’s?
Janowitz: I think any time a writer and his or her books gets attention it’s great. Not that a large percentage of Human Beings have ever been readers, but now there are more distractions and other pastimes apart from reading than ever before. Reading is so amazing. With a good book you are suddenly not in your own head but in the world of the book, yet you can put down the book and go about your own existence and then go on picking up the book again, re-enter that world as if you’ve never left it. It’s a phenomena I’ll never understand.
I wonder too if that part of the human brain that can turn twig-like shapes (called letters) into whole words that represent language and meaning will simply become extinct, a reverse Lamarckian evolution.
Forson: What was your reaction to Goldfinch?
Janowitz: I haven’t read it but I know it was very well received. And I know it was a book.
Right now I just don’t keep up with current fiction; there’s too much stuff written in the past that I haven’t yet read. Also, I like books with pictures and in particular, non-fiction.
Forson: Do you follow the current literary scene?
Janowitz: Nor do I keep up with the current literary scene – I’m too busy riding, writing and painting and reading, mostly non-fiction from earlier times or in particular true terrible adventures. I can’t afford, psychologically, to try to stay abreast of current writing.
Forson: Have you, Bret (Easton Ellis) and Jay (McInerny) been in touch over the years?
Janowitz: I knew Bret and Jay a little bit. We knew each other primarily because we were constantly mentioned together. Years ago I might see them at dinners or clubs. They had cute little derrieres and wore frisky outfits. In Jay’s case, as he would often explain, he was wearing a bespoke suit from a London tailor who had a shop on Bond Street. Probably he mentioned the name as well, but memory fails me.
In my opinion we were linked together because there were the three books by three authors that young people were buying and reading for fun, not because it was assigned to them in some college class; we were being read by a younger group who didn’t customarily read for pleasure. And these young people laughed and enjoyed themselves!
Forson: Do you care to reminisce about your nights at Nell’s?
Janowitz: Nell’s was a nightclub/restaurant and Nell was the proprietor. She sang and danced! This club was on 14th street, closer to 8th Avenue I think. Andy had a surprise party there, it was for Paige Powell. It was spoiled, though, because as we were walking in a friend of Paige’s said, “Happy Birthday Paige!” so she knew something was going on.
One thing I would like to say about nightclubs: I no longer wear high heels but when you do, they are very painful and it is hard to walk. And the bathrooms at Nell’s were downstairs. Now, I could no more think of navigating a steep flight of steps to go to the toilet in high heels than I could think of going to a nightclub for fun. WM