Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Dennis Cooper

Who is Dennis Cooper?

Occupation: Novelist, poet, critic, editor, blogger, and performance artist
Subjects: Sexual fantasy, existentialism, death, troubled teenagers, drug use, the inadequacy of language

Doesn’t it sound marvelous?
Paul Hoover included Dennis Cooper in this anthology as a prime example of the blank generation of the 1980s, quoting Edmund White who claimed:
“In one sense the refinement of the blank generation consists in not selling anything. No moral lesson, no message, no political outcry, no artistic slogan – nothing is insisted on and the voice is never raised. Indeed, this is a world governed by style alone […]”
The three poems Hoover selected really do this perfectly. But it’s been a long time since 1994 and Cooper has been busy. I recommend having a look around his website and also his blog. The eclectic mix really drew me in. I could already spend days just digitally leafing through the pages of the Little Caesar magazines…


For my own response I was struggling a little… The result is a different take on the traditional form of the Kyrielle, a medieval poetic form often associated with Christian themes of redemption and praise.

~ - ~

Gods, Drugs etc
(A kyrielle after Dennis Cooper)

On blackened aluminium foil
You breathe in as the liquid boils
You fly sweet on the angel’s wing
You could do fucking anything

Slow paraffin blood cream and shout
The silence when you breathe it out
All those dumb puppet on a string
You could do fucking anything

Ms Hardcore    you’ve done it all twice
You paid the cloaked black man    a pretty gritty sickening price
Darling you’ve grown awfully thin
You could do fucking anything

There are voices raw in the air
Carving deep in your sockets    taking their share
Red-eyed rabbits beneath your skin
You could do fucking anything

Yes, you can deal with whatever comes
On your knees now looking for crumbs
One big wicked heavenly grin
You could do fucking anything

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