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  • mono 1:07 pm on March 24, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , David Lynch, litpub, lost highway, , play, roger caillois, roxane gay   

    A Voluptuous Panic: Further Thoughts on the Lyric Essay

    The link above, which I encourage you to visit, is an article by Roxane Gay on the ways in which the lyric essay “manipulates a world.” She says, “it is play at its most primitive level, the idea of vertigo …” Gay goes on to quote Roger Caillois as saying, vertigo: “an attempt to momentarily destroy the stability of perception and inflict a kind of voluptuous panic upon an otherwise lucid mind. In all cases, it is a question of surrendering to a kind of spasm, seizure, or shock which destroys reality with sovereign brusqueness.”


    I am taken by this phrase, “voluptuous panic” like in the back-and-forth between two comedians or close friends who unabashedly take turns verbally one-upping (smashing) each other, the gestures and insults, the surreal put-downs and taunts spiraling into pure lunacy and laughter. [seized by joy]

    {It is not unusual to hear of musicians speaking of a performance in terms of the mystical, the magical, a moment disappeared into the void. I gave a speech a few months ago and was flowing in the moment, was so caught up in the moment that after it was finished all that was left was a splendid calm and one frozen frame of being on stage–the rest I could not recall.}


    Is the purpose of the lyric essay to destroy reality? Is it to augment truth or present truth as it is–muddled by the mind that grasps it, dirtied from the outset? Is it to get lost in the way thought-streams branch and slash, weave and explode? Is it to present “the truth” as we know it, turn, mix and cut that truth into shredded maps or bits of routes? Is the lyric essay’s pleasure in the act of reading the text (being drawn in), the taking of a “real” event and re-imagining it–the act of imagination is, in itself, perhaps, a lyric essay unending… Or, does the lyric essay present the truth as something concocted, something always in flux, heavily interpretive depending on the receiver?


    A character in David Lynch’s film LOST HIGHWAY speaks of not liking photographs, but rather choosing to “remember things in his own way.” This seems to me like how the lyric essay can be envisioned. Maybe Lynch’s film, with all its rabbit holes, leaps into differing or parallel dimensions, perhaps this film would be an example of the filmic version of a lyric essay…Imagine INLAND EMPIRE unfolding into…


    May our words lead us into that state of “voluptuous panic.” May we be seized by the spasms of our own words like so many caverns opening up, one after another, unfolding in that space where fiction and non-fiction coexist or, like two snakes in tongue-battle, suck each other up in the folds of our own slick bellies, drunk on venom, made lucid by the nets of our own words.

  • mono 10:22 pm on March 19, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , assemblage, David Lynch, , , haute surveillance, , johannes gorannson, , montedivayo, necropastoral, , novel, , tarpaulin sky   

    Meat Screams: An Attempt at Johannes Gorannson’s Haute Surveillance 



    “The sound the body makes is akin to the sound toys make when they burn.” I sent a letter to Rudolf Eb.er, infested as I was by his Hate Operation and cut-up, assemblage, shrieks, psycho-acoustic shamanism. He wore meat on his face, a white shirt and black necktie: screaming meat. There were sealed vomit tubs in the closet, an unfinished painting by the bedroom. We listened to a live recording from Taipei, smoked Japanese to death. Pictures of unknown bodies. Pictures of the insides of bodies. My autopsies went unanswered–that defenestration from Austria, somewhere in Osaka (not the Overlook or the Shining Mansion on the Hill).

    “This novel is written like a fashion show dedicated to the rioted body.” For a noise act in Tokyo, I took a cheap white shirt, a shirt and smeared it–dirtied it red, made it better. The photographs that were taken on the were tinted in the screams and shrieks, moans and anti-language of the foreigner. It yellowed and hardened until it turned fashion. Lesson: sometimes the body can be tearing apart a fish with contact mics, a folk loop.  

    “The erotics of writing reminds me of the needle on a record player.” A needle scrapes vinyl, a radio broadcast in a foreign language. There are blurred faces, the way a woman undresses in a hotel room, you are always woman. David Lynch practices Transcendental Meditation. I have heard that in Iowa or Indiana there are people who float, people who meditate until they float as if the body, numbed by transcendence, becomes lighter, becomes Nothing. The final scene of Takashi Miike’s Audition is the slow torture of a producer who is needled numb and sawed to a state of anti-levitation. I remember being fascinated by this scene. Years later I would buy Inland Empire at Walmart.


    “Language is like candy. It rots my teeth. It makes me spazzy.” E.M. Cioran quipped something like: “Writing in a foreign language is like writing a love letter with a dictionary.” I was a mute foreigner, unpredictable as outsider. One who knows how to screw a fork. There are areas in Tokyo, in Seoul, in Beijing where foreigners are allowed to be foreign, allowed to tongue foreign, act foreign: needles, erotics, vomit. These are the areas where we grind chains in underground cabarets, McDonalds drunk with military officers, a man who said, “as an American, it is my duty to protect you.”

    “I want us all to wear kimonos. And sharp words.” The kimono as corset, how it flattened the breasts, restricted the gait in a way that made women walk slow, walk in hare-steps, small steps like floating worlds. This was a point of sexual interest for men. I received the male version of a kimono, the yukata, from a friend in Kyoto whose Japanese was too much the birth of who I would become.

    “In B-movies the human body becomes more beautiful and less a subject.” Even a gaze, a transformation. Sherilyn Fenn losing her limbs in front of the Warlock’s mansion. I will keep you here to look how things look from where I see them. You can see them, too.


    “You were in the house, on your knees, in a state of wild terror.” It is a rocking chair and the way the face comes stubbled. Maybe it’s Isabella, my meat grinder, white stripped to the neck, covering neck, but this is not Japan–it’s Berlin. She shrieks in a tunnel, murders detectives in the apartment and all for the monster, all for the lack of her being able to feel.

    “Go to Los Angeles, go to Los Angeles.” A friend of mine speaks of the feeling of Los Angeles as everything. I watched Mulholland Drive in Kichijoji. They brought concert-sized speakers to the theater. As the sedan crashed over a Los Angeles skyline, I heard American noise. I caught a slice as if I were other and America from where I was sitting was a fiery wreck of charred bodies, sexual blood, and a beautiful starlet wandering dazed down the hill back into the filthy light.

     /// /// /// /// /// /// /// /// /// /// ///

  • mono 9:13 am on June 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dario Argento, David Lynch, Death Proof, , , Mulholland Drive, QuentinTarantino   

    Bakuon Film Festival 2009: Kichijoji, Tokyo, Japan 

    The Bakuon Film Festival began over the weekend. The premise of this festival is simple and evident from the 12-foot high speakers stacked on both sides of the screen: Maximum Audio Blast! I had the good fortune of seeing David Lynch’s “Mulholland Drive” and Quentin Tarantino’s “Death Proof” last night and was not disappointed. I had never thought of Lynch as a musician, but after last night’s showing, it was his role as “sound designer” that really took precedence over the visuals of the film. He has stated before that his films are meant to be seen on a big screen and I would add, with a crisp and able sound system. The sub-atomic bass that he mixes into so many scenes was really brought out last night’s screening and was equal to any “noise” show that I have attended.

    On the other hand, Tarantino’s soundtrack selection, as is often praised (even by himself when he said, “I have one of the best soundtrack collections in America.”), was warm beyond belief. The lapdance scene’s version of The Coaster’s “Down in Mexico” was a vinyl version of the song, as opposed to the CD version (an updated version), which is included on the DVD and the soundtrack. We all know vinyl sounds good, but coupled with Tarantino’s sharp cinematography (credited as writer/director and Director of Photography), this movie, too, took on a new life. Oh, yes, the cars were damn loud.

    I couldn’t stay for Dario Argento’s cut of “Zombi,” but hopefully can catch it this week. If you are in or near Kichijoji, make your way to the Baus Theater and check out the Bakuon Film Festival. No previews. Huge audio. The 2am presentation of Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” definitely seems worth checking out.

    The official website: Bakuon Film Festival

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  • mono 6:52 am on September 13, 2008 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ambient, , , Darker Than You Think, David Lynch, Dream, Jack Williamson, jazz, , , recommendation, , sleep, sleepbot, sleepbot environmental broadcast, streaming   

    Sleeping with Sleepbot 

    Sleepbot is bliss without a botttle: mind-medicine, explorations, other worlds. Last night, I resigned to my bed early and decided to leave Sleepbot on, which, at that time, filled the room with some kind of vocal incantation in a different language. After reading some of Jack Williamson’s “Darker Than You Think,” the light went out. The drift of a processed tone hovered in the room. This must have knocked me out. Sleep was upon me.

    I must have woken up more than four times. I can’t quite clearly remember. I do remember the jazz, jazz like you might hear in a David Lynch film, the jazz of a smokey lounge. I had forgotten where I was or where the music was coming from. I also remember an ungodly hum. Surely, I thought, this is the coming of that big earthquake someone told me about earlier in the day. Then the hum changed, the progression of notes became apparent. It was only Sleepbot. I fell back asleep. My mind twisted around dreams that, at this early morning reflection, seemed all too real. Why was I trying to sell that old Nintendo filled with coffee grounds? Why did the skateboard shop only sell used books in foreign languages? What about the snow storm? Why was I so angry at the clerk? I usually don’t have dreams this intense, this real, I thought. I remember trying to run, not being able to run.

    My eyes creeped open, crusted over from the night’s adventures and I realized it was morning. Sleepbot had died down into something barely audible. Saturding morning had come. I was relieved. “I made it,” was the feeling rising from my parched body. A cool 76 degrees and the coffee dripped shortly after. Listening to Sleepbot now, in the morning, in the cool of the morning, is refreshing, welcoming me back to the land of the living.

    I’m not sure if I will repeat this experiment again, as I am fond of sleep without waking. The random aural “disturbances” fuel my ability to dream deeper. Sometimes it is best not to experience those hidden dimensions. Being susceptible to the music, I am now aware of the power of Sleepbot.

    The 24-hour Sleepbot Environmental Broadcast can be downloaded and streamed from here:

    Sleepbot Environmental Broadcast

    This is the way ambient music should be. Unending.

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