The Gatekeepers – ☆☆ ½ Excellent historical document, docked half a star for the dumb CGI.
Stories We Tell – ☆½ Self-indulgent, occasionally touching. Didn’t like the non-biological dad.
Ordinary People – ☆☆ Should have been called Upper Middle Class People. Super American, I can see how it would have had a huge impact in its time.
Star Trek Into Darkness – ☆½ Fine, meaningless
Room 237 – ☆ Who cares about the infantile ranting of narcissistic morons?
Manborg – ☆ Kind of unwatchable, although I admire the effort and passion
Pacific Rim – ☆½ Good colors. Too old for this shit.
Pump Up The Volume (rewatch) – ☆☆ Rightfully beloved, incredibly badly edited – why is there no director’s cut??
Vampire’s Kiss – ☆☆☆½ Fucking tremendous. Suzie and I going as Nicholas Cage and Alva for Halloween this year.
This Is The End – ☆½ I laughed, meaningless
Spring Breakers – ☆☆☆ Benoit Debie drinks syrup
Oblivion – ½ couldn’t take more than 15 minutes, not Stephen Platt’s fault, you’re the best Stephen
Ai Weiwei – Never Sorry: ☆☆ Somewhat dull but a good biography of a major art world figure who isn’t in it for the money.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams – ☆☆☆ Wonderful, also deadly boring but worth it for the postscript
Skyfall – ☆☆ Stylish, dull, enjoyed the blue tux
Gwendoline – the height of orientalism, not for me
Killer Party – ½ basically unwatchable
Cutter’s Way – ☆☆ Kind of boring, decent performances, interesting to think of as a prequel to The Big Lebowski
Miami Connection – ☆☆ for enthusiasm, goofy as fuck and boring in the middle but joyful
Cash McCall – ☆☆ Many qualities lacking from modern film, interesting foreshadowing of the importance of M&A in American business life. Weiner sees it as an influence on Mad Men which is evident.
Stoker: ☆☆ Yay Chan-Woo Park and Mia, everything else eh. Plot somewhat predictable.
Sightseers – ☆ Good directing, believable acting, did nothing for me.
Argo – ☆½ Solid, no subtext at all, teaches nothing.
Skyfall – ☆ for great locations and solid direction, otherwise boring.
Evangelion 3.33 You Can (Not) Redo – ☆☆ Presumably a bitter parody of fan desire before an astonishing conclusion
Only The Young – ☆ Attempts Mike Mills, isn’t. Cute kids.
Upstream Color ☆☆☆ Brave and completely American. SECOND APPRAISAL: ☆☆½ Probably low on meaning once you connect circles; still striking.
The Master – ☆☆½ – great staging, some genuine humanity between the leads but a flat ending.
Celeste and Jesse Forever – ☆ for Rashida Jones and an ending I liked
Silver Linings Playbook – ½ for Jennifer Lawrence, otherwise fucking false garbage
Beauty is Embarrassing – ☆½ for enthusiasm.
Killing Them Softly – ½ for slow motion car shooting and opening bit with junkies. Otherwise cynical, obvious, dull.
John Dies at the End – ☆ for funtimes, also liked the handling of the ending and credits
Sleepwalk With Me – ½ didn’t connect with me at all
Flight – ☆ for great plane crash sequence, turned it off after 1:20
End of Watch – ☆½ should have called it “when will Michael Peña die” but good performances
The Dark Knight Rises – ☆☆1/2 – great tech, good holding off of Batman until 3rd act
The Queen of Versailles ☆☆ – somewhat touching portrait of excess and attendant anxiety
Total Recall (2012) – ☆ for Obama money and cityscapes
Savages – ½ for one cool transition and Salma Hayek
Black Rain – ☆☆ Nutty! Like Rising Sun w/ the fear-based racism, has good qualities.
The Spectacular Now
Return From The Ashes
Mira Gonzalez is a powerful young poet whose book I will never be beautiful enough to make us beautiful together is important, and you should read it, immediately. Here is my favorite poem:
what I ate today: coffee, curry vegetable thing from whole foods, plum
I am most comfortable around people who criticize me
I feel like anyone who isn’t constantly criticizing me is lying
or expecting me to be something different
it feels insane that you need money to do things like
develop a drug addiction, or move across the country
I don’t identify as depressed even though I feel depressed
it seems unfair that I only get to feel a finite amount of things in my life lately I have been assuming that dried fruit has more calories than regular fruit
I feel like 400 dead jellyfish in the middle of a freeway
(if you’re there)
I was nervous because you have the red away dot next to your profile
But no one I talk to ever marks themselves as available
yeah i never mark myself as available
I read your book, twice
Well, it’s short
thanks for taking time out of your life to do that lol
yeah not many pages
I loved it
I felt a strong sense of identification even though we are years apart, etc
I wanted to ask you a few things about it, since I had two different impressions
One from each reading
oh thats great to hear, glad you enjoyed it
After the first read I thought about David Berman’s poems
The Silver Jews guy
Because your poems tend to end strong, sometimes using almost a setup-punchline structure
i dont think ive ever read david berman
I’m not sure if he’s widely read
You said somewhere that you like Haruki Murakami?
i do yes
So the second time I read the book, the poems almost felt like short stories
oh thats interesting
I don’t really have a critical framework for evaluating poetry
I’m a bystander, basically
that seems better to me lol
i dont feel like i have a critical framework for evaluating poetry either
I was reading this Robert Bolano book the other day
and one of the characters is like “that stupid asshole didn’t even know what a rispetto is”
and I was like oh jesus, neither do I
In this poem
when I die you can have my heart-shaped sunglasses
“they told me that trust versus mistrust
is the primary psychological dilemma of early childhood”
That’s Erik Erikson, right?
damn i dont think so
maybe it is
i was taking a child developmental psychology class at the time
we were learning about the psychological dilemmas of various age groups
i have since forgotten the name of every psychologist we learned about
but that very well could be erik erikson
youd probably know better than me
I had to google it
yeah im googling it now
i think it was him
I was looking at those psychological dilemmas, though
And you’re 21, right?
yeah i am
So theoretically you’d be in the “intimacy versus isolation” stage
lol yes exactly
That kind of framed these poems for me
yeah thats interesting you say that, feels really ‘nail on the head’
But I feel like almost everyone is in the intimacy versus isolation stage now, even much older people
Yeah I don’t want to put a hat on a hat
seems like all people struggle with all stages for their entire life
some of them are just more in focus than others
I agree completely
I only bring this up because your poems seem pretty interested and engaged with philosophical ideas
yeah i really like philosophy
i was reading a lot of philosophy stuff when i wrote most of those poems, i think
I was a philosophy major, I was worried I might be projecting or something
lol not at all
i like philosophy a lot
it was probably the subject i have been most consistently interested i n
It comes through
I think that’s part of why I felt so connected to the book
Another strong theme seems like the frustration with the limits of the human body and consciousness
I don’t want to say “you” meaning the voice in the poems
what should I say instead
im not sure what you mean, i think
There’s a first-person narration in most of the poems
all the poems are about things that happened to me, if thats what you men
jesus egregious spelling errors
Okay, well, I’ll just say you to mean the person speaking in the poems
In the book you seem to want to merge and co-mingle with things and people
Maybe mix your consciousness, or even your atoms
But it seemed like I could feel a real frustration about the impossibility of that
Is that something that was on your mind?
yeah i think so
or i guess, thats always a subject thats been on my mind, consistently
how were all sort of stuck in the confines of our own skull
and we can think that we feel close to someone, but in reality that is a huge leap of faith
to think that you know what someone else is feeling, or thinking
or to think you know how someone feels about you
were all just guessing and assuming, in the end
feels extremely frustrating to me
but also sort of comforting i guess
I was not going to ask about drugs
(or Black Flag)
But is this a reason you take drugs?
you can ask about either/both of those things if you want, i dont care lol
yeah i guess
i never really thought about drugs in that context
drugs sometimes make me feel closer to people, but im still very aware of that divide
i think i just take drugs because they make me feel different and good
I guess the classic drug to take to feel emotionally closer to people is ecstasy
i dont feel like i take drugs specifically to get closer to people thoug
if i do mdma its just because i want to feel good, i think
I think the drugs I’ve seen you write about either in the book or on twitter are Adderall, Xanax, cocaine…
yeah i like those drugs
i like mdma too but i do that way less
mdma seems like a commitment
You have to buy special pants
It’s a whole thing
lol what the hell
Oh god i feel so old right now
lol holy shit rave pants
i cant picture ‘rave pants’
Google image “JNCO”
oh my god these are insane
the pockets are huge
Everyone who had or could get MDMA wore those pants
that would be so convenient i feel
like you could see someone walking around in those insane pants and know they had mdma
You don’t write about LSD, though
no, i dont do LSD really
i did it once
if i did it now id probably freak out
(brb one sec you can keep typing)
I guess what I was getting at was that the desire to merge with someone or something, or to be at a different physical- or time-scale re: drugs is something I associate with LSD
But you don’t take it
So it’s just how your brain works
yeah i dont think that has anything to do with LSD, for me
or any drug really
I find that pleasing, for some reason
I think I like the theme so much that it would have been a little disappointing if it were chemically-generated
That’s a weird thing to say
lol no i understand i think
i feel like no drug has changed the way i think that significantly
i like drugs because they are a fun thing to do but they dont change my world view
except in the context of seeking out drugs in more situations
or looking at various situations in the context of ‘what drugs can i do here’
There was one poem
I think you said was about taking Xanax and drinking and ending up with an old sound guy from The Smell?
lol jesus how did you know it was the smell
I think you said!
that wasnt even in the book that was a story on thought catalog
i think i said a music venue in downtown
are you from LA or something
seems so funny
I’m from Philly but I’ve lived in LA for 12 years now
I’ve been to The Smell
My friend’s band was playing
yeah that makes sense that you knew it was the smell then
if you live in LA its pretty obvious
I never go out, so for all I know there could be a bunch of music venues downtown
Actually that’s a good segue
lol there are
So you’re from Venice, basically?
i was born in an apartment in mar vista
and then i moved to venice with my mom and stepdad when i was really young
like 3 or something
lived there my whole life until now
Were you a never-east-of-the-405 person, or not so much?
I live in the Valley, so our LAs could be totally different
oh shit hold on, fire drill at work brb
I’ll be here
yeah ive never lived in the valley
didnt traverse the 405 hell to go there very often
I like it
Did you go east much, though?
Or mainly stay down by the beach?
i mostly stayed by the beach but i went east sometimes
mostly to see bands downtown and stuff
or like echo park
Is music a big influence on your work, or do you listen to music when you write? You mentioned Bright Eyes somewhere, but I’m not sure if that was a sarcastic reference or not
i dont usually listen to music when i write
i like music a lot though
i like bright eyes lol
im not sure where i mentioned bright eyes but it proabably wasnt sarcastic
I like Bright Eyes too
Not all the time, but sometimes
What about writers?
It was Tao Lin who suggested I talk to you
His book, I think, will be the best of this year
As awarded by JD Power and Associates
yeah i liked it a lot
Is proximity to other writers one of the reasons you moved to New York?
for the most part yeah
there isnt much of a writing scene in LA
i had also just lived there for a long time and was starting to feel alienated
Alienated from the place, or?
i guess from the people
i like a lot of people in LA
i think i was just getting tired of it maybe
It’s maybe my least favorite of the places I’ve lived
But now I’m trapped
i mean i love LA
but yeah you do get in a trap
i was afraid to get into that trap
maybe thats why i left
I don’t like new york either, but I get it
The density of good things going on there is incredible
i think with writing stuff specifically its better for me to be here
LA is great but its so spread out and there arent many publishers or anything
Not really, no
I basically gave up writing so it’s irrelevant to me personally, but it’s sad from a cultural perspective
yeah i mean
LA has other things going on
LA is great for music
But hey speaking of your move, and density
Is your next book going to be a novel?
or, im trying to do that
dont hold your breath though its probably gonna be a while lol
Novels are hard!
Especially first novels, there can be a lot of pressure
And the anxiety of influence, if you let that get to you
novels are so intimidating
i definitely want to write one
i like writing poetry but a novel seems more satisfying right now
I want to read this novel
I will be your first Amazon preorder
damn sweet thank you
thats like 10 cents in my bank account probably
Depending on the publisher!
Actually, there was one thing I wanted to ask about publishers
I noticed that your book has a Creative Commons license
Was that something sorry house wanted, or something you wanted?
i think that was sorry house
i was involved in every step of the book making process but the copyright page was mostly spencer and willis i think
im not entirely sure whats on there to be honest
I think it means people can email their friends a copy and not have the NSA break down their door, or something
well thats good
i think i emailed you a copy so im glad the NSA wont break down my door
Is this a good place to stop? I’ve gone through what I had in my mira.txt document
yeah that works for me
unless you have something else you wanna say
I was actually curious about one thing you said
That your biological dad was trying to kill you
I think you said that in your Vice interview
I don’t mean to pry, but that jumped out at me
my biological dad read that and said i should have said something funnier
NOW’S YOUR CHANCE
lol oh god
too much pressure
it was mostly just poking fun at my dad i guess
I can cut that!
no its fine you can leave it
i put it in the vice interview
I’ll put this whole thing up
It’s been a pleasure talking to you
you too geoffrey
I’ve had Zoey, my dog, for eight months now. She lived on the street, was impregnated, probably fought, was in a shelter, is terrified of other dogs. Now, with time, she’s reinheriting herself.
She’s a mutt, pretty and small, with terrier DNA and Doberman markings. She has people eyes. Sometimes I ask her about her Prarabdha karma. I hold her little head in my hands and say “what did you do?”
Today she killed a rat. She was so happy and proud that she danced, jumping in tight circles like a circus dog. Terriers are bred to rat-catch, and in their jaws the prey is whipped back and forth until its neck breaks. Despite her tramp background Zoey has the soft mouth of an aristocrat, and the corpse was undamaged. I picked it up off the brick by the hedge at the back of the pool with an inside-out trash bag. Metallic green flies worried its eyes and mouth but there was no blood, only the feel of raw slumped meat. I wound the plastic over it and went through the side to throw it in the outside garbage.
Zoey came back to me, panting. I squatted down and she put her forelegs on my knee and I stroked and stroked her. She turned her head to the side, resting it on me, and took a deep breath in followed by a sharp exhale. A sigh of pleasure.