Thursday October 14th DENNIS AND THE BOYS @ The New Museum

October 13, 2010

The New Museum and SPANK present DENNIS AND THE BOYS

Dennis Cooper, in collaboration with the New Museum and SPANK Magazine, has selected three young queer zine writers (Mark Edmund Doten, Robert Smith, and Max Steele) to join him Thursday October 14th for an evening of performative readings and provocations

Mark Edmund Doten is the managing editor of Soho Press. His writing has appeared in Conjunctions, The Collagist, Guernica, benmarcus.com and The Believer.

Mark Edmund Doten


Headlights of parked cars saw Laura Cheeks flushed Singing Turning circles Peach schnapps And OJ Those gravel pits Those dry hot nights

Asked her to the dance no she was going with The boy who Died

Midland girls MY MIDLAND

AND this pain in my throat

Last night saw her crying Lights off Blanket to chin Face to wall That pretense So I knew

I should stop cutting with My knife These words But I’m choking on my Snack

Brought her the memorial Card from the funeral She didn’t dare Show her face either this’ll Bring us together Or destroy us The whole town destroyed Or brought together She said To be more perfect than We were

She taped postcards In phonebooks The flags The graves And those children Somewhere Staring Somewhere DARK HANDS big eyes just staring

Me a child of guns On the ranch hunting Quail also Turkeys Wild and domestic

Brought her flowers And little animals of Pine cones On pipe cleaner Legs

i should stop cutting into the floor but these words i need to get down before i black out again SORRY the floor so sorry

O Laura There is a goodness in This world

cut DOWN AND into the trachea

Those days I drank so much when Mom called me To breakfast I’d hear her Voice at school the crack of skillet on burner looping in my skull and tape hiss

OFF TO WAR AT LAST torch Creosote bushes Stake desert With kite string And yardsticks burn oldest Clonal colony then in balloon brigades On rolling green Enemy encampments drop charges while Men below guide Us with kite string

She cut pictures From library books And pasted them

The pain Gets so bad For fifteen minutes at a time I Forget

I’m Choking On my snack

she drove me To the clinic we Drank Jack From cups She said That’s it

And saved me

Cut into the Trachea I can’t Cut into myself not my own trachea i Just can’t

and I keep Blacking out

keep blacking out it’s giving Me a headache

i feel beneath my cheek the gouges in cold wood floor force myself up elbows look down see WHAT MY HANd’S DONE grip the knife

She saved me From the drink I saved her From the boy The one who died She was drinking But only For him I was drinking For me

midland my midland a Vertical incision a Drinking straw

drinking straw from my beverage from my snack

fifteen minutes at a time

I Hear her coming Down the stairs

I think i’m blacking out

Find notes


again Love Save me

[a different version of this story appeared in Exquisite Corpse]


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