It begins with a withered Dadaist and parents. In the title story of Jill Rapaport’s new short story collection, Duchamp et Moi, a French-Romanian pop and painter mom learn that their favorite creaking enfant terrible is in town. Eager to attend his retrospective, they heft their six and nine-year-old daughters into a cab and, once… Read more »
I think Jill Rapaport’s new collection of short stories, Duchamp et Moi, has been praised for the wrong reasons, talk of “individual sentences shimmering,” and so on. This has been said in the mistaken impression that Rapaport is first and foremost a brilliant, insightful writer of literature. To speak a bit illogically, I would say… Read more »
Now available on Amazon, iTunes, or directly from us in flac format, the new release from Sensitive Skin Music: Theresa Wong’s Venice Is a Fish. Theresa Wong’s Venice Is A Fish is a diary manifest in songs. And more, it’s lovely music that will challenge you on emotional and intellectual levels as it weaves its… Read more »
Marty Thau, one-time manager of the New York Dolls, producer of the Ramones and founder of Red Star Records, recalls his time touring with Suicide during their first European tour, in 1978. With an illustration by David West.
Flarf poet Sharon Mesmer took up our challenge and re-wrote Kristen Stewart’s poem “My Heart Is a Wiffle Ball/ Freedom Pole” that recently appeared in Marie Claire. With boners.
Wed. August 24th, 1994, Phoenix, AZ. It’s 120 degrees here and the sky is huge. In spite of the heat they seem to be big on poetry in Phoenix. I read 4 poems then almost passed out from the heat. My t shirt was soaked with sweat and some weird fan boy started following me… Read more »
Chris D. (aka Desjardins) first came to my attention as a published poet in the obscure but excellent zine Birthstone and with his own anthology Bongo Chalice, both in 1977, minutes away from starting his Flesh Eaters band in L.A. I had already seen some of his film work, including the intriguing 16mm short Rocket… Read more »
(from Gristle Springs, a novel of intrigue) In a detention cell at Gizmo, Umma Obikhan Khan, supposedly blind as the proverbial bat (having dwelt in many caves, the Umma knew well that bats are not at all blind, but simply prefer the efficacy of echolocation), darted his Blue Eye at one of the simpleton guards… Read more »
Arriving in Tijuana after over a decade of heroin abuse in a past life, I felt the garish lights of Tijuana’s zona de tolerancia, or North Zone, beckoning. I was fascinated by their resonance, and the street life, brimming with pathos, quickly made la zona norte my favorite part of town.
A Sensitive Skin web exclusive! Allen Ginsberg interviews William S. Burroughs in Lawrence, Kansas in 1992. With photographs by Ruby Ray, from the original REsearch magazine sessions, and drawings by David West. With an intro by B. Kold.
John Lurie’s drawings and paintings express a disarming mixture of corrosive wit, raw emotion and unblemished sensitivity. His works bear the mark of an outsider, a quality present throughout his idiosyncratic career. To quote the artist: “I like to draw and paint. It is a river to me. I am not an Indian.”
Samuel R. Delany
Inadvertently, Chapter 90 of Samuel R. Delany’s recent novel, “Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders,” was deleted from the book by the printer. A Sensitive Skin exclusive, here’s the “missing” chapter from Chip’s latest book…
In early 1972, I spent a week with William Burroughs in London, photographing a cover story for Rolling Stone. Burroughs’ radical ideas about power, control, and money touched me deeply. When I returned to New York, I began photographing the financial district in a whole new style. I’d never taken photographs like this before–but I… Read more »
Vladimir Mayakovsky & Jenny Wade
In 1913, at the age of 19, Vladimir Mayakovsky hit the Russian art scene like a tornado. Within a year, he published his first poems and lithographs; went on a 17-city lecture tour; published articles on Russian theater; wrote, produced and starred in his first play; and, along with his gang of friends, launched a new art movement—Futurism…
Fred Frith & The Editors
Three Sensitive Skin editors had a chat with legendary musician and composer Fred Frith. We asked him some good questions, and some (or so he apparently thought) pedantic ones. But that’s how we roll. Fred’s answers were always interesting…
Jody Weiner, Prisoners of Truth (San Francisco: Council Oak Books, 2012) Jody Weiner’s Prisoners of Truth follows a pattern found in much American writing and, perhaps even more, in classical Hollywood cinema. Two men were childhood friends or were close in college; circumstances separated them, and, then, decades later, they meet again. Each has taken… Read more »
Now that contemporary art, a system that stands for privilege, nepotism and political connections is finally dying, get out of the fucking way. We who have been locked out of your galleries, museums and art holes… ignored, reviled and cast aside for having convictions (and belonging to the wrong class) are the voice of the… Read more »
“Time Now and Everything,” a poem by Michael Randall, with a photograph by Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, Fisher Body Plant 21, from “Ruins of Detroit.”
The further adventures of Froggy Chocolates, as he’s abducted by aliens, learns firsthand the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’, gets a valuable life lesson from Sammy Davis Jr. and gets to sing everybody’s favorite Jimi Hendrix song. Sort of.
Ronald B. Richardson
The narrative demand for something unusual keeps us wanting more, even while existing narratives are still valid and effective. Fashions once developed across centuries; now we expect each decade to distinguish itself in terms of music, style, and idea. In spite of the bewildering range of content available in every field, we require innovation. Filmmakers, musicians, writers, scholars and scientists are all trying to come up with something original. Nothing wrong with that. The madness is that we think that only new ideas are good ideas.
Raúl Serrano Sánchez
Claudio was only trying to make up for all the years he’d spent yearning for those legs, the ones he was always telling you about over coffee in the newly restored center of the old city, in one of those bars that’s supposed to promise you spiritual enlightenment. I remember him talking about how if… Read more »
The Good Shit We were told the bubbles should look like little pebbles you could pour clean into your hand. “Go on, shake it,” said Peanut, junk dealer, mechanic, and feral-cat wrangler by day, shiner by night. “Shake ’er up and pour some in the cap.” We shook our samples, twisted off the caps and… Read more »
What really sends me is artwork containing a spaciousness of address which allows for our looking to become consuming and urgent. In these moments the relationship between object and audience can be truly generative, a partnership. The gulf of meaning present in an artwork separating artist from viewer remains mysterious and it feels good operating… Read more »
On the way to rehearsal, Amy thought she saw something flit away. An afterimage lingered in her eye, pink and faintly glowing, but she couldn’t make out what it was. She didn’t think about it again until the next day, when she was crossing the street on her way to work. Out of the corner… Read more »
Breyten Breytenbach was a committed opponent of the policy of apartheid. In France he was a founding member of Okhela, a resistance group fighting apartheid in exile. On an illegal trip to South Africa in 1975 he was betrayed (by the ANC who mistrusted him), arrested and sentenced to seven years of imprisonment for high treason: his work The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist describes aspects of his imprisonment. Released in 1982 as a result of massive international protest he returned to Paris and obtained French citizenship. He currently divides his time between Europe, Africa, and the United States.
We lived one floor up from a woodworking shop from which the tools had long since been stolen. It was on East Tenth Street, way over almost to the river, a view of the smokestacks of Con Edison’s 14th Street plant painted that year in patriotic shades of red white and blue. Every night Sherillee… Read more »
The concert pianist Maria Veniaminovna Yudina – Stalin and Shostakovich’s favorite – died this day, November 19, in 1970.
Evil Polish Boners I don’t know what it is about spandex suits for wrestling and rowing, but they always seem to create the most evil Polish boners. The Polish boner is a boner that the Polish boner team created using Erasmus’ Erotic Tales of Defiant Men mucus mud baths and a bunny rabbit missing one… Read more »
“If Tennessee Williams doesn’t know what to do with his life, why should I worry?” ~ Eddie Woods, Tennessee Williams in Bangkok Eddie Woods and I go back to October 1978. It was in Amsterdam at the Ins & Outs HQ and then the following evening at the One World Poetry event at Amsterdam’s pop… Read more »
San Francisco, June 24, 1997 I’m in a dark, trash-filled alley between tall brick buildings. Two men stand in shadows. I can’t see their faces. I hand one of them money and he gives me a balloon of dope. I look up, there’s a light coming from an open window. I hear music, someone is… Read more »
My Sister is a pastor For a hospice In New Jersey— She’s part of a team That drives up and down The length of the state Helping the dying die. She spends her nights In motels and keeps her files In her car; her office On wheels. Years ago she fought With the Bishop Turning… Read more »
In an alley on the fringes of the march, Glory stuffed toilet paper bits in her ears and got out of danger, whispering to the baby in her tummy, running deeper into the alley for safety. Text me, she’d said to the father of her child Smith and his friend Archibald melted into the crowds… Read more »
The conceit that the stabbing death of David Kammerer at the hands of Lucian Carr would birth the Beat Generation was a premise audacious enough to make me interested.
What follows in the film Kill Your Darlings is beyond the “dollar book Freud” of the Rosebud sled ending Citizen Kane (to quote Orson Welles himself). It is the fabrication of people that seemed to do research based on what they overheard at a cocktail party.
My prayer was answered. I found a Hustler magazine. I often prayed to Satan for a Playboy to appear under my mattress. When the urge was strong and the need to see a naked woman was important for a decent pubescent session of masturbation, I would ask the Devil himself to make pornography magically appear… Read more »
Toklasization, being the condition of failing to materialize in one’s autobiography, or of being ghostwritten out by a biographer with more vanity than ours, has become the most significant cause of suicide and psychopathology in North America. Toklasization is the condition of fame failed or failing. Toklasization occurs at the moment when one surrenders aspiration… Read more »
Steve Adams’ (Rova Saxophone Quartet) “Triskotronica” is an homage to jazz innovators Lennie Tristano and Lee Konitz and their tradition of improvisation. In a world that values the familiar, Steve Adams’ Triskotronica should be on another planet. It’s a good thing that it’s not, because that means the world would miss this challenging yet listenable music. Fusing electronic soundscapes with his alto and tenor saxophones and bass flute, Adams’ creates his own genre of ambient electronic jazz. Triskotronica brings a whole new musical experience that brings back the past while exploring the future.
Sensitive Skin #10 features out-takes from the Wall Street collection by famed photographer Charles Gatewood (Sidetripping, Forbidden Photographs), fiction by downtown legends Gary Indiana (Scar Tissue and Other Stories, White Trash, Horse Crazy, Gone Tomorrow), Max Blagg (Ticket Out) and Drew Hubner (East of Bowery) plus work by junky bankrobber Patrick O’Neil (The Hold-Up), radio host Tony DuShane (Confessions of a Teenage Jesus Jerk) newcomer E.A. Fow and South American novelist Raul Serrano Sanchez (Catálogo de ilusiones) Plus work by Sharon Mesmer, Ron Kolm, Pete Simonelli, Michael Randall, James Reich, Ronald B. Richardson, Nick Zedd and Breyten Breytenback.
We also have a portfolio of paintings by rising art star Peter Shear, and music by Steve Adams (ROVA Saxophone Quartet), with additional art, illustrations and photographs by Yves Marchand & Romain Meffre (The Ruins of Detroit), Ruby Ray (From the Edge of the World: California Punk, 1977-1981), Chris Bava, Megan Baker, David West (Music: Drawing Down the Muse), Jeff Spirer, Charlie Homo, Ted Barron, Justine Frischmann, Julie Torres and Tom McGlynn.
The full-color print version is now available via Amazon and select bookstores.
Ron Kolm: No Longer Chugging Rank Cologne One of the perils of the fast life is that if you’re not synchronized with the prevailing velocity you lose focus, things get blurry, imprecise, or you end up getting dragged along like a victim of a hate crime [a wuss] behind a banged-up pick up through a… Read more »
Today is the anniversary of the death of the Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich (Sept 29, 1906 – April 9, 1975). Shostakovich struggled under a hostile and perilous political environment for his entire working life. After a promising start with his First and Second Symphonies, his career went up in flames when Stalin attended a performance… Read more »
Spencer Kansa’s debut novella Zoning is terrifying, page-turning fun. If this seems contradictory, consider that he was an acolyte of William Burroughs, so gallows humor grotesque enough to rival the Master himself is no stranger here in Kansa’s printscape.
Sir Andre Bemler
In 1988, “ace” reporter Mike Taibbi (yes, the father of Matt Taibbi, whom we hold in great esteem) produced and aired a 3-part expose on the satanic cult masquerading as a rock band – Missing Foundation.
In light of the fact that the guys doing my old job at The New York Times dropped the ball on this one, I suppose I must accept that I wouldn’t have gotten much more out of any obit they published than this: Ten years ago, two old icons of a bohemia no longer relevant… Read more »
I met Taylor Mead in 1989 when we both acted together in a science fiction movie shot in the Hall of Science at the World’s Fair Grounds in Queens. I’d seen his acting in the seventies when I moved to NYC and saw Nude Restaurant, Lonesome Cowboys, Queen of Sheba Meets the Atom Man and… Read more »
Hunter S. Thompson
Welcome to Derbytown I got off the plane around midnight and no one spoke as I crossed the dark runway to the terminal. The air was thick and hot, like wandering into a steam bath. Inside, people hugged each other and shook hands … big grins and a whoop here and there: “By God! You… Read more »
Sir Andre Bemler
A few choice photographs of Terry Southern, one of the great writers of the ’60s, with the Beatles, the Stones, William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Dennis Hopper and Jean Genet.
Mandy Charlie & Mary Jane: A Novel by Stewart Home (Penny Ante Editions, Los Angeles, 2013) Read an excerpt from Mandy Charlie & Mary Jane. Who reads Stewart Home? Home will say “very few, people are cowed by the malevolent society in which we live, they believe in its values for they have no other… Read more »
Darius James & Ghazi Barakat
Ghazi Barakat discusses “The United States of Hoodoo” with long-time friend Darius James, who stars in the documentary film. They cover everything from Sammy Davis and the Church of Satan to the murder of Robert Johnson to Maya Deren and Eartha Kitt.