Jimmy Chen

How I’ve Ben

Look, you’re a chill reader, so don’t take this the wrong way but, in a few years if you’re still coming here, scrolling down, hitting refresh, looking for comments, I’ll fuckin’ kill ya. That’s not a threat, that’s a fact, I’ll fuckin’ kill ya.

No. No, no no no. Fuck you, you don’t get to say you’re bored, esoterically inclined, nostalgic for some shit storms. Cuz tomorrow I’m gonna wake up and I’ll be fifty, and I’ll still be doin’ this shit. And that’s all right. I got time. But you’re an actual writer, like with a hardbound novel with blurbs n’ shit, mildly reviewed on Amazon because of those one-star review pricks complainin’ that the delivery was late. I’d do fuckin’ anything to have what you got. So would most of these fuckin’ guys. It’d be an insult to us if you’re still here in a year. Hangin’ around here is a fuckin’ waste of your time.

Oh, I don’t know that? Let me tell you what I do know. Every night I bust out a few drafts of some shit, get tanked and hate follow your twitter. You post some way too serious shit, I have a good laugh and that’s great. But you know what the best part of my day is? It’s for about ten seconds after this post is tweeted and I think maybe you’ll like it. Like an actual important someone. No retweet, no reply, no nothin’. Just a simple heart. I don’t know much, but I know that.

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September 30th, 2020 / 11:47 am

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Dear Marge,

Sorry for not writing earlier, but I’ve joined Mors Tua Vita Mea, a writer’s colony outside of Rome. It’s run by Giancarlo Ditrapano, the editor of Tyrant Books, and Chelsea Hodson, a literary darling. Everyone is very grateful to be here, the way Americans are when they are not in the United States. They all look like they are in Joy Division or Counting Crows.

Workshops meet every morning for two hours. At first, Giancarlo used a small chalkboard panel to communicate, but often misplaced the eraser; by the end of the workshops, it looked like he was holding a Cy Twombly masterpiece. After some encouragement to jump forward a century, he bought a white board which, when we considered the subject matter of everyone’s manuscript, became known as the “white bored.” The only person of color there was Giancarlo’s personified member, whom he invoked incessantly. And the color is purple.

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August 31st, 2020 / 1:33 pm



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April 25th, 2017 / 2:06 pm



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April 11th, 2017 / 2:24 pm

Trump in the Bardo



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March 3rd, 2017 / 12:17 pm

Print test


The IT field service agent handed me a sheet of paper covered in black. He had just installed a new printer and was showing me the test print. I asked him why not just print out a standard document instead of wasting all that ink. He said that was the standard printing test: an exhaustive print that employed the maximum breadth of the printing area. It was still warm. I came close to thanking him, but that seemed sentimental. The nuances were sensual. It looked like a reproduction of a minimalist black painting. Or a painting itself. I could smell a blog post.


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December 19th, 2016 / 2:21 pm

On Kinfolk


The journal that makes me feel the worst about my life is Kinfolk. It’s beautifully designed with a sharp, clean aesthetic, and its contents—for creative professionals concerning home, work, style and culture—seem earnest and helpful enough, if not a touch self-involved. I guess modern chic or yuppie hipster would describe their vibe. Whenever I see an issue at the bookstore, the first thing I do is smell it, fanning a gentle breeze on my nose. Then I allow myself a quick gander until I feel like killing myself. Then I put it back on the shelf with this increasing suspicion that the white people have won.


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December 2nd, 2016 / 1:55 pm

Motto Citizen


You can go back to Nuremburgwhere the Nazis held their annual rallies, and where, some twenty years later, the Nuremburg trails were heldand see the blemishes made on the stone from their emblem’s removal. One imagines a worker with a chisel, carefully hacking into the stone much the way language was first carved. Choosing Nuremberg was more symbolic than mere coincidence; and besides, it was the perfect place: there already were spacious courtrooms inside which the Nazis enacted laws that made their morbidly bureaucratic brand of genocide legal. READ MORE >

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November 11th, 2016 / 12:57 pm



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November 2nd, 2016 / 1:00 pm



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October 27th, 2016 / 2:37 pm