Seth Oelbaum earned a poetry MFA from the University of Notre Dame. He is the founder of the Bambi Muse Tumblr and the author of macey [triolets], which was published by Birds of Lace.
Seth Oelbaum earned a poetry MFA from the University of Notre Dame. He is the founder of the Bambi Muse Tumblr and the author of macey [triolets], which was published by Birds of Lace.
The final Boys Who Kill for the time being brings the spotlight to Kevin Khatchadourian. On 10 April 1999, ten days prior to Dylan and Eric’s premiere of NBK, Kevin killed his daddy and his sister before going to school and murdering seven students, one English teacher, and one janitor in the gym.
Growing up, Kevin’s two favorite words, according to his mommy, were “Idonlikedat” and “dumb.” Whether it was his mommy’s milk, his mommy’s cooking, his mommy in general, music, or cartoons, Kevin’s would probably be displeased by it. Although, there are some things that Kevin does like, like computer viruses and Robin Hood. Both Robin Hood and computer viruses attack targets that possess plenty of materials. Robin Hood deprives rich people of their things and computer viruses deprive computers of their ability to preserve their multitude of files and functions.
Kevin’s granddaddy and grandmommy maintain a motto: “Materials are everything.” The granddaddy and grandmommy fill their lives by doing things. They install water softeners and purchase first-rate 1000-dollar speakers, even though they don’t really like music all that much. As for Kevin, his mommy says that he “was never one to deceive himself that, by merely filling it, he was putting his time to productive use.” While 99 percent of people spend their Saturday afternoons doing something, like speculating on what they intend to do that night or checking their social media feeds, Kevin is “doing nothing but reviling every second of every minute of his.” With a tough tummy, Kevin can do what the phony baloneys can’t: “face the void.”
Simone Weil has a similar perspective on life. For the French ascetic, nothingness is truthfulness since it has to do with God. “We can only know one thing about God: that he is what we are not,” says Simone in her notebooks. God isn’t composed of matter nor is he quantifiable. Unlike humans, there is no corporeal limit to God. He is infinite. Humans are a sham. They use their days trying to satiate various desires (hunger, thirst, xxx, and so on) even though these hankerings can never be permanently filled because human beings are really just one giant hole. As Simone declares, “Human life is impossible.” Simone and Kevin each confront the hopelessness of fulfillment in a material and fleshy existence. They each effect divinity through destruction — Simone destroys herself and Kevin destroy the things and people around him. READ MORE >
The third installment of Boys Who Kill stars Nathan Leopold (right) and Richard Loeb (left). On 21 May 1924 in Chicago, Nathan and Richard kidnapped and killed a 14-year-old boy.
Nathan and Richard each had daddies who amassed mountains of money. Nathan’s daddy owned one of the biggest shipping business in the country and Richard’s daddy was the vice president of Sears Roebuck. But the wealth that surrounded them didn’t dispel boredom. The two didn’t want money, they aimed for fame, sensationalism, and transgression. One of Richard’s favorite dreams had him as a notorious criminal who was beat and whipped in public, with girls and boys arriving in droves to express their mixture of awe, sympathy, and disgust. As for Nathan, he envisioned himself as a king’s favorite slave. One day, Nathan saved the king’s life, and the king offered to set him free, but, being loyal, Nathan declined. Both fantasies are rather Jean Genet: they are sumptuous, romantic, and somewhat sordid.
Like that French prison boy, Nathan and Richard carried out many crimes, including stealing automobiles and smashing bricks through windows. Mostly, though, the crimes were initiated by Richard, who insisted that Nathan come along to serve as an audience. After the two stole a typewriter and other possessions from Richard’s former frat house at the University of Michigan, Nathan became upset at Richard because the latter wasn’t wasn’t having enough xxx with the former.
Nathan and Richard’s friendship/boyfriendship sort of resembles the typical depiction (though it’s likely bullcrap) of Eric and Dylan. Eric is the aggressor and Dylan is the follower. Eric constructed NBK and Dylan just acquiesced. It’s also been rumored that Eric and Dylan liked boys (though that’s definitely bullcrap). Columbine jocks told the media that the two BFFs were a part of the Trench Coat Mafia, whose members touched one another in hallways and convened group showers. In Gus Van Sant’s Elephant, the two Columbine-esque boys get into the shower together and kiss and maybe do other things before they commit their high school massacre.
But Nathan and Richard really did like boys. Though Richard was perceived as the leader, he was the one who took it in the tushy. That this is so, sort of confounds how boys who take in the tushy are assessed. Richard engineered many crimes, including murder, so maybe boys who take in the tushy aren’t all basic bitches after all. Another hypothetical reason for why Richard took it in the tushy is, as he declared to friends, he didn’t need xxx. Richard was beyond lust and all of that other stuff that occupies the ironic minds of 20-something Brooklyners day and night. The symbolism about taking it in the tushy had no effect on him, as he only cared about a life of crime.
The next installment of Boys Who Kill stars Cho Seung-Hui, or Seung-Hui Cho, or Question Mark. On 16 April 2007, 4 days before the 7th anniversary of Columbine, Cho killed 32 people at Virginia Tech. First he visited West Ambler Johnston Hall, a dorm room for both boys and girls, where he killed one boy and one girl. Then he traveled to Norris Hall, a classroom building, and killed 30 more people.
Ever since Cho was taken out of his mommy’s tummy he hasn’t taken to talking. “Talk, she just him to walk,” says Cho’s great aunt about his mommy. “When I told his mother that he was a good boy, quiet but well behaved, she said she would rather have him respond to her when talked to than be good and meek.” At Virginia Tech, one of Cho’s roommates remarked, “I would see him walking to class and I would say ‘hey’ to him and he wouldn’t even look at me.” Other students concluded that he was a deaf-mute. He ate myself all by himself, and when someone offered him 10 dollars to say something, he said nothing. According to medical professionals, Cho suffered from “selective mutism.”
I, too, would prefer to be mute, and so, it seems, do other boys. Holden Caulfield dreams about being a deaf mute, and, it’s been reported by various biographers that instead of engaging in dinner table conversation, Arthur Rimbaud would just growl. Talking is terribly human — this race of creatures does in it grotesque quantities: they talk at Whole Foods, at overpriced bars, at trendy coffee shops, and, obviously, through Gmail, Gchat, texts, Facebook, Twitter, Disqus, and so on.
Cho’s contempt for normal communication distinguishes him from humans. Virginia Tech students and teachers constantly construct Cho as boy who confound expected human behavior. A professor labeled him “disturbing” and “unusual.” A student in his playwriting class said Cho “was just off, in a very creepy way.” According to Nikki Giovanni, students started skipping her poetry class due to Cho’s behavior . When Nikki told him to either cease composing sinister poems or drop her class, Cho replied, “You can’t make me.” Eventually the then head of the English Department, Lucinda Roy, tutored him privately. But even Lucinda was afraid of him. During the one-on-one tutoring appointments, Lucinda and her assistant agreed upon a code word that would prompt the assistant to summon security when uttered.
Based on this testimony, Cho is similar to a virus or a disease. No one wants to be around him; everyone is horrified of his presence. Not one to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to drink, party, and partake in sexual intercourse, Cho went to bed early and awoke early. He also played basketball alone. According to the New York Times, Cho was in a “suffocating cocoon.” (Being in a “suffocating cocoon” seems very dramatic and cosy; it also seems as if a “suffocating cocoon” would provide protection from mankind.) Virginia Tech journalism professor Roland Lazenby sums up Cho as a “shadow figure, locked in a world of willful silence.” Both Lazenby and the Times portray an incomprehensible boy who, isn’t free and liberated like Western subjects, but is held captive by a dark dangerous force. As Theresa Walsh, a girl who witnessed the killings in Norris Hall, says, “I’ve never really thought of him as a person. To me, he doesn’t have a name. He’s always been just the ‘the shooter’ or ‘the killer.’”
Christmastime is the best time. There are sparkly lights and cute reindeer and cute snowmen and cute songs, and so on. There’s also a lot of gifts to be given, which is great, especially if you like books and things, as I do. Alas, almost all Western culture subjects won’t get any gifts from Santa at all, as they only care about their Twitter feed, their sexuality, and leading a “grievable life” so that this doesn’t happen to them. But for those thoughtful boys and girls who don’t go around kissing dead Nelson Mandela’s tushy, they should expect estimable presents. These are the ones I want:
Gossip by Samantha Cohen: Gossip can be malicious and harmful, so everyone should do it.
Cunt Norton by Dodie Bellamy: While the cannon is actually quite commendable, so is cutting, which is what Dodie does to one of the Norton anthologies.
Salamandrine: 8 Gothics by Joyelle McSweeney: According to Diane Sawyer, those divinely deathy Columbine boys “may have been a part of a dark, underground national phenomenon known as the Gothic movement and that some of those Goths may have killed before.” So…
Begging For It by Alex Dimitrov: This boy was the subject of some criticism for his appropriation of some kind of AIDS-related art. But AIDS is silly, and Alex is sort of cute.
Butcher’s Tree by Feng Chen: Her Spork book, “Blud,” was really cute and sassy, so these poems probably will be as well.
Our Lady of the Flowers, Echoic by Chris Tysh: Jean Genet was a violent, cutthroat boy, and I want to see Divine and Dainty Feet in verse.
Haute Surveillance by Johannes Goransson: Johannes read an excerpt from this at the first and only ever Boyesque Reading (also featuring Peter Davis, Tyler Gobble, and me). It was violent, stylish, and totalitarian.
The Memoirs of JonBenet by Kathy Acker by Michael du Plessis: JonBenet Ramsey was cute and tragic. This year, she published a collection of rhymes for my cute and thoughtful Tumblr, Bambi Muse. I want to see how Michael portrays the pageant princess.
The Mysteries of Laura by Andrea Quinlan: It’s a collection of poems that are Victorian and gothic, which is to say it’s Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte and Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris.
Mother Ghost by Casey Hannan: I like ghosts.
Since the outside is important too, you should be decking a delightful outfit while you wait for Santa to come. For girls, picking out what to wear isn’t arduous at all, as all girls should wear what they should wear all the time, a babydoll dress, a big but elegant hairbow, and ballet flats. For boys, choosing the correct clothes is much more vexing. Most boys hold the opinion that tight jeans and an ironic top are stylish. But this isn’t so. Style should have meaning. Boy in the vintage Supersonics Shawn Kemp jersey, can you inform everyone who Shawn Kemp is? Are you aware that he once showed up to the Cavaliers training camp as an unacceptable fatty? No, you’re not. Style, like literature, must have meaning. So, while anticipating Santa’s arrival, all boys should wear a meaningful outfit, like the one that I am:
Sunnies because eyes should be kept secret.
Basketball hoodie that I stole from a friend, because basketball players are like monsters.
Purple-striped dress shirt because it’s proper.
A skirt because boys should wear skirts.
Skull-and-crossbone pants because they’re deathy.
Werewolf purple socks to match the purple dress shirt.
Buckled shoes because they’re proper too.
I wanted to read a novel by someone who was un-dead. Being a boy, I wanted to read a novel by an un-dead boy, but most novels composed by un-dead boys are subpar, so I read a novel by an un-dead girl, specifically Sheila Heti and her novel How Should a Person Be?
The book contains explicit depictions of s**, one chapter is called “Interlude for Fucking.” Being a Christian, this is bothersome. Sheila has multiple boy interests (one of them perpetuates a misleading attribute about Nazis). These boy interests didn’t bother all that much, but they did cause me to sort of wonder if I could ever have boy interests like hers or if I could only have the kind of boy interests who tweet Soulja Boy’s phone number or who listen to the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack after murdering their mommy and daddy in cold bold (hullo, Kip Kinkel!).
But, even with the graphic s**, I liked reading Sheila’s book. The main character, also named Sheila, is curious, alert, and not that jaded. During Art Basel, Sheila and her painter BFF watch one of Paris Hilton’s s** tapes. Instead of saying something sarcastic or issuing a condemnation of celebrity culture, Sheila discloses, “Watching her, I felt a kinship; she was just another white girl going through life with her clothes off.” While a preponderance of people are unentertaining, detached, and unaware that the 21st-century postlapsarian world is substantially similar to the Hunger Games, Paris puts on a show, and Sheila’s alliance with Paris is an alliance with the truth that everything is some variation of a performance, and that’s endearing.
Also endearing is Sheila’s relationship with her BFF, Margaux. The two are very close. At Art Basel they sleep in the same bed even though Sheila isn’t wearing any undies. Yet the two never acquire carnal knowledge of each other, because two creatures can share a deep bond without pursing the 20-something Brooklynite’s prized pursuit.
Feeling foul about many things, including potentially being the source of an unprepossessing painting by Margaux, Sheila journeys to the Big Apple. She selects New York City because a book tells her that there’s 30 “important artists” residing there, the most in any city on earth. This, too, is truthful since several special artists who have impacted perceptions of art do really reside there, like the dead version of Frank O’Hara, the dead version of Andy Warhol, and many other dead versions of artists.
Once in New York City, Sheila encounters a grumpy Jew who operates a pen and paper supplies shop and a boy in Atlantic City who tries to make Sheila feels less bad by informing her that God is caring for her in His own way. Each of these encounters possess an old-fashioned charm.
As for the s** that brought me such bother, at least it wasn’t the mild or average type of s**. Sheila is in a steamy affair with a boy named Israel. He is very controlling and intrusive, telling Sheila that he wants her to hypothesize speaking with his c** in her mouth and elaborately demanding her to compose a letter to him in public in a skirt without undies so that she can show her private part to someone. The tumultuous tryst leaves Sheila without much autonomy or agency. “Even when you hear me gagging you don’t stop,” says Sheila. “It’s your unconcern that makes me want you to do whatever you want with my body.” She doesn’t do what she wants, she does what Israel wants. Israel is her dictator, and being with a dictator boy doesn’t seem as displeasing as being with a democratic boy, the type who would probably rather be with a boy anyways.
Sheila’s book brings attention to tons of other awful attributes of the postlapsarian world, like that silly psychoanalysis and those boys who read introductions to books but not the books themselves. But Sheila’s persevering and impetuous voice negate these blights and make her book quite delectable.
World Series baseball is quite comely. The competition is carried out outside in the fall, so leaves are dying and falling off trees, it’s cold, and you get to start sporting layers, like multiple hoodies over a meaningful sweater over a button-down.
Moreover, baseball is slow, like an elderly person, and it’s quiet, like a deaf-mute. Both the elderly and deaf-mute are meritorious. The elderly are grumpy and crabby (as one should be), and deaf-mutes don’t talk and don’t hear, which is optimal, as there is very little that can be conveyed through talking and listening that can’t be conveyed much more marvelously through a poem, a story, or a Tumblr post
In “[The crowd at the ball game],” New Jersey boy William Carlos Williams compares the baseball setting to a totalitarian society, and that’s sensational.
This World Series is especially estimable because the St. Louis Cardinals are participating, and they feature many cute boys, like the hard-throwing closer, Trevor Rosenthal, and the tough as a truck catcher, Yadi.
Presently, the Cardinals and the meat-head East Coast liberals that some refer to as the Boston Red Sox have each won two games. If you haven’t been keeping up with all of the excitement then read Baby Marie-Antoinette’s recap of the first four games:
Last nighttime the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Boston Red Sox in game 2 of the World Series, and their triumph made Baby Marie-Antoinette less woeful than she was on Wednesday night when the Cardinals lost (which they’re not supposed to do).
As with Baby Marie-Antoinette, I think the St. Louis Cardinals should win the World Series, and I also would be fine if their commendable closer, Trevor Rosenthal, wanted to be my boyfriend.
But this post right here sort of tackles another topic.
Before the bottom of the 7th inning, the Boston Red Sox commemorated all of the people who were blown up in the Boston Marathon.
They came out onto the field, and James Taylor sang a song.
This instance illustrated a theme from one of my favorite books, Frames of War by Judith Butler.
In this book, Judith distinguishes between greivable lives, like the people on the Boston Red Sox’s field, and ungrievable lives, like the Muslim creatures who continue to be blown to bits.
Being a boy, I like violence. But I don’t like phoniness, and it seemed to me to be really phony for all of these Boston Red Sox people to portray themselves as empathetic and moral-loaded and whatever other terms they might throw out, when, really, they’re only empathetic and moral-loaded to those who subscribe to America’s depiction of a grievable life.
Last nighttime, while trying to figure out if it’d be more appropriate to eat chocolate chip pancakes or cocoa pebbles for supper, my teddy bear Kmart sort of suddenly mentioned that there was a fair amount of occurrences in literature and perhaps I should tell of some of them.
On Sunday, Stephanie Berger will hold her first Poetry Brothel of the fall season. It’s at 102 Norfolk Street, starting at 8pm. The charming Irish boy editor of New Yorker Poetry, Paul Muldoon, will be there.
Yesterday, Carina Finn, for the first time in a rather long time, posted on her Tumblr, TH@SBRATTY. Her topic was the poetic life. “My life felt poetic only in the sense that hurt was the constant, and sadness, and want,” reveals Carina. “Not that I have been sad for forever, no one is, not even Hamlet, or Emily Dickinson.” Maybe so, but as long as they were on earth they were probably sad, as this place is filled with lunkheads who stare at screens 24/7/365.
Someone who is speaking about sadness as well is artist Bunny Rogers, who recently declared: “My depression is my commitment to drama. Viewing life as theatre creates a detachment that allows me to process an otherwise crushing environment of extremes.”
Though it is fall now, obviously, it used to be summer, and though summer is vulgar, this summer a relatable collection of poems and stories was published, meaning Gabby Bess’s Alone with Other People. This, too, is sad. One story is about a girl who “constructed herself as the modern tragic figure who would sacrifice herself for whatever.”
Unquestionably, the world is an utterly awful place, and it needs to go away fast.