August 17th, 2011 / 9:23 pm
Haut or not

Haut or Not: Spencer Madsen

I don’t know what’s worse: the racism in Black Boy, the paradoxical ingrown logic of Catch-22, or the unnamed impenetrable authority in The Trial. For a bro into dystopia, you ain’t seen a fucked up situation until our poor couple in Revolutionary Road shows us the bloody way. Looking at my browser’s recent history feels like my “resent history,” all the facebook albums of parties I never went, people in tighter-looser clothes and sexier-grainier lighting. And if low res camera phones are our muse, may she render the contemporary “indie” authors implicated to the right of the shelf — each spine thinner and thinner as the thinning of subject, or thinning of Roth’s hair; or, the opposite of Sartre’s thickening lenses — with red plastic cups optimistically half-full of beer, the ghost of guacamole or coke on a nose, and tattoos adorning signs so counter-culturally ingratiating, they should be affixed with “like” buttons below them. They are all a bit happier and I am, which isn’t saying much, my 9th hour in this office chair. Existentialism in Humanism seems redundant; what, you want an existential armadillo? Armor dude’s too busy being fucked to know he’s fucked. The enterprise of human sympathy began with words. Before that, we just ate one another. Let us not ignore the timely placed rectangular lake of a million bears reflecting the Columns of Influence, back when dour men capitalized things, instead of capitalizing on things. Madsen may have asked for matte, but the printers, perhaps consumed by his oily complexion, thought gloss might do the trick — and do not gloss over this tomb or tome or airy epitaph. The cover yields stereoscopic red and cyan, as if 3D glasses where needed to stumble into Apt. 3D, somewhere in New York City in which this writer resides, to finally grasp, then touch, the irl glossy flesh that is him. That Madsen is a walking Purell commercial is less of a commentary, than mere impulse.

Rating: Not


  1. karl taro

      looking at your bookcase, I’m worried for the future of hardcovers

  2. FormerCity

      This is hate sex

  3. spencer madsen

      not disclosing how much money i spent on clearasil today

  4. Fuzhou

      His books are even worse than his poetry

  5. I know right


  6. walter davis

      I LOVE YOU SPENCER MADSEN!!! OKAY JUST MARRY ME ALL READY, jump into my heart and pull my heart strings

  7. elaine

      i love spencer madsen
      i love jimmy chen
      i love u all

  8. Jackson Nieuwland

      everything is fantastic

  9. Carolyn DeCarlo

      curb stomp me to the ground this is hot sex

  10. Zacharywhalen

      idk who is spencer masden does he use those ‘ ‘ things like tao lin???

  11. shaun gannon

      cut my knife into pieces
      you need another knife

  12. stephen

      o great another new york hipster poet sensitive tao lin oil face and oil o great.. great… wow great

  13. Y'know?

      i mostly find it weird that he’s getting so much attention, positive or negative

  14. Peter P Bloxham

       i like books

  15. Jimmy Chen

      only the 2nd line of that haiku works

  16. dole

      this is a cool game, Jimmy.  Bring it back!  I wanna play

  17. Tummler

      Yeah Jimmy, will you do this for me if I send you a photo of my bookshelf even though not many people have read or purchased my book?

  18. elaine

      internet poetry The New Haiku

      i’m sorry jimmy. i’m sorry

  19. deadgod

      you used an idk thing when you could just have asked your two questions

      it is rococo the way you did that rococool thing

  20. deadgod

      only the 2nd

      line of that haiku works some-

      thing something something

  21. deadgod

      only one of those books has a crease in its spine, that I think I can see

      you might give a thought to the future of scarecrows

  22. deadgod

      googled existentialism in humanism

      got a red squiggle under the preposition and Did you mean:  existentialism and humanism

      (I did not)

      tried google books with result similar to google

      existentialism in humanism is an inexistential book title is what I think

      naut a haut goose chase

  23. Benjamin Grislic

      existentialism is a humanism

  24. J.D.A. Winslow

      it’s awkward that my novella is just out of shot.

  25. J.D.A. Winslow

      oh wait no.. it’s not published yet. my bad.

  26. deadgod

      a spine with that title is in the photograph

      but in the blogicle there is the title Existentialism in Humanism

      or do you mean to agree with sartre’s argument

      in which case I will agree with kristofferson

      freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose

  27. it is, it really is

      he means look at the picture, the title is existentialism is a humanism

      sometimes you should stop, think, …and then not post

  28. deadgod

      and I mean look at the blogicle, a title there, which I first responded to, is Existentialism in Humanism

      even when you think you have stopped and thought, sometimes you should make sure you understand the joke, however small or lame

      what do you think of sartrean ‘absolute freedom’

  29. it is, it really is

      the text has more authority over the image? can you put media into a hierarchy? can you make any ole mistake and then call it a joke afterwards? what is a joke?

      I think sartre had very poor dental hygiene

      I think freedom is organic ice cream against my tongue when everyone else is ‘dead’

      with no one around I cannot affirm my existence

      that feels free to me

      to not be labeled living or dead

      by eyes that aren’t mine

  30. marshall

      i kno rite

  31. deadgod

      oh I didn’t realize that I’ve been leaving a remark worthy to me of remark unremarked for “two days”

      well easily rectumfied:

      the “authority” and “hierarchy” among media is here nowhere relevant

      a look at “inexistential book title” in the first comment of this subthread will confirm that I did not make a “mistake”

      perhaps benjamin misunderstood; certainly you did, your furious bailing notwithstanding

      sartre says that, if someone holds a gun to your children’s heads, your actions are still absolutely free

      his idea of “freedom” is, to me, sillily and even unintelligently to misunderstand how contests of forces constitute actions of individual people

      perceptual determination, for example: of the feel and taste of ice cream in one’s mouth, is, to me, a test of “freedom” and not “freedom” itself

      I think that, if a doctor ever sees you with a view to protecting or ‘increasing’ your health, your “freedom” will certainly depend on your “be[ing] labeled living or dead /by eyes that aren’t [yours]”

  32. Jimmy Chen

      my parents paid for college, so i’m chill!

  33. it is, it really is

      where did I bail?

      oh ya

      I just jumped off a freight train, testing my freedom

      everything is flat here

      I don’t make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean people don’t accuse me of them

      what do you have against ice cream

      seems concrete enough to me

      it’s a frozen liquid

      I live in the paradox

      but srsly man,

      how bad is it being fat?

  34. deadgod

      “can you make any ole mistake and then call it a joke afterwards?” = water in boat almost as close to gunwale as water around boat

      asking “can [. . .] afterwards?” as you have done = bailing

      sometimes I “have” a tongue and hard palate “against” ice cream

      a perception – of, say, ice cream – is, I think, neither freedom nor necessity

      but perceiving puts its perceiver into, or can disclose that its perceiver already is in, a framework of decision – of, say, whether to savor or spit or swallow

      –and being in that framework is to experience freedom

      I doubt that the phase change from liquid to solid is “paradox[ical]”


      do you always find disowning your “mistakes” as bitter against your tongue as a lime rind snocone

  35. it is, it really is

      how do you know me, like be real

      are you pulling my leg again bill? oh bill….

      only bill would know how I like my snocones

      you should have bought a better metaphor from the street vendor

      I know, it’s really a simile

      beat ya to it!


      I’ma freedom fighter bb

  36. deadgod

      chilly confections sweet and/or tart were the only vendables

      that emoticon has nipples on its back

      –an innovation both practical and impractical

      if you defeat “freedom”, what will be your trophy

  37. deadgod

      I feel way less responsible about $ I borrowed from a bank/government than I do about free shit from the foax

      I mean WAY less indebted

      but then I am an even shittier citizen than I am a child