March 24th, 2011 / 10:13 am

On Beauty

In 2004 Zadie Smith published On Beauty, a book I haven’t read because tv is too compelling. That is less of a criticism of her than me, but I appreciate the semi-open mouth. This is a companion piece to “On Booty,” about similar concerns, probably. Zadie Smith has freckles, and while I got in trouble in the past for mentioning the physical attributes of a female writer, I’ll brace myself and say — by the way I’m drunk right now — that when I think of her, I think of the man who makes love to her, and how her freckles must seem so lovely, those tiny landmines of love’s fleeting expression, while he comes inside her. Life is a condom, it just doesn’t feel right. I also didn’t read the article about some new camera that makes people look more beautiful, because, again, tuberculosis is too compelling.

When I read a book, everybody inside that book is pretty. Like Molly at the end of Ulysses fucking cuming I imagine a beautiful — perhaps 20 lbs. overweight, but I’ll manage — Irish woman in bed with our protagonist either masturbating or fucking Bloom I really have no idea since that part, not to mention the entire novel, was like confusing n’ shit. Or even the black fucked up girls in Toni Morrison books, I imagine hot black fucked up girls, those bitchy loud ones in the back of the bus with nipples as dark as Goya’s nightmares. And yes, I grew up on misogynist music videos and porn, and yes, it’s this website’s generous editorial “no policy” policy that I respect more than editors in general; not trying to be a punk here, just saying I’m drunk right now and I’ve been somewhat of a loser since 1985, the year Super Mario Bros. came out (unrelated). And here we are, the next morning, because these kinds of posts are written at night, on my 5th glass of zinfandel, the irony (with iron, not the annoying kind) blood of a greek god I’m too lazy to wiki, and duh, probs can’t get it “up” tonight to wank it because of alcohol-related science I don’t understand.

It’s commonly accepted by neurologists that once you fuck someone, a chemical stays in your brain for about 2-3 years which makes you think they are more beautiful than they are. Anthropologically, this is the timeframe it takes not to create a baby (that only takes 20 minutes), but to secure a relationship and environment for its upbringing. Then snap, the chemical leaves your brain in an endocrine suicide, and you start seeing them objectively, ontology meets the topology of their faces, slowly resenting your partner’s every move — the slow retarded mastication of a banana; the funk of a toenail clipping; the laughable half-baked attempts at coming up with a fucking point — and it’s either adultery, divorce, or a lifetime of abnegation and/or misery. But yah, you’re talking to the wrong guy. My parents taught me life’s greatest lesson: if you can’t afford a lawyer, just go to the other room.

It’s beautiful yet sad, when I see — or imagine — a woman in front of the mirror applying rouge to her cheeks, or eyeshadow to her eyes, as if she wasn’t really a person until the porn saturated men believed her to be so, half driven by alcohol and balls. I hate going to bars. I hate the incomplete genome of my aimless dick. I hate the red bull-vodka alpha male cock blocks; the high shriek of an adderall-infused brainmess of a woman; the stupid songs which people try to fuck to, thinking they lubed up the drum machine just for them. And all this the night before the next day, the searing blandness of daylight as god’s confession on a face saying sorry you are just you, you smiling there with a latte meant for a calf saying do you love me, I will smile all day until it hurts.

We bestow art with our shallowness, relieve it from its capacity. Anna Karenina, moments before her metallic end, is considered lovely in my CliffsNotes brain. Even dead Kurtz is a handsome man, pale gray under the moon, each maggot on his face a lazy exclamation mark going this book was actually boring!!!!! I’m not a critic, or a cricket, just wanna rub my legs together with you somewhere in between, and if that means three emails and a nice dose of schizophrenia, then I’ll write myself the novel of how you and me become happy together which will never be published unless we hang ourselves in the living room with a view of the street. They airbrused my face, tells the text that goes over Michael Stipe’s face in R.E.M’s Eponymous (1988, the year of two erect infinities). College radio sounds odd when you’re out of college, like thin people whining. I wanna meet her on the right, the one that looks 10 years younger. She’s probably in god damn Boston or Philadelphia, where less lovely men with white hair came up with an idea of what a country could be, a country that has forgotten its own genius, a country in which the majority of this readership resides, broken by fifty deformed boxes. And here’s the beauty with each state: you stay in yours and I’ll stay in mine. They mark time zones on a map with dashed lines, as if perforating the heart for a phone call never made. If you somehow make it to my airport, like if Allah is chill that day, then text me you love me and I’ll do the same. The average cab ride from an airport is around $35 dollars, the black freeway in front of your eyes painted with the blood of brake lights, somebody else’s caution, the driver in front and this humble contributor beside you, just as ugly beautiful as you imagined.


  1. DJ Berndt

      This is my favorite article on HTMLGiant now probably.

      “the searing blandness of daylight as god’s confession on a face saying sorry you are just you”

      “hey mark time zones on a map with dashed lines, as if perforating the heart for a phone call never made.”

      This is literary porn.

  2. Madison Langston


  3. drew kalbach

      this post made me realize i’m pretty shallow, but i think that’s why i love poetry so much.

  4. Jimmy Chen

      thank you for your continued support DJ

  5. Johnny Sakkis

      this is more like it.

  6. karl taro

      great. great. great. thank you for sharing

  7. alex crowley

      which airport? Oakland? I slept behind the baggage claim once and then got a ride from a right wing radio-listening, recovering alcoholic who tried to charge me $60 for the cab ride. When I said I only had $40, he said he’d take $35 because he was a good christian.

  8. Aaron G

      so many incredible, quoatable lines in here, jimmy, it’s ridiculous. you’re brain is a strong one, sir. me likely — a real like, not a facebook one.

      time for me to retardedly masticate a banana

  9. Aaron G

      *your brain

  10. kevocuinn

      Love this, but kinda disappointed that JC drinks Zinfandel.

  11. deadgod

      some schizophrenia is penis illin resistant

  12. Lorianlong


  13. DiTrapano

      This is so good that that it makes me think everyone besides Jimmy Chen is just a fucking joker. Jesus, man. Is your brain made out of hearts or something?

  14. Brian McElmurry

      Killed it!!! Fucking awesome!

  15. Sophie Playle

      A post on this blog that I actually understand, and like very much. But dislike also because it contains horrible truths. Blarhg.

  16. Ken Baumann

      There is a god, and that is the Jimmy Chen novel that we all pray is eventual, floating & spread throughout the ether.

  17. Ani Smith

      i would still try to sex you, jimmy chen

      (sauvignon blanc)

  18. Greg Pokarney

      That first paragraph alone kills me, mainly because as a kid I thought I was getting a “TV” test instead of a “TB” test.

      I thought they wanted to make sure I wasn’t watching to much TV.

  19. alex crowley

      he didn’t say “white zinfandel”.

  20. Sean

      Waiting on Jimmy Chen novel. It will come. aND CUM.

  21. Jimmy Chen

      i feel appreciated everyone, thank you all.

  22. Anonymous
  23. Anonymous

      it’s not like you’re fooling anyone to the contrary

  24. Advilr

      Damn if this piece don’t get u some pootenannie then i just don’t get the world.

  25. Anonymous

  26. NLY


  27. Anonymous


  28. alanrossi

      unless it’s too tired and slopped on wine. in which case, apparently, it’ll just write a really awesome blog post.

  29. Franklin Goodish

      Stopped reading at zinfandel

  30. Jess Dutschmann

      Oh my god Jimmy. I love this and and and really nothing else to say though just I LOVED THIS

  31. Anonymous


  32. NM

      Loved this, thanks.