"As a near-dead junkie, I had—with only the greatest reluctance—finally
come to terms with the fact that I would never be able to use smack
again. What I hadn't bargained for was that recovering from heroin meant
spending the rest of my life completely sober. Never again
being able to enjoy a cold beer on a hot summer day. No more lighting up
a joint and listening to my favorite music. Sure, I might have lived to
be 80 under that regime of total abstinence, but it sounded more like a
life sentence than a victory."
"I sometimes like to think of the measure of a good writers as this: are they the kind of person you’d want watching your back if there was a sudden explosion of violence? You could definitely count on a Hemingway or a Bukowski in that kind of situation. Even Burroughs—he may have been a scrawny son of a bitch but he’d probably be packing heat. The last person on this earth you’d want to have to rely on in a bar fight would be Jonathan Safran Foer."
"There's an old slogan that people throw about in recovery circles (it's even used in the basic text of Narcotics Anonymous): "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." In that context, it's supposed to help the addict see the madness of thinking that they can control their drug use. However it's easy to see how this mantra could be just as appropriately applied to America's maddening "war without end"—a battle that continues to exact a terrible toll the harder we try to fight it."
"There is a tendency when dope fiends get together," Jerry says, "towards a kind of my-abscess-was-bigger-than-your-abscess one-downmanship. But the same can probably be said of ex-meatpackers. Though not the abscess part, hopefully. To me, what any great book does is render the particular universal. Drugs aren't the subject of my books any more than more than Moby Dick is about fishing."
"The first clue came when my connection's phone was turned off without warning. Out on the street, the usual scoring spots around Shepherds Bush, Kings Cross and the West End were full of sick, pensive addicts all forlornly waiting for any kind of deal to materialize. Rip-offs became commonplace as gangs of dealers started selling overpriced, overly-cut heroin, or bags filled with nothing more than gravy granules or chalk dust. One friend of mine found himself viciously razored in East London on the way out of a block of flats. A gang of kids had slashed his face because he refused to hand over a ten-pound bag he had just managed to buy. The veneer of civility on the dope scene vanished overnight."
"They say there are certain inevitabilities in life. As the old cliché goes taxes and death are two of them, and here's another: As soon as a celebrity dies of a drug overdose, Dr. Drew Pinsky will appear on my television screen before the body has even had time to cool, trying to sell whatever reality show crap he's hustling this week."
@ The New York Press
Article on Dennis Cooper, for the Guardian Book Blog
Article on Exley's "A Fan's Notes", for the Guardian Book Blog
CLARENCE COOPER JR
Article on Clarence Cooper Jr, for the Guardian Book Blog
Article on Charles Bukowski, for the Guardian Book Blog
Article on Alexander Trocchi for the Guardian Book Blog
Article on Herbert Huncke for the Guardian Book Blog
Interview with Tao Lin on the Word Riot site
Review of Robert Woodard's HEAPING STONES on the Scarecrow site
Interview with Mark SaFranko on the Scarecrow site
Review of Mark SaFranko's HATING OLIVIA on the 3am Magazine site
Interview with author Dan Fante on Laura Hird's Showcase site
Review of Dan Fante's CORKSUCKER on Laura Hird's Showcase site
Review of THE RAKES first NYC show on the 3am Magazine site
Review of KRAFTWERK's Hammerstein Ballroom show on Laura Hird's Showcase site
DEE DEE RAMONE
I recently found this again, one of my first published pieces - an obituary of Dee Dee Ramone published in Black Poppy magazine in their "Drug Users Hall Of Fame" section. This is before I lived in NYC and realized that 53rd and 3rd is infact nowhere near the Lower East Side.