think about the mould youʼre inhaling
if it hasnʼt killed you yet, it surely never will
it doesnʼt have the fucking guts
put it off for another day
youʼll call them tomorrow and ask about the job
they wonʼt answer and youʼll be relieved
wear the same underwear again
do laundry this weekend; is it really that bad?
comfortable in your filth
nothing can hurt you if you never get out of bed
except for bedsores
Nathan Masserang co-edits and curates the online queer literary magazine Gayng. He has written several ebooks, the most recent of which, Ellen Degeneres, was published via Habitat Press. His work is peppered about the internet. He lives in Chicago.
I think Stephen Michael McDowell is a fantastic author/artist. His New Hive pieces, which range from critical essays to aesthetic design to collage to video poetry, are some of the best I’ve seen on that platform. Mammal has always been so well-curated, and I’m not sure it’s still an active thing, but I really hope it is. The Book of Philosophical Sexts, cowritten by the late Victoria Sélavy, is one of my all-time favorite ebooks. So, I’m clearly an annoying fan. Like, I messaged McDowell like last week to say that I love his work and he seemed kind of surprised and was really sweet and sent me a rose emoji (his trademark.) It was a nice interaction.
This is a very interesting ebook. It has snapchat screenshots and collages and text. There are lots of photos of the author, which makes the reading experience very personal and intimate. I felt like he was telling all of these lines directly to me.
Here’s a piece I liked a lot:
"every girl i’ve ever dated
has been a scorpio
i’d been too busy
eating kale by the fistful
to fucking notice.”
I like this for a variety of reasons. One, I’m a Scorpio, and two, I love kale, but three (and this is the most important reason), it’s because it reveals something about the nature of human interaction, how we look for patterns after-the-fact and miss out on all the illustrious details of our own lives because we’re so wrapped up in our own shit.
There are also photos of McDowell and his friends, and these are sweet, like looking through someone’s photo album. He clearly loves these people, and that makes me so happy. It’s so easy to be callous and pretend that the people in your life don’t matter. But they totally do.
What I really love about this ebook is the balance between genuine affection and emotion, and irreverent, funny asides. It possesses a subtle melancholy, but also a playfulness, containing both the personal and the interactive. It feels like being alone, and it feels like being together. It feels like when you’re in a crowd of people you love but you can’t stop playing the same few lines of a stupid song in your head, so even though you want to be present, and even though you are present to some extent, there’s still this careful reminder that everyone lives inside themselves.
You can buy it to read here: http://habitat-ebooks.blogspot.com