“Katrina Does New Orleans” trumps “Debbie Does Dallas”

July 1st, 2009
This is a prose poem composed for the Italian literary magazine Le Storie for their Life-and-Death-of-Porno-themed issue. They asked me to riff on the death of “hardcore.” It was 2005. Katrina had just struck, and my heart was broken. The theme seemed absurd. Cheap. Irrelevant. And yet somehow became a springboard for revisiting the term, making an unexpected juxtaposition, and attempting in the raw wake of the tragedy to honor the city, its pulse, and its people.]

“Katrina Does New Orleans” trumps “Debbie Does Dallas” – Redefining Hardcore in the Foot-Stomping Rump Jazz Funeral Wake

Porn set. Night. Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. With my legs spread like a lazy compass. The klieg lights burn.

Hardcore is a young pregnant woman waiting for hours to get on a bus evacuating from New Orleans. While in line, the woman miscarries. Afraid to lose her place, she tries to wipe herself clean with her skirt and hands. In this way, she stays practical.

Porn set. Night. Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. Parched skin. My pudenda, a desert. Sand-suck-whorls. The labor of lubricant and silent tongues.

Hardcore is a seventy-six-year-old man found eighteen days after Hurricane Katrina struck, sitting at his kitchen table in a foot of black sludge. When he was told he could take one thing of value, he chose the plastic water jug that had saved him, even though it was now bone-dry.

Porn set. Night. Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. Focus. If you think of the human body as a map. If you think of family as a kind of constellation. If you think of a human being as a radiant point…

Hardcore is a teenage boy waiting in his flooded house for help to arrive, for food to arrive, for water to arrive, for rescue. On the third day, he realizes he is starving. ‘You know how when you’re hungry, your stomach growls?’ he says. ‘When you’re starving, you get cramps. The best thing to do is lean forward and hug yourself.’

Porn set. Night. Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. If you ignite a screen with flickering bodies, grappling. If you zoom in, nebulize the pores. If you draw the connecting lines between this body and that…

Hardcore is how one couple climbed onto their furniture in their rapidly flooding house, watched their two dogs drown, watched snakes slither by their submerged couches and lamps. But when the water stopped rising at the level of their necks, and a ball of fire ants floated in and bit them – that was the breaking point.

Porn set. Night. Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. The money shot: dollars shoved in every orifice, cum splattered over coins and bonds and gold bars and property deeds, dripping.

Hardcore is a husband swimming outside his house in the flood, busting the second floor window to save his wheelchair-bound wife. ‘What’re you doing?’ he asked. ‘I’m praying,’ she said. Quietly. The husband hauled his wife out of her wheelchair and into the water. The rooftop was near. But the current churned powerfully. ‘Let me go, husband,’ she said. ‘You can’t hold me. Take care of the children.’ And she was gone.

Porn set. Night. Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. I burn. Flame out. A pornstar supernova. Fade…

Hardcore is a young boy who lost everything, but saved his dog Snowball. Summertime’s survival treat, cheap shaved ice drenched in syrups. The boy’s favorite the triple-flavored “rainbow”: cherry, ice cream, bubble gum. The boy’s about to board a bus outside the Superdome, going he doesn’t know where. The police take his dog. No pets allowed. The boy cries, “Snowball! Snowball!” and sobs until he vomits.

Hardcore is a rescue worker who sees a lead pipe pierce an attic roof. The rescue worker skims his boat over. Splits the shingles with an ax. Inside, a young man lies prone. He’s not even cold yet. Near his body, a small dog barks. The rescue worker grabs at the dog, but the dog refuses to leave. The boat pulls away.

Hardcore is dogs frying in downed electrical wires. The sound of sighs in the dark. Cries for help. The flicker of failing lights, streaming from damp slats and eaves. Water laps. Septic and thick. Fishing boats cleave, choppers hover. “Fats” Domino plucked from a rooftop. The boat moves on. In Slidell, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown’s black caddy underwater, guitar floating. Prized belt buckles wedged in muck. A city, drowned. Strains of deathjazz. Swampy chords from a slide guitar, echo wetly. Ghostly brassband marching, past watery tombs, twirling bright umbrellas. One woman floats, face down, her pants slipped all the way to her knees. A purple ribbon still drifts in her hair.

Porn set. Night. Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley. Porn set. Night. Somewhere in the San Fernando Valley…


Women Sex Addicts

April 9th, 2009

How about that, two in one day! I forgot I’d taken a vow of brevity for New Year’s 2009. So I am hereby allowing myself to post short. Here’s a link to a cool piece the lovely sex therapist Simone Bienne wrote. i had the pleasure of appearing with her on a recent Lorraine Kelly breakfast show on GMTV in the UK! (Via satellite — a trippy Jetson-style building tucked into Culver City.) Let me know your thoughts!


Follow me on Twitter!

April 9th, 2009

Hey everyone,

Am I overdue to post here or what?! So maybe you have this experience too, where you enter the world of a new social network, and you get into it, and interact — then more and more people come to the party and an inner conflict springs up. You both want to share and be public — and also retreat into a more private cyber-space. Sometimes then I switch and try another social network, with a smaller gang, to reconnect with a freshness of sharing. The latest one for me is Twitter. I’m sure I’ll keep switching around. I wanted to offer the connection to any of you who have searched out this site and want to know more. Feel free to follow me, the Pied Piper of love addiction and general glitterary antics! Look forward to hearing from you.

I’m trying to figure out how to paste a Twitter badge, but for now, you can find me here at http://twitter.com/rachelresnick.

First foreign translation rights sold! Prague, here I come!

January 2nd, 2009

What a beautiful way to start the brand spanking new year. JOTA of the Czech Republic has bought translation rights to publish LOVE JUNKIE! Travel has always been a huge passion of mine, and a steady inspiration to my creativity. So the thrill of having LOVE JUNKIE embraced by another culture, and the chance to have the story translated into another language, is beyond awesome. Plus I’ve never been to Prague, or anywhere else there, but I have always wanted to visit. Any country which installed a literary president for so many years wins my heart. Now I have a great reason to finally experience the land of Vaclav Havel, Milan Kundera, and of course, Franz Kafka. Who are your favorite Czech writers? What are your favorite works of these writers? What about other Czech artists? Prague is also the home of  Jan Svankmajer, the surrealist artist and animator whose brilliant work has inflamed my imagination for years with such masterpieces as “Alice” and “Faust.” Happy New Year to all of you! Thanks so much for your support. Please keep spreading the word about LOVE JUNKIE if you dug it. Write Amazon reviews. Nudge your friends to read, buy books. Forgive me. We authors must bare ourselves in these crass commercial ways today. It’s largely up to readers and authors to help a book stay in print, and available. I’m grateful for your incredible responses and your help, and also to all the insightful, thoughtful and excellent reviewers who’ve read my book and reviewed it. I feel incredibly lucky. Here’s to a fabulous, adventure-filled, creative and prosperous new year with tons of travel whether exotic and faraway, or local, or simply in the ever-on-tap imagination!

Here is a short bit from Svankmajer’s “Alice” for your mind’s pleasure:

Alice…through the desk drawer…

How To Shift Gears From Writer to Book Pimp

December 26th, 2008

Writing’s a bitch, but it’s not the hardest part. Once you finish, it’s time to sell. Did you catch the cartoon in the most recent New Yorker? It features a hapless author sitting before a willing publisher with a bracing caveat.

Reality of Publishing

Reality of Publishing

It’s hard out there for a writer. I’d like to share what I’ve learned to help other writers. See this interview I did recently with lovely writer Deanna Cameron for her new blog Writely So. She posed great, thoughtful questions.

For the new year I am taking a vow of brevity. I promise to do more frequent posts, like this one.

Let me know your thoughts! Comments welcome. I’d also love to know what you want to see here. I have a list of new blog posts TK, covering Love Junkie’s odyssey and other topics. Stay tuned!

Here’s the link:


Deanna Cameron’s blog on the business of writing: “Writely So.”