Four Little Pieces

Posted on April 24, 2009


By Graham Bendel

by James Joyce
(remixed by Eve Ensler, Vagina Monologues writer)

“Absurdly, I suppose I did say it. I didn’t mean to offend the memory of your mother,” said Stephen, speaking himself into boldness.

Stephen, shielding the gaping wounds which the words had left in his heart, added very coldly: “What did her vagina smell like?”

Ruggy O’Donoghue answered gloomily: “Like her husband’s face.”

Marion Bloom was standing in the middle of Clare Street, in the drizzle, watching them both. She was clearly unimpressed, and frowned, as she slit a steaming scone in two and plastered butter over its smoking pith.

On glimpsing her, Stephen tried to make amends and appeal to her more merciful side. He held her steady-eyed gaze.

“The heart is capable of great sacrifice. It is able to forgive and repair itself,” he said softly.

“It is the same with the vagina,” said Marion Bloom, biting into the last piece of soft scone, hungrily.

“What a pair of mealy-mouthed c**ts,” said O’Shaugnessy, who was tapping his slender cane against his own face. He, too, was standing in Clare Street.

BRIDGET JONE$: The Edge of Reason vs Dead Fingers Talk by William Burroughs

7.30 am Mark Darcy has not woken up. I know, I will make him a fantastic fried breakfast with sausages, scrambled eggs and mushrooms or maybe eggs Benedict or Florentine.

7.31 am. Not sure what eggs Benedict or Florentine actually are? Stupid me.

7.31 am. Darcy awakes and actually says: “Jones, you creepy woman, are you staring at me while I am sleeping?”

I tell hunky Darcy that I want to make him a scrummy breakfast, and want to know what he would like, ideally?

He says “surprise me!”, and goes back to sleep.

This stops me dead in my tracks and I am hurt at his cruel indifference:

Oh yes, I’ll surprise him, show him indifference right back. I’ll show him Bridget Jones, with flaws unhidden. Darcy – have this sordid sight for your breakfast!!

7.43am I get out the old kit and, trembling, I hit a vein right away. A column of blood shoots up into the syringe for an instant sharp and solid as a red cord. I press the plunger down with my thumb, feeling the junk pound through my veins to feed a million junk-hungry cells, to bring strength and alertness to every nerve and muscle…

7.45am Nodding off, I stare through slitted eyes. I see him: all broad shoulders and yummy hairy chest. Darcy, the cruel monster, has awaken.

And he says, nonchalant: as if he were opening a window to look out on to the street…

“Jones, I always suspected you were an addict.”

Led Zeppelin’s saga remixed by Friedrich Nietzsche

The madman leapt into their midst piercing them with his stare. “Where has God gone?” he cried out; “And how did we drink away the ocean? Who gave us the sponge that wiped away the sea.”

“That would be Bonham,” said Peter Grant laughing, before gnawing on a big bone (reputedly of a groupie who he had fucked and then eaten).

The madman continued: “It is now that the great horror, the great affliction, the great loathing, the great sea-sickness arrive!”

“It’s called a hangover, and it won’t kill you, friend,” said the one they called Page.

But the madman was still not content and worried profusely, as madmen did. He looked on, uneasily, as a roadie (in tattered denim) feasted on some nameless groupie’s twat, almost drinking from her with such hankering, and such thirst: the like of which could never be fully quenched.

Grant saw the madmen’s unease, and spoke more eloquently than he had for a longtime. And then, it was not only the madman who was confused, it was the rest of the room. (The burly manager’s brawn had been his only voice in so many nights. But here he was: his voice lucid, and its tone measured.)

“It had been said that when in love with a woman we easily begin to nurture a kind of hatred,” spoke the giant. “We feel affronted; nature appears to defile our possessions with the filthiest of hands. But, even then, it is with sadness that one puts fish inside them, or enjoys coitus with women still wet and sour from the vomit you have showered upon them.”

He continued, his eyes focused and stern, as if trying to convince himself of the words of some past mantra.

“When man finally succeeds in persuading himself intellectually that all his actions are unconditionally necessary…than he is ready to see that what is utterly irresponsible is fine

as long

as everyone,

is happy.”


BUSHELL: I know from doing research about you that punk was a really big influence on you.

COOPER: You heard right. Yes, I used to edit a punk fanzine called Little Caesar. We once had Iggy on the cover one special time. Yeah, punk was a big influence for sure.

BUSHELL: Good man. Anyone who knows me will tell you how much of an influence punk has been on me. You know what I mean, you got bands like The Gonads with “South London Girl”, Pope and The East End Badoes. Punk is like fuel to me. It drives me.

COOPER: I got to admit I haven’t heard of those bands. I was more into the New York Dolls, the Dead Boys, the Stooges – that kind of thing, you know.

BUSHELL: So what got you into fiction?

COOPER: Well with Little Caesar I was publishing poetry …and I guess it all started from there.

BUSHELL: I’ve recently ventured into fiction with a couple of books.


BUSHELL: My last one got some good endorsements. Like I had Bradley Walsh saying it was “fast-moving, gripping” and Stinky Turner from the Cockney Rejects said “it was as down to earth as the author”. Cheeky bastard!

COOPER: Right.

BUSHELL: From doing research I’ve heard that you got in trouble about some of the sex scenes in your fiction. I mean in my first book Two-Faced I had a few raised eyebrows at a scene where a queer gets sexually assaulted by two straight gangsters.

COOPER: Straight gangsters!?

BUSHELL: So what got people hot under the collar in your books?

COOPER: I’ve had death threats because of the sex with young men, and killing of teenage boys.

BUSHELL: Erm, what?

COOPER: You asked me about how I started writing fiction I guess I can answer that now. I’ve just remembered something, about how I had met Mark. And how that was important to my writing.


COOPER: Yes, Mark and how his beauty and demeanor had had an incredible power over me. He was in his very early twenties, a fan of my poetry. After one reading, he went out for drinks with us, and feeling my intense attraction to him, he flirted with me rather mercilessly. When I asked him go back to the hotel with me, he declined, and I felt extremely disappointed and….I punched him in the chest.

BUSHELL: You should have punched him in the face. Or the throat.

COOPER: Sorry?


COOPER: Hey, what’s going on?!

BUSHELL: What do you mean?

COOPER: Do you have a problem with homosexuality?

BUSHELL: Nah, I just have my own particular views on the subject.

COOPER: Like what views?

BUSHELL: I think just because a man goes to bed with another bloke…it doesn’t necessarily make him gay.

COOPER: Why. Cause it fuckin’ does.

BUSHELL: Nah, not if you didn’t enjoy it. I even would go so far as to say If you slept with three men.. you still wouldn’t be a homo if you didn’t enjoy each separate experience…but you just feel compelled to do it.

COOPER: You believe that shit? Heard about the river called the Nile..

BUSHELL: It’s not shit, my American friend. HOWEVER, if you sleep with the SAME man three times…..then I think questions might need to be asked..

COOPER: I’ve had some funny interviews, I tell you…but this is got to be the freakiest. I mean…I’m almost hoping you’re going to ask me about the whole thing with J.T. Leroy? It would almost be refreshing to hear that whole argument.

BUSHELL: And what argument would that be?

COOPER: About how there was bad blood between me and J.T. Leroy.

BUSHELL What? He gave you AIDS??

(Dennis Cooper, at this point, terminates the interview).


Graham Bendel is the director of the documentary Billy Childish is Dead, editor of Poems for the Retired Nihilist (vols I & II) and author of the novel A Nasty Piece of Work.

Posted in: Fiction