You wouldn't necessarily think that someone born in Arcadia might have such an amazing Technicolor dreamcoat of a life notwithstanding Sho Kosugi, who just lives there but Dennis Cooper has had more lives than almost any modern artist short of Marcel Duchamp or John Giorno, and he just keeps on finding new ways to live. His latest creative endeavor, the short story collection "Ugly Man" (Harper Perennial), with titles like "One Night in 1979 I Did Too Much Coke and Couldn't Sleep and Had What I Thought Was a Million-Dollar Idea to Write the Definitive Tell-All Book About Glam Rock Based on My Own Personal Experience but This Is as Far as I Got," balance ultraviolence with cutting humor honed for over 30 years both here (Beyond Baroque) and abroad (Amsterdam). Cooper's writing in Ugly Man is like a highly literate game of hot-hands you never know when he's going to hit you next, but by the time it's all over you feel that distinctive stinging sensation. He's also been doing considerable work lately in the field of sound readings from Ugly Man have been released on the British label Dotdotdot on a CD-R of the same name, sliced and diced and slap-chopped up by Dotdotdot label head Paul Hegarty and his avant group Safe. Meanwhile, ultra-desirable boutique label Editions Mego has released Peter Rehberg's "Work for GV 2004-2008," which collects scores for Cooper's and French artist Gisèle Vienne's works for theater "I Apologize" and "Jerk," one of the short stories in Ugly Man that's currently touring Europe as a stage play. Try asking him about this aspect of his endless creativity when he signs your book it's a better icebreaker than telling him how "dangerous" and "disquieting" he is all the time. Also at Book Soup on June 2.
Mon., June 1, 7:30 p.m., 2009