[David Applegate, frequent commentor of this site and maker of strange music, wrote this piece about Montevidayoan Dan Hoy:]
“Revelations & Confessions: Blood Work Volume II” by Dan Hoy, an occult science-fiction chapbook
Dan Hoy’s new chapbook “Revelations & Confessions: Blood Work Volume II” from Slim Princess Holdings introduces so many ideas, it seem to overflow its short length. Thoughts on sexuality, technology, pornography, and free will explode from its thirty-three pages. Taking the pulp science-fiction trope of aliens versus humans as its central conceit, the chapbook follows a narrative arc which begins with the invention and subjugation of the human race by aliens and culminates with the reclamation of human autonomy. In the opening poem, Hoy writes: “Aliens / invent human beings / out of aliens / and fuck them.” A few poems later: “People are… / forced to fuck each other” as sex slaves under alien authority. When we arrive at: “The morning / dew / is alien cum / on my face” it becomes clear the aliens are functioning in these poems as a metaphor for nature at large; the nature which invents human beings out of itself and lays them low by imbuing them with a sexuality which appears, at first, as a degraded drive which can only lead to misery.
Even as raw sexuality is exploited by the aliens, it is mediated through technology. ”My technology / is fucked.” It’s too easy to read these lines, which are alone on a page, as a vernacular expression of angst. Hoy uses “fucked” as a technical term, the technology has been copulated. This becomes apparent when we read: “The best technology / if you want / to rule Earth / is blood. / Humans / have the best technology.” The human technology of blood is fucked, copulated, the human drive to reproduce is insatiable: “Fucking creates lives.” The aliens attempt to thwart human reproduction at every turn. ”They fondle us. / They make us cum hard / enough.” Hard enough for the human to avoid recourse to their “best technology” of blood and reproduction. ”Aliens / are eating pussy.” And likewise: “The future / of Earth / makes me / cum all over / their tiny alien hands.” Sexual stimulation and orgasm achieved through interaction with the aliens is not productive and takes place exclusively in the sphere of the alien dominating the human.
This situation gives rise to several poems in which the human begins to experience a kind of disgust with sexuality and a drive toward self-exploitation. ”Imagine / impossible sex.” The injunction to imagine the impossible, or limit, of sex seems brought about by the abuses of the aliens and a futile wish for the sexual drive to dissipate or transform into something wholly other. A bit further on: “I want to sell / video / of me fucking / them raw and / creaming / their blank fake faces.” The possibility explored here is that sexual autonomy might be reclaimed through the production and sale of pornography, the participation in an economy both abstracted and separate from the economy of copulating bodies. But the desired escape through technology seems impossible. ”Everything I remember / is an image / on a screen.” The entirety of human experience is mediated through technology, and all technology which is not the “free blood” of humanity further enslaves the human element to the alien: “A basic primer / on memory / protocols / is what my brain / looks like / to the aliens using it.” When all memory is an image on a screen, the alien has access to it as a tool to exploit. Not only does the alien function as an allegory for nature, but for all non-human systems outside the body. Hoy’s point is that we understand non-human nature as well as we understand the systems we ourselves have created, hardly at all.
The chapbook’s final section finds the human gaining the upper hand. ”I volunteer / to legislate this / whatever this is / to bring a Law / into being.” The creative or productive impulse, the “best technology,” takes control of the situation. In a poem as touching as it is graphic, we find: “The sound of insects / at night / makes me / cum for you.” And its conclusion: “Cum with me.” As opposed to “morning dew” which is “alien cum,” we now see nature as a force capable of inspiring a desire for mutual sexual pleasure which is “The whole / of the Law.” The situation remains unknowable (“whatever this is”) but the conditions have improved such that the alien, which truly functions as that which alienates, collapses into a mutual failure to understand rather than an endless play of dominance and submission. In the concluding poem, the alien is conflated with the human as if to imply all humans are as aliens on this planet, unknown, unknowing, and set apart. When, in the last lines we read: “Wait / for the signal,” we’re never meant to understand what the signal is or what it might mean.