SCENE: There is no land: Pop Corpse! by Lara Glenum

Laura Carter


Pop Corpse!
Lara Glenum
Action Books
186 pp.
Release date: May 1, 2013


Imagine that you find yourself in a land of “plastic garbage,” as Glenum writes. This book burns with intense death, in the sense that you find yourself pulled in. All the characters are a total gas, too. This is the land of “Club Me,” and the opening score is about death and “seal flesh,” “bezerking in my pants.” Maybe you have been somewhere like this before, no? Well, let’s see what we find.

We have mermaids, and oh, teenage mermaids at that. Glenum writes that “a mermaid is supposed 2 b all seafoam,” and it’s tough not to believe her; I mean, aren’t mermaids sea creatures? Everything is sparkling and Technicolor, and the emoticons of the book really give it away as having been made from the kitschiest “Goo-Goo Lagoon,” as Glenum calls one of her many settings. Oddly enough, the emphasis in this book, in this setting, is on “artifice & the unnatural,” and everything is ornamental and excremental.

Glenum writes about “Little Merde-Maid & Her Shitstain of a Story,” something about how at the Yum Factory, there are only Vision Machines, what Paul Virilio might call the spoils of war, no? One of the Undersea Denizens seems to know the tune, and he calls it: “A culturally-produced spectacle that naturalizes highly specific forms of desire and consumption. The abject recuperated in the service of reproductive capitalism.” This guy seems to be on to something!

We wonder whether this is a refrigerator (I mean, “Poor li’l fish girls. No pleasure! All cold.”) or whether it’s a “Bone Palace,” as Glenum writes. It’s probably both, but no one seems to be going anywhere anytime soon.

A poor mermaid named XXX, one of the story’s stars, writes: “I think I’ve somehow wound up in the penal colony,” and we pity her.

Kinderwhore simply writes: “$$$$$$$$.” Yes! Do you know this story yet?

And the best part of the story is that everything almost seems to take place in “The Royal Chambers,” where (let’s face it) the sun lives, too (though he doesn’t make an appearance).

Here’s another zinger:

In the Slice Ward
they have an electrical shower

for girls who feel 2 much Who feel
They call it
The Gate of Heaven

And apparently, Jacques Lacan is floating around in the background somewhere (though he fails too to make an appearance): “MUSEUMS R 4 THE CURATION OF DISEASE.”

Everything in this book is a gas—no, really. And everything takes place in “The Sea King’s Undersea Pleasuredome”!

The King of the Sea shuffles XXX around, as he well should (she always needed a true Father).

And then we have a few words from Octowarden, who tells it straight (as perhaps, someone should):




I mean, if this isn’t The Crypto-Real, I don’t know where else to find it. Everyone is swimming, everyone is alive with electricity, and no one is aware of how to respond to each other.

It’s a “Ghoulish Operetta,” and it’s taking captives. It’s happening in The Royal Theater, and everyone is wearing “lipstick worms.”

I mean, it’s theater.

XXX tells the truth about herself:

On national TV    I’m totes brillz
w yakkies
in my fishbelly        & Blood thunder in the aerodrome
as I pop a bunny
tying yr arms back

This is the Isle of Noise. It’s the “spectacle happening now / in the calcified docking zone.”

It’s the Gate of Heaven, and Glenum thanks us, the rest of the hooligans, for our crimes. Look out, the world is behind you.


Pop Corpse! is available for preorder through Action Books, and will be available May 1 through Small Press Distribution.