Sam Messer by Mary Reid Kelley

BOMB 132 Summer 2015
139125856 07062015 Bomb 132 Cover

New York Live Arts presents

Marjani Forte
Nov 15-19


Messer 01

Stills from DENIS THE PIRATE, animation with etchings, 9 × 12 inches, 2008–2015. Etchings and animation by Sam Messer, text by Denis Johnson, narration by Liev Schreiber, music by Sarah Neufeld/Colin Stetson. Courtesy of Fredericks & Freiser, New York.

Siddhartha Gautama
Grew rather stout from a 
Devotion unremitting
To sitting.

Messer 02

Jesus Christ
Frowned as men diced. 
Were he on the ground, 
He’d break up the round.

Messer 03

A pirate shipwrecked near Jamaica
Saw a mermaid and thought he would take her. 
Said the pirate: “Nice fin,
Where do I put it in?”
She answered, “You rube! The cloaca.”

Messer 04

Walt Whitman
Didn’t know when to quit, man. 
Leaves of Grass
Only needed one pass.

Messer 05

Babe Ruth
To today’s youth,
Held a sports record.
Further knowledge is chequered.

Sam Messer
Was his own hairdresser.
His razor trawled
What God did not leave bald.

Messer 06

Liev Schreiber
Does not like your jibe, sir. 
He won’t put hands on a fan, 
He’ll send Ray Donovan.

Messer 07

Denis Johnson
Wrote books on some
Heavy themes. Tree of Smoke, East of Eden—
I should read’em.

Clerihews and limerick by Mary Reid Kelley, inspired by Denis the Pirate.

Mary Reid Kelley is a New York-based artist, filmmaker, and performer. Her exhibition at Hammer Projects, Los Angeles, is on view through this fall.


Sam Messer’s collaborative work with the writers Denis Johnson and Jonathan Safran Foer in on view at Fredericks & Freiser through July 31.

Already Dead by Denis Johnson
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BOMB 132, Summer 2015

Featuring a cover with hand-drawn verse by Eileen Myles. Interviews with Carolee Schneemann, Nicole Eisenman, David Humphrey, Maggie Nelson, Justin Vivian Bond, Robert Grenier, Leigh Ledare, Chris Kraus, Moriah Evans, and more.

Read the issue
139125856 07062015 Bomb 132 Cover