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November 21, 2014

Book Notes - Cassandra Troyan "Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled" and "Kill Manual"

Kill Manual

Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled

In the Book Notes series, authors create and discuss a music playlist that relates in some way to their recently published book.

Previous contributors include Bret Easton Ellis, Kate Christensen, Kevin Brockmeier, George Pelecanos, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Jesmyn Ward, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and many others.

Cassandra Troyan's latest poetry collections Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled and Kill Manual are bold and brilliant.

Dennis Cooper wrote of Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled:

"Cassandra Troyan's writing, here in these non-stop great, coruscating poems and everywhere else, is one of the total wonders of contemporary lit. It can make every form it wears seem at once perfected and helplessly corrupted. So, it’s like an ongoing R.I.P. to the historical models. But she’s not just a writers' writer. She seems to know so much so unusually and feel everything so complicatedly and yet concisely that reading her is something new and gigantic."

In her own words, here is Cassandra Troyan's Book Notes music playlist for her poetry collections Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled and Kill Manual:


This playlist spans an early to late development of teenage longing circa 1999-2006, and more recent developments from 2012-2014, and also remixes in a sense my two most recent books from this year, Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled (Tiny Hardcore Press) and Kill Manual (Artifice Books) I'm trying to remain true to influences of these periods and at times where a specific affective experience illuminates itself in dazzling clarity I try to also recount its import. Despite the difference in time, these periods reflect each other in the ways limits were being tested, the edges of feeling, experience, pain, time, and devotion as related to the difficulty of being alive in smoldering times.


HYPERLINK "" D'Angelo: Untitled (How Does It Feel)

This was a very distinct moment of arousal for me, and I could gauge its potential danger from how heavily my mother tried to bar my watching it. I would come home from school everyday and watch BET as long as I could until my dad would come home and I would have to change the channel. The forbidden nature of the other materialized early on for me as not merely a space of fantasy, but a necessary intervention in order to navigate that distance. I had know already I was an other in the ways I could not find myself congruent with expectations of femaleness, though I had to comply in order to survive.

Baby close the door
Listen girl, I have something I wanna show u
I wish you'd open up cause
I wanna take the walls down with u

Ginuwine: So Anxious

This song made me and makes me very wet. I wonder now when I think of how I would wait for this song to come on the radio so I could record it with my tape player I was actually learning to eroticize a space of withholding. I would play the song again and again because I never wanted the feeling of anticipation to end.

"December is when seduction matters
it no longer just happens
when past and possibility are
removed leaving only
the impulses of cat-like affection
rubbing face on face
stroking body
the necessity of grooming
the necessity of attention."

CocoRosie: Terrible Angels

If every angel's terrible, then why do you welcome them?

"it's 4 PM but I will lie
on my back
in the middle of the floor
at the saddest hour of the
day and think of this
stretch of country
wanting to collapse me
it's almost over
but there is a score in the start
space of an insult
emptier than being alone.

The glimmered part of lunglust
the glimmered start of


as night recedes
a fragrance pulls,
I bold to be my own."

The Buzzcocks: Orgasm Addict

It's a labor of love fucking yourself to death,
Orgasm addict.
You're an orgasm addict.

"I keep having apocalyptic wet dreams though I'm not sure what it means sounds terrifying irresistible something lower half of me is quaking over but the upper half would remain stubborn; arms crossed, jaw set. I imagine the waxen plane of my face projecting internal text,


Broken Social Scene: Anthems For A Seventeen Year Old Girl

Used to be one of the rotten ones and I liked you for that
Now you're all gone, got your make-up on and you're not coming back
Bleaching your teeth, smiling flash, talking trash, under your breath

"The act of feeling someone's perimeters
for the first time in the dark
cutting grooves
with our bodies
the static

Do I have it memorized by hand?
Fat of a nipple
ingrown hairs
particles separating us
are the same bringing us into

Dead Kennedys: Too Drunk To Fuck

Too drunk to fuck

Too drunk to fuck

Too drunk, to fuck

I'm too drunk, too drunk, too drunk

To fuck

I like your stories

I love your gun

Shooting out truck tires

Sounds like loads and loads of fun

But in my room

Wish you were dead

You bawl like the baby

In Eraserhead

"instead I see something closer to her amusement in execution of the never intervene the never object object awkward sex in closets precum breeds apologies in back car seats over railroad tracks 17 seconds of confusion in abandoned housing projects finger-fucked in the church basement coat-check room someone's in a closet weeping and I'm outside playing cardinal full of blood gone streaming full of tears and pleading and waiting to be fucked we're playing in pooled urine snapping pictures whipped cream on tits naked pissing and jumping on trampolines vodka at hand pictures of dicks on the internet printed from best friend's bedroom computer lick it until everything is wet…"

Black Flag: Scream

Supposed to act my age,
Supposed to act mature.
I've got better things to do
Than listen to you.

I listen and listen and listen
And listen and listen.
I get fed up.

"Kicking a beached whale's blubber
there is pleasure
in the soft shutter
the temptation sticks
one's shoe.

The gooeyness of predilection
the untimeliness we somehow
make do, left with these
artifacts that are yet
to be used."

Totalitär: Wallbreaker 1986 - 1989 (FULL ALBUM)

Kapitalism eller naringsliv

speler ingen roll det ar samma skit
for att lura dej att jobba hart

och bygga ett system grundat pa vald

forena er och trasa sonder deras logner

pengar ar deras nyckel
for att lasa in dig ien varl av hyckel
pengar ar samhallets grund
pengar gor dig egoistisk och dum

"A day when I seek out some
moment of small hell
when I have to destroy
all illusions of semblance or place.

Someone help me smash
this shivered score
the shine's gone out"

Bjork: Joga

This state of emergency
how beautiful to be.
State of emergency
is where I want to be.

"Liquid insides indicate
this mismatched dialogue
just as French has no word
for home
just like I have no tongue
for tasting.

Where is the body
and where is its feels?
Is there still time to touch?"

Depeche Mode: Stripped, 101 Live in Pasadena

The first time I heard this I was 17 and very high on mushrooms while watching the DVD of their concert live in Pasadena, FL. It was a queer revelation to see a space of fluid desire on such a massive scale, the fans' screaming timed to every strategic thrust, the band's sexual ambiguity a strange dance of denial and flirtation that I immediately identified with.

"Once I saw a white moth fly
into the white light
and disappear against a white

Everything illuminates through its own concealing."

The Smiths: There Is A Light That Will Never Go Out

What teenager hasn't yelled this song like a love letter, an anthem, a manifesto, a plea, a threat at the limit of some emotional perimeter?

"That moment when the world
clings to itself trying to hold steady,
all soppingly
fresh and shy,
we knew what
we needed
to do.

I didn't know the shape of the room, but only its lights and darks.
I could give voice to the intensity, yet nothing of its tone."

Cursive: Vermont

Staring at the stars from the backseat of a station wagon…

My heart's a bomb that's been diffused.

"There is such brilliance in the inventory of things
the past an archive we build around ourselves
I have no place
I need people
hurt people

I am totally in love with everyone right now
but there is no one that I love enough
that I feel blinded by them
my arms tied behind my back for them."

Xiu Xiu: Apistat Commander

all that you left you left for someone all of this hurt that's wilted off

all this relief, it's the oddest thing

oh my God, oh my God, oh my God.

"I thought how badly I wanted to sleep with you right then not sure if it was out of complete attraction your face was appealing weighted eyes and a bent nose but I think I more wanted to fuck you out of wanting to conquer the moment in a desperate act of ownership taking the body of the event sucked up in finite detail lacquered in decadence never lost not even not even a single trace even if it was engraved with regret but yes these markers of the levity of presence indelible nudges toward grace"


Fuck the pain away, fuck the pain away

Fuck the pain away, fuck the pain away

Fuck the pain away, fuck the pain away

Fuck the pain away, fuck the pain away

"run naked in the woods another trampoline give best friend's boyfriend a hand job where is more thought you shouldn't like it so much never had the shame of youth thought every girl talked about pussy feels or at least did it what else can we do in our tender confusion except touch ourselves and tell everyone about it until the body learns its shames and all conditioned layers of distance in the future privacy will be famous."

Alkaline Trio: Crawl

This song playing in my friend's older brother's apartment while we are drinking "oxy-tinis", a martini with crushed up OxyContin and raging so hard it's nearly suicidal. My first cell phone got stolen and I was almost raped by drug dealers who broke into the apartment but then later as shit was broken and stomped in the other room I got fucked by a friend in a closet then underneath a mattress and bitten to break, my neck swollen and bleeding the next day.

"It's just the heat in the ride.
It takes so much to be alive in other people's eyes.

The pain of
the pain
as we link sense to the sensorium
and create our own feedback loops
I'm slipping you this mosquito tongue
and making an effort to find a diamond
in the fuzz the shortest
self-circuit paths
through the self."

Kill Manual

Three 6 Mafia: Sleep

Sippin' on six murder minutes, the sauce I give blood

from the cup to the coffin lid grill

of a place they call heaven now skids or broke hell

Silence for singin' some many six songs

Silent, secluded in secret somewhere in the swamp

in the land of protest a man-day

Infinite six, eternal the six
forever the six I sits outta da flames

Sick minded soldiers wit suffering

singing and searching to stable severe for some pain

crossed over the thorn on my venomous tips

Such in the same antisocial by there is no sun

Scarecrow was me, I was sent from the ceiling

daily as the right wipe on my lips

Indulge yourself with the posters

I tell you how is your profit

and noisy money and drugs interior golds

demand if it gets the whole world da new dinners and clothes

"Subject reports drinking in dangerous situations, such as swimming in a friend's pool when too intoxicated to be doing so. Subject says she enjoyed feeling the weight of her body on the bottom of the pool. Subject says she wanted to sink. Subject says her friends had to jump in to "save her" and recalled an incident of being in complete darkness only to be pulled out into the gulling shatter and violate the night. Violate the body redefining freedom and the limits of pain. Violate the silence of water becoming air becoming fullness becoming stoppage. Subject says the specific drugs were not as important as their presence and she "refused to spread out the spectacle of the others, or at least for the moment."

Converge: Jane Doe

I want out

Out of the burdening night sweats

Out of the rising seas of blood
Lost in you like Saturday nights

Searching the streets with bedroom eyes

Just dying to be saved
Run on girl, run on

"The disease to bleed under a vagrant hand of sore spotted wishes.

I want to hurt you and you can't deny your need to be united by iron bonds this railroad fucking two coastal bodies. I am drunk and that is the problem with language. Imaginary intricacy and intimacy navigates the virtual volume it occupies and how to embrace the error.

The sensation of cutting the air with one's body.

When kisses turn to losses
and I suddenly feel conscious about the blood rolling
to all uneven corners of my land.
Impressionable weakness
in a chopped
then screwed hell."

Eyedress: Nature Trips

I know I'm wrong

And I'm sorry if I made you cry

I'm not giving up

Yeah I've been doing drugs

Cuz I don't give a fuck

I just wanna forget

Everything that's making me feel bad

It's making me feel so bad

Yeah it's making me feel so bad

It's so bad

The demons are filling me up

And I need you back

"I'm only the woman of my dreams
in all my nightmare strategies
take take this dark interlude
press it like a seal vaporize the edges
and cleft palettes
sever the nasal cavity
as there is no love left in my heart
this pain is anxious
to get drunk accentuate a new caliber
of longing must I alter the itchy fabric
of my sad dreams
in order to collapse
spooked bacteria?"

Crystal Castles: Vietnam


this to










Harry Pussy: Velvet Pussy

"1. no need to twist arms, this bitch wants to play
2. is that so? and what does this bitch want to do?
1. this bitch is interested in having her sensorium re-organized and her
psychological acuity shattered by someone who is more than capable of doing so.
but alas, I do not have a glass eye."

Grouper: Vapor Trails

"1: i hate the nervousness that some people just feed on, like, dreams can't crush you, they're just ideas.
2: or the need to be in the state of constant attention. dreams are the only thing that can truly crush you."

Tim Hecker: The Work of Art in the Age of Cultural Overproduction


chicagoguy23:‎ the reason I've seen more of you is because you made the choice to broadcast your body on the internet for won't ever win an arguement with me
chicagoguy23:‎ except that I spelled argument wrong

Iceage: Morals

If I could

Leave my body then I would

Bleed into a lake

Dashing away


"I wish I could tell you
how I feel but there is no way
that I could come to terms
with my own filth
in a suit that doesn't
rapture me.

I cannot lose the control.

Do you understand?
Do you understand what that means?"

A$AP Ferg: Work (remix)

"But still the battered whack of how
to not let fascist life grind you down.
To not become enslaved by your freedom
the greedy need to betray everything
just for the thrill of disrespect
consecrating reserve.
To get high on your own self-hating sneer."

Chelsea Wolfe: Sick

when you try to blind my eyes I can see tenfold
it's nothing that my heart can't take, 'cause your hate has made me strong
and stronger men than you have tried to break me
stronger men than you have tried to break me

"Voluminous happiness is never light
if it's lifted it isn't true
we smile and drink
but all I can feel
is weight."

Winterreise: Franz Schubert (Jonas Kaufmann)


The measure of reference and refusal."

LA Vampires & Zola Jesus: Bone is Bloodstone

"To be defiled to absolute baseness, with no appeal, no foreseeable goal in mind. As you smear my face with the bottomless bile of my throat and tell me how vile I am, I feel utterly released and know I will never be too much. You have left me to myself."

Madame Butterfly (Puccini): Un Bel Di Vedremo

There is coming a man
A little speck in the distance, climbing the hillock.

Can you guess who it is?

And when he's reached the summit

Can you guess what he'll say?

He will call "Butterfly" from the distance.

I, without answering, 
Hold myself quietly concealed,

A bit to tease him, and a bit so as not to die.

"I want you. I need you to destroy me in ways you've never destroyed anyone. I want you to emotionally, psychologically and physically harm me.

I have had moments of closeness, but they get destroyed in the space of love. Destruction requires respect and trust, but once the closeness moves past that it's too late."

Fugazi: I'm So Tired

out here
I can barely see my breath

by jealousy and death

I can't be reached

I've only had one call

dragged underneath

separate from you all

"feeling a gulf between yourself
and your environment
like a weight
like a delay in translation
of stimulus
a delay
to see the mesh of everything
but to not see yourself moving

where am i
i'm a person to the people
who i actually am now
treading water

I still don't have the language to describe it.
The one thing you need is to go outside,
but the most impossibly depressing thing
you can think of is going outside."

Burning Witch: Warning Signs








"We need to make something clear right now I think.

If you're not into this, we need to not do it. If you're doing it out of some sense of obligation or a favor to your friend or whatever, I'm not interested. This has to be a desiderio, a bisogno, a need, something that you absolutely crave."

Electric Wizard: We Hate You

Black nebula, seething in my brain

Then your fucking world brings me down again…

We hate you, we hate you

We hate you, we hate you

We hate you

"This blood is a curse a curse beyond all rogue repression and you can piss in bottles and hoard them all around you and still never face the bilious puke that revulsion is sterile and so are you. what is that object? what does it mean? is a weapon a prop more than a gesture no the gun just signifies she is fed up."

Tosca (Puccini): Vissi d'arte (Maria Callas)

I lived for art, I lived for love,

I never harmed a living soul!

With a discreet hand

I relieved all misfortunes I encountered.

The moment of dread right before gagging, when the saliva starts to spill out and I can feel my whole body flinch and my cunt jerk and start to get wet. Choking the bile rising starting to cry and cough then there is release before it begins again. Being pushed further in with my whole body so that every part is agonized I've lost control it starts flinching and twitching on its own accord.

And the choking and gagging goes on and on, and I push harder just wanting to vomit so badly.

This makes me especially wet.

Turandot (Puccini): Signore, Ascolta! (Montserrat Caballe)

What with your name in my way,
with your name on the lips!

But if your fate will be decided tomorrow,

we die on the road of exile.
He would lose his son …

I am the shadow of a smile.

"I stretch and lean into that space until I receive a hard blow doubling over knocked to the floor. I'm choking for air your foot clenched in my diaphragm as you lean over the counter and pick up the knife I left on the cutting board. I start wailing against the blockage on my tongue but it gives no posture only tremors as you start prodding pussy, lip from lip. Cluster to quiver but it stews itself loose as blade butters the cuff and I don't know if I am wet or bleeding."

Aida (Verdi): O Terra, Addio (Pavarotti/Maria Chiara)









Cassandra Troyan and Kill Manual links:

the author's website

Necessary Fiction review of Blacken Me, Blacken Me, Growled

Largehearted Boy Book Notes essay by the author for Throne of Blood
OTHERPPL interview with the author
Social Luxuriance interview with the author

also at Largehearted Boy:

Book Notes (2012 - ) (authors create music playlists for their book)
Book Notes (2005 - 2011) (authors create music playlists for their book)
my 11 favorite Book Notes playlist essays

List of Online "Best of 2014" Book Lists

100 Online Sources for Free and Legal Music Downloads
Antiheroines (interviews with up and coming female comics artists)
Atomic Books Comics Preview (weekly comics highlights)
Daily Downloads (free and legal daily mp3 downloads)
guest book reviews
Largehearted Word (weekly new book highlights)
musician/author interviews
Note Books (musicians discuss literature)
Short Cuts (writers pair a song with their short story or essay)
Shorties (daily music, literature, and pop culture links)
Soundtracked (composers and directors discuss their film's soundtracks)
weekly music release lists

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