RENT POET, or How to Make a Living as an Artist in Los Angeles

brianpoetBrian Sonia Wallace, a multi-talented young artist and esteemed writer here at Screenslaver, is performing a month-long performance art experiment. He performs RENT POET, who makes his living through poetic labor alone. For one month.

He is good at this stuff. Really good. Sometimes he sets up poetry “stores”––a typewriter on a TV tray, serving up hot poems on demand to passersby ––and other times, he performs spoken word poetry in all kinds of venues and on all kinds of topics.

Now, MAKE IT AS AN ARTIST IN LOS ANGELES!!! is a warranty made by not even your daftest get-rich-from-the-sofa scheme. Of course, a horny Hollywood “producer” might accost a Midwestern peach in such a way, but truth-in-pussy-hounding is a bigger joke than Truth In Advertising. But Brian’s mission is to accomplish exactly this, and by his poetic prowess alone (and some social media skills too).

You can sponsor his poetry like one might sponsor a runner in a fundraiser, just per poem rather than per mile (or kilometer, whatever, you Euro-fetishist).

You can impress your friends by hiring him to perform at your event, perhaps as a meandering minstrel or bodacious bard. A magician of words, Brian is.

You can order poems personally created for you or loved ones. This is the movie Her but like, real, and I can think of a million reasons why you’d want a poem written by a professional poet. Beside the obvious one of having a poem written for you, which would be nice. Send a get-well serenade to your cousin who had a serious bike accident. Close the deal with that girl (or guy!) who’s smarter than you and you’re in desperate need of your own personal Cyrano de Bergerac.

Find more info at and support him and his art and art in general at



Love in a Time of Crystal Displays

//by Keith Warren//

I haven’t really seen myself since New Year’s Day, twenty-thirteen.

I’ve been in love with a different mirror since then.

Sure I looked in my bathroom mirror in that time, but only ever with the vainest intentions. Beholden, in a culture of images, to the images of cultures arranged in pixels on the screens.

One held in hand, one in the next room. Another in earshot.

Anxious concern of how will I be perceived?

Situation A… Situation B… Situation C…

Not much concern for the future and more a concern for some other place, but that’s not here.

Some other place ISN’T. HERE.

I guess you might say it’s just the landscape, now, but that’s still so vague because what it is is all the tools we, the animal, are wielding while inhabiting space in our fields of being.

The tech is now an ever-present plasma display screen, mainlined into our psychical heads-up display. Big stuck pixels swiss cheesing mental faculties.

It’s somehow, now, pushing toward total saturation. The external world crashing in on us. A solid white tsunami noise wall of data. All the wall space is getting colonized by the empire of the screen.

I mean that both metaphorically and physically, by which I mean of course mental walls and walls as in brick walls. Walls of city buses painted with HBO shows and sexy new night club nights, because night clubs rent out space between time walls too. Medium-rise buildings rent entire facades to toilet paper campaigns, do Charmin bears shit on cinderblocks? Seemingly yes.

Inside a loud world, clamp hands over ears. Shield the searing brightness, clamp them over eyes and isolate, inward.

Don’t think of true self, persistent self. Think instead of instances of personae, slides or stills, that flash across mind’s eye.

Overestimate how much better are some times, underestimate other times. Would so much rather be doing [other thing] right now(!), also sprach the novelty license plate frame.

Then feel defeat because here and now isn’t there and now. Somewhere else isn’t here.

Imagine the alternative and picture life otherwise. Keep the journey to or from that point outside the frame. Reduce it out of the equation entirely. The hypothetically simultaneous ‘other’ self is far more exciting––the mysterious other path but implied.

A separate simultaneous world disappoints by design. We cannot possibly achieve it. We cannot be both here and there, and now.

But still I only looked at myself vainly, jealous of other instances of myself. And never once, it doesn’t feel like, did I stare down the barrel of my own life, straight into my own eyes. I saw gaunt eyes in an otherwise healthy face. I see that I’ve changed my posture for the stronger; my whole attitude and energy more natural. Fluid. But not advancing.

Sometimes you trick yourself into having someone else look at you so you don’t have to. You can see it all already anyway.


Virtual Eunuch feat. Nicki Minaj

By Brian Sonia-Wallace

On this midnight birthday
Daybirth afterbirth afterhours
Untz untz
Womp womp womp
We gather here
In the rosy afterglow of the bomb
To bear witness to the death of sex

This is a eulogy

Not the birth of the next messiah
But the elimination of the procreative tools that create pros,
Who create prose
Prison and palace and reverberation
Auto erotic asphyxiation of the NEXT BEST THING

How do you make art in the Age of Nicki Minaj?

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