DESIRE’S WIDE HIGHWAY By Sophie Robinson
Cunt-Ups consists of a series of 21 pornographic chapters, described by Bellamy as “a hermaphroditic salute to William Burroughs and Kathy Acker.” The result is a kind of subjectless and objectless pornography that defies the limits of sex, genre, narrative, and time. It’s cooler than porn, and more radical; a sexual universe in which everything is perverted by the random violence of desire and writing.
One obvious effect of Bellamy’s use of Burroughs’ cut-up technique is the incongruence of temporalities, grammars, genres and genders throughout the text. We’re always being relocated. Subjects disintegrate, become disembodied parts: “my teeth stuck out like separate vampires and each touched you.” Cunts become clouds, cocks become butterflies. Sex is not an action but a mood, a filter over the landscape. It’s everything that’s happening. Bellamy’s pornographic source material acts as a kind of erotic Midas touch, making all it brushes up against sexy and queer. In this text sex is immanent; it is what pulses and writhes in an eternal present that forgets itself.
Cunt-Ups also challenges what vocabularies are appropriate or fun for the expression of sexual desire. Bellamy highlights the limitations placed on language within the genre of porn, opening the curtain on what these limitations conceal of the connection between sex and other ways of being, of feeling. Bellamy’s inclusion of Jeffrey Dahmer’s confessions as a source text, alongside zombies, the nautical, the bucolic and the technological raise the question of the limits of desire within genre, and the ways in which genre and gender shape each other. The soft eroticism of the bucolic body in nature gives way to the cock and tits of porn, then to dead flesh, to networks, to circuitry, to sea and sky. We’re queer and we want it weirder: by expanding the genre of pornography by shooting it through with languages from other parts of the universe, Bellamy exposes the banality and repetition of the language of pornographic titilation. This is porn unbound, a blasphemous and spiritual expansion of what’s hot, a celestial cumshot. Everybody who’s ever had the good sex knows it took them places.
The queer temporality of this book is in its constant revision of the moment and hand, rather than a linearity of past, present and future. The text is made of 21 pages spliced together and reworked into 21 parts, but, from the process and the source materials, hundreds of variations of the same text could have been produced. There’s an ephemerality and contingency to Cunt-Ups, amplified by shifts in tones and tenses as well as contexts and vocabularies. Repetitions and echoes amass (cock appears 110 times, fuck and cunt appear 50 times each, and honourable mentions go to nipple, ass and pussy) and these repetitions function as a beat, “keeping” time, a pulse of desire, reminding us why we’re here. Cunt-Ups exists in a queer spacetime in which we oscillate between remembering and forgetting, between the past and the future, between copy and original, and it is precisely the quest of this small, kinky, strange and beautiful book to never let the dust settle, to keep us moving along desire’s wide highway to nowhere.
The 17th Anniversary Edition of Cunt-Ups is
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