Feature

Kinky City: Tokyo’s Listless Sexual Banality

By Brad Feuerhelm on May 12, 2016

“You wouldn’t have the temerity to be this way if the pressures of the governing world hadn’t confused your solid loins, you thick faggot”

“You’re only queer because you have been misguided by capitalism”, he remarked angrily buttoning his trousers swiping away the thin rivulet of blood sluicing its way down his pale emaciated rib cage. The needle through which his nipple had been pierced now embedded in the meaty palm of his sweaty and angry hand. “You wouldn’t have the temerity to be this way if the pressures of the governing world hadn’t confused your solid loins, you thick faggot”.  And with that, his slightly pallid body was draped in his slightly yellowing white cotton t-shirt, its trunk now hinting at the blood line underneath. The door slammed and I continued smoking. Slight wheezes here and there to mark the occasion that perhaps he was right and it wasn’t about my desires at all, but just a listless stream of adventures to keep my complacent self busy and unaware to the potential I had as a being and not a person. Admittedly it made no difference to me whose flesh I would pierce as that of a victorious Bull. “Bull”, there I go again…

If you think of the watermark of these high times, it is the best of times and the worst of times, Hito remarked to himself followed by the leftover crust of a Dickensian chuckle. Facing the morning sun and reminiscing over the previous evenings failure at connection, the mindless rubbing and floors left unclean and no doubt sticky if his cat had not done the service of attending. He hesitated a slight moment before crossing the street, just narrowly timing the oncoming tram long enough to whisk behind it at the earliest moment onto the cobbled street, his hair aflutter as the vacuum of the tram’s speed tried to suck at his being like so many unnecessary lovers. Something about that first step, so close to death and so full of energized life lifted his condemned carcass street corner to lit street corner basking radiantly in the maniacal cleft of life’s unshaven asscrack.

“He hesitated a slight moment before crossing the street, just narrowly timing the oncoming tram long enough to whisk behind it at the earliest moment onto the cobbled street, his hair aflutter as the vacuum of the tram’s speed tried to suck at his being like so many unnecessary lovers”

 

 

“Hito, Hito” his sister’s whine broke him from his reverie as he reached the market’s end. There was nothing worse than his sister, the Japanese fag hag. Knowing well of his late nights and early mornings, she had taken custom to abjuring every detail from him and he gave in freely thinking the poor creature, whose fattening limbs would likely never know the touch of two men, let alone a room full of their tangled bodies. At least she smoked. That was the only conciliation to such a tirade of lunacy springing forth from her lips in quick fashion. Talk of mother, talk of the non-talking and dismissive shrunken father. Talk of her only friend Reika, whose only gift to the world was that she was somehow related to Shoko Asahara, the failed or victorious (depending on how you count it) Tokyo sarin attacker, whose attacks, in the name of his cult Aum Shinrokyo, spread godly panics throughout the world. In any event, her stupidity was as intolerable as his sisters, but she was the more silent of the two and did not confuse genetics with the running of the mouth as her sister did. His sister had not suspected their trysting over the past year. There was something nearly satisfying in the midst of tying his sister’s best friend to a board of broken glass. The scars on her breast would prove this to her children in the future when they tried to suckle their serrulated form. It would remind her of him and for that he treated her with more enmity every time the occasion would arise and it would never be his child anyways.

I exist? I need extremity? I rub course against the banality of the newly interconnected world where my pleasure and disdain run in equally high amounts and she won’t shut up no matter how many times I nod. Living had become an endearing antonym to Hito’s speculation of looming disaster.

Pawel Jaszczuk’s “Kinky City” on Dncht Publishing is a dark little tome for which I have been accustomed to its content for many years. That is not to say that I have any experiential interest in the matters of S&M or Japan for that matter. The “deviance” of the matter had come across my collecting of photo books early on with Eric Kroll, Charles Gatewood and the XYZ portfolio by Mapplethorpe challenging my perception to lifestyles not my own. I guess at this point, I am a bit fatigued with accepting what was once unacceptable in social taboo terms is now awash in popular culture. This is only due to the fact that I’ve seen this movie over and over like Miracle on 34th street or the Wizard of Oz. That being said and as far as these matters go, Kinky City is a slick book, slip cased and diminutive. Jaszczuk seems to have taken the occasion as someone who is on the ground as it were or embedded if you won’t, as a participant or at least part of the community he has chosen to photograph while living in Japan. It is a more considered affair and does not feel voyeuristic. Gatewood was also embedded, but the smell of Arbus’ readiness to exploit always hung on his images. Yet, within his recent death, we celebrate his counter-culture routines. I think its fine, but I cannot say much else. I guess desensitization has taken grip, much like Hito’s own apathetic nurturing of the void within himself. I would celebrate this book as a small publication without flaw. Recommended.

DNCHT Publishing

Pawel Jaszczuk

Kinky City

(All rights reserved. Text @ Brad Feuerhelm. Images @ Pawel Jaszczuk.)