Selected Work by Ariana Reines


The Cow (2006) is Ariana’s first book. Dignified, chunky, and disgusting, it’s about cows as meat, women as meat, women as (dumb) cows, mad cow disease, and madness: the anger of crazy. Choice line: “When I die I will become everything A TURDUCKEN.”

Coeur de Lion (2007) is a courageous direct address to “you,” “Jake,” an ex-lover learning experience who we’d maybe be calling, starting circa 2013, a “fuckboy.” Ariana, btw, means Holy and Reines means Queen, and look how good her name looks with this title. Roar. Choice lines: “I loved you when you said / It is horrible what has happened / To Mediterranean culture.”

Adapted from Avital Ronell’s The Telephone Book: Technology, Schizophrenia, Electric Speech (1989), Telephone (2009) is a play starring Alexander Graham Bell and a patient of Carl G. Jung, “Miss St.,” who had a telephone inside of her. The play was commissioned by New York’s Foundry Theatre and was published in book form by Wonder this year. Choice lines: “Any voice can be freed from the encumbrance of its body! Free to travel miles and miles, over land and sea!”

Mercury (2011) is about alchemy, iconography, heredity, and communication. Ariana wasn’t yet into astrology when she wrote it. Choice line: “Poetry’s not made of words.” (But the one everyone puts on Instagram is: “WHEN / I / LOOKED / AT / YOUR / COCK / MY / IMAGINATION / DIED.”)

Thursday (2012) is a Valentine’s Day chapbook. Its “I” is familiar, from Ariana’s earlier works, like a reunion—she’s started to feel like a friend. As she shares colloquially, generously, beautifully, in shorthand, and we get: her humor, grandiosity, pop references, and sex. Choice line: “This is how I put words in your mouth.”

Tiqqun’s Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl (2012) is a French treatise Reines translated for Semiotext(e). At best funny, at worst rapey, this violent deconstruction of a consumer ideal, the so-called “Young-Girl,” is effected through slogans, sarcasm, critical theory, and other abuses. Choice line: “The Young-Girl is the void that THEY maintain in order to hide the vividness o f t h e v o i d .”

The Origin of the World (2014) is a document of a naked performance, and memoir, a pamphlet put out by Semiotext(e) as part of their Whitney Biennale commission. Choice line: “It is such a relief to touch when you have seen too much.”

The Sand Book (2017) is what we’ve been waiting for. Choice lines: “I used to think the defining characteristic of a writer / Was not wanting to have her picture taken ever.”