Grabbing Pussy


KAREN FINLEY

“Karen Finley is a profound theater-artist. Her artistry is due in part to her ability to alchemize ‘news’ and make it art … She is irreplaceable.” —Hilton Als

“Wildly zig-zagging oxymoronical burlesque about how we all desire that which we can never have.” —Theater Times


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About the Book

In a breathless cascade of poetry and prose, celebrated performance artist Karen Finley here lays bare the psychosexual obsessions that have burst to the surface of today’s American politics.

Based on her widely praised performance piece Unicorn Gratitude Mystery (“Wickedly funny”—The New York Times), Finley explores the Shakespearean dynamics that surface when libidos and loyalties clash in the public and private personas of Donald Trump, Hillary and Bill Clinton, Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner, and latterly Harvey Weinstein.

Standing in the tradition of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, Finley’s words jolt the reader into new insights about the ways the darkly private can drive the public realm in dizzying twists and turns. The aggression of intimacy, the disparity of gender, and the vital importance of hair are all encompassed in Finley’s exhilarating canter.

176 pages • Paperback ISBN 978-1-682191-59-0 • E-book 978-1-682191-60-6

About the Author

karen finley author photo

Photo © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

Karen Finley is a performance artist whose work has long provoked controversy and debate. She has performed at the Lincoln Center (NYC), the ICA (London), the Steppenwolf (Chicago), and the Bobino (Paris). Her art is in the collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, among other places. She has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Obies, two Bessies, and a Ms. magazine Woman of the Year Award. Her previous books include Shock Treatment, Enough is Enough, Living It Up, A Different Kind Of Intimacy, George and Martha, and The Reality Shows. Finley is a professor in the department of Art and Public Policy at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

Read an Excerpt

TRUMP FUCKED UP

“Look at those hands, are they small hands?” the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination said, raising them for viewers to see. “And, he referred to my hands—‘if they’re small, something else must be small.’ I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee.”

Dear Mr. Trump,

We are so happy to know and greatly relieved to know that your penis is guaranteed to be working just fine. We as a nation are rest assured by the working order, size, construction, demolition, and planning of your penis. As a man who likes to build things, the comparison is clear. We really don’t care, but we are rest assured that you took the time, your valuable time away from important matters of the economy, the state, and the well-being of our citizens to spend time on this important matter of your penis size. We are so relieved that you straightened it out. Since the beginning of time we have known about the fear of men and the size of their instrument and you have let us be aware that this is what drives you—the size and working order of your penis. Of course, it is an imperative and personal matter of the body—but is it that it might not always work? Just wondering.

Since we know from your Twitter feed and rallies and golf games that you don’t get out much, and that you don’t read or explore or reflect, that you’re not curious—we wanted to let you know that it doesn’t always work, and with age and experience and sometimes by design or one’s own state of emotions or being aroused, we as a nation of millions have varying degrees of experiences of a working penis, and truthfully, we all have arrived here in one form or another because of the working penis. The penis does not make the man or the woman. It is the person who makes the penis. You could be a bit more creative and less provincial about your ideas of the penis. Please be more open about your gender fluidity, Donald!

We understand from the history of ruthless dictators the concern with the size, virility, potency, and masculinity that has driven them to conquer, and you let us know with your generous anecdotes that you are in this particular category. You are concerned with the amount, the polls, the finish line, the winning—and everyone else is a big failure, or a loser. Your continued performance of exaggerating non-existent accomplishments are sad attempts to prop up your own pathetic big dick promotion. And as your constituency we mock you jubilantly as our fool president. Fools happen.

We as a nation are assured when you tell us this vital information, that your penis is just fine. We were so worried. We were so concerned! It was such an issue for us as voters! We stopped thinking about the terrorism, war, poverty, suffering, taxes, poisoned water, police brutality, and instead we were thinking about whether your masculinity could stand to attention! We had your penis on our minds and quite frankly on our lips. We do hope that you feel the rush of everyone being aware of your potency. Not since Tricky Dick have we all come together with a penis quandary, but since you have such a strong record of telling the truth we will believe you that your penis is just fine and in working order.

Would it be possible for you to describe your working penis in more detail? It would be wonderful since you won’t show your taxes, instead you could show your penis or your balls. You could arrange a leak? Just asking.

But might we mention that the penis doesn’t have to do anything or accomplish anything to be a penis? Like the crowd size at your inauguration—it does seem to be a displaced concern for another size issue that you can’t come to terms with. Your concern about the size of the crowd—was bigger than Obama’s? We all saw it—you had a smaller much smaller crowd. So we get it. You have a smaller penis and that is your problem. And now that is our problem. Size matters.

Thanks,
Your Supporters

 

 

PS. Just wanting to give a suggestion here: After the recording of you saying “grabbing pussy,” many of your supporters wanted to see you say the word pussy rather than just hear it. We wonder if your mouth would pucker like a rosebud, or if we would see some tongue. You have such a sweet small mouth that looks like a little twat. Like a strawberry Dunkin’ Donut Donald. It is on the minds of many and so it would be lovely if you could include this in one of your press conferences or live feeds. If when you talk we could get a close-up of your mouth exposed as the little asshole it is. Get the camera up close and see the hot pink round mouth hole.

We would also like to see you say “go fuck yourself” or “you are fucked.” It would be a great media opportunity for high ratings. We are also wondering if it would be possible for a nonstop Twitter marathon. Would it be possible for you to add Facebook Live or YouTube Live so we could be with you in your bed at 3:30 am as you tweet? We wonder, if Melania is beside you, if she could be scantily dressed? Or if you are on the couch looking over the big city, or in the Lincoln office while you are tweeting—upset, in turmoil, furious, exasperated? Just asking, because we want to see your face and get more intimate with you. In fact, if you could keep the live feed in your bed or in your shorts so we could see for ourselves that it is working just fine, folks. We would appreciate the constant contact. We are open to Twitter toilet time.

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