Salad Days

•August 3, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Maybe it was seventeen years ago. I was running 140 kph on a limit of Perryville that was for no more than 104, windows down, “Wish You Were Here” blazing on the stereo of a silent car, out to Caledonia. But like the album, there was no joy in my heart; this was a belated farewell to a state I’d loved and lost. In a few months, I’d be in New Hampshire for gods know what. This space — openness onto nowhere in all directions was not theirs. The sun opened vistas of remarkable majesty, mingled with the distinct odor of freshly mown hay, cow and horse shit.

I believe it was around 13.00 when I thought, “maybe I should never leave.”

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Fiction.

•July 25, 2018 • Leave a Comment

A: Um, I guess I could talk about how I’ve always thought of myself as a copy of a Giacometti that went horribly wrong, like probably when I was like 3 months old and didn’t have to shit, but wanted to use my special Oskar Matzerath I just took a shit cry to fuck with my mother or just to get her attention or to really fuck with her and make her worry I was Cri du Chat despite being chromosomally sound but make her worry that the genotype had somehow gotten mixed up. Not because I’d be aware of doing those things at three months old, but so that 32 years later I’d get paranoid wondering if that’s the kind of adult I’d become, without the capability of never knowing if I was the kind of three month old who’d do that kind of shit.

Lindt: We could. Is that something you’d like to talk about, Andrew?

A: Nah, I just wanted to fuck with you. Life is that kind of cactus sometimes.

A visit to a lake

•July 18, 2018 • Leave a Comment

When I was 11, my parents took my sister and I to Zion, Ill. to walk the white sands and enjoy the Midwest’s sea. In preparation for a beach visit, I tried to lose weight. I quickly learned that’s not possible in a 24-hr frame. So I resorted to reading. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and on the way and at the lake, “Hamlet.” It’s cliché to say it, but that changed my life. I realized what transformative literature, what books could be and do. I don’t remember that beach or that crystalline lake. I remember those books, as I was never the same.

Learning

•July 17, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I first realised I’m gay when I was eleven, in 1996. He and I were climbing this dirt mound outside what was then a supermarket. We hadn’t slept together yet — that came later — but he was my best friend. And climbing up that hill, drinking Surge, I realised that I loved him. Not just in the bff sense, but in the bf sense. I was raised baptist, did anything to avoid church (including — I kid you not — drinking milk with lemon juice to convince my parents I was sick), being queer wasn’t really a viable option. Of course, it was a “choice” then. I’m out and — as you likely are aware — proud now. Coming out was not an easy journey, but, though it took some time, was a worthwhile one.

The Slow Fade of Love

•July 13, 2018 • Leave a Comment

She taught me once to sing

A quiet tune, always

The contours of her body —

Indescribable but known to tongue and taste.

I suffered for music.

My ink speaks my regret.

RIP Anthony Bourdain

•June 8, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I’m terribly saddened to learn of Anthony Bourdain’s apparent suicide. Since first reading “Kitchen Confidential” years and years ago, I was drawn to his confessional irreverence and colorfully lucid style, which, with its peppering of profanities, influenced my own. I enjoyed traveling the globe, sampling its cuisines and meeting its motley of fools with him. I recognized in him also the cold familiar friend, the profound darkness whose enveloping company we shared. In his writing and on his TV shows (I preferred “Parts Unknown” to “No Reservations”), one could always detect the undertone of that dark, though one was buoyed by his irrepressible joie de vivre to hope that he — though at cost, as it must always be — had clawed his way out into some vague light beyond the utmost bounds of human thought.

But, tragically, it seems the price was too high.

One can only hope that the suicides of two very public figures within days of each other can bring the uncomfortable epidemic of depression and self-harm further into the public discourse (https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/06/07/617897261/cdc-u-s-suicide-rates-have-climbed-dramatically); only by acknowledging the pervasiveness of this disease — simultaneously intensely private yet incredibly deleterious to public health — can we combat it, adequately treat it, help those many of us suffering silently from it recover and hopefully prevent it.

I’m alive today because I had timely access to the emergency and critical care I needed at certain points in my life, and to the medication, professional and interpersonal resources and networks required to make it through. I’m here day or night (but definitely night) if you or anyone you know could use someone to talk with or confide in. I can also help direct you to professional resources. And (US only) please call the national suicide prevention lifeline 24h/d at 1.800.273.8255 (https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/).

We are stronger together.

“To Allston”

•May 30, 2018 • Leave a Comment

there come times when I miss you, Boston.

lured by your unending twists and dead ends,

survived inevitably by pigeon shit

and delays on the B Line.

The a/c unit in the window is rigged to

focus on me, and me alone.

she, like the BC students next door

watching the Celtics, whooping cries of war

When they scored, as if two titans —

not pretend, but this time real — drew swords and hammers,

Churning the ground beneath them,

As if they were nothing more than

marooned stowaways.

No god reigns here.

Shortly past Griggs stands a Russian market,

i don’t speak russian, but believe in icons;

Icons and pickled eggs — ah!

that is what I stopped here for,

Though headed to the common & its horrors

a bidding war of factory nobles.

I think of that which lays behind me,

broken glass and drunk sophomores,

trying in agony to reach that status.

”Deflowered” is new to their vocabulary.

even now I think on Allston,

So much of me forged in that;

i hold it dear.

 
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