Criticals, Deep Songs, Writings

Becoming an Actor Taught Me How to Write

When I was a 10 year-old boy soprano, a choirmaster proclaimed, “Music is a picture painted on a background of silence.” It was an abstraction that stuck, as first lessons of craft tend to do. Others I’ve heard: Show, don’t tellA cliché is a cliché because it’s trueAlways hold something backAvoid passivity in your attackThe music…

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AIDS, Deep Songs, Gay, History, My back pages

Dread aught

A few nights ago at dinner out with new friends, our getting-to-know-each-other small talk circled around to coming out to our families. Our stories all had variants, but one thing seemed universal: how the presence of AIDS smoked the edges of each instance. Mine came at the end of a most challenging year, one spent…

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Art, Criticals, Deep Songs, Gay, Literature, Museums/Galleries

Man on Fire

I was finishing a late-aborning BA when a professor introduced me to the works of David Wojnarowicz. No doubt she fathomed that he could be a model for the writing I was attempting—autobiography of a frank, sexual nature that also had very much to do with loss and the times in which I came of…

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Art, Deep Songs, Essays, Writings

Still, Standing

For an art model, time bends, saunters, crawls, or stealthily expands, but it rarely flies. Twenty minutes can feel like infinity if the pose is difficult—and each is difficult in its own way. Tonight is my first full-figure gig, which means I’m struggling to maintain the position of various body parts as my mind manages…

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My back pages, New York, Soujorns, Travel

Vacations like other people

The sea air is a drug that addles reason. How else to explain the amnesia that comes over me every summer on the first bike ride back to the Ram’s Head Inn on Shelter Island?  I forget that its approach involves two short steep hills—the first brings you up to Little Ram’s Head Island, a…

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Art, Short Cuts, Sketches, Writing, Writings

Dig Two Graves

The sound of the wind was strong.  It was that, and what felt like sudden warmth that made Christina sit up, then shield her eyes from the sharp light.  She’d fallen asleep in the field.  How long had it been—an hour?  Minutes?  She yawned.  The inhalation rephrased the moment, reminded her why she’d come back…

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My back pages, Sketches

The End of the Year

So, so you think you can tell Heaven from Hell, blue skies from pain. Can you tell a green field from a cold steel rail?  A smile from a veil? Do you think you can tell? Roger Waters, Wish You Were Here By the time we made it to Washington Square Park, 1993 was already half a…

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Deep Songs, My back pages

The Super with the Toy Face

Note: an earlier version of this piece was published in the literary journal Ganymede Fall 2008 and on the website Mr. Beller’s Neighborhood. They called him the neighborhood watchdog. He was the ancient, antic super of 515 Edgecombe Avenue, an immense, pre-war slab of yellowed bricks and mortar at the corner of 158th Street. His complexion, shaded always…

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