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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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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Deep Songs

Loving the Sinners

Even saints have their purgatory.  My mother’s is her bedroom, on the second floor of a sunless two-story edifice that she and my late father purchased a few years after I moved to New York, a house that telegraphs its sepulchral aura as soon as one steps across its threshold. One look inside her room and…

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Deep Songs

Summer 2005

I don’t like change. Worse than the dawdling crowds of small-tourists jamming every midtown Manhattan corner, this particular eccentricity threatened to topple my sanity.  With the first warm days came palpable shifts in the landscape: tiny disappearances, incremental vanishings welled up like unexpected storms.  Early warnings came in April, when the Plaza announced it would close its doors for…

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