Love Poem

It's so nice
to wake up in the morning
all alone
and not have to tell somebody
you love them
when you don't love them
any more.

-- Richard Brautigan

Thanks Bobo for sharing this wis me.
Walking down 12th street, meeting a young girl who wants to talk to you about art, while she rolls you a cigarette. Telling you about her boyfriend, he's in a band. She's buying him snacks at a grocery store around the corner.

What's what word for what you're feeling? Vertigo. Go to bed angry, wake up in scary dreams.

Rounding the corner of your own neighborhood. Screaming (it seems like screaming) at everyone. The man at the deli. No, sir, the other cigarettes. The pack next to those. No, one to the left. Over there. Didn't I say "Ultra Lights?"


Conference Call, 5AM

Bobo and called our friend at 5Am. To brag to her about being on drugs all night (She's in recovery but has a tremendous sense of humor, I don't mean to sound insensitive. She calls us at alll hours of the day and night, just to chitchat about Ben Folds). We thought we'd really blow her mind by calling her in our state.

Bobo & Max: Hello?

Friend (Gasping heavily): Oh, oh my god.

B&M: Hello?

F: Guys, I'm (to someone in the room with her) Shut up! (to us) I'm sort of fucking right now.

B&M: Really?

F: Yeah. I don't know why I picked up the phone.

B&M: What does it feel like?

F: Oh my god I gotta go. Oh wow. Oh my god.

B&M: Are you on the top or the bottom? Hello?

Nothing's shocking. Perry was right, I guess.


Wednesday Ever (Best)

This is what blogs are for.

Yesterday I met up with Jiddy and Poopsie and Ian to hang out in Brooklyn. We walked to dumbo and ate Asian fusion food and Popsicles. I didn't get a sunburn but I did bask in the light of my glamorous friends, walking down deserted streets. We hung out in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

I ran home to change clothes, then met Hunter and LaJohnJoseph for dinner at DoJo (we each had a bottle of sake, dubious decision). We went with our friends Brittany and Erin and Tom to go to see Justin Bond's Lustre, on opening night. We sat in the front row and whooped and hollered. It was gorgeous. Our friends performed.

Friends, it was seriously fabulous. Like kind of amazing.

From there we went to Eastern Bloc and saw Linda hosting. Hilarious! She might be the best Drag Queen in NYC, which thrills me to talk to her.

Then we went to Marquee. But for the grace of James and our friend Brittany, I would never have gotten in. I don't like asserting myself.

But make no mistake, we got in. Celebrity. Glamorous life. (What do Fergie and I have in common? The answer is "GLAMOROUS" but Tommy said, this morning, "Pee Pants?")

Anyways, James took care of us and charmed us and gave us free booze. Whenever it's free, I go into survival mode. I'm afraid to waste anything. This is a mistake. I should make myself comfortable with wasting liquor. I got kicked out of the ladies room, TWICE! La JohnJoseph and Brittany and I hung out with Our Hero, The DJ, and drank more vodka, again, in an effort (I thought) to reduce my waste / carbon footprint, somehow. I ate, like, a million lollipops at the club. Isn't that strange? That they give those out? In the bathroom? There were a lot of girls with fake boobs at the club.

Anyways, to wrap it up, folks.
You're totally jealous.
And that's fine.
But this is to document two things:
-- I am pure of heart
-- I have a distinct life of glamour

I need to be more careful. Because now I am drunk (still) and it's eleven thirty am and I have to go to therapy to talk about all the trouble my blog has gotten me into.

Literally: Peace Bitches


Love In The Afternoon

How frustrating!

Having to pause to introduce myself to you, again, in front of my friends. My friends who, I'll remind you, already know about us, and think its fabulous.

How frustrating to have to explain to you, as if you have some kind of adorable post-adolescent Alzheimer's that strikes you at 23 years old, making you forget the world around you, how frustrating to have to tell you the story, over and over again from the beginning.

But here it is anyways: we love each other very much and are meant to be together. I don't know a lot about astrology, but I act like I do. I say: we're a celestially good match. I say: we don't know it but there is perfection in us digging our chins into each other's shoulders. I say: it might not seem apparent at first but we both like to arm wrestle. I say: this, the ideal summer romance, is so easy and apparent that neither of us seems ready to acknowledge it as real. Yet.

How to explain all of this to you, in the same sentence as "Hello, my name is Max?"
I don't want anyone to feel put-upon. But while we're on the topic, your very real and very lovely-seeming boyfriend is putting a serious damper on my fantasies. It's difficult to embroider a Perfect Imaginary Date, when I know that just after we hop from rooftop to rooftop, 40oz in tow, after we crash into tattoo parlors and convince people to let us draw puzzle pieces on their elbows, after we've spent all night making out at the water's edge listening to boombox cassettes playing house music in Chelsea, it's hard to imagine you going home with someone else.

(This is what I mean when I say my art form is the imaginary boyfriend. I'm thinking along these lines because this morning I see the same people everywhere all the time. And I haven't even left my house yet if you know what I mean.)



Brontez reading from Fag School

(you're welcome)

Be Close At Hand

Okay everyone, I'll be totally honest. This is a blog. (So put your fucking hands up!) Let's play "tell the truth".

Seriously, the real reason I'm upset is because I finished
Dancing with Demons, the brilliant Dusty Springfield biography, on Friday. It totally depressed me. Being raised in what's described as a dysfunctional house, I get. Her meteoric rise to stardom seemed kind of easy. I mean, that voice, right? I sort of hate that the book pairs extreme talent with extreme suffering, but I guess that's how it goes in real life. Her "quirky" habit of smashing china backstage before a show is widely known. Everyone thought it was hilarious. What I didn't know (and still wish I didn't know) what that Dusty was a cutter her entire adult life. She had been addicted to, like, everything, and talked constantly about suicide. Her personal life was extremely difficult, she didn't trust anyone. Ever. Eventually, after years out of the spotlight and having put in some quality time hating herself and living on foodstamps, she managed a comeback. Totally inexplicably. For a queer woman in her 50s (who, I'm sorry, totally reads as queer, right? I mean COME ON) to get top 40 success again is pretty amazing. Dusty gets her Shit Back Together. Goes to AA forever. Smokes a lot of cigarettes and lives with her cats and gets really aggressive cancer and dies.

I keep wanting to empathize with her. Blonde and Blind. I'm neither of those things and I'm not as talented. But it's a wonder that even someone who doesn't like themselves almost at all can accomplish.

Full-On Bummer.

Sweet Nothing

From my new show, The Horrible Time.
Two young lovers, in bed:

"Let's play a game."


"How do you think you're going to die?"

"What do you mean? Die when?"

"Whenever. Whenever your time is. How do you think it's going to happen?"

"I don't know, do you know how you think you're going to die?"

"I think a car. A car wreck. Pretty certainly. Some days I think I'll be run over."


"I don't know, just a feeling, I guess."

"That's really scary."

"Yeah, it's why I won't learn how to drive. I refuse. But I still might get run over."

"I usually just think I'll die by suicide."

"really? How?"

"I don't know. I don't know if i could really do it. I never picture actually doing it, just that I'm the one who does it."


"After that, then I guess AIDS."


"I mean, yeah. Probably, you know?"



"I'm really sorry."

"Me too."

I was going to make a list of things I'm not I'm not sorry for. But I don't want to brag, I think.

Suffice it to say that certain days you get a lot of positive feedback.
And certain other days people really want you to feel shitty.
It's hard. It's tempting to trust the opinions of people you don't respect.

Every single detail of the last month laid bare: we all talk about generosity but no one really pracctices it. We're in a recession. We are worried about survival, or something. i was talking with JohnJoseph today about queer art and how it searches and explores the capacity of the individual, identity, and community. Capacity being, like, the ability to withstand something, the quantity within which you can live your lfe.

La JohnJoseph to me, tonight, in another encouraging pep-talk: "People without personalities are just jealous of people with personality disorders."

My art is about the capacity to have a feeling. How much of a feeling can you feel? I feel, I'm told, exceptionally. I feel big feelings. Sometimes more than one at the same time. I make room for cognitive dissonance.

This is on the list of things I'm not apologizing for.


so alright, i guess the world has little room for sarcasm.
or, you know, levity.

list of things that i am obsessed with:
  • Peanut Butter
  • The Breeders
  • Vera Neumann
  • Kathy Acker
  • Weather and Physical ailments thereof

if you don't see your name on the above list, please don't tell me how crazy you think I am. kthxbye



You try to make me crazy.
You try to make me scared.
You try to make me crazy.
I think you're a fucking drag.

Going upstate with Bobo and Meli Darko this weekend.
Smell ya later.


Interpersonal Effectiveness
Distress Tolerance
Emotion Regulation

Mercury to Fall

Mercury comes out of retrograde today. Not a moment too soon. Things will, hopefully, start to settle down, and we can alll get back to work.

I feel like I've been in crouching under a table waiting for a bomb to drop. And now I'm sore, stretching. Looking up to uncertain skies.

I was talking to my therapist last night about how, ever since I got sick when I was 21, and had doctors telling me "You might die tonight. We'll have to see." I've felt a tremendous responsibility to NOT DIE. Had the feeling that I have to WORK SO HARD NOT TO DIE.

(There's different kinds of dying, too).

But the realization that, whether or not I work so hard, it still might not be up to me, is rough.
Bombs still might drop from totally blue skies. These things happen. Will I feel better if I worry day and night about dying?

Today, though, feel like tap-dancing.


A Case of the Can't Believes

I am feeling a deep mistrust of:
  • the weather today
  • the wheeze in my lungs
  • my ability to get or manage money
  • basically everyone in the world (especially on the topic of how much / whether they like me)
  • my own feelings
Like, I don't know iif I'm really so scared or really so upset. I wish I had a manual or something. I feel like an awful automaton, running without programming. Stuck in diagnostic mode. Whirring. This feels super weird. The word, again, is akithisia.

I constantly catch myself wrapped up in, say, feeling really angry. I have to check myself constantly: Am I really angry? How do I know? Really? Things feel so uncertain, and most uncertain is my ability to attach meaning to anything. I feel, like, Barbara Streisand Crazy. Am I really going to do this? Why? Really? Movie Poster crazy. Am I really in love with you? Are you the perfect human being? Why? Am I perfect too? Extra Ketchup Crazy.

What is going on here, friends?


Drive Me Out of My Mind

I feel like a lit-up lamp that someone just unplugged. How's this working? Where's the battery? This store of 'something' that keeps me from extinguishing even though everyone in the room expects me to?

I got over my cough, almost. My chest feels better and I have to go back to the chiropractor to keep it that way.

I broke up with (for lack of a better and more radical term even though this one doesn't really offend me so I use it anyways) my boyfriend last weekend. i feel like a real dummy for it, too. It just wasn't working, I guess. Not all the way. I think we're remaining on good terms though. I'm an excellent ex-boyfriend. I'm an excellent imaginary boyfriend. I'm an excellent future boyfriend.

Thinking a lot, I guess, about my performance at the HOT Festival. And I only say this because last night was the opening night party for the festival, and I saw everyone else's "teasers" for their shows. Obviously I'm a really insecure and competetive person, but I had a great time. I feel constantly surprised by how queer artists mine similar territory using liike radically different tools. Or the same tools. Or different territory. It's like Venn diagrams and it made me excited.

Ok so the piece is going to be basically, I think, an expansion of Lover, Ferocious but without singing. It's going to be a literal exploration of the impossibility of love between the narrator Billy and his lover Scott who's a wild animal beast who kills and eats people, but also loves Billy a lot too. Also it's about imaginary animals. The form, the piece is going to take is me telling you what the piece is about.

I try to work with things that I would respond to out in the world. In the hopes that, on-stage, you'll respond to them as well.

I am fucking obsessed with that song SATELLITE OF LOVE and this obsessions feels very productive to me.

I guess my cough hasn't gone away all the way.
I'm terrified of not having a job yet.

Also feel the fingertips of the cruelly inevitable universe pushing me down (or are they patting me on the top of the head?). Meet some young artist and fall swiftly in love with a stranger, watch him canoodle with his supermodel boyfriend all night. worry away your sunny days with thoughts of debt and poverty. Drink bitter tea. Exercise.

So listen to the radio. Smoke a cigarette. Same old thing, yeah I know. Everybody does it.


Bloody Snow

I honestly never thought I'd see Lydia Lunch perform. Let alone perform her older material. Let alone see her old band Teenage Jesus and the Jerks perform. They had a reunion one-off show last night, Magay and I went. Lydia Lunch, arguably the original Courtney Love, was and is a huge inspiration to me. Very important to my "development" and in no small way influential of my decision to come to NYC. I present their last number they played last night.



telling me about the band

600 days collapsing in on themselves
like constricting blood vessels.

wish it really were like that, like apply pressure and the days would just go numb.

cars, planes, pills: things that take you out of here
being sick makes me real depressed, i gotta say.



Dan found this review of a show I did a while ago at Sidewalk Cafe on the ukulele. It brightens my day, so in the interest of narcissism and the never-ending quest to prove that i'm a "real" artist, I share it:

The last artist I heard was Max Steele, whose intimate, yearning, material made me feel like I'd known him for years, even though I've never met him. After a couple of ukulele - driven songs he announced " as you you have probably guessed, I don't play the ukulele" though his skills seemed fine to me. Max has an appealing, naive, stage persona, and a genuine talent as a songwriter.

hits yr eye

I have a cough, in part from my malfunctioning air conditioner.
My "sports injury" aka rib is really killing me. There is an ominous bump / bruise. I made an appointment with my chiropractor, which I rarely like to do.
I still don't have a job, but might be given a tech job that I really do not want at all even a little bit.
My computer is fucking breaking.

Mercury goddamn retrograde.


If I Don't Black Out

My throat is sore. I think from the air conditioning.

Cryptic life lesson about air conditioning: we can only fool ourselves for so long.
or, try: fiction makes us sick.

Dealing with some nasty things. Some unfortunate things. Some temporary things. I don't really know how I've managed to piss off everyone. Maybe I haven't really, but it totally feels like that. For the last year I've been working super duper hard in therapy to try out this whole new trip.

The new trip is: don't fucking hate yourself all the time even though it looks like everyone else in the world hates you. Don't beat yourself up or judge yourself for having feelings even though your friends and other people seem to judge you all the time. Don't put yourself down even though you feel like you live in a world designed of pain and shame.

So okay the point is: in keeping with my new trip, I am sort of okay with me / myself / my actions and I wish that other people were too. Alright.

Saw the Breeders last night. There was a time in my life (say, college) when I would have easily told you that the Breeders were my favorite band. I don't think that's really changed in the intervening years. The show was really hot, but totally gorgeous. Kim's voice sounded amazing, as did Kelley. She played (almost) all the guitar parts that she normally plays that she didn't play on the Title TK tour. I was, like, proud(?) of her. It was a really amazing show.

Cryptic life lesson from the Breeders: SUMMER IS READY WHEN YOU ARE


I Start Counting

Some notes to myself for the summer (so far):
  • make a list of famous gay male artists who did not die of AIDS
  • quit smoking again, probably (even though i'm not really a smoker don't worry)
  • be nice(r)
  • switch from kale to collards as staple leafy green
  • try to get out of town when possible
  • sleep outdoors or at least devote conscious time to looking @ night sky
  • listen to all of the yoko ono box set
  • don't turn to a life of crime
  • remember the recipe: Haterade = 10% Jealousy and 90% Boredom (try not to make this recipe or drink any of it even though it's really easy)
  • don't beat yourself up
  • stop counting the minutes/hours/days
  • learn (or remember) that goodbye probably really does mean goodbye (almost all of the time, anyways)
  • there's more than one way to say a thing. saying it with the least exertion is called 'grace'. you don't always have to be graceful all the time though.

but, tonight!:

i'll be your whatever-you-want.
the bong in this reggae song.


You Got Me (For Now)

I wear your rings and sores
in me in me it shows

The same panic of 2006: It's 90 degrees outside and I need to go get another job. This sucks.

I'm working, I think, a little bit, on the Dixon Place show. I am thinking about new written pieces and maybe a new song or something.

But mostly I'm listening to the same records i did in high school, during summer vacation. Thinking about how I felt then. I was verily assured that someday I'd get out of the suburbs, live in a big city with other queers and mean smart girls. And we'd all play in bands and make art and fuck the system up and everyone listens to Bikini Kill.

This fantasy sustained me for a long time. And then it sort of came true.

I guess I need a new one. Though, this one remains pretty awesome.
Riot Grrrl Reality 2008.

Today I feel like a really disorganized person.
I want to die my hair black and wear a white belt and big chunky black shoes.
(I remember that it's not 1997 in San Francisco, this wouldn't work here-- it's fucking 90 degrees out).


Sleater-Kinney is pretty much the only thing making this morning okay.


I'm interested in writing as it works to convey an experience or impression.

What you need to know: it feels like witches. I say that a lot, I talk about witches a great deal, but I mean it! It feels occult and superstitious here. My air conditioner is on (it's summer) and it's cold but it feels fake. Like a joke. Every inanimate object feels weighted, somehow. I find tremendous significance in, say, the way the light plays across my ceiling when I wake up in the morning.

What else you need to know: despite all superstition and witchcraft, I don't see myself as an agent. I see things as they happen to me. People through me, like paper. I'm trying to convey the experience of falling, injuring yourself in some gruesome way, in public. Losing blood an realizing that it doesn't hurt. The horrible impression that maybe you're so careful for no big reason. Maybe there's nothing to worry about.

Exactly a year ago I got dumped, a few times actually, and in quick succession. I had no job and nothing to do. I stayed indoors all summer listening to Lisa Germano and taking drugs to avoid a sunburn. And all I managed to avoid was my own life.

I'm going to meet sister Pico in the park today.



If i were a superhero, my special power would be the ability to sabotage everyone's happiness (my own included) with a single act. I am a master of disappointments. Flame on.

Last night Steven and I went out to dinner at the psychedelic Indian restaurant on 1st ave. We bought beers at the grocery store downstairs, except Steven didn't have any cash. I got some nameless light beer and he got a Karma lager, which I paid for. Halfway through dinner we noticed that in fact, once opened, the Karma had gone bad. The significance is not lost on me.

Tonight I'm a go-go boy.


An Unfair Place

I won't go into it because I don't like being made fun of for it, but suffice it to say that there is ample evidence today, of the world being an awful place. An Unfair Place.

I'm In A Bad Mood Again.

I find that when you get into a bad mood / are always in a bad mood / have a personality disorder, it helps to have a list of things that make you happy. They don't have to be real things, or things that you own or have access to. It is ideal, though, to have a few things at hand.

This movie is one of those things. It's absolutely gorgeous and makes me feel hopeful, or at least okay with being in a bad mood. I never really cared much for Grace Jones' version of this song, but the movie that Miriam and Richert made for this is really beautiful. More can be found, obviously, at Regular Motion. I'm hard-pressed to explain what it is I like about this video, what it is that I find so important. I think Richert and Miriam are really smart, they care a lot about inflection, about lilting tones, and about eyebrows. It's funny to watch them work, because some of the work is really left up to improvisation, but some of it is so beautiful fine-tuned. Really inspiring, clear, and effective art.



To Grade

An older, unpublished blog entry that I was working on the last time Mercury went into retrograde. I figure now's a good a time as any to revisit it. It made for a really fabulous story, which I didn't share with anyone then. I still might not.

The thing I want to impart, is that while I'm searching for ways to incorporate the adjectives "rich" and "famous" in such a way that they are truths of my life, I get really literal results. as in, the names of people.

A week ago, she quit smoking. Her acupuncturist stuck her with needles. She did stretches and went to the gym. She ate salads for dinner every night. Miss Thing meditated. She chewed Juniper berries and held magnets to her ears and worked on projects. Went to her Therapist and had a lot to think about. Felt toxic coming out. Going away but not far from her body.

Then last week Miss thing only wore black. She started to wear her hair curly. She took diet pills all day and cheated at some things. Rolling cigarettes. She drank a lot of espresso and went to parties and met men who get up at 8am for fashion shows and yelled and a young heir from Wesleyan who she knew from 2004 on Friendster. The boy is terrified that she remembers his name but he is also impressed. She and Johnny D went to go see Siouxsie Sioux perform, gossiped about it afterwards, like 13 year olds. Last night Allison Wolfe wrote "PxRxDxCxTx" on her stomach. She smoked a joint backstage and drank vodka. Go-go danced onstage. And now she's going to go buy some vegetables and go shopping for a pair of new black jeans. Before it snows.

Mercury's in retrograde and Miss Thing is thinking a lot.

Mercury is still, y'know, in retrograde. Or, it is again.
Here's the funny thing about that: someone I met at that party, who I didn't write anything down about, contacted me out of the blue. I sometimes wonder about circumstance and coincidence. Like maybe if I admit how I feel things are connected it means I'm crazy. Is this astrological or am I really (sorry to keep harping on it but I'm really scared I might be) schizophrenic? This isn't that important.

Sticks and stones and words and thoughts and feelings and ideas can hurt me.

But not, fortunately, yours.

Touch Touch

I will always love this song.
And also M. Makeba's outfits and antix in the video:


Pictures, perfect. (Proof!)

With the Party Ice, running onstage at Galapagos. I made all of us put on Florida Water before our performance. For luck. Jiddy took the photo.

At a party with Bobo, Lazarus and Melissa. I'm dancing with my new friends (I forgot their names)

With my best friend Bobo.

Bacchanalia @ Sarah Lawrence College
May 17th 2008 (Photo by Alex Albers)

Could You Be Mine Would

Sometimes I feel like I'm watching myself on television, starring in a sitcom about my life. I'm watching all of these hilarious and painful things happening to me. I'm laughing at myself, I'm so desperate. Slapstick. I often forget that I can change the channel, you know?

My whole trip, the whole self-hating thing? Y'know, the "fear of success"? The "self-sabotage"? So much of that shit is really activated by comparing myself to other people. Strangers, celebrities, ex-lovers, friends, enemies. Example: yesterday the boy ahead of me at the salad bar bought exactly one-third of a pound of fresh blackberries for his lunch. It made my head spin, I could FEEL the stretch marks on my sides. Fuck that. Comparing myself to anyone is so dumb. Which means also that I won't rub in your face how sublimely cool I am.

Here's my point: I do not wish I was you. I do not envy your money or free time or even how everyone wants to fuck you.

You don't have anything that I want.

In good news, the Soft Butch House is not moving! Our rent is, however, going up. To the princely sum of $700 a person, but with a two-year lease. This is a lot of money, but let's face it: my room is fucking awesome, and gigantic. And things like leases are the exact kind of stability (well, sort of) that I need. I need COMMITMENT. I need to BE SURE I WON'T HAVE TO MOVE THIS SUMMER. I'm thrilled.

Also thrilling: I'm getting a little recognition for my writing.


What's Underneath 'Em

My chest hurts when I breathe, twist, move, or generally be alive.

When you google the name of the jeans company I modeled for (I'm not telling, obvi) you find a blog from a young male model going fucking apeshit because he got invited to the casting. He didn't get the gig and I, obviously, did, and I know it's petty and mean but this kind of anonymous jealousy / schadenfreude is exactly the kind of thing on which I hang my self-image. I got something that somebody else wanted. I may have also gotten a broken rib.
Was it worth it? Yes. I'll leave it at that.

I need to get back in touch with everyone. My life. I need a new job. Like actually. What to do!
I'm go-go dancing this Saturday night, check it out:

Tonight I'm dancing with La JohnJoseph's piece at the Cockette's tribute. I feel like this song, which Hunter and Katie and Emma introduced me to last night. All music videos, songs, singers, and people should be like this:

(don't you wish Kanye West was your boyfriend? I sure do.)