Thursday night was the party for East Village Boys @ the Hose. It was so much fun! I wore war water from the botanica shop and did a little thinking on the topic of mental acuity and fortitude and karma. And everything was fine. Great, even. Gio Black Peter performed and did this performance collaboration / live body painting with Scooter LaForge called Amerikill. I introduced Gio's performance, and I was nervous about addressing a crowd. This is a recent fear. Luckily I'm over it already. Anyways, I felt nervous so I got drunk. I had never actually seen Gio do a show before, but I'm pretty sure he covered Adam and the Ants' "Goody Two Shoes". I could be wrong. I had a great time. Some funny pictures of me came out, sneering at boys. Looking like the sourpuss I was valiantly fighting not to be. SO I guess it goes to show you: you can't believe anything you read or see or hear, anywhere. Made out for a bit with an old flame. Summertime moods.
Friday I had the day off of work, and just relaxed. I went to the gym, went grocery shopping. Had a meeting with the Birdsong folks at Sister Pico's abode. Had an early night, I was still recovering from Thursday. They had given out free beer, after all. Stayed in reading Acker's Empire of the Senseless. It's a kind of love story (shut up!) between a pirate sailor and a cyborg terrorist. And of course this makes me think of La JohnJoseph, my soul away from souls, who also likes this book and who is coming soon. I cannot fucking wait.
Saturday I went with Perfect Little Daniel Who We All Love The Most, Sister Pico, and Brandon B. to the NYC Zine Festival. It was kinda overwhelming! So many wonderful zines and books. I got to meet the very sweet folks who run Try State Magazine, as well as pick up my own hard copy, finally. It's so cool! Get it while it's still cheap! Came home to change my clothes and drink very strong coffee and eat chinese takeout.
My room mate Ptrick the Witch and I went to a very chic party in the East Village. I don't need to tell you who was there except they were actual international celebs. When one arrived and everyone on the balcony was cooing, Ptrick just turned to me and shrugged, saying "So what? He's just a person. I'm here, too". Which is true. I had a fabulous time flirting my face off and hanging all over my imaginary boyfriend Matt Nasser. Matt had a really great magick trick he was doing with rubber bands. I was so entranced I made him do it again and again and again. I think people who can do magic are really valuable. In the words ofthe now-dead michael Jackson, "I believe in you. Your magic is real." I feel that way in a really general sense: I believe in your magic, everyone. Matt Nasser also had a really good joke about MJ's passing. I said that I felt really bad for Janet Jackson, and he said "Well, right now she's thinking 'NOW NO ONE ELSE LOOKS LIKE ME!'" Too soon? You decide. I believe in your magic.
At one point I tried really valiantly to get this boy I like to make out with me. And he wouldn't! But we had a good heart to heart in which I feel pretty certain I made my feelings clear. I must have. I made them clear to everyone else in the room, so mister mister's gotta know. Eventually, Ptrick and I (late guests) and Matt and Justin (fabu hosts) lit our sparklers and stumbled uptown to the Hose for the Judy! party. It. Was. A. Madhouse. Entirely. We eventually got in just in time to see the inimitable Lee Kyle performing with a huge fright wig. He covered his face with pink lipstick and ran into the crowd. I was so excited to see him I kissed him on the cheek and continued dancing around. Ptrick turned to me and said "Oh, I think you got some lipstick on you from that guy."
"Oh really? Where?"
"Um, like, all over your entire face, actually". Good thing I was so sweaty! Ptrick and I made it home thanks to the goodwill and magickal medicinal properties of Milk Thistle.
Sunday Bobo, Jiddy, Ptrick and Pico and I all went to the Metropolitan BBQ. It was a really beautiful day and weekend. Summer is finally here. And not a moment too soon.
Events lately have made me feel like this clip:
In terms of new cool performance artists working today, very few people that I know can match Arizona's sense of vision, and scope. I love her dearly and this video pains me because I can't be there with her to see her new show. Check it out!
I was a teenager then.
The first time I saw the Gossip perform, they were teenagers, too. I think maybe Kathy was 20, but Beth and Nathan were 19 I think. On June 8, 2000, they opened for Sleater-Kinney and Bratmobile at the Fillmore in San Francisco. When they took the stage, I remember being really struck at the line-up. A roadie laid out four setlists: one for Beth, one for Kathy, one for Nathan, and one for SassyLassy. It totally blew my mind that the band had a full-time back-up dancer. For one thing, SassyLassy was a great dancer. But it was also really cool to be in a band and not have to be good at guitar or something. Just participate. I thought that was amazing. The Gossip played a really great set, and kind of brought down the house that night. They started with "Sweet Baby" and ended with "Hott Date". All their shows in those days ended with a marathon sing-along version of "Hott Date", Beth convincing everyone to sing along ('Come on, y'all it's not that hard! Doo-doot-doot-doot-doo-doo-doo! Just like Michael Jackson, y'all! Don't y'all wanna sing along with the Gossip?!'). I was almost crying. This band wanted people to dance. And the singer was really nice. And they just looked like they were having FUN. I was instantly obsessed and have been ever since.
The Gossip had formed when original drummer Kathy Mendonca moved to Olympia, Washington from Arkansas to go to Evergreen. Nathan and Beth followed shortly after. In Olympia, they played house shows until Calvin Johnson put out their first single, the self-titled 4-song e.p.
It's a favorite. I've listened to it every June for the last 9 years. The lyrics to "Red Hott" are actually the same verse sung twice, but live, the song actually used the phrase "red hot". It was about being sexually passive, I think. "If you wanna do it, well then come and do it. If you wanna use me, well then come and use me." In performance, SassyLassy and Beth would spank each other during the rev-up part of the song. Its lyrics are about being sexually passive but Beth's delivery is powerful. She's in control. It would be years before I thought about the phrase 'bossy bottom'.
By mid-summer 2000, the Gossip was a pretty buzzed-about band. Their opening slot for Sleater-Kinney introduced them to a lot of people. Their bare-bones, punk-y post-riot grrrl style appealed to Sleater-Kinney's fans. Especially since S-K was touring their arguably most conventional, least interesting material (All Hands on the Bad One). The Gossip's early-60s church revival vibe, and bluesy, anarchic, adolescent cacophony was a big contrast. A highlight of that tour was seeing Sleater-Kinney dance in the wings, shyly emerging onstage to bop along to the Gossip. Also, S-K often invited the Gossip onstage during their set. They usually ended their shows with a sing-along of "Fortunate Son" with Beth and Corin belting along. When I saw them in San Francisco, S-K gave the Gossip roses (it was the end of the tour). Beth teared up and announced that she had only had flowers once before in her life, and she was in the hospital then. The band played "Good Things" and Beth sang the second verse. They were a hit.
I went to the first Ladyfest that summer, in Olympia. I could say a lot about that week. It was sort of what would determine the course of my life. Anyways, everyone knew that the Gossip were the hottest game in town. In fact, there was one night at the Capitol Theater when NO ONE WENT. While there was what I'm sure was a totally great country music show, everyone who was cool (which included a 200lb black dyed-hair gothic closet teen-aged Max from Alameda, in town with his mother) knew that the place to be that night was the house party on the outskirts of town. There, Panty Raid was opening for the Gossip in some one's basement. It was probably the best show I've ever been to in my entire life. The Gossip was headlining an afternoon show at Ladyfest, too. At the Thekla. This show was fucking insane. Their album wasn't even recorded, but thanks to rabid fans who still traded cassettes and tons of internet communique's everyone at the Thekla knew the words to their songs. The picture above is from that show. I *think*. I could be wrong. It was sweaty. After that show, I remember asking a sweaty, cigarette smoking Beth Ditto for her autograph. She ended up getting in line right behind me for the Cat Power show the next night at the Capitol Theater. I couldn't believe she actually talked to me. Around this time (possibly right before), I remember SassyLassy posting on the Strap-On.org messageboard about a new band what was playing shows with the Gossip, called the White Stripes. Saying that if you liked the Gossip, you'd like the White Stripes. Which was true, I really dug their first record. History is funny. "History".
They toured a whole bunch that year. At some point, they had to cancel some dates because of Beth's voice. I may be misremembering but I think that was why. They recorded their first album, That's Not What I Heard around this time. Or I'm projecting. The album is really amazing. The songs are angular and sharp and really hook-y. But Beth doesn't scream. "Bring it On", from their live shows, was fucking insane. Beth would be screaming like a madwoman. On the album, the smolders. It works just as well, but I remember being struck by the difference. The songs on the first LP are about leaving. About being "Where the Girls Are". About leaving, moving to a cooler city. Finding your people. Their tour for that record was pretty great, too. I remember seeing them in SF and a friend of mine in high school got to party with the band back at their hotel room. Gossip about the Gossip. It was amazing.
Their next record, Arkansas Heat, was a sign of things to come. The band had opened for Sonic Youth even before their first album, and their live shows had a sort of feed-back noise band quality that their records up until that point had not. The Arkansas e.p. began to incorporate more noise, but also more 1960s influence. The song "(Take Back) the Revolution" was their new closer at their concerts, a sort of neo-hippie-soul happening. People jumped onstage. "Rules for Luv" remains one of my favorite songs, if only for the spoken refrain: "Now I hear people say: 'See that girl? She don't have class. She don't have this and she don't have that.' Well, I know something that I do have..." The e.p. is kind of a call to arms. If their previous album was about leaving, finding a cooler better place to be, then Arkansas Heat was about where you came from. The why of leaving. The work you do once you're in a new place. Burgeoning political content, but from a personal perspective. Not some heavy-handed academic theorist thing. Beth's politics have always been radical, but are also vernacular. Anyone can do it.
Movement came out in 2003. I remember listening to it a lot the summer after my freshman year of college. It seemed to be a distillation of all of the Gossip's elements: Kathy's sort of fierce, fretful punk clash drumming, Beth's slightly fuzz-boxed but otherwise right up front and center wails, and Nathan's increasingly dissonant and freaky guitar work. There wasn't a formula or anything to the songs, but the parts making up the band became more and more recognizable. Their subsequent tour with the Chromatics (then a noise band as well, before the Italo thing) was captured first on a cassette bootleg released by Nathan, then re-released on CD by Dim Mak, Undead in NYC. It sounds noisy. I bet it was amazing.
And to be honest, I was not really following the Gossip as closely by the time they released what has become their most well-known album, Standing in the Way of Control. There was been a time, maybe in 2001, when Beth said she recognized me from their shows, because I went and I danced my ass off. And some kids didn't dance. But by 2006 everyone was dancing to them. I didn't really go to a lot of shows then. That record, Standing, seemed like just a logical extension of what the Gossip had been doing before. Kathy had left the band by this point. To me, it was a great record, a little poppier and darker than their other albums and definitely more cohesive. It is absolutely a punk record, but it feels a bit... freer. The ESG bassline stuff and George Michael covers were cute. I was into that record, but I wasn't obsessed. (Sorry). I remained a fan.
I remember being sort of vaguely aware that while the record was doing ok in the US, selling alright to the Gossip's usual fans, that people in England really liked it. I was really surprised, and felt really excited for them to get famous. Beth Ditto has become a bona fide superstar in Europe. And remains totally radical and queer and punk and real. She doesn't want to alienate people just for the sake of pissing people off, but at the same time speaks her mind. She is a really cool type of star. She's vocal but not mean. There have been no controversies. She said one slightly negative thing about Katy Perry using lesbianism to sell records, and how that was exploitative of gay people. Which, um, it is. Beth Ditto should be president. She's nice. Like, she just actually seems like a nice person. This is good role-modeling.
I got the Gossip's new record, Music for Men, last night. I was sort of scared, because this is their first record since they've become international stars, as well as their major label debut. It's an amazing record. The Gossip are very cool, but not entirely in the sense of hipness. I mean, they are the sound of Young America, this is true. But they're not trendy. They're not riding some fad. They burst onto the scene well after Riot Grrrl was over, but Nathan (now Brace) and Kathy had a real genuine love for that kind of music. They mined the early 90s for a new way of presenting the sounds they liked. When the White Stripes and the Strokes were convincing America that a certain kind of vintage rock and roll swagger was cool, the Gossip was mining the 1960s for the idealistic political ecstasy found in soul music and pop music, but not necessarily in rock and roll. Fuck rock. They're punks. Movement and, to some extent, Standing in the Way of Control bear some similarities to the 1970s. Movement's artwork gave a bit of a nod to the Germs, one of the Gossip's queer-punk ancestors. Standing had a kind of dance-music vibe at it's heart, put through the meat grinder of Portland punk. But again, this is after the 1970s disco thing had already happened. After punk's re-re-revival.
Music for Men is an album influenced in part by the 1980s. It's a little bit new-wave. It is the record that the Yeah Yeah Yeah's It's Blitz! should have been. Beth sounds amazing, Brace has moved beyond the squalling guitar to find the liberatory noises across the disco spectrum, and Hanna Billie's drumming sounds important, crucial, vital. It sounds sort of like their last record, yes. But bigger. But further pushed. But even less constrained. Part of this free-ing of the Gossip is making a more polished sound.
There's some noise in the press about the Gossip selling out or needing to hold onto their punk/DIY roots. This is stupid. The Gossip, I think, can have a Top 40 pop record with really clean guitar sounds and still be a punk band. Beth does not have to prove her punk credibility. Punk is an attitude and a practice, not always an established form. Punk is about change and is in a constant state of flux. Punk is like hip-hop, it is a technology belonging forever to the young, who constantly upgrade it. Right now, there is a group of queer kids in a basement who are listening to Music for Men and starting their own band. And it's gonna be great.
Friday night I went with Tommy and all our fabulous friends (including my personal hero Becky, Tommy's buddy from high school who is visiting from California) to go see PAPS play at the Silent Barn. The show was really beautiful and great. It was so cool to watch a room full of punk kids all shut up when she started singing. It felt vindicating and I was so proud, even though I wasn't even the one on stage. Excellent times. Becky and I found a charming liquor store in Ridgewood called Two Guys. I made us go in because they had a really old tacky lit-up sign out front. We found little bottles of pre-mixed long island iced teas, made by TGI Fridays (catchphrase slogan on the bottle: "There's Liquor In It!"). First of a handful questionable decisions I made this weekend.
After the show I high-tailed it over to the West Village. Friday night was the debut of JEFFERY AND COLE CASSEROLE on Logo, and Earl had assembled a sweet little party of some of the show's guest stars to watch the first episode. I have a small cameo in the debut show as Becky, one of the kids in Jeffery and Cole's imaginary high school for queer in their 20s. It was a blast, but I had too much to drink. I ate a lot of pretzels though. It was a very special and fun night.
Saturday it rained all day. I was being followed on Saturday by a very sweet young writer who had decided to spend 24 hours with me. I don't know if I really want to talk any more about this, because I haven't seen the piece yet and though he was (as I said) very sweet, this could be my "Strange Love". I'm referring of course to the September 1992 Vanity Fair article by Lynn Hirschberg, in which the magazine printed photos of a pregnant Courtney Love smoking a cigarette, called her a megalomaniac, and implied that she has used heroin even after finding out she was pregnant. This has since become part of the Courtney Love mythology. Frances Bean, as we all know, has turned out just fine. Maybe the fact that I'm comparing my own life to that of Courtney Love makes me just as much of a narcissist and megalomaniac as she is. Maybe it makes me worse. I'll leave that up to the internet and I won't bother to read the comments (seriously). MY POINT IS: I was nominally nervous all day Saturday, for fear that I would do or say something stupid and damning.
We went to the New Museum to see the Younger Than Jesus show. Was suitably charmed by Ryan Trecartin's new movies. Excited to be able to recognize a few faces in the din of auto-tune and neon facepaint. Saturday night Jess Paps had a party at her fabulous house. I was totally overwhelmed by seeing so many familiar and friendly faces. I negotiated this feeling by getting really drunk, again. My friends told me that I had been licking people's faces. I don't know if this is true or not but it sounds like something I'd have done. I was in a mood. I was moody.
Took a bad tumble, at least. Luckily it was well-witnessed, had to be pried off of the marble stairs in that nice condo in the Lower East Side. Recognized a boy from the Gay Dating Website, I wonder if he saw me totally wipe out in the stairwell. My left hip is pretty sore, I can't sleep on that side. My right ankle feels a bit wonky, for some reason. My entire left elbow, which I landed on, is swollen and bruised. It looks bad and it is. The worst part is that I have a splitting headache and have since yesterday. I've lost my appetite and I feel feverish. Maybe it's swine flu. Maybe it is the mother of all hangovers. Maybe it's the fall I had. Who knows. Went from the LES house party to Sugarland, then again to the Beauty Bar in Bushwick. I got into a fight with someone in the back of a car, I don't really remember. More than a bit too much. Bid adieu to the boy taking notes and implored him, drunkenly and loudly, to please be gentle.
Making my way home Sunday morning I reeked of booze and soda-pop and smoke and a man at gas station asked me for a quarter, then for a cigarette. I gave him two of each, feeling the self-righteousness of generosity. He apologized for asking for anything from me, told me he was waiting on his check. "Yeah, me too, man." He wished me a happy Father's Day which I thought was strange. Twenty feet further down Broadway a woman stopped me to tell me how beautiful I was. Things like this should make me feel good but it kind of just made me feel dissociated: I felt so gross that to even be addressed physically throws me off. Spent the afternoon napping, bragging about my Wonderful Night. Isn't it funny what I'm leaving out of this story.
Last night was the Birdsong #7 Reading at HiChristina!. I was feeling a bit rough, my bruises were starting to show. My friends and I did a fabulous job, I think it was really successfull. I left a bunch of my zines out and people took them. I read a new story, "Jungle", which is in the new issue of Birdsong. I think people liked it. I hope they did. I wanted it to be a nicer story, a love story. But because I was so tired and nervous and felt really queasy and weird, I think I ended up coming across a lot meaner than I meant to. Came home with an incredibly painful headache and ate noodles before passing out.
I feel pretty weird. I can't tell if I'm sick or if I just feel bad. Or who even cares?
Last night after work I met up with my old room mate and one of my favorite people, Juneefuh. We went out to dinner at this French restaurant in Chelsea, and got really fancy salads. My food was really good. I'm perversely proud of having eaten as much cheese as I did. I don't know why.
Afterward we went for a walk on the Highline, which just opened. It was sunset and not too crowded at all and so fucking pretty. If you get a chance, go soon. It's really clean and nice right now. For some reason, Nifa and I both sort of felt like it was only a matetr of time before messy New Yorkers sully the place with their (our) chewing gum kids cigarette butts and beer bottles. There's a lot of really beautiful plant life there, which is worth the trip alone. I mean, while I would like to see the Highline maintain it's kind of European Public Werkes clean thing, I also have a distinct urge to take drugs up there and have sex in public. Kettle pot black.
I took a cute photo of Jenny in one of the covered portions of the Highline, where there were all these gorgeous blue lights.
We got popsicles afterward and walked to the train. Kind of a perfect evening. I got the first Throwing Muses album on vinyl in the mail and was really into it last night. So crazy and catchy. Those songs make absolutely no sense at all (at first). It's always such a trip to watch Kristen Hersh play music because it's like... totally effortless and natural-seeming. She seems like it's totally obvious for the song to just become screaming right then, then a second later break into girl-group harmonies. Like, duh, right? I love it.
Late I'm feeling really inspired about living in New York. I got invited to play piano in an upcoming art project / installation, even though I don't really know how to anymore. But I'm practicing! This weekend I have two readings / performances.
Saturday 6/20 I'm going to read at a rooftop benefit for the Hot! Festival in Wburg. Email me: email@example.com if you want more info.
Sunday 6/21 is the next Birdsong reading / performance. It's going to be a new venue called Hi!Christina on Grand St. in Williamsburg. Check out the BSONG SITE for more info.
I feel alright about admitting the fact that I do not know exactly what I'm going to read at these things. Probably my new story "Jungle" at the Birdsong event, because that's the story that's in the new issue. I'm not THE MOST proud of it. It's a leftover (B-Side) from the new issue of my zine, it's a love story about Tigers and Lions. I think at the HOT! Benefit I'm gonna read an old story, probably "Brother". Which is about sleeping with a quasi-celebrity. And Every part of me aches to reveal who it is. And I just don't have a good enough platform to do it in.
But the nice thing about the event on Saturday (Hot! Fest benefit) is that there will also be a screening of the first episode of JEFFERY AND COLE CASSEROLE.
I'm really excited for this to be on teevee! I have a small part in the first episode, and I think it's really cool that Jeffery and Cole are on tv. Good things can happen.
Friday night Ptrik and I went to Roy's going-away party. I was supposed to go to not one but like three parties that night. We ended up staying on Roy's roof for a number of good and not so good reasons. Which may or may not have involved drunken arguments with people who may or may not have been claiming that I was trying to kill them. I'm not joking. Then after convincing said people that in fact I was not trying to kill them, not really, then the cops came. I wanted to be gracious and not leave the premises until the cops had driven away. So Ptrick and I ended up actually making our little escape just before 4 in the morning. We went to Metropolitan where I insisted (valiantly, I thought) on the permanence of affection feelings. You used to / you still do. Some things do not change. This is okay.
Saturday Tommy and Bobo and I hung out in the am on the roof, ate Mexican food and went to go see that movie Moon. It freaked me out a little. What, I ask you, is the point of having a clone if you don't even make out with it? I mean, spoiler alert: there are clones. Saturday night was ok. Saw the girls at the bar. Becomes sunday, burns and sunscreen more girls and more bars. Everything's kind of blurring into a patina of shared meaning.
I am a punk and I am a socialist. I mean, I believe in community. But I also have a stronger belief in a kind of psychic poverty that prevents me from sharing.
Don't know what to think.
I opened my email and had a message from someone with the same name as a gay porn star but let's refer to this person as "PK" for no reason. Attached was a picture of a pretty cute butt.
Subject: Hey Stud...
Message: Up to get together?
My response: Who are you? How did you find me?
PK: I think you fucked me a while back. Are you on Manhunt?
Me: Rarely. I think I would have remembered fucking you.
PK: LOL. Ok. Let's.
To be perfectly honest I will stress the part of the sentence as such: "I think I would have remembered fucking you." Cause I might not remember. I asked him who he was again and he hasn't written back. I debated with myself all day whether or not to tell anyone about this because what if some random hot guy just wants to have sex with me and I jinx it by talking about it? I noticed just now that the "To:" field of the e-mail was left blank, meaning he had bcc'ed me, along with who knows who else. Then it dawns on me that the fact that he has the same name as a popular gay porn star (but not the same tattoos) is suspect. So I start to wonder if someone is trying to bed me or if they're just trying to humiliate me.
And as a seasoned Romantic I can tell you that there is no difference between the two. I am excellent at both of these hobbies (fucking and humiliation) and I am not scared to jinx myself by writing about them.
I'm going to the gym.
Good Omen: Waking to the sound of thunder, over and over again. I kept visualizing it as chocolate. This says something about my subconscious. Distinct feeling of anticipation, even half-asleep. Something's building, sounds. Finally lightning struck close enough to set off all the car alarms in my neighborhood. Then I could go back to sleep. Woke up late, my alarm was turned off and the sky was black. Aspirations of power.
Good Omen: As I left the gym last night I ran into Timmy, who I wrote a short story about ("Come a Coven"). Thain read it at the event at Envoy. I'd been thinking about him recently. When we met, Timmy was training to become a nurse, and now he is one. He was wearing black scrubs and had a stethoscope in his pocket. I was aroused immediately. I saw him on his way home from the Emergency Room. He said "So if you ever get any lacerations, or anything, come see me. I guess you won't have a heart attack though, you're in good shape." Motioning to my sweaty gym shirt. His hair is graying, I told him it looks sexy. I told him I write a zine and I wrote a story about him and I wanted to show it to him and that he should call me. I was full of lactic acid and out of breath and he's a medical professional. I felt bold. It felt good.
Good Omen: Adam introduced himself to me on the train. He had seen me read the week before. Since meeting him I've see him everywhere. On the train, in bars, at parties, walking down the street right in front of my house. Everywhere. He's always very sweet. Adam is like an idealized version of me. He's taller than I am, and thinner than I am. He has better legs (the last time I ran into him he was wearing short shorts that I could never pull off). He has broader shoulders, is more muscular than I am. He's in graduate school, I think for writing. He works at a law firm, like I do, but his is a real law firm. He has to wear nice clothes to it. I bet his job is a lot harder than mine and I bet he's excellent at it. I suck at mine. He's an intellectual. His hair is curly like mine but a bit more in-control. He has bluer eyes and a cuter smile and no wrinkles on his face. I seem nervous, antsy, adolescent and always uncomfortable. Adam is calm, easy, sort of androgynous, sure. He seems happy, a lot happier than me. This is the thing I'm jealous of. I didn't know why he suddenly appeared in my life and why, further, he always talked to me. I thought maybe he thought I was cute or something, but that can't be it (most people don't think I'm cute-- only snobs. You know, connoisseurs). Adam is slightly older than I am. Maybe like a year older than me. But he's taller, and this makes him seem older, more real than I am. I used to think that Adam thought I was cute. Now I think that he is sent by the Universe, possibly from the future. I think he is supposed to show me something but I don't know what it is (yet). He might not know it either, he might not think he's here to teach me anything. I think the lesson is that if I can just make it through, just put up with the insurmountable task of living, then I might end up okay, like him. Auspicious.
Few things to fortify myself. Spending the morning in bed with Sharon Stone in 1996's Diabolique. Politically distant, obscured to me. The bleach blond red lipstick chain-smoking vintage pantsuit thing definitely got to me in a kind of washed-out post-Courtney Love vibe. The image of Sharon Stone as she becomes herself. One reiterates oneself. I feel like I've eaten nothing for the last week but ground glass. Image of the wronged woman, double-crossed and still lonely. I identify. I'm an identifier. I can place myself in her steely gaze like I'm pissing as it were into a river. Better yet the sea. Guess which one.
F4riday night I shot a tv show with Cole and Jeffery. Saturday night I had my reading and it went really well, I think. Sunday night. Lauren Wilkinson reading at the Pleasure Chest's erotica reading.
Brandon and Tommy watching her read.
more nights, I guess. They won't why should I stop. I'm systematically pulling out every tiny pit of protection. It's so easy to say you're sweet and put down your swords. It's so simple to unload a gun. It's a lot easier. It's like the joke Tommy made yesterday in how we trust our friends "Everyone starts with an A. Anyone can get an A. The trick is to keep your A." Anyone can stop fighting. Anyone can decide not to throw a punch. To keep it to themselves. What I'm working on is the other half of fighting which means dismantling armor and putting shields down and getting off of my horse and out of my boots. Naked towards the spears I know will come and I can whistle the same tune as arrows bullets your friends' jokes.
I'm aware. I know. I get it.
SCORCHER ZINE RELEASE PARTY AND READING @ ENVOY GALLERY
Come celebrate the release of the newest issue of SCORCHER, the psychedelic porno zine by Billy Cheer (Max Steele) at Envoy Gallery. Readings from the new issue, titled "BE BILLY", as well as original work, by Max Steele, Tommy Pico, and (just added) Thain Torres! Featuring new drawings by Danielle Rainbow Rosa. The new zine is OUT! If you can't make the reading, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org to get a copy.
How wonderful to have someone to blame! How wonderful to live with one's nemesis! You may be miserable, but you feel forever in the right. You may be fragmented, but you feel absolved of all the blame for it. Take your life into your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame. -- Erica Jong, How to save your own life
And with Kitten Meat I didn't have to try for prizes. You bring them to me in your mouth, but when I walk down the street, pigeons land at my feet and for me the expire.
Thain called me in September of 2007, at the end of a pretty painful summer. In June I turned on my air conditioner and I did not turn it off ever. I often ate painkillers and spend afternoons on the floor of my room with all the shades drawn, staring at the ceiling. Listening to a lot of Shannon Wright and Lisa Germano. Anyways.
Thain called me about a go-go gig. Well, not , go-going, really, but serving drinks in my underpants. At a new gay bar that was opening up in Williamsburg. It was called Sugarland, cause it was near the old Domino sugar factory. The bar is owned by the same people who own Nowhere and the Metropolitan, and Thain was working there as a promoter. For their opening party, they wanted something cute and classy. The word Thain used was "boyish". He asked me if I wanted to do it and of course I did, it was like $100. He said I should probably call the other boy doing it, so we can co-ordinate our outfits. We were told to wear ties and nice shirts, but no pants. Classy. He said I'd get along with the other boy, John Joseph, and we'd look great together, because we're both redheads.
So I called this strange John Joseph. He was British, sweet. I hate talking on the phone, as a rule, but he and I had a nice little chat. We talked about California and performance art. He was very humble and down to earth and sweet. I asked him what color underpants he was going to wear, so we could match, and he said "Oh, very expensive panties, I'm afraid. I used to have this very wealthy lover, and he bought me these expensive Dolce & Gabana silk panties. I have to wash them in the sink. By hand." I thought he was charming.
I went to the bar and it got busy opening night. [This was before anyone knew it to be anything. Before the NY Times article that my dad dtifully emailed me, asking if I was the go-go boy they were talking about. I was not]. When I arrived, I saw my friend Thain standing next to a tall beautiful pale creature, like a Patti Smith description of a horse, idly stirring a drink at trhe bar. He turned to me and smiled, and said "Well, you're not really a redhead, are you?" We got undressed in the back room at Sugarland. The bar had previously been one of those places where you get a free pizza when you order a beer. The 'back room' was a kitchen. There were pizza ovens, and sacks of flour and mozzarella on the floor. He was wearing exquisite underpants, but we wore matching blue button-up shirts. We looked quite cute, actually. We served drinks and complained about boys and JJ got his picture taken.
He's always been The Pretty One. This is undisputed, everyone who sees JohnJoseph can't stop talking about how fucking "pretty" he is. I've always found La JohnJoseph deeply sexy. He's like someone PJ Harvey would write a song about, the type of lover that drives people insane. I'm already predisposed to things like mass suicide, so I could never wreck my heart on the majestic peak of the Castle of La JohnJoseph. I've seen boys drool over him. I've seen the drool of boys drying in his hair. La JohnJoseph is an aphrodisiac.
(La JJ as a baby in 2006)
Then JJ Asked me and Legs Malone to be in a skit he was doing at Dixon Place. Legs and I had to pretend to be dinner party guests, then JJ comes in and teaches us how to kill ourselves with our neckties. We saw each other around for a bit, and though my memory is foggy, I know that at some point not too long after meeting, we declared friendzies. JJ wrote me a very sweet email which I am now unable to find, that said he wanted to be friends that held hands and drank juiceboxes together. And we are.
I love La JohnJoseph very much. He is one of the few people that I really, really trust. He's in Greece right now, where his most recent show had a sold-out run in Athens. People stop him in the bathroom to ask for his autograph. Yesterday we were chatting online about Berlin. We're going to be there at the same time. I am ecastatic to do this. It means the world to me.
And I forgot that yesterday was his Birthday.
Last year on his birthday he had a picnic in the park. He wore see-through purple shoes. Sharyn Jackson brought very fancy cupcakes. Sister Pico wrote a poem about the day.
I miss JJ terribly. And I am really the worst possible friend for not remembering his bday. I will find some way to make it up to him.
One is a kids story about Lions and Tigers fucking, and crying while they do it (crying because they just love each other that much, that they just weep from happiness and love and joy). It's called JUNGLE.
The other story I'm working on is the next installment of my Psychedelic Porno Poem, CONFESSIONS OF A NAMER. This one is going to be called CAT EATS KITTEN MEAT. It's about being really mean. Almost violent. Emotionally violent, I mean. Emotional cannibalism. Emotional makes it okay because emotions aren't real. That's why.
Thinking, as usual, about mythical creatures and beasts. Obviously thinking a great deal about the Love Cervere. A panther that draws its prey into its lair with it's sweet breath.
Lauren Wilkinson made a pretty cute comic about me, over on the Birdsong site.
Wanted to write some lengthy blog post about my exciting weekend. Hanging out with friends drinking wine and riding the subway, singing. I don't think it makes much sense for me to detail the kind of sex I've been having. Boys in the mornings and in the afternoons (times when it's light out) asking me to explain myself. Who I am, what I do, where the bruises on my legs came from. Hickeys fade. Living a Breeders lyric. That's what early summer feels like to me.
Dominant themes are of whiskers and claws.