Queering the Scandal in Shakespeare's Sonnets
Robert Wilson and Rufus Wainwright’s musical staging of carefully selected Shakespeare sonnets offers a queer reading on multiple levels. By voicing the sonnets across a ribald coterie of characters, and thus, scrambling the possibilities for potential targets of their amorous desires, new constellations of attraction, longing, and loss are charted and memorialized.
Whatever Happened to New York City Opera
The American Reader
One thing that seems to have slipped through all the hoi polloi is that in the precarious window between Gerard Mortier’s resignation and the board’s appointment of George Steel, I was leading a guerrilla campaign to take over the New York City Opera.
I hadn’t drawn any obvious connections between the work that Todd Shalom and Niegel Smith were putting together and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s densely threaded critical writing. Not, that is, until the night of the Elastic CIty walk, when Todd and Niegel pointedly turned the subject of the walk to shame.
The Fall of the House of Whimsy
The Fall of The House of Whimsy is a rich and haunting exhibition of artifacts, media and ephemera from Justin Vivian Bond’s soon-to-be-demolished Second Avenue apartment in New York. Everything in this exhibition is inviting, everything suggests, and everything is imbued with V’s whimsically defiant queer sensibility.
Tender Bottoms explores observations and anxieties about contemporary gay domesticity—the vicissitudes of romantic attachment, aging, fucking, social accountability, politics, and the reliance on life-sustaining pharmaceuticals—refracted in an homage to Gertrude Stein. The poems variously hew to and depart from Stein’s compositional program, finding something new to value in her poetic innovations while also asking for something more, not just from Stein, but from the present moment. A wry map of pleasure and presentiment emerges between the repetition of nightly television watching and the daily ingestion of anti-retroviral pills; between the incessant loading and unloading of a dishwasher and the dreams of love and professional success that such an appliance is implicitly asked to support; a queer portrait, perhaps, of what Stein called “the bottom nature” of American life.
Selections published inThe New Engagement
Passing Affliction, unpublished manuscript
When a sudden stomach upset leaves him with a chronic anal itch, Brad Joy’s Pottery Barn-perfect life in upstate New York is thrown irrevocably off kilter. Struggling to cope, Brad falls further and further down the rabbit hole of self-obsession until he meets Ian, a flamboyant, hazel-eyed ex-modern dancer who offers Brad an opportunity to transform his pain into pleasure.
An excerpt of Affliction has been published on KGB Bar Lit.