Across the highway

17 04 2018

Lenna Pierce wrote on Facebook

A dog came and licked my hand while I was crying on the street.

and i remembered one winter when
by some miracle i was in New York City
and my friend Robin took me to a concert
in somebody’s apartment
(i didn’t know concerts could be in people’s apartments)
there was a lot of weed going around
and i was anxious cuz Robin was anxious
about a boy and not being loved, enough
but mostly i was anxious because
there were so many cool people in this cool apartment
in New York (so cool, too cool, so cool cool cool cool)

but halfway through the concert
my uncoolness and the lonesomeness
of never being loved enough
lifted for about five minutes when Lenna came on stage
(aka the middle of the living room)
and she played this song called Prairie Kids
about how we all wanna leave where we grew up
how we fling ourselves on these coastal cities –
New York, LA, Shanghai, London –
and end up still ourselves, still our unloved, unknown selves

and it broke me.
Broke me in half like a melon dropped on the pavement
all my insides leaking out, like oh thank god
so relieved. me too, me too
just like you, like all of you

It was one of those moments when you just “get” art, you know?
like what it’s for,
you know?

to that Facebook post
I replied

one time i was crying and a cat did that, and I tried to make myself cry harder so he’d keep doing it, but he could tell and he walked away


1.28.2018 & 2.1.2008

3 04 2018


Something you don’t know

When I’m gazing at you
my dick gazes too



People always ask me:

Why the fuckyourmother why!

They don’t leave you with much

6 02 2018

He gave you tears cried late at night

another Saturday wasted & drunk

he said —

something about a girl in a yellow dress —

a song that his father loved.

He made you listen to it twice, each time he cried

tears that felt significant

like glimpsing something through a crack in the door.

“I’m starting to love her like you loved me”

Words texted to you, months later,

as if it were an unexpected blessing

the coda to your heartbreak, a miracle

your ashes your burning down

providing nourishment to his spring, bursting through the topsoil

Glory! Hallelujah!



Poor you

Boo hoo

Always the worshiper, never the worshiped

Always the shadow, cast upon the ground, by some sunnier, better lover


What about the love you squandered?

He bought you a necklace – a piece of glass the color of mouthwash

Back when the apartment spent most of his cash, he bought it for you with

as much as he could afford and more

Back when the two of you slept on your mother’s borrowed bed

awash in afternoon light and fumbling at sex. When

you felt something like worship and seen

but you were ugly in small fearful ways

You put the cat in a box and left shit in the garage


Did you think you’d forget?

That you could dress yourself up in sensible slacks, estranged from regret

That you could step out on the snow and not think about the roiling worms below

That you could take the next step as the first?


And why not?

Why not lie to yourself and say —

I am good,

and I deserve to give and receive love in equal measure

I will not put myself above or below my lover

and I will learn to use the postal service, put away money,

and speak regularly to my mother

I am finally whole and healed

and all of that was in the past

why not?

(12.26.2007) & (12.30.2007)

5 09 2017


Short Poem

Your cock
is short and wet



I’m on the bed
You’re on the bed


28 08 2017



Youth is slim –
A gust of wind blows it away
Upon return,
A bloated coffin follows

Ren Hang – Poems

21 08 2017

A few years ago, I edited a couple issues of Far Enough East – a Shanghai based literary journal that a few friends and I started. We had high hopes but no time, and Shanghai has always been a city of transients.

I was really proud of this issue:

Ren Hang

But if you try to find it now, our URL takes you to a Japanese site that seems to be touting hair removal.

Oh well. Things are lost all the time.

What I remember about this issue was that I wanted to feature some poetry from the photographer – Ren Hang. I was going to translate his poems, and I can’t remember if I ever did. There’s no way to check now, because the site is gone. I remember, he very kindly let us use whatever photographs we wanted.

I heard that Ren Hang killed himself in February, mourned a bit, then went on with my life.

I wandered into a Ren Hang solo show in Shanghai a little while ago, and found his photographs beautiful, and forgot about it again.

Then, today, my good friend asked me if I wanted to go to that same show i wandered into.

I don’t believe in ghosts, but I do believe in a confluence of events. I also believe that random events can have meaning if you decide to act upon them in response.

I’ve been reading about the afterlife in Judaism recently. The idea of a legacy resonates with me. The living may perpetuate what is immortal about the dead. I’d like to contribute in some small way to perpetuating Ren Hang’s legacy. From afar, he seemed honest, in some way.

He left his pictures behind. And his words. I’d like to bring them into English. To mark and witness him.




Did you understand me when I traced “I love u” on your skin?

9 07 2017

I am resorting to such cowardly ways and means.

Setting my transparencies on the projector, overlaying them upon your blank white screen

But you are not a blank white screen.

Presumptuous of me to fall back into assuming

You have also your inadequacies

I know

I have felt so

Too small or too scarred or too mute

My lines meet your lines, and converge or diverge, blur and obscure

till neither of us is clearly seen

so I think you think I’m not sexy, think you think I’m not quite right, think you think you can’t be weak around me

so you think I think you’re not strong enough, think I think you can’t satisfy me, think I think you’re not quite right

I don’t know what quite right might be. Do you?

I don’t know what satisfaction is. Do you?

I don’t know what you are like, when you’re weak. I don’t dare ask you to show me, to trust me.

You make me lonely.

You make me throw back my head and laugh.

You make me cum hard.

You make me feel as if the stars are singing to me from a room down the hall.

You make me sad and happy.

You smell like the woods, and almonds, and milk

I am trying to be your blank white screen

I am trying to be your blank white screen

I am trying

I am trying so hard

I am trying

I think you are trying to tell me you love me