The reading took place at the charming Charmers Cafe in the Jarvis Square neighborhood of Chicago. The excerpt I read ended with these lines:
Something about seeing this aristocratic British man tied to his throne with his own silk had soothed him, like the synchronized click of jail door magnets on multiple strike plates. Behold my colonizer!
I’ve been attending NewTown Writers workshops in Chicago. NewTown has been actively workshopping and publishing since 1982. “Choke a Horse,” a short story based on an earlier short memoir piece of the same title appears in this year’s anthology, Off the Rocks #21 :
“What’s the charge?” Nick demanded as the cop handcuffed him.
“Indecent exposure,” the cop replied.
“Nothing was exposed until you came along with your flashlights.”
Thanks to Bruce Kamsler for facilitating workshops and Robert Klein Engler for the diligent edit and fine cover art.
For this mash-up of two Club Cumming events, Reading for Filth got naked for Drink and Draw. Sketchpads out! I gave a read-aloud version of my essay on kink published by the Rumpus:
…I act out a shadow play of a naked and fearless man confronting the reign of solitude. He wants to see it conquered, and I want a warm new hostage. He sees it with his eyes, his deep stare containing the vastness of the night sky. He feels it in his soft, vulnerable places, as I detect his silent pulsing above traffic and sirens. He inhales the scent of conquest flowing from my glands, as I lay claim to more dark territory.
The creators of Velvet Collar, a comic book series which examines the lives of male sex workers and the impact of the rentboy raid, are sex worker Bryan Knight and queer comic artist Dave Davenport. I interviewed Bryan in person and Dave by email for Tits and Sass.
Bryan’s describes his concept:
“..all five characters are based on workers or porn performers, active or formerly active. I wanted the characters to be inspired by real people and stories. Several are personal friends; they’ve signed waivers, legally allowing me to use their likenesses and names, although I stick with their performer names.”
Thanks to Caty and Josephine at T&S for the thoughtful edit.
Our founder Dean Johnson died in Washington, D.C. ten years ago to the day. Some of you here knew him and some of you didn’t so let’s pay tribute! East Village legend. Dean and the Weenies–seminal queercore band. He rocked drag on his tall skinny punk frame– the original bald queen. He faced homophobia in the music industry. As he wrote in his blog:
On the night of the Summer Solstice, I filled in at the 🌈 PRIDE edition of Reading for Filth at Eastern Bloc. Told the story of being a gay sperm donor in my twenties:
Nurse Stern, who was separated from me by a Lucite wall, just like in a money bank, slid a stack of porn magazines and a little cup through the deal tray. The porn was all hetero, of course–one issue of Juggs, a Leg Show, the one on the bottom pretty hardcore. I wordlessly pushed the porn back at her, keeping the cup. We glared at each other for a hot minute through the speak hole, then she pointed towards a small room with a bench and a counter.
Reading for Filth is back at a new venue–– the transitioning Eastern Bloc (soon to be Alan Cumming’s aptly-named venture, Club Cumming). For the 4/26 inaugural reading, I brought “Raunch Daddy” a short epistolary:
All is illusion except for your odor, mi norteño. Let me also remind you that it’s quite inconvenient–given my populist and anti-imperialist leanings–to be so enraptured by your capitalist body.
Atop the Quarter in the Hotel Monteleone’s Vieux Carré Room with some fellow Saints & Sinners Short Fiction Contest finalists: Debra Curtis, winner J. Marshall Freeman, P.D. Walter, runner-up Alise Wascom, Thomas Westerfield, Louis Flint Ceci, Chris Smith, William Moeck, and contest judge Michael Thomas Ford.
“She and the girls are enveloped in the warm bakelite booth. A curtain shields her from the crowds. The two little angels share the hard seat. The camera – that possessed apparatus which would stalk her to the end – here blinks obediently. Flash.”
“Miss Bensonhurst,” a fictional account of my grandmother Helen Rizzo’s friendship with Marilyn Monroe circa 1953, is a finalist in the 2017 Writers @ Work Annual Writing Competition. The fiction judge is Christina Garcia.
Carte Blanche, based in Montreal, is an internationally recognized magazine of creative nonfiction. “Canadian Vacation,” an account of that time I smuggled my ex across the 49th parallel, is featured in Issue 29 (Winter 2017).
Sure, we barely knew each other – but that wasn’t the point. Whatever journey we were on was not going to end with this mean mom-lady in beige.