Glitter Up the Dark Review on Lambda Literary

Back in March, I was supposed to read in San Antonio at Gertrude Press and the University of Texas Press‘ joint offsite AWP reading event. I was especially looking forward to sharing the bill with Sasha Geffen. After the event got cancelled (thanks pandemic), I got in touch with Sasha, who was kind enough to send me a copy of their book Glitter Up the Dark. My review of the book is live on Lambda Literary.

The book is very readable; Geffen’s love of music shines through every page. I was happy to have included a section about the late Richard Penniman in the review:  

A raunchy anecdote about recently departed Little Richard telegraphs Geffen’s emphasis on voice. In its original version (Tutti Frutti / Good booty), his 1957 smash was the paean to butt sex you didn’t know you needed; even in the cleaned-up recorded version, an attuned listener can clock the libido in his wild singing. Vocal performance has a capacity to reach our inner selves; for queer people confronting a social order that excludes them, the effect can be cathartic as well as erotic.

Thanks to William Johnson for the thoughtful edit.

Gay Sexual Outlaw essay in Daily Xtra

I answered a call for “essays about the moments you saw yourself in pop culture” from Toronto’s Daily Xtra and my essay was accepted. It’s a tribute to Debbie Harry, and a diss on the film it served as theme. it chronicles the effects of hearing Blondie’s genre-crashing track “Call Me” on me at 16.  #RepesentationMatters

I’d taken the lyrics as a sort of instruction manual in the absence of any other. Its beat, repetition, sultry coaxing, and charged inferences accompanied me as I navigated longing.

BlondieCallMe45

Thanks to Natalie Wee for the prompt, and to Natalie and Rachel Giese, Director of Editorial, for the thoughtful and thought-provoking edit.