“Miss Bensonhurst” in Ovunque Siamo

Ovunque Siamo is a journal of new Italian-American writing. The title–translation Wherever We Are–is apt for our assimilated and diffuse ethnic body.

Miss Bensonhurst”  is a fictional account of my grandmother’s friendship with Marylin Monroe. The story was first presented in nonfiction form in 2013 in Salon.

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.

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#Queer v. 2 now with Raunch…

Today’s the release of  Volume 2 of the Anthology Hashtag QueerMy short story  “Raunch Daddy” appears . Purchase print and kindle editions at the link. Loosely based on sex work experiences, the character “Dean”  is based on the late Dean Johnson. 

“I think I’m in love with Benito,” Nick confessed over a beer.

“Who’s Benito?” asked Dean.

“You set me up with him. The Mexican writer in the West Village?”

“Oh, raunch daddy,” Dean said with laughter. “You can’t go falling in love with your johns. You’ll go out of business!”

HQ2 front cover

Twofer! “Miss Bensonhurst” in Ovunque Siamo; “Raunch Daddy” in Hashtag Queer

Two short stories placed within a few days of each other and they couldn’t be more different.

“Miss Bensonhurst,” a fictional account  of my grandmother’s real-life friendship with Marilyn Monroe, will appear in Ovunque Siamo‘s July issue. OS (“Wherever we are”) is a journal of Italian-American writing so it’s a great fit for this story of MM’s interaction with Italian-American culture.

“Raunch Daddy” will appear in Volume 2 of the Anthology Hashtag QueerIt’s a story mined directly from my sex work past which I believe succeeds in subverting conventional sex worker narratives. 

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Off the Rocks Reading in Boystown

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Photo credit: contributor Chuck Kramer

NewTown Writers  hosted this reading at the Center on Addison.  Bringing New York in the 80’s flavor to Chicago:

He’d been crossing through the Ramble by night for years, as Smart lived on the East Side and he lived on the West. He navigated its paths by moonlight, nodding to a few familiar huddles of men. Sometimes ambling through its shabby splendor was the only way to shake off Smart’s fixated gaze.

 

Off the Rocks #21 Reading in Chicago

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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!

“Choke a Horse” (fiction) in Off the Rocks

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.

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Naked Reading for Filth

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.

Thank you for joining me on this dadbod journey.

The Velvet Collar Interviews

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Storm, Rica, & Abel from Issue 1 of Velvet Collar:Unhappy Endings. Artist: Dave Davenport

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.

 

 

Reading for Filth – The Real Big Johnson 2017 – Full Text

(Read at Club Cumming, New York on September 20th, 2017)

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:

Continue reading Reading for Filth – The Real Big Johnson 2017 – Full Text

“Not that I know of” at R4F

SpermDonorOn 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.