The house is a myth in which I do not appear

The house is a myth in which I do not appear

Why can’t I just talk to you?
We’re gonna be ok. Just gotta open up

A misty girl floats through the kitchen.
I watch you do your makeup.
Buffalo Bill kills fat girls in the next room. 

Holding that big fat Zach Morris phone as he
beat me from some other gray room
for how I was raising his daughter.

The house is a blue rectangle in which I hid.
I had my own blue rectangle inside.
Blue was the cheating lover’s chair
you tossed on the front lawn.
I have a hurt brunette woman living inside me, too.

Why can’t I just talk to you?
When was that ever a possibility?
You were sad. You were tired. I became your little boyfriend.
I managed the little blue rectangle while you were at work.
I rubbed your back and listened to your problems.
I wonder if I had insomnia just to see you.

You watched me disappear.
30 pounds underweight.
I get it. My pain wasn’t as painful as your pain.
I get it. My sadness wasn’t as sad as your sadness.

“Oh, Erik, you’re borderline!”
you said when I was honest.
“You’re a lucky little boy,”
you said when he threw me by the hair.

You laughed. You all shoved those girly pics in my face
and you laughed as I squirmed. I still can’t
look at stripteases. I still can
barely admit I like women. 

Stick that in your generational homophobia and smoke it:
You shoved a little bi kid into a big gay closet.

And so I was the gentle family faggot,
with the expansive bosom and the
waves of fear. And I 

Strove and I strove, and often teachers are nice
to kids who have no one. (Course
sometimes they make you stand in
literal closets
on suspicion of queerness,

And no, that’s not a metaphor, that’s a
thing that happened to your 12-year-old.
In case you were
wondering. Like, to comfort yourself.)

Sometimes teachers tell your dad you’re
precocious and
then you get in hit in the head in a
tan 90s car while AM radio plays basketball scores.

What’s that like, three,
four times a childhood?
We can, we can all agree on that, right?

It was never kids I feared.
Well, except relations.
When they hold you down and shower you in rubber spiders.
But the adults were right there,
throwing them and laughing.

And it wasn’t the kids who’d take me out in the woods and
tell me about the horrors of Hell that await the licentious faggot.
Kids can make fun of your shoes,
but they can’t reach inside your psyche and make you
fear ever kissing will mean
total soul oblivion.

They told me they wanted to toughen me up for the world.
But the world was ever as awful as them.

Are you gay? What was I, 6?
Are you gay? Maybe you thought you were helping.

But no one ever stopped to say
maybe the boy is just fine the way he is.
Guess I had been blown all the way off course.
Marry the blonde pizza heiress.

Marry the blonde pizza heiress!
Every little queer youth has some version of
Marry the blonde pizza heiress!

Dad’s manager’s kid, arranged marriage at 10, so sweet.
Queers, hear this:
They are mad that we aren’t them again.

An unbroken line of straight(~ish) people before you have done this,
w
hy can’t you?
Maybe it was especially painful for you.

You hate my honesty. You hate that
no closet can hold me. That I
have the chance to become myself
after all these haunted years of lying. 

Why can’t I just talk to you?
Because instead of ever, ever listening to me,
you’d point at a mental image of your father and
call me a drama queen.
That’s why.

The house is a myth in which I do not appear.
The role did not exist, so
I was not cast. It’s
plain as the fucking magnificent pink triangle tattoo on my neck
that my presence is an irritant. It starts a
drop that grows a cloud. 

I can’t go to the house anymore.
I can’t hear another recitation of the
Myth of How I Didn’t Become Erik, Firstborn of the Dales.

Here’s something I need you to know:
There is no Erik.
Erik is a scared little boy who died a long time ago.

I am the main sequence star who arose from the
ashes of Erik’s supernova.
More metallic, more stable, more burnt.
Ready to live a long time. 

I don’t play violin. I didn’t get the girl.
But I don’t hate myself anymore. And I don’t care if that inconveniences anyone. 

I think you’re all in a tremendous lot of pain.
I believe deep down I just inherited the family sickness.
It can’t be judged out, though no one notices that.
It seems like no one is going to make it out intact. 

Love hurts, but it’s not meant to make you die. 

Here I leave the burning effigy of Erik, the man I was intended to be.
The one who married the pizza heiress and kept you in your old age.
Mourn him if you must.
I would rather you consider the place in the house his
descendent can only imagine. 

What is it like not to be disinvited?
What is it like to be enough?
What is it like to have your family structure unquestioned?
Until one baby queer tries out his legs.

It’s hard to give a
fuck about the weather when you’ve
seen the things I’ve seen. So I guess maybe I just don’t
know what to say. 

My name is Schlomo. Let’s start there. 

A man is a hollow thing that goes to a grave

A man is a hollow thing that goes to a grave

A man is a hollow thing that

goes to a grave. His

middle is a scarp of dank

rooms that no longer connect. The

feeling of being a man is having

nowhere to turn. A 

man is a hollow thing that goes to a grave.

A man is a hollow thing that 

waits for a bus. He gets

high and puts on sunglasses and hopes

nobody will see him. He’s

going to a town where they

break his back for pennies. A

man is a hollow thing that waits for a bus.

A boy is not a hollow thing. He’s got

guts and verve just like 

any sensible person. But

laughing is girly and

kindness is queer. A

boy is a thing that gets scooped out.

A man is a hollow thing 

haunted by a father. A

ghost himself treading on crocheted eggshells,

made an ass by the haint of his own. The

primordial father had one bad Tuesday,

but was never allowed to cry. A

man is a hollow thing haunted by a father.

How do I know I’m a man?

My utter uselessness makes me

wish I were dead.

A man is a hollow thing that goes to a grave.