My new novel JOY, PA has been walking the streets, seeking a home, for several months now. Here are some of the closed doors.
“ How spectacular this is. How searing and brilliant. How deeply, deeply dark—and sad. But I can’t quite do it. Being so tangibly in that world is too hard, even for this lover of the darker American realities.
All of my life I have spent, in one way or another, negotiating with desire, bargaining with the psyche to strike a balance between want and need. Granted, this is a hard won realization; only recently have I come to understand the core of the struggle—how desire profoundly, subtly, often irrationally informs my decision making process—and I am still just as susceptible to its sway.
Some things that may have informed my arts endeavor:
I used to think it was important to have a secret. I no longer believe this.
I was raised in an environment where fear dictated choices and decisoins.
I am the son of a fearful mother and a father who had no positive male role models in his life.
This is the poem that inspired The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break.
As with nearly every other form of human expression, the work in What I Did Last Summer functions on several levels. For me, in art/painting parlance, the least of these is the conceptual. The obvious, and often asked, question is some version of “Why the single breast?” As a writer and a visual artist, I figured out a long time ago that exploring the why of an idea was counterproductive as a first (or next, or eventual?) step.