“Love is being able to look at your mortality
and saying “thank you” for the moments it
bent, broke, and birthed you.”
I’m happy to announce the public release of my first book of poems “loverboi.”! The book is a compilation of over seven years worth of writing alongside some new pieces I’ve written in the last six months. I was fortunate enough to be able to partner with the owner of ISA Studios, Kielle Relles, and host a book release party in Chicago this past weekend. It was here I performed select poems from the book for the first time. This was an overwhelmingly life changing experience as it was my first time performing in seven years. At the end of my performance I held a little Q&A. I was asked by an audience member, “why now?”, and this question has stuck with me since.
Ever since I came out as gay I hid away inside of my photography projects and short films. I never fully addressed the psychological ramifications of suppressing my identity throughout my upbringing let alone the sexual trauma I endured while growing up. It wasn’t until I was face to face with an uncomfortable situation pertaining to a past abuser last winter that I finally addressed my mental health issues. I’m far from perfect but I can finally manage my PTSD and suicidal tendencies in healthy manner. It took addressing the root of my issues and sharing the brutal shit I had gone through with my parents to finally be able to look at myself and feel the same genuine love I have felt for so many other people. So.
Because I can finally say that I do love myself and I want to share what that journey can feel like. While the circumstances I’ve gone through are unique to me, everyone can relate to having to overcome their own unique traumas along with overcoming the feeling of unworthiness and struggling to find the light in their lives. I am here, along with my art, to help you find a reason to wake up again. To trust yourself again. To open yourself up to the love that exists inside you.
“Loverboi.” is made up of four chapters:
(1) Come Sit With me (2) Inside a 35mm Dream (3) Where You Call Me (4) Loverboi.
Throughout these chapters I talk about past relationships, my suicidal relapses that pop up every so often, surviving rape, living with PTSD, falling in love for the first time, and learning how to love myself.
I open and close the book with the following poem called
“All I See Are Daisies”:
“a humming surrounds my bedroom
the heat from the projector holds me
while the sweat running down my skin
begs to become the world’s sixth ocean
but all I see are daisies.
all I see are daisies humming out memories
lo-fi hip hop beats and top 40 single dreams
wired from the tendons in my left arm to your right.
I’m a physical love letter penned by the grace of god
she hands me over to you and tells you,
”sink yourself into me and let these waves
bend, break, and birth you into who you’ve always
wanted to be.”
No…into who you’ve always needed someone else to be.
I closed my eyes to listen to my intuition
and let him guide me through all this noise
was it in the static that heaven and hell forged
their truce inside my body?
or the radio silence you handed me
that sunk me deep into a sea of understanding?
all around me is a projection of daisies that really
just turned out to be the polaroids I set on fire of you and me
happy, in love, sleeping inside of a 35mm dream
imagined in an empty screenwriter’s stream of consciousness,
boy how I’ve been so self-conscious.
I’ve asked and I’ve begged you to teach me
how to say goodbye with a twisted knot in my tongue.
how to unlove you,
The answers came to me in riddles
in intuition, dreams between us,
and phone calls every 4 months when you decided
maybe you could handle the sound of my voice.
Goodbye isn’t a word in my vocabulary,
& my love and passion for you
is really a reflection of my love
& passion for myself.
loving you improved me
missing you elevated me
knowing you launched me
into being a better human being.
you took my PTSD and softened him
loved him & threw him back into the Atlantic
so he could learn how to swim side by side
with the whales and sharks of the city.
You took a jaded boy and you molded him
broke him, & reassembled him
into a vision of the future you wanted.
I got to decide who
I would become after
you pulled the plug.
And here I am
in all my glory
thick heart pumping
out love letters to
the world in the role
I was born to play of
You can order a paperback copy or e-book version of “loverboi.”
by clicking here