on philando castile

June 22, 2017

as a queer person in this world,
there are so many
and places
where i don’t feel

in those times and
in those places, i know that,
if i keep my mouth closed
if pay attention to my walk
if don’t hold my boyfriend’s hand
i’ll likely get from a to b

most of the time.

when i walk police, i’m terrified.

i’m terrified.

because i know the history of the police and queer people.
i know what they do to us if given the chance.


i legitimately wonder with disturbing regularity:
if i need help
can i call them?
should i call them?
will they help me?
or will they be worse than the men chasing me?

flip a coin.

the reality is
when i walk past police (terrified, always)
my experience is

they look right through me; i’m not even there.

because they don’t see me as a threat, they don’t even see me.
because a big white dude
walking down the street
is almost never a problem in their eyes,
though we know the reality of that
is quite different.

with rare exceptions,
an african american can’t hide their blackness.
and all evidence seems to suggest that
all police can see when they see a black person
is a potential threat.

and, apparently, we keep telling them
that fear is justified.
fire away.
you’re right to be afraid.
you’re allowed to defend yourself against fear
using your gun
on anyone
with impunity.

if they’re black.

i don’t know what we can do
as a nation
(as a world, really) to
fight end racism
fight end white supremacy
to stop seeing danger in black and brown skin.
i have no solutions and
if change it possible
(if! such hopelessness that proposition creates in me)
it will take many many more generations.

which breaks my heart.

because what that means is, now,
black people won’t know safety in america.
black bodies
will continue
to pile up
while my white neighbors see nothing
do nothing

over and over
as my heart is destroyed
surrounded by the injustice
of being more
than you.

and my kingdom as great.

You have no power over me.

R.I.P., Goblin King

dear world.
have i been going.

the details of which
are relegated to my actual journal.
but shit, man, let me tell you;
this week, i’ve been blabbing
to anyone who’d listen.
strangers even.

be warned.
asking, “how are you?”
is going to get a real response.
now is not the time to expect pleasantries from me.

i’ve been trying to pull back
from the specifics of what’s been bothering me
to think about what it says about who i am.
(i try to be reflective whenever possible)

and these are the things i know to be true:

i have worked really hard over the past four years to imbricate myself within a network of friends who love and respect me. i would argue that i rarely call upon that network in times of need, emotional especially, but i’ve had to the past couple of weeks and all i can say is my investment has paid off. my work (such as it is) and friendships are on. fucking. point. this year and i’m being consciously grateful for that.

i have also come to realize that in focusing on strengthening certain parts of my personality, work ethic, and friendships, i have created a false sense of security, a kind of bubble if you’ll pardon the lame metaphor. i operate under a delusion that i am in far greater control of my life, or perhaps more accurately myself, than i actually am because i’ve limited its general scope. this means that, when faced with new things, especially things that are unexpectedly difficult and generally foreign to how i live ma vie quotidienne, i am basically a child. the adult, rational part of my brain, overdeveloped through years of academic discipline, is simply inadequate for certain challenges. i’m not sure what to do about that quite yet, but i imagine recognizing a weakness in my character (by which i mean things with which i am unpracticed) is a good first step.

all of this is beginning to sound like an epic subtweet of sorts, a kind of return to the “i know who my real friends are” or “you know what you did” moments of livejournal circa 2004. this is not my goal. my goal is to point out two things:

1. i have come to realize that asking for help is a good thing because i have people in my life who’ll do it without question. i am going to allow myself to be “weak” now and then. (though i’m to make a habit of it)

2. i love the upjohn company for their creation of xanax because god knows i’d never make it through this life without the help of a little western medicine now and then.

setting all this cryptic emotional bullshit aside, (which is suddenly feeling so self indulgent that i should have just written it in my actual journal after all) how about ending on a high note, eh?

i think it’s been roughly 1.5 years
since i’ve knit
a single stitch.

(this is,
of course,
simply an estimate
as i’m far to lazy to confirm)

but look what i dug up
airports require knitting, right?*

i’m hoping i can re-access
that meditative quality that
drew me to knitting to begin with
because the alternative is bourbon
and mixing pills and booze, well,
that’s a road one should avoid.





*pray for my gauge


April 16, 2013

this is my fourth attempt at writing about this

because i saw an image that completely traumatized me,

that made me feel

and react

in ways

i no longer do.

my brain has learned how to protect me.

at least ninety nine percent of the time

i feel nothing, really.

this time,

i just couldn’t handle

this one image

of a man

who is now half a man

if he survives/d.

and all i know now is

i am deeply grateful to have a mom to call crying,

for the joy of friends watching drag queens on television,

for a best friend who talks to me for hours about her life,

for mo,



to anything

but finding the perfect spot in bed.

sock progress as of last night:

sock progress as of this afternoon:

my instructions say to begin the toe decreases 2.25″ shy of the total sock length. when i measured my sock i had about 6.25″ of sock. when i just about finished my toe decreases,
i’d knitting about 2 more inches,
bring my sock length to
7.5″ total.

now, i’m no math major
but i’m pretty sure 6.25″ + 2.0″ ≠ 7.5″.
therefore, i have come to the only reasonable conclusion;
i am apparently incapable of correctly measuring the length of a sock.
even though these socks are for someone with small lady feet,
i’m pretty sure they don’t have some kind of baby foot;
an inch of negative ease is a bit much
when we’re talking foot length.
7.5″ ain’t gonna cut it.
(that’s what she said!)

last night’s knitting may have been for naught,
but i’ll finish this bitch by tonight.

in life news,
i took my french midterm today,
and it was wicked hard mes amis.
i had to translate a bunch of things
including a passage about mythical creatures in ireland.

to add to that weirdness,
i had the following encounter:

[setting: msu international center courtyard. steven is leaving the atm heading back to the lot where his car is parked]

“hello. how’re you today” says a man in a thick middle eastern accent. unsure that he was addressing me, i turned to see a slight man smiling. apparently, i was being addressed. this is perhaps odd, but not totally outside realm of possibility. we have a large international student population and most of them stay for the summer since it is very expensive to return home. i figured he was just practicing his english or found it amusing to disconcert a stranger by addressing him. soon, however, i realized he was matching my pace.
“i can make friends?” he says.
“excuse me?” i say, confused by the question.
“i can make friends” he repeats more confidently, extending his hand.
while this continued contact enhanced the oddness of this encounter, i was raised to be polite to people. i suppressed initial thought of who is this creepster?! and took his hand, shook it as best one can a limp clammy fish of a hand, and said “sure”. after all, why can’t we all be friends, right?
“what is your name?” he asks.
again, i tell myself he must have just left his esl summer class and is trying to practice his english.
“steven” i say, smiling paternally.
apparently, this is an unusual name to arabic ears since he had a hard time getting his mind and mouth around the phonetics of it. he would ask me that question at least four more times.
“i am __________” he says.
“i’m from saudi arabia. you know where that is?”
i respond affirmatively, trying to hide my annoyance with such a ridiculous question. like i don’t know where saudi arabia is! he continues in this vein, asking if i study here, informing me that he does too and now i’m catching on.
he is practicing his english, i think
since this stuff is foreign language 101.
university-themed vocab.
that kind of thing.
i proceed with the pleasantries, answering politely if succinctly in hopes of signally my desire to end this linguistic exchange
when things take a turn:

“i like your body. you have time now?”

now, this isn’t my first time at the rodeo; i’ve been around the block and i’ve had men step to me in a variety of ways. but never have i had a stranger from a foreign land inform me in broad daylight in the middle of campus with people all around that he likes my body and inquire if i “had time now.” i kindly thanked him and informed him that i did not, in fact, “have time now” and continued to walk hoping that would end things. undaunted, he followed me saying,
“no worries. another time. i have car. we can go somewhere.”

i don’t know what kind of pheromone i was putting off that made this man think that i’m the sort of guy who gets into the cars of foreign (or domestic) business majors simply because they ask.

i mean, maybe if he were a saudi prince. . . .

but i digress.
the rest is a bit of blur.
suffice it to say i walked off
unharmed, if totally weirded out.

when i was sure i was out of his line of sight,
i remember pausing, looking back, and thinking:

rip whitney

February 11, 2012

this song is and will always be my jam.rip whitney 😦

worst day of my life

September 4, 2011

i don’t know why i’m writing a blog post right now. i guess it’s because i don’t know what else to do. and perhaps also, i’m so sick and twisted that i need there to be a public record of today . . .

this morning mo let me know it was time to walk him, that i’d slept too long. in the fog of sleepiness, i grabbed my spare set of car keys (not my actual set of keys) and locked myself out of my apartment. with no phone, and no wallet (and unfortunately no underwear), i had no way of getting in touch with my landlord on a sunday to let me in. taking a deep breath i bundled up mo in the car and headed to my office on campus where i was sure an ancient computer and phone would be my salvation. of course as soon as i parked i realized it was sunday, and without my keys there was no way in.

i went back to my apartment in hopes that if i parked very close to it, i could get my car’s built in blue tooth to connect to my car and i could call someone. of course who i had in mind, i don’t know. it was a pipe dream anyway.

so i decided that, since i had on my sleeping clothes, i hadn’t showered, and hadn’t brushed my teeth, i’d head to my parents house.

an hour and a half later i arrived at my childhood hope. my parents are out of town for their anniversary (i won’t even get into what i had to do to get into their house without my keys) so i looked at this situation as a mini trip to the country until monday tuesday when i could get ahold of my landlord and get into my apartment. i did of course check my lease and their website to see if there was some phone number i could call in an “emergency”, but alas there is none.

how bad could it be? sure i have no wallet and no phone and internet from about 2001, but i could make do. i printed off some readings so i wouldn’t fall behind in my school work, and i could prepare my little spiel for my first day of teaching on thursday. i took some meat out to thaw for dinner, and mo and i took a nap.

this is where things get serious. this is where you all will think i’m crazy for writing a blog post. like i said, i don’t know what else to do.

i headed out back with some pork chops to grill, and mo hung out on and around the deck with me. somewhere while i was concentrating on the grilling outside, and the food inside, i stopped paying attention to mo.

with a sinking feeling, i thought, “where is he?”

and that’s the question of the hour; where is mo? he has run off. in the pitch black countryside, i have walked up and down country roads, up and down neighbors driveways hoping to find him, or find the person who has him. i’ve even gotten in the car to drive a ways in all directions to scan the road for his body. i didn’t find one which might be today’s only mercy.

somewhere from the depths of my being, my catholicism came out. i’ve been invoking saints and jesus, begging anyone with any power in the world to bring him back to me.

i’ve stopped crying long enough to make a flyer which i will spend all day tomorrow putting up all over town.

tonight, i’m sleeping on my deck in case mo decides to come home in the middle of the night.

i don’t know what to do. my whole family is gone. i’m on my own in this, and i’m ill-equipped to handle it.

i’m a 26 year old man holding my dogs harness weeping, that kind of crying you only do maybe three times in your whole life when you’re completely overwhelmed by sadness, and nothing can comfort you.

if you believe in something, god, the universe, whatever, please pray for my momo to come home to me.

i don’t know what i’ll do without him.


April 13, 2011

i begin this post with a caveat; i’m in the hospital, on narcotics, and writing from my ipod. editors of the world cool it, k?

dear blogosphere. i have not forsaken you intentionally. at first, super secret knitting and subsequent lack of anything resembling knitting mojo kept me from writing. then it was the sheer gravity of the changes my life was soon to face. i found everything to be a bit much, and the writing stopped.

for instance:
i surprised everyone by leaving natural stitches a month early. i’d saved enough to pay my bills and thought the time off would be good for me, give me extra time to hunt for an apt in nyc, and hang with the people i love in the burgh.

and that’s when i realized that i accidentally started settling down here. pittsburgh was always supposed to be a stepping stone in my life plans. somehow, after years of being a nomad, my desire to heed the north wind was greatly diminished. i no longer wanted to leave, and had made absolutely no way for me to continue living here.

i have an internship in new york, and position in the phd program i most wanted in my home state waiting for me in the fall.

and yet, i want to stay.

there are people i love here, people i don’t want to lose. people i want to continue knitting with, laughing over tacos or pho or brunch. gossiping, hugging, fucking.

you know. a happy life.

but love won’t pay my bills, nor secure for me a future i’ve been building towards for years. that’s on me.

not making a viable option for staying in pittsburgh is the first real regret i can point to in my life. i guess that’s not too bad for twenty six years.

then things happened that were totally blogable and slipped through:

my final package from my secret pal, a kick ass canadian with excellent taste in yarn (angora merino bitches!) and wool wash (eucylan is all i use). and my first two skeins of my first three ply yarn.

totally noteworthy.

posts only ever written in my head.

just when the super secret knitting was getting close to being finished (about a week early even) so i didn’t feel bad about skipping a night of knitting to hit up my friend’s birthday party, my stomach hurt.

laying down seemed like the best course of action. then everything’s a blur:

calling home crying.
googling an emergency room.
trying to find it (thank you iphone).
serious drugs.

your appendix maybe?


that bitch and I divorced ten years ago.
drove home on crazy drugs with rx for more, and instructions for what to do if things got worse/better.
nap time.
more pain.
frantic calls to get a ride back to er.
er now full of people clearly not in an emergency situation, but get treated before me anyway.
more scans with dye in me.
dye makes me feel like i’m on fire/wetting the bed.
more crazy crazy drugs.

it is my appendix.
apparently, it can happen.

i can never be normal.

almost a week later, after too many strangers have seen my cock, ass, and jiggly bits, after getting excited about farting, and taking the messiest shit known to man (and not being able to clean up unaided), after projectile vomiting sticky green goo all over myself not once, but twice, the long and the short of it is, something is keeping my pipes from fully getting started up again. this means more surgery to cut at scar tissue, and maybe remove some bits i rather wish i could keep.

this is serious. if the surgery doesn’t go well, and i don’t get flowing fast enough this time, it could be months of recovery.

no one prepares you for when the scary shit is gonna mess with *you* this time. luckily, i haven’t been alone in all this or god knows I wouldn’t have made it this far. i got two loving parents, a soul twin, a mixologist/driver, my mother/sister/aunt, two of the best men i’ve ever met to make me laugh and help me walk, and tweeters from far and wide to comfort my weary soul. not too shabby in terms of visitors and well wishers.

plus the person in the next room sounds way worse off than i am.

it’s the little things.