Sunday, February 19, 2012

the greatest loss of all

the numbness seeps in
for me
usually when the cameras turn away

once the media is finished with you
i sit
in reverence, confusion, dismay


how many of our brothers and sisters
mothers, friends, partners, wives
do we need to lose before
we stop
and ask ourselves

what can be done about this?

prescription drugs

quietly - in sleep, in bathtubs
peaceful violence
the rape of a life

as bon iver plays
i think of whitney
laid to rest this afternoon

the media will be done with her now
until their next opportunity
for money

a gift, that voice
talent beyond reason

but, we're all doomed, really
when no one tells us no

'what a nightmare to deal with'
'she's been a mess for years'
'this was inevitable'
we've said and heard it all

but that voice floods in
full of power and pride
joy and sincerity
somehow proving something more

i wonder if we'll ever get it
with sensible legislation
with self-regulation

feeling the pain
instead of swallowing it

so many thoughts..
a waste, a shame, a tragedy

she must have known we loved her

the common denominator
for her
for you

you're loved
breathe in the power of that

even at your lowest
i hope that you can hear that truth
we're none of us half as alone as we feel

the pain is only temporary
and there's always help

whitney didn't write those magic songs
she performed them with a knowledge
a deeper understanding

‎"I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows. If I fail, if I succeed, at least I live as I believe."

the most we can hope
for ourselves
is there

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

countdown to thirty...

the last hours as a person
in my twenties..

shocking how life sneaks up on you

this afternoon
as i tiptoed back out into the world
after days of prolonged hibernation
(weekends during the coldest days of winter will do that to you)
i was blown away by the humanity

it's all around us

a young black boy on the train in oversized hand-me-down clothes
fishing for something in his backpack
a book(!)
he stands alone, earnest, sincere
reading "Dragons of the Cauldron" or something like that

i wanted to say that i was proud of him
for reading
for traveling by himself
for seeming so brave

but he was not my son

the boy
the profile of a man on the subway
the smile of a 'boardwalk empire' costume designer as she fit me into my suit
glimmers of a life i know i'll lead
partnership, work, a family

puzzle pieces
still being searched for..

my twenties have been about so many things

fun, frivolity
learning to be a man- through error more than trial
stepping out of my comfort zone into just about every job that came my way

actor, painter, casting intern, production assistant,
telesales caller, p.r. novice, off broadway script supervisor
host, waiter, gallerista, talent agency slave

when i look back and think of all the experiences

savannah, georgia - paris, france,
rosie o'donnell, road trips, mardi gras
opening night parties
my brother's wedding, woody allen at the carlyle alongside my mom
the men: likes, lusts and loves
stepping onto the set of "sex and the city 2"
all of the paintings i didn't know were locked inside me
dreams happening, in real time

i look back and i'm grateful
but also realize how afraid i've been

at thirty comes a kind of timid wisdom

failure used to terrify me
not trying so hard seemed the smarter choice
i now feel that not trying my hardest WAS the ultimate failure

to look back and say i didn't succeed
because i couldn't allow myself to fail
i shake my head in bafflement, disappointed
so misguided
so.. young

i sit here
in the apartment on the upper east side of manhattan
that i actually own a piece of

settled spatially
afloat in most other areas

i look at the clock
the countdown creeps on

just what do you DO with your last few hours
as a twenty-something?

i will accidentally miss the last bikram yoga class of the day
watch "glee"
read "the help"
go to bed

the clock will strike midnight
and i will begin my 30th year

there won't be another man beside me
there won't be children's voices down the hall
or a pregnant wife
or roommates, even

tomorrow will be celebration
a huge dinner party
out on the town

but tonight it will just be me
and my dog
who's been by my side for over nine years now

if i look back at this
on the eve of my 40th birthday
i hope to be experiencing those moments
alongside a family that i've helped to create

like magic, out of the ether all around me

if it's still just me
and a dog

i will try and remind myself
as always
that the journey is the destination

and that your life is always in motion
speaking to you in whispers
waiting to be acknowledged
and every so often

Friday, December 04, 2009

art heals.

paint your life.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

through the looking-glass

All else falls away
when pain
a REAL HEALTH concern arises

The world keeps spinning
outside your universe
As you sit huddled
scared, unsure of what the future holds

An ulceration
on the cornea of my left eye
the result of a dried up contact slicing me in my sleep

Possible/ Likely - Bacteria/ Infection
Best Case Scenario: I stop wearing contacts for 4-6 weeks
Worst Case: I go blind
or lose my eye

The pain has subsided
That sawdust in the eyeball
excruciatingly constant feeling
gratefully gone.

But my vision-
has not returned

Blurry, like looking through a smoke filled room
or past a pane of frosted glass

I'm nervous
about never seeing the world clearly again
about glass eyes and patches
about losing my fucking eyeball

Soon I'll be off to see the specialists at Mount Sinai
for my third day in a row

But no matter what the outcome
there's certainty
that I'll never see the world around me
in quite the same way

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I'm drunk
the night before I film a scene
as an extra
in "Going the Distance"

The fingers
as they pushed their ways down my throat
conjured up a color
orange/ almost day-glo salmon

the mixture of salsa and sour cream

I feel emptied
a friend left tonight
Anne/ back to London tomorrow day
saying goodbye is always hard
Tequila and Champagne only help a bit

Life Does Not Turn Out
As Expected
but we'll all be fine

with the dog beside me
I hope the bed brings comfort
and not the wave shift tremors
of a life spent drinking
floundering about in search
of a higher calling
a deeper means
a more purposeful life

Tomorrow brings a different color
Perhaps it will be Turquoise.

Friday, December 26, 2008

19 hour christmas

from the stroke of midnight
at the very start of december 25th
up until well after 3 a.m.
as i put the final finishing touches on my gifts

then back up again
just five hours later, right around 8 o'clock


laughter, food, gifts, hiking, family, friends
memories made

at the end of a long
(and not entirely easy) year
a day of joy and peace

as 2009 approaches
and this blog, more or less, comes to an end
i give thanks

for the blessings all around us
for the ability to step back and see life anew
for the pleasure and relief that can come with change
and for the awareness to see past form, preconceived ideas,
and the external world
into something real.

merry christmas and happy holidays to everyone

in the hope that 2009 is our best year yet.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Does A Body Good.

I saw the film "Milk" last night with a group of young, upwardly mobile gay men: a graphic designer, an artist working at Samuel French Publishing and (shockingly) two attorneys. As the credits rolled two of the friends kept saying to each other how sad the film had left them. "I've never seen a more depressing movie in my entire life," was one beleaguered response.

I couldn't have felt more differently. The film, which tells the story of the rise into office and subsequent murder of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected public official, actually left me feeling inspired, nostalgic, grateful, empowered and above all else overflowing with pride.

But that's not to say that "Milk" didn't leave me untouched by melancholy. The unspeakably powerful story aside, which is heartbreaking and tragic, what shook me from the very beginning was a sense of yearning (and possibly regret) for a life that I wasn't even alive to experience.

In short, I wanted to be a part of that movement. Not that I wanted to actually be Harvey Milk; with the government position, the newspaper articles, the schools now named after him and his place firmly set in the history books. No, I didn't need to be Harvey. I just longed to be a part of his orbit. Young, passionate, driven, angry individuals fighting time and again, even after they'd been bloodily knocked down.

It all seemed like such fun. Fun in a way that a night in Hell's Kitchen or a carefree trip to Fire Island could never be. (And, in all honesty, possibly fun in a way that only a well edited movie can make the day-to-day events of government life appear) God knows there's still plenty to fight for as 2009 is upon us. I'm just not sure I've found that role in the universe. I'm just not sure I've found that universe at all.

So many of us were beyond inspired by the election of Barack Obama into the Presidency. As I took the bus up to get a haircut near Columbia University a few days ago I noticed a New York Times headline stating "300,000 Apply for 3,300 Obama Jobs." Now that's a profoundly powerful political movement. And it's actually happening RIGHT NOW.

I suppose I have no right to complain. We are living in hands-down the most exciting political time of modern American history. And plus, I've always said I'm grateful to be a gay man who came of age in the late 90s and early 2000s. It feels a bit like what I imagine the Civil Rights Movement felt like for African Americans in the 1960s. A group of fed-up people finally finding their voice and making it heard LOUDLY.

I'm happy that I never grew into old age terrified or ashamed, just another crazy old Uncle Confirmed Bachelor... But I'm also somehow happy that I'm not one of the kids today, who perhaps find it almost too easy to come out to mom and dad at the ripe old age of 12. There's something to be said for having an awareness of just how much progress has been made. To have felt that confusion, that fear. But to have lived life openly anyway.

Maybe I'm just experiencing that New York City Eight year itch. After four years of college at NYU and a varied, generally exciting array of jobs and experiences since, I still feel that New York will forever be my home. I'm just also fairly certain that I want it to be my forever-home after having lived a couple of other places as well...

...The first quasi-real relationship I ever had in life was back as a freshman in college around the holiday season of 2000. It ended horribly, with him breaking up with me over the phone the day before Valentine's Day and then showing up stoned months later when I'd arranged to finally meet up and get "closure." But as life goes, time healed all wounds and he and I (while in no way friends) are linked up on Facebook and have chatted there once or twice.

The thing is that Facebook thrusts people's business in your face even when you aren't looking for it. With important "Notifications" like: Rebecca just changed her status to "In A Relationship" and: "Bobby just got in from 9 HOURS OF NON-STOP SNOW BOARDING! WOO HOOOO!" you end up learning things about your "friends" you might not have even been interested in finding out.

But this ex of mine seems to be leading (while not the life I'd have chosen for myself) a pretty fascinating, nomadic, potentially uber-cultured lifestyle. Sandwiched between his photos from Burning Man and his shots at Brighton Pride he seems to have spent the Summer of 2008 in Florida, New York, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Denmark, Norway, the U.K. and Portugal. And apparently right now he's in Grad School somewhere in Manhattan.

I, on the other hand, have just been here all these years. And not even vacationing as much as I'd like. The point of this tangent is that I logged onto Facebook this evening after a looong day of recovering after a looong night of partying in the Upper West Side, Lower East Side and Williamsburg to find this posting from said ex...

"help me get my hands all milky

as winter officially sets in with the cosmic union of miley cyrus and the rockettes and a giant fur all gussied up and stuffed with lights and brights, and yesterday's sampling of that bewildering intrusion that is ice flakes from the sky, i have felt the urge not only to listen to gloria estefan's 'coming out of the dark' on a loop for six hours but also to begin planning for summer 2009, when the only ice i'll be confronted with will constitute of cream, or be politely melting in my lemonade.

i am looking to find a job/internship/volunteeropportunity/paycourse in sustainable farming or construction. i have researched and found endless opportunities to act as a farm hand for the summer, just in upstate new york alone, however i know that many of you have worked for such places and wonder what suggestions my friends may have. also, do you want to join me or can i join you? i am willing to travel anywhere in the states to work (except florida), stay a full three months, and get very dirty and even sleep on a mat. what i would like to take out of the experience is one or all of the following: the ability to befriend and milk a cow, biceps, 100 logged hours of chain saw operation, pectorals, carpentry experience, man hands, connection with the earth, farmer's tan, sustainable husbandry in general.

thoughts and suggestions?"

Ok. So first off, I have no desire to work on a farm. Ever. I also have no real desire to suddenly go into politics. Yet.. But I am inspired by my ex's commitment to continually live life anew. And I'm also confronted by the same dilemma Harvey Milk faced at the start of the film (and I'm assuming in his real life as well). "I'm 40 years old and I haven't done a thing I'm proud of."

26 is not 40. And I'm proud of a lot. But life swings past at a break-neck speed. This is our one and only shot. Is it everything it could be? Are any of us out there certain of ourselves that we're a part of something important, that what we do every day matters, that we are living to our greatest potential?

Because I don't feel unjustified in wanting every single bit of that. And I'm not afraid to continue the journey down that road. The road that will, with hopeful certainty, lead to my great undefined "it's" inevitable discovery.

This is not 1978. Harvey Milk hasn't been alive for over 30 years. But the world keeps spinning forward. It's a big, brave universe out there. From Farmland to City Hall. And there is much more work to be done.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

with gratitude...

this thanksgiving
we put our beloved family dog meg
to sleep

she had been very, very ill
for some time
blind and mostly deaf for even longer

and finally at the point where
she could no longer eat

it was both heartbreaking and somehow easy
taking those final days with her
but knowing that it really, really was her time

thanksgiving morning
as i shaved and showered
my mom and brother headed to the lake house
and my little sister got herself ready for the day

my dad
drove our 13 year old meg to the next town over
to the only open animal hospital nearby
and handled what needed to be done

before he left
we each had our goodbyes with meg
whispers, kisses, hands on fur
but he was the one to drive her
carry her into the hospital
and be with her in the end

my father stepped in to save us from that pain.

that entire afternoon i was so moved
by the sheer reality of life, family and the inevitability of loss

i was moved because
for the first time in a long time
i was reminded that this man is the leader of our pack
that when horrible situations arise
he is first in line to fix them

and i was suddenly safe with this awareness
we each were
safe in his protection

a few hours later
as my sister, dad and i headed to the lake ourselves
to join the rest of our family and our friends

he told us everything

how the doctor had said this was especially difficult
because she had an english springer spaniel just like ours

how she had told him that meg was truly very sick
and that we had made the humane choice

how my father had cried, somehow
saying goodbye to her like that

all alone
with his dog there one moment
and then calmly, peacefully gone the next

then, shouldering the burden
for everyone else

without praise or fanfare
he headed home
to us

Sunday, November 16, 2008

pride and prejudice

saturday, november 15
a protest, a gathering, a movement
at new york's city hall

in response to the passing of
proposition 8 in california
which aims to effectively ban gay marriage

as i skipped down the street looking for my friends
i was amazed by the thousands and thousands of people
standing, chanting, moving en masse

people of every age, race, sexual orientation and size
many with unimaginably witty or moving posters

"shame on h8! equality for everyone"
"give, live, love"
"straight... but not straight up stupid"
"shall we vote on YOUR marriage now?"
"love thy gay-bor!"
"1/2 citizen"
"gay is the new black"
"i'm here to meet my husband"
"please let my son marry"
"no more mr. nice gay"

each and every one of these people empowered
and finally angry for a change

there was hope and pride and joy and glee
all the emotions one would expect from a gathering of "gays"

but mixed with that was the sobering reality
that history is repeating itself yet again
and that if any of us expect REAL change
then that'll take a little bit more than glitter & a dance beat

it will take strategic, organized political action

all in all, i think it was important for so many of us
to know that in some small way
we were participating, contributing

i'm not too sure what a bunch of fired-up gays in new york
will do for a law that WAS voted on
by the tax paying citizens of california
but every crack in that ceiling helps

and at any rate (because to some degree most stereotypes are true)
the 8 of us who gathered and made our voices heard
ended up having a fantastic late afternoon brunch in brooklyn
once all the megaphones and posters had been put away

now THAT'S a movement we can all get behind...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

it is time...

(my) Election Day 2008

vote here. vote often.

the energy of election day at p.s. 72

voting booth proof.

Last Call for Change: Guastavino's New York

the phone bank, november 4th

gavin brown's "penthouse" election night party

shock and awe.

Mr. President

Sunday, November 02, 2008


the ING new york city marathon
inspiring beyond words

in hordes they flowed
on this brisk november day
bodies, energy, sweat, tears

a never ending parade of colors and faces
lycra running shorts and nike tennis shoes

it was an amusing bunch this year
more costumes than i'd have expected
from braveheart to borat to batgirl

and then there were those who moved past me
leaving us all stunned and breathless
paraplegics racing on their metal legs
participants in wheelchairs
the blind being guided by friends

no one can stop the spirit
if it has to move it will

plus, there was ryan reynolds
whose body is like some sort of sculpture

and even some trannies too!
with auburn wigs and pink body suits
winded, heads down, powering on

i went to cheer on my friend jenny
who never ceases to inspire me

but was left somehow moved by everyone
the jokesters, the struggling
the beautiful, the proud

you could say it's just putting one foot in front of the other
granted, one foot in front of the other for 26.2 miles

but it's a testament to the human body
the human will

and i couldn't be prouder
of all of them.

Friday, October 31, 2008



wow, here's to the BEST halloween ever!
so many costumes
so many ridiculously awesome people

from ryan's champagne "event" at elizabeth
to the pre-game house party in the west village
to the most insane 5,000 sq. ft. tribeca loft extravaganza

this tribeca loft party, i'm tellin' you
there was a haunted house
rooftop terrace
three open bars
sushi and dim sum spread
not to mention, more energized and enlivened characters
than should ever be crammed into just one night!

sometimes in life
you hope and wish and worry
but it all works out in the end

beyond expectations
beyond limits
waaay beyond dawn

happy halloween to everybody!
may you never, ever, ever grow up.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


the epitome
the ultimate

artistry, energy, dance, movement, politics
just the absolute pinnacle of it all

all hail the queen
the 4th madonna concert i've had the privilege of attending
and if you've never been, then what are you waiting for?

she will blow the roof off what you'd previously thought possible
and shift your perspectives
on art and performance

see her while you can
with your mom if possible (like me!)

she. will. leave. you. changed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

the boss of no one

harry potter
a boy wizard
frightened, challenged
but with a predetermined destiny

i'm nervous
a life less ordinary
couldn't be imagined

as the urge bubbles to the surface
i sit, immobile as ever
and change the channel again

a state beyond just stagnant
stagnant enough to encompass a NATION

writers are supposed to be able
to write about more than themselves

i am not a writer.

perhaps i am only a viewer
some spectator of lives all around me
the real and the serialized

as i watch the story of jennifer hudson's family
tragedy beyond comprehension

and the murder of little rock's anne pressly
too gruesome to describe

i sit, immobile as ever
and change the channel again

halloween was never supposed to be this scary.

there are moments of such crystalline clarity
the evening, the music, the company, the wind

followed by moments
more dull, numb, full and fuzzy
where stepping outside seems a chore

what defines a life?

how do you know if you're living to your full potential?
you know.

what if you're sure that you aren't?
then change it.

what if you're worried you can't?
you can.

Thursday, October 23, 2008



Words cannot express the joy this video brought to me when it arrived in my gmail account this afternoon!

Brilliance Beyond Belief! Thank You MOVEON.ORG!

(Click on the Screen itself to play the video FULL SIZE and to be taken to the sight where you can make your own!)

Monday, September 22, 2008


one year ago today
matt died

as memories turn to sepia hues

sounds and smells
register with less clarity
and life, for all of us, unsparingly moves on

it's a constant, those memories

as i remind myself
that love like that is always a blessing
even when it's masked as a curse

i remain, forever
steadfastly sad for matt
more so than for his family, his friends or for myself

sad for matt
because of all that he's missing here on earth
all that he'd wanted to be part of
all that he'd desired to see

there was a question and answer
i read online one day

the question was:
"what holds people back from greatness?"

and the answer appeared immediately:
"how they define it"


it is everywhere
in the most mundane of moments
in the small joys of a hard day's work
in a smile or gesture, the benign desire to change the world

and in a life cut dramatically short

greatness... nearly twenty four years of it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

fuerza bruta

artistry, magic
music beyond comprehension

fuerza bruta
translation: brute force
playing now in new york's union square

see this miraculous theatre piece
part cirque du soleil
part dance party
all wonder and witchcraft

the sight of my friend lindsey's face
usually so reserved and pinched
glowing, beaming, filled with light
muscled i didn't even know she had stretched in glee

as we danced about, arm in arm
to tribal beats straight out of the forest of arden
all the while
being sprayed with cool/warm waters

like smelling salts
bringing us back to life

there is so much beauty in this world
it is sometimes hard to hold it in your heart

Monday, September 15, 2008

otherwise (politically) engaged.

i believe this to be
the absolute, hands-down most exciting time to be alive
and politically engaged in america
in modern history

"change" has become a somewhat damaged catch-phrase
tossed about like that drunk girl who stumbled into the frat party
but honestly, how often do we get an opportunity like this?

a guaranteed fundamental shift
in the future of this nation

our first black president
our first female vice president

we can count on getting one of these two come november

but it's about more than just one dimensional labels and campaign slogans
it's about the potential for a true and realistic turning of the tides
after the seemingly insurmountable damage
caused by the bush/cheney administration

i've been amazed (albeit terrified AND amazed) by sarah palin
over these past few weeks
she truly comes across as a fighter
a woman strong in her own convictions
somebody probably perfect for running her home state of alaska

but when i think of
a first term governor
a self-proclaimed "hockey mom"
a staunch believer in pro-life polictics
an advocate for "creationism" and the nra
a politician unfamiliar with the bush doctrine
a potential leader of the free world with no foreign policy experience
a woman who doesn't seem particularly concerned about global warming
and just a heartbeat away from LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD?!

it all seems so cynical and sick
that the republicans could have even picked her in the first place
especially since mccain's strongest argument against obama was "experience"

so then, on the other hand
we have barack obama

i won't romanticize him or wax on poetically
frankly, i was a hillary supporter from day one
and at the very least, feel she should have been chosen v.p.

but if you've paid even the tiniest amount of attention
you'll have seen that barack obama has proven himself to be
as intelligent, compassionate and prepared a potential president
as this country could have ever hoped for

he truly is the dream
the hope that this nation was founded upon

plus, when you take a look at the economy alone
alongside john mccain's voting records as they parallel to george w. bush's failed policies
you have to ask yourself, how COULDN'T the majority of americans be voting for REAL change?

and if, like me, you've been glued to this whole process every step of the way
watching debate after debate
be it between the pundits on cnn, the ladies of "the view," or even (on occasion!) the candidates themselves
then you'll be hard-pressed to not ALSO tune into
"real time with bill maher"
airing on hbo

this man is beyond the beyond
hilarious, fair, whip-smart and a hoot to watch

here's just a little snipet of his "New Rules"
from an episode that aired on september 12th, 2008


"All right. Finally, New Rule: Just because you live in the middle of nowhere doesn't make you more authentic than me. It just means you have a much longer drive to the airport.

Now, ever since Sarah Palin came along, this election has been falsely framed as a contest between salt-of-the-earth, small-time maverick westerners and snooty eastern elites. You know, there's people who go to church on Sunday, and there's people who go to brunch.

Even fast-talking, cross-dressing Rudy Giuliani - the former mayor of New York City - accused Obama of being too cosmopolitan. That's like being called a douche-bag by Andy Dick.

And...and listen to Mitt Romney from the same convention. He said, "If America really wants change, it's time to look for the sun in the west, because it's about to rise and shine from Arizona and Alaska. Of course, if the sun actually did rise in the west, that would mean the earth is spinning backwards and we'd all fly into space. But, then Mormons were never big on science. As you well know.

But, what Mitt was getting at is that the East Coast is where all the liberals, with their bad ideas, come from. You know, bad ideas like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. As opposed to the brilliant ideas that have come out of the west like frontier justice and wearing cowboy boots with a suit.

The ideas this nation was founded on came from the most cosmopolitan people of their day, the founding fathers, who believed in science, who looked to Europe for wisdom, and who had no use for ignorant hicks like Bush and Palin.

Truth is - the truth is, as America moved west and got farther away from its birthing in Boston and Philadelphia, it became less American, not more. We keep hearing about small-town values, you know, like shooting wolves from an airplane or forcing your daughter into a doomed, loveless marriage.

Cities are about diversity of thought. Small towns are about...well, crystal meth. And, last year, police found 42 meth labs in Sarah Palin's home county. Drug addiction is a terrible thing, but apparently it beats living in Wasilla sober.

There's so much meth in this town, I'm surprised the Palins didn't have a kid named "Tweaker."

So, now I know what they mean when they talk about the Alaska spirit. Ah, yes, Alaska, where the townsfolk are jittery and the hockey players screw right through the condoms."

Friday, September 12, 2008

it's rather silly
for a small blog like mine
to promote a much larger one
like this

is one of the web's mini miracles

a community art project
where secrets are sent in and shared
ultimately illuminating the unity within us all

these are some of my favorites from over the years
melancholy, sincere, tender, hopeful

not exactly representations of my own life
but each one a secret of someone else's
that brought a moment of clarity, humor, awakening
(or just art) to mine

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