The very first night as we sip our muse-inducing elderflower wine, Alexander Weinstein, founder of the Institute, opens the door of the conference room to symbolically cast out our inner critics — those editorial voices in our heads who tell us we’re not good enough, who bring us down, who impose self-doubt.
Polio, Ebola, and fresh new diseases in desiccated Eden,
the neighborhood a locus of explosions, our nation
now the nation of murderous event, unlicensed carrying
on on on.
“It was kind of the perfect confluence of viability and personal interest — I’ve wanted to write queer stories for a long time, and suddenly I found that there was a market for it.”
I drew wildebeest on the caves at Lascaux;
I lived a grim life
hunting peccary and maize
in some godforsaken mudhole in the veldt.
Though I in no way consider John Darnielle to be the only artist who negotiates his connection with his fans through sharing his pain, I appreciate the way he has interrogated this dynamic in his recent work, both lyrically and in prose.