It's Britney, B... And Me Too

The blog has been quiet all summer, as I am sure you have noticed, dear reader. In the wake of the so much tragedy in the news and New York heating up like a skillet, I've been distracted with other things, but those those things have included  new writing, pop music, and travel.  So, let me catch you up-- and don't worry, we'll talk about Britney too.

The shooting at Pulse Night Club had a profound effect on me, more than many tragedies I read about in the news. Terrorism targeted at the LGBTQ population struck a chord, and that chord motivated me to write and put all of my feelings some place. While writing may not be the only response to tragedy, it is a response and this summer I've been thinking about how important it is write about our lives--especially LGBTQIA people. Writing makes us visible, and forces culture to see our lives as valuable. Over the past two months, I've drafted a lot of new poems (some of which I have finished and am sending out to journals). I also finished a poetry manuscript I've been working on for the past 8 years; I'm excited to move on to the next stage and find the best way to get that poetry collection to readers. I want to celebrate my life as a gay man, and I want to celebrate the lives of other gay people. We deserve to be seen.

My summer reading can be summed up in one name: Kim Addonizio. Her two new books, Bukowski in a Sundress and Mortal Trash: Poems, have rocked my world. I completed an essay about her new work for Lambda Literary, which should be published in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.

Speaking of staying tuned: let's talk about music. The summer has unearthed its usual riches of pop gems, like Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling" and the single version of Sia's stellar "Cheap Thrills." We also have a new Katy Perry track (which I find underwhelming at best) and the superior Adele single of her 25 era.

However, the track I want to talk about is Britney Spear's brilliant "Make Me" featuring G-Eazy. The song offers Britney at her best. It's less muscular than previous hit, "Work Bitch," and that works to her advantage. B9 (as fans have dubbed her upcoming record) era Spears is more laid-back, and "Make Me" exudes a cozy sexiness. The pop star coos over a midtempo dance beat, asking her lover to "make me oooo." She doesn't demand, because Britney doesn't need to command or beg these days. She's never been sexier, and she's dropped the best baby-making track of 2016. I'm highly anticipating B9.

Because poetry returned with a vengeance this summer, I wanted to leave you with a brand new poem. In fact, this piece is an ars poetica of sorts about poetry barreling back to me; the music came back, as it were.

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