Monday, September 23, 2013

Party Pooper

"Party Pooper" is the fifth poem in my book, Purpose and Devil Piss. It's an older poem too. I wrote it in early 1999. I was working as a temp at Prentice Hall. I was the production assistant for the ESL college books division, meaning I assisted all of the electronic production editors (who were really in-house typesetters, something pretty much unheard of in publishing these days) and the development editors. This is where I began my journey into the world of copyediting and proofreading. I even assisted the art department at times. As the assistant to nearly the entire division, I was in charge of ordering the supplies. At some point a new electronic ordering program was brought in and I was instructed to attend a seminar on learning how to use this new program. You can imagine how thrilled I was. Since I was twenty-four and still partying a lot, I'm sure I was running on five or less hours of sleep, which is why the poem probably begins with sadness over March having no three-day holiday weekends and concern over drinking too much coffee. Now that I think of it, I guess I wrote this poem in March of 1999. That was an extremely life-changing year for me, but I'm not getting into that now or here. Read the book. Ha ha ha. You can view it as a puzzle, putting together the pieces of someone else's life.

So this is also the first poem of mine that was ever published. It appeared in a fanzine called Swallow Your Pride in June 1999. This fanzine was handed out at an event in Dumbo on June 19, 1999, called Gay Shame '99. The department assistant of the New School Writing Program at the time was one of the organizers of the event and the fanzine and asked some of us queer MFA students if we had any work we'd like to submit. I thought this poem would fit in perfectly with their agenda. Here's a statement from the introduction to the fanzine:

"We are ashamed of Chelsea homegeneity, 'community' as a corporate target market, Giuliani in the 'pride' parade, foaming-at-the-mouth praise for anti-feminist 'pro-gay' beer advertising, and reactionary 'we're just like you' gays and lesbians who ally themselves with straight, racist conservatives."

Here's a link to the Wikipedia page for the Gay Shame movement:

And here's a link to the ZineWiki page for Swallow Your Pride:

Check it all out.

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