I had a crush on you when I was nineteen. I was in a class you taught on Tuesday afternoons, but I thought about you every day. You were the first woman I felt this way about—at least, the first I was conscious of wanting to slide up against. I had recurring thoughts about sliding up against you. I imagined you stretched across a big white comforter, rubbing your temples with your fingers at the end of a long day, a gray woven blanket draped over the foot of the bed.
I imagined that sometimes we would go to my place after drinks with a group of friends. Our conversation would overwhelm the evening; suddenly it was two, three a.m. You’d say, Let’s go to your place. I’m tired of my interiority. You said this very matter-of-factly. As you took off your shoes, you smiled darkly at the faded carpets in my apartment.
Crossing the room, you took off your shirt as if in slow motion, revealing nothing. Like you were wearing five shirts, I’d never get to your chest.
In the morning you were awake and showered, about to leave just as I was getting up. I always woke up early, so there was an element of competition: who would get the first part of the morning to themselves?
You always won. You used to smoke in the classroom. You were so provocative, running at the mouth a mile a minute and stabbing your cigarette butt into the ashtray. I thought about your cigarette butts, I wondered how often you emptied the ashtrays in your living room. Did you have someone come and clean for you? The thought embarrassed me. Once while I was considering this, the word “Jewess” popped into my mind, and that embarrassed me more.
Like “woman,” but worse.
— Silence is a Knowing Audience
, a novella projecting rage and longing, in process 2018
Silence = Crush
, included in Fig
, Ztscrpt, Release at Friends with Books Art Fair, Berlin, September 2017,
Reading channeled by Christian Mayer, Kunsthalle Wien, December 2017
Reading at Anthology Film Archives for The Cinema of Gender Transgression: Trans Film
, April 2017,
for which Joey Carducci invited me to read and curate a night of programming:
“Godothers” presents five works reflecting on fluidity in gender, language, and political life: where being trans or fluid is not necessarily the primary content, but where genderqueer or trans experiences contribute to a politics of rewriting and relating deeply. With SILENCE, Mendelsohn projects into the American writer Susan Sontag’s 1993 “gender-blind” production of WAITING FOR GODOT in Sarajevo. Rami George writes into a stranger’s romantic history: scenes of American protests, friendships, and hazy interiors circa 1960s-90s – UNTITLED (STANLEY, MY SECOND LOVER) holds memories of tenderness and radical ambition alternately close and very distant. Geo Wyeth and Mariah Garnett cast themselves as family members, rewriting their genders, adapting their speech. Geo becomes HW CLOBBA: “the artist’s dead godmother, a native New Yorker, reluctant real estate appraiser, and communist.” In OTHER & FATHER, Mariah queers her father, reenacting scenes from an earlier life, in 1970s Belfast. Rindon Johnson projects variously, rewriting their family, name, and body. Their poetry traces the ways our families reside within our names and bodies, our environments, our politics. We’re often looking for new ones.