Friday, February 1, 2008

In Love with a Wonderful Boy

roosterboyred brian kenny
Brian Kenny, Rooster Boy Red

On the outside I'm a crumply English instructor, well past the middle of middle age, but in my heart I'm a neo-decadent art fag.

I've lived this double life since childhood--on the outside a good Protestant boy living on U.S. military bases hither and yon, but secretly listening to Nonesuch African field recordings instead of the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five, reading Lovecraft and The Painted Bird, photographing (at age 4 or 5) a baby doll with a syringe in its neck, renaming myself "Manyn Blyn," fantasizing (mild) s/m scenarios beginning at age 9 or 10, and despising work, family, and good taste.

From roughly 1962 until 1971, I wished I were a Negro. I even declared my wish to elders--of my own and other races--none of whom knew what to make of me.

In my early thirties, I thrust myself as far into the world of my fantasies as an English teacher then living in South Carolina could--mostly by drinking in Kathy Acker, William Burroughs, Jean Genet, Derek Jarman, J.-K. Huysmans, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Robert Mapplethorpe into my secret self--but largely acting out these fantasies upon startled, albeit intrigued and compliant former high-school jocks and interior decorators visiting or residing between Charlotte and Savannah.

Any brushes I had with authentic tattooed Soho skinheads were passing and usually disappointing--in their eyes, I might as well have been Andy Griffith.

They could not see through the Perry Ellis shirt to the blackness of my heart.

I've never been drawn to Broadway musicals (though a few of them are OK, I guess--I did enjoy Hairspray). I'm not an opera queen. You'll find the Supremes in my stack of CDs, but not one Barbra, Madonna, Celine, Judy, or Britney.

I have no wish to enter respectable matrimony or civil union, adopt children, join the Metropolitan Community Church, collect teddy bears, or spend a month on a gay cruise.

I like rough trade--so long as he's clean and sober.

I tried heroin once at age 20, but it wasn't for me.

Sex, I believe, should be dangerous, spontaneous, and shocking. It should induce unhealthy hallucinations and unauthorized absence from work.

In appearance I'm as far from heroin chic as a person can get, but in my hipster soul, I love epater le bourgeoisie.

In my dreams, I hang in an exposed-brick loft with lumbering air ducts and no furniture. Taut, skinny, shirtless boyz skateboard to my place to smoke weed and take giant Polaroids of each other masturbating. We all get naked in order to give each other buzzcuts under the sunroof. My best friends are Slava Mogutin, Matthew Barney, and Larry Clark. I have pen pals on death row, who send me poems about God, water sports, and Speed Racer. I am best known for butt-fucking Tony Ward in a Bruce LaBruce trilogy.

My version of heaven would be a vanilla-scented toilet stall, where I'm handcuffed to Vincent Cassel and Ricardo Meneses.

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