1. You've said this book is "a celebration of everything I have survived and the music that
helped me get here" and has a gorgeous endorsement from fellow musichead Hanif Abdurraqib.
Following one of Hanif's favorite questions: We wanna hear what your Top Five Albums are, right now.
!!! I’m still geeking out about getting a blurb from Hanif in the first place. None of this feels real to me at all. I’ve been listening to Composure by Real Friends a lot lately, but here are my top five albums as of now. I’ve been listening to music that is calm and soft yet has an edge to it sometimes, and I feel like some of these albums fit that:
Grandfathers by Tigers On Trains
Bury Me at Makeout Creek by Mitski
Harry Styles by Harry Styles
You by dodie
The Sunset Tree by The Mountain Goats
2. You've created a soundtrack for this collection called "this mixtape is for sinners" which is one of the miracles of creating ekphrastic art in the modern era; this ability to instantly link your readers to the music you're referencing. As a mixtape enthusiast, I know how painstaking it can be to construct these. Apologies, then, for this challenge: If you had to deconstruct the soundtrack to one artist/band, one album, what album would it be and why?
Oh, definitely The Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. It’s such a clever and intense concept album, and it sure had its influence on my book as a whole. I also have this memory from high school marching band where I tried to convince one of the band directors to have us play a My Chemical Romance halftime show. Our school’s band department didn’t have a lot of money, so he turned down the idea but I still dream it will happen one day.
3. Crowd Surfing with God becomes a major motion picture. Who stars in it?
CSWG: The Movie would really be a collection of old home videos where the people we love and miss are still alive in them, as well as phone recordings of the bands we love playing our favorite songs that we recorded so we could always have those good memories to play back to.
4. You've become part of the great FreezeRay tradition of contributing to the pop culture conversation as a poet before becoming part of the team, with poems about Deadpool and Jessica Jones in our archives
putting the meta in metaphor. Any other supers you'd like to cover in the future?
They’re not supers exactly, but I really want to write a poem about Barb from Stranger Things, the impression that it gives to see always see the queer character die on screen or have them be the one that gets killed off first, or the way that small towns sometimes view queerness as the real monster.
I also want to write a poem about Elise Wassermann just really about the crime drama The Tunnel in general. I’d love to write a poem in both French and English since the show is also bilingual in this way, and I took French from eighth grade through to my freshman year of college. I would love to get back into learning the language again. I don’t have the space in my schedule to keep taking French courses, and I honestly really miss it.
If I did have to pick a superhero to cover, however, I’d like to write a poem about Peter Parker showing my mom around the neighborhoods she lived in when she grew up in New York. My friend Adina and I also strongly believe that Peter Parker is Jewish, and I find a lot of comfort in that.
5. Your bio says you want to start a band with [us]. All-poet band! Who's in it, who plays what, and what is a must for the band to cover live?
Lip Manegio would be in the band for sure! I think they’d be playing bass, while my friend Ry Irene would be on rhythm guitar and K Lange would be on lead guitar. Myles Taylor would be on keyboard. Emma Bleker would be on vocals (she’s a singer in a really cool band called NAH., so this is a given in my brain at least), and I think Adina Burke would be too depending on what songs we do. Jess Rizkallah is in the band too, but would instead find a way to turn the moon into an instrument. I can also imagine Bianca Phipps coming in with an incredible tambourine solo, and I think Lyd Havens definitely would too. I’d play clarinet with them sometimes, but my role would also be being their number one fan.
I’ve also thought about what what would happen if there was an all-poet marching band made up of poets who did marching band in high school or college and just really miss it.
It’d be such a joyous disaster and I’d love every minute.
Anyway, here’s Wonderwall: