interview by yasmin belkhyr
Something you wish you did when you were 17?
I wish I’d had the confidence to come out as gay in high school, but I was still pretty terrified.
One sentence you never want to hear again?
“I’m sorry, but your card is declined.”
Who throws better shade, Rihanna or Nicki?
Rihanna should receive a MacArthur Genius Grant for her shade throwing. Nicki is great too, of course, but Rihanna slays.
What did you dream about last night?
I dreamed about Achilles’ mother dipping him in the River Styx when he was an infant.
Where do you see yourself 60 years from now?
On the other side of plenty of published books and living on a farm somewhere in southern Spain.
Last thing you were nervous about?
I’m getting back into dating for the first time in a while and I’m back to agonizing over my every single...everything.
Tell us about the whale in the boy's bonecorset.
Well, the corset in that poem belonged to the boy’s mother so I’d say: the whale is grief.
In eight words, describe the scene of your first heartbreak.
I don’t even remember what happened or why.
Is it better to write while the hurt is fresh or allow the wisdom of hindsight?
Our work is better for every single day we grant it. I always try to err on the side of taking my time.
Your writing is a conversation between ______ and _______ after they __________. Fill in the blanks.
My writing is a conversation between the other and the interior self after they circle one another.