forthcoming from Seven Stories Press, distributed by Random House
WHEN I was a child, I moved my pillow to a different part of the bed each night because I liked the feeling of not knowing where I was when I woke up. From the beginning I yearned for the nomadic life. I wandered, grazed like a goat on a hill—the move from grazing to exploring was just a leap over a fence. In my seventh year, I had a revelation. A teacher asked me a question. I knew the answer. Miss Green, a horse-faced redhead, asked the 3A class of P.S. 99, Kew Gardens, Queens, a long way from Byzantium: “What are you going to do in life?” Most of the answers remain a blur, but someone said she was going to be a novelist and someone said he’d write a play, or for the movies. I remember waiting; I was last to answer: “I am certain I am a poet.” Then Miss Green said, “I knew it. You, Stanley, are a bronze satyr,” and she whacked my erect penis with a twelve-inch Board of Education wooden ruler.
I ran home in a fury at my parents. They had never told me I was a satyr. My mother’s explanation: . . . Continue Reading Here: