Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Quick Thoughts on New York City

When I first went to New York City, I had one hell of a time. But I didn't quite get it. I was there for the party, and I didn't understand how people lived there, because it was like trying to read a book or take a nap in the middle of said party. This time, with less lofty touristy aims, it clicked. The town is still a monstrous beast, for sure, but it's so beautiful and wild, and it makes itself stunningly available to you. You sort of create your own New York within the city.

Anyway, an exceptional amount of gratitude goes to Chris, who put me up for the week and more or less played the role of indefinite tour guide and drinking buddy (dude also slayed his play both nights). Thank you to Chris's friends for treating me like immediate local. Thank you to the whole C5NY crew for welcoming me into their trivia night inner circle. Thank you to Nicole, Wyatt, and Danika for staying out late on a school night. Thank you to Diana for planning a radical night out. Thank you to Kristen for offering up a lazy afternoon of pints. Thank you to Emily, Greg, and Isabella for doing up a dinner of old school catching up. Thank you to Greg and Karissa for letting me crash their lunch spot. Thank you to Kenzie, Castle, and Ashlee for trusting me not to be insane. And my most sincerest apologies for everyone I missed out there in the east.

If I were to create my own New York, it'd be the High Line, Little Branch, and pizza all the time. Thank you for having me, big city. It was a lovely time.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day (Sort Of)!

Happy St. Patrick's Day (Sort Of)!
by Jake Kilroy

When I was younger, I, like most Americans with Irish heritage, swore allegiance to the Emerald Isle without ever doing the research. Saint Patrick's Day has become a reminder that I still haven't. I've done the bare minimum of understanding a culture that more or less made me who I am. There's beautiful and glorious Italian, German, Polish, and Luthanian blood in me as well, but I tend to most often identify with the pale-as-a-ghost storytellers who consume grief and celebrate everything. I read Dubliners, but not How the Irish Saved Civilization. I read Angela's Ashes, but not Emigrants and Exiles.

The Irish, like any culture ever, are complex. But we do a weird thing with stereotypes in this country when we land on celebration terms, where we boil a heritage down to a few marketable items. It can't be avoided. In a time of dwindling attention spans (of which I take part and promote), there's no way in hell anyone can expect an in-depth discussion of the Easter Rising. At large, it's sort of screwball what comes to represent an entire people with eons of history. The Irish have a billion playwrights and artists, and they invented things like the boycott and the tattoo machine, but last night, Midnight had an Irish-themed hashtag, and half the jokes were about the Scottish.

I don't really have a takeaway with all this, and it's certainly not relegated to this particular culture or holiday. It just struck me funny today, as I saw online photo collections of blackout bros in green throwing down the shaka brah (bless their hearts) and heard radio ads that bordered on lazy with leprechaun impressions hyping a sale that would "make ol' Patty weep" or something even stranger. I just thought, once again, what the hell is today even supposed to be?

Anyway, I'll close on what remains my favorite joke about the Irish (from 30 Rock): "The Chinese built the railroads, the Irish built and then filled the jails." Happy Saint Patrick's Day, all!

Sunday, March 8, 2015


after tripping and losing the blonde by jake kilroy.

she's not right for you,
and you know that,
when she's ready.
but then a season skulks by,
a whoosh of gown and leaves,
green and guileless at first breath,
though red and foxy by last call,
and you haven't done anything with yourself
but get worse.
so you wonder.
and you learn new men have taken her out,
ones that'll introduce their parents,
that'll know what songs to play on the
drive out to romantic getaways,
that'll rent movies and cook,
that'll pray to a god he actually knows by name
in a church she believes in with real heart.
and you're still out in the wilderness,
cackling mad beside a campfire,
wondering why the forest won't burn.
you're starved for attention
after eating the scenery
and drinking the spotlight.
of course you're worse!
when was the last time you took the risk
that meant roasting your heart
to stiffen your cheeks
and weaken your resolve?
when was the last time
you picked up the check
with no plans for sex?
when was the last time
a needle hit the groove
and you danced with your partner
and told her you loved her
instead of wondering
what came next.
when was the last time
you left the country
and were able to say
you had a girl back home?
when was the last time 
you did anything
but get worse?

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hey, I made some poetry chapbooks!

Hey, hey! I put together three chapbooks of poetry! It’s 28 poems in total. You can have them if you want ‘em. They’re free. Give me your address, and I’ll mail you printed copies. Give me your email, and I’ll send digitals. Or just tell me to bring ya them next time we hang. You also don’t have to read these. I just have hundreds of poems sitting around, and I decided to finally do something with them. Woo!