I lust after people I wish to be. I love people who I once I was. Or will become.
Beauty is an intelligence.
Salt Lake City contains two kinds of beautiful people: mountain climbers and models , Well-showered, they filled the streets. That’s where they belong. Everyone should have the chance to gawk. They don’t belong indoors, in bookstores, sitting. They have their territory.
The unbeautiful know how to tell jokes. The beautiful live in an unfunny riddle.
Long ago when I searched for men on gay.com, I sent phony pictures to men I wanted to seduce. The photos were of a beautiful man. It worked. After a little prodding, they visited me. Some were often angry. Some weren’t. We often had fun anyway. They made the drive, why not? I never felt bad. I gave them hope.
Do not contradict a poet who says he’s ugly. As if he’s suffering from low self-esteem. As if he’s being self-deprecating. He might be right, and then you’ll have told a lie.
I didn’t want a photo on my poetry book. I wanted people to imagine I was beautiful. It seemed unfair to dash their expectations. Especially if they loved any of the writing.
Only rarely does one give the beautiful a second look. The ugly always receive at least two.
Someone told me Phillip Levine said that you had to be unbeautiful to be an important poet. It was weird. I always considered Levine to be beautiful in a working-class kind of way.
I always think that arranging words in the right way will trick people into thinking I am beautiful.
The unbeautiful are unburdened. You can leave your house with food in your teeth or wearing a dirty shirt. No one will notice. We have expectations for the beautiful.
My first love died of AIDS. I met him when he was sick, his beauty already ruined. He had slept with a lot of people. We both knew it. On his deathbed, he took my hand and said, “Be happy you are not beautiful. You’d be sick, too.”
If you are unbeautiful, become a poet. Hide in words. But not for too long. Your body will call you back. It will moan and ache. When you return, you body will be there. The words may not.
"Midnight in a Perfect World" coming Nov. 15
6 days ago