We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE
OR

52 Men

written by Louise Wareham Leonard

Publication Year: 2015

Published by: Red Hen Press

Title Page, Copyright, Acknowledgments, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-8

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 9-12

Epigraphs

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 13-16

Part One

read more

1

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 19

Mike was in the Navy, though I cannot see the sea in him. I cannot see ocean. We walk in the local park. It is autumn and cold and the leaves are rust colored, spiky. Mike is good looking with black hair and blue eyes. He is gentle and very quiet. When he calls me, a week...

read more

2

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 20

It is sunny, and the leaves in the trees are yellowish with light and we are smoking clove cigarettes. John is tall and in sunglasses and I cannot see his eyes. I brush my toes against the grass in my red open toe shoes. When he takes off his sunglasses his eyes are blue. His hair is thick...

read more

3

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 21

Fazal is in junior high. He never likes me much, not enough to make a difference. He never kisses my face or touches my hair. His mother is a mystery: a dark eyed dark haired woman who lives somewhere else, in Saudi Arabia, perhaps, or the United Emirates. His father has a restaurant...

read more

4

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 22

Richard is a student at the School of Visual Arts. I pass him one day, on my way from the subway station, across 23rd Street toward the East River. He has long curly hair, wild rambunctious Zeppelin hair. “Can I walk with you?” he asks, standing up from his perch against the school wall. “I mean,” he says, shaking out his...

read more

5

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 23

I love Trey. As a friend I love Trey, the way friends love friends. “Please ,” he says, “ Please,” trying to kiss me. It isn’t rape exactly. It isn’t consensual either. I give in, in the end. I give in because I love him. Because I can’t stand the sound of his pained voice. His want and his...

read more

6

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 24-25

Thor breaks my heart. He breaks it and breaks it some more. “You broke my heart,” he says, “so I broke yours.” He is in reform school. Then he joins the Marines. He becomes a Corrections Officer, downtown at the Tombs.

The last time I see him, I am twenty-six. We are in Central Park. It is May and the trees...

read more

7

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 26

Klaus is German. We kiss before school, in the subway station. We kiss between cars. He tastes of cigarettes, and also oranges. We kiss in diners and record shops. Later, when I break up with him, for Billy I think, or another, Klaus cuts out the eyes in a photo of me, and mails...

read more

8

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 27-28

Ashley is a naïf. He is a “Just Say No” kid in the ’80s. He goes to rehab at age fourteen. A year later, he is a poster boy for recovery. He is in the White House with Nancy Reagan, alone with her in a room. He can’t believe they would leave him, a fifteen-year-old with a drug...

read more

9

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 29

I live with Serge, on 109th and Amsterdam. We have a dog. We have a Bonnard poster. We fight so hard we smash our pot- plants; we break a window, plates, some fingers. He wants to marry me and, “Of course,” I say, when he presents a ring. “But first,” I say, hesitating, turning...

read more

10

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 30-31

Michael is a rock star. I don’t know this at first. I think he is a guy in Mississippi, coming out of the bathroom, doing up his fly. He puts me on the guest list. On stage, he is all lit up, like Jesus on a prayer card. “Don’t eat meat,” he calls. “Don’t quit school.” Outside his hotel,...

read more

11

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 32-33

Dear Elise,

How are you doing? I was the guy you gave a cigarette to on Greenwich Avenue, Greenwich, Connecticut on a rainy day this summer. Thanks! I was having a bad day until I met you. You gave me your address and I said I might pop by one...

read more

12

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 34

Joe is in college, at River House. His ceiling is draped in silk. His walls are hung with Tibetan flags. He makes me tea. He plays me The Feelies. When it snows, he sits at the window. He smokes a cigarette so the gray smoke mixes with white. I love his quiet and his aloofness...

read more

13

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 35-36

Robbie has a girlfriend. I don’t know about his girlfriend, or not at first. I fly from New York to London to see Robbie. I will stay in his apartment. It is an expensive apartment, a young banker’s apartment because he is a young banker in Holland Park. First though, Robbie...

read more

14

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 37

With Peter I am fifteen. I am in his room. It is a dark room with high ceilings. It is on 91st Street and Riverside. Rarely have I been to this side of town. Rarely have I been alone with a boy in his room. He is eighteen and a senior. Soon he is going to Tufts. He invites me...

read more

15

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 38

Judson is a blind date. Should I dress up or down? Should I go conservative or a little indie? I have no idea what he would like. In the end, I play it in the middle: white blouse with a circular neckline, black skirt to the knees, flat shoes. What the clothes lack I can make up for...

read more

16

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 39

I meet Oli in the Virgin Islands. I am on assignment. He is second in command of the British Navy Destroyer the HMS Cardiffe. I go onboard, at dusk, to a party. Oli is in a white shirt, and a cap. He has a jacket, with stripes that gleam. He gives us a tour of the ship, and of...

read more

17

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 40

Sergio* comes from school. He is seventeen and beautiful and from Queens, and before that Argentina. He has milky skin and dark eyes. He plays basketball and soccer. Later, he goes into construction. He opens a restaurant in New York City. He dates a starlet who is named...

read more

18

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 41

E is sorry. E is married. E should have known better. He writes from the Princeton Club and the Century Association and the Union Club. He writes year after year, when I am nineteen and twenty and twenty-nine. He cannot live without me. He cannot leave his wife. “You will marry...

read more

19

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 42-44

Jay is an intern at the Magazine—as am I. He goes to Yale and studies Russian and carries a gray canvas bag, one of the $5 ones from Canal Jeans. In the hallway, he leans in with his bag swinging at his thighs. He is handsome and has met my parents and loves my writing. He has...

read more

20

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 45

We are all drunk, in this town. Roy is drunk. Barry is drunk. Jimmy Dee and sometimes Marc are drunk. Willie is drunk, when he picks me up in his crimson Chevrolet. He drives me around the delta, past the lake and cotton fields. He drives me to shantytowns and to Sledge: home...

read more

21

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 46-47

In Central Park, the reservoir is inky. There is no moon. The only light is from the clouds: from all the traffic lights red yellow and green inside them, all the tail-lights and head lights and street lamps pooled into rose pink. Adam* pulls me under a tree. It is an oak tree and full of leaves....

read more

22

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 48

Charlie “Love” Jacobs* is from Jackson, Mississippi. He plays saxophone and harmonica with his band at the Gin. His face is white as a boy drowned in a lake. His eyes are pale blue and he comes over after his gig. I am upset when I hear he lives with a girlfriend in Jackson. “You didn’t know that?” he...

read more

23

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 49

Greg is in Key West. He comes busting through the screen door, one Saturday night, in June. He is tall and tanned from the sun, his face ravaged and his eyes fire blue, opals. In my hand he places a rose, plucked from a roadside bush. Not even on a bed, but on some pallet on the...

read more

24

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 50

Billy’s eyes are all pupil. Billy’s eyes are metal ore. This is from the drugs. From the cocaine like the whites of his eyes, in shiny clear plastic packets, slivered and sliced up ice, baby powder with a slick of glass. He gives it to me after school, in his room. His favorite drink is 7&7 and he gives...

read more

25

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 51

I call Steven from a phone booth on 91st Street and Lexington. He is thirty-four and a bartender and going back to school. It is night and a man comes up behind me and presses either the barrel of a gun or something meant to feel like the barrel of a gun into my back. “Your wallet,” he...

read more

26

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 52-53

I meet John in a meadow. His art is everywhere—1,000 pound steel balls, five foot in diameter—strewn across the grass. A month later, he is outside St. Vincent’s Hospital. He has just been inside, he says, for three weeks, for depression. His eyes are saucers: round and wet and...

read more

27

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 54-56

Carter* lives on the East River, in a high rise apartment. The wind blows down the river and around the building and into the city. “You’re lucky,” he says, “you weren’t a child in this city. There are children in the city who have never seen the ocean. Can you imagine that?” he shakes...

read more

28

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 57

Joel is from Queens and a graphic designer. He has a loft apartment in Soho. In this apartment is a swing. You can swing from the light of the windows on the east side toward the darkness on the west. Joel makes me cards: homemade carefully wrought works-of-art cards. Joel gives...

29

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 58

read more

30

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 59

I meet Bob at a dinner party on Gansevoort Street. I have come late to the party so as to miss dinner. I can’t afford dinner, so come for coffee. Bob notices this. Bob comments on it. Bob is impressed, he says. He is a lawyer, Insurance Coverage and Litigation. He lives on 35th Street. He has...

read more

31

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 60

Lou is in a hot tub, alone me with me at the Chelsea Piers, the most expensive club I belong to. It has windows on the Hudson. It has velvet light. He stands up to let the water flow over him, and I see his package. I am embarrassed by this. I know his package has been the subject...

read more

32

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 61-63

Quentin is a storyteller. By which he means, he likes to tell stories—not on paper—but out loud, to an audience. He has done this on a soap box in London. He has done it on a soap box in Prospect Park. In ten years he will be a celebrated storyteller at The Moth. A filmmaker will...

read more

33

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 64-65

I am lying on Ron’s couch. The copy of Rilke you gave Jamie rests on the table. I think of you often.

There are other reminders, too. Your name and number, in large, dark writing tacked to the Hoka wall. I’ve been calling for a long time. No answer, or you are just “away for a while.”...

read more

34

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 66-69

Andreas* is in Greece. I meet him on his yacht, the 218-foot Rosenkavalier, built in 1929. He is one of nine children born to a shepherd. He made his fortune in donuts, and later cream-filled pastry puffs. “Come,” he says, “Sail with me. I will give you your own suite. You can do...

read more

35

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 70-71

Hewson realizes that he is not interesting enough, that he is in finance and needs new interests, to make him more interesting. For this reason, he takes a course in astronomy. He joins the American Museum of Natural History. He is sorry he doesn’t know more about...

read more

36

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 72

Timothy is a favorite. He lives on Prince Street and rides a Moto Guzzi motorbike and helps the poor in Bushwick. In his wallet, he keeps a poem of mine, about Jesus, and rage, but mostly rage. We go to the Odeon, and Pravda. His favorite bird is the sparrow. When I leave...

read more

37

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 73

Tom is in Hoboken. He loves Hoboken. He takes me to Leo’s Grandevous. Sinatra has been there. It serves chicken parmigiana. Tom is sweet. Tom is nice. He is a photographer and sweeps me up—he snaps me the way a photograph is taken: suddenly, the shutter falling,...

read more

38

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 74-75

I meet Eddie on Central Park West, in Columbus Circle at midnight. It is summer and the trees are whirling with dry leaves and it is my first year with my first apartment: I can do whatever I please. Eddie is walking a black Labrador. He walks me uptown, to my apartment, and outside,...

read more

39

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 76

Generous of you to write, considering the rather over-the-top nature of my letter. I wrote that in an emotionally charged state and I believe I exaggerated many things. I certainly felt a good deal of contrition immediately after sending it, and to its tone. But I never could be direct with...

read more

40

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 77

Tony is from Liverpool: he is a boxer, and also an actor, and of a formidable size. I hardly know him but he takes me to the Turkish Baths on East 12th Street. He throws me in the cold water, then the hot, then the ice. He thrashes me with eucalyptus fronds and massages me...

read more

41

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 78

Bruce is small and boxy, and his fat mouth hangs open sometimes, and is wet; when he fights with the other boys in the schoolyard at lunch, his mouth drools. He wipes it with the back of his hand, embarrassed, but not so much that he will stop fighting. He is in love with...

42

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 79

read more

43

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 80-81

Jonathan is the world’s most famous North American novelist. He isn’t when I meet him. He is an unknown: modest and almost shy, fundamentally but not impossibly handsome. He has come to the arts colony to read from his new book. It is a novel, coming out in a month. In the...

read more

44

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 82

Steve is a police officer. I watch him calming down some men in a fight in Soho. I am so impressed by this—by his calmness and his presence and quiet authority—I begin talking to him. He is forty-two and retiring next year. He has seen gruesome things, he says, mentioning...

read more

45

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 83

I meet Henri at a wedding. He is French. He is beautiful, in a beautiful suit. He doesn’t see me at first, he is not looking for someone to see. This is why I notice him. Later, we walk on the rocks, by the ocean. It is California. His hands are tan and smooth. We move up to the swimming...

read more

46

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 84

Jamie is good, he is kind, he works on Wall Street. He is tall and well-built and has short reddish hair. His grandfather was a general. His father is an ex-diplomat living in Bermuda. When his mother died, of cancer, she left Jamie her fortune. His father sued but was unsuccessful....

read more

47

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 85

Charlie is a writer. I have a poem of his on my wall: “Mother at Eighty.” Later, I throw out his poem. I throw out his books of poems and his novels also. For a time, I think about pulling out the pages with personal inscriptions. Do I really want someone else to read his inscriptions? I decide...

read more

48

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 86

Alain is from Queens, and in freight. He has six vintage cars, one Jaguar, one Lincoln Navigator SUV and three Ducati motorbikes. He has a house on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with twenty rooms. The rooms are empty because his wife has just left him. “I hate you,” she says, on his...

49

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 87

read more

50

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 88-89

Gerardo is from Spain. When he was born, his father named an oil tanker after him. His sister, too, had a tanker named after her: the Paloma. Gerardo is wild and has children. I live with him and his male lover and his children in an antebellum house. “Everything is beautiful here,” I tell...

read more

51

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 90

I meet Hugh at the St. Mark’s Bookstore. He is twenty-two and I am thirty-seven and he is reading Bukowski. “You’re hot,” he says. “You’re so hot.” He is 6'4". He is an actor and “should try Chekhov,” I say. “Your hands are shaking,” he says. “Why do your hands shake?” My hands...

read more

52

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 91-92

Joe throws me on the bed. It is a high bed, luxurious, with all white linen. His entire apartment is white, nothing on the walls but a photograph of Jimi Hendrix. “You’re rough,” I complain. “You seem to like it,” he answers. I don’t really. He is a successful painter. He paints...

read more

Part Two

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 93-114

The first day I saw Ben was in Central Park. Yellow flowers pushed their way out of the lush watered grass. I was in Sheep’s Meadow with my mother and her boyfriend, Steve Galogly. We had a picnic rug and bags of food from Zabars.

“There he is,” Steve said and raised his hand. Ben went to boarding school upstate. He was eight...

Appendix

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 115-119

Biographical Note

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 120


E-ISBN-13: 9781597095303
Print-ISBN-13: 9781597099967
Print-ISBN-10: 1597099961

Publication Year: 2015

OCLC Number: 965167658
MUSE Marc Record: Download for 52 Men