A Regret

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A Regret
by David Trinidad

Kurt, early
twenties. Met
him after
an AA
meeting in
Silverlake
(November,
eighty-five).
I remem-
ber standing
with him up-
stairs, in the
clubhouse, how
I checked his
body out.
But not who
approached whom.
Or what we
talked about
before we
leaned against
my car and
kissed, under
that tarnished
L.A. moon.
Drove to my
place and un-
dressed him in
the dark. He
was smaller
than me. I
couldn’t keep
my hands off
his ass. Next
morning, smoked
till he woke,
took him back.
He thanked me
sweetly. I
couldn’t have
said what I
wanted, though
must have known.
Drove home and
put him in
a poem
(“November”)
I was at
the end of.

Later that
day it rained
(I know from
the poem).

David Trinidad was born in Los Angeles, was raised in the San Fernando Valley, and moved to New York City in 1988. Much of his work investigates the cultural landscapes of America’s great metropolises, as well as the culture at large. His poems are often filled with references to television, movies, and music, while also being populated by very real people and problems. The autobiographical impulse in poets such as Anne Sexton, Frank O’Hara, Sylvia Plath, and James Schuyler can also be seen in Trinidad’s work, as can masterful threads of both elegy and celebration.

Trinidad is known for his use of popular culture in his poems. The poet James Schuyler wrote, “Trinidad turns the paste jewels of pop art into the real thing.” His work is also associated with the innovative formalism of the New York School. Alice Notley has written, “There is an unwavering light in all of Trinidad’s work that turns individual words into objects, new facts.” About The Late Show (2007), the New York Times Book Review wrote that Trinidad’s “most impressive gift is an ability to dignify the dross of American life, to honor both the shrink-wrapped sentiment of the cultural artifacts he writes about and his own much more complicated emotional response to them.”

Trinidad has also edited an anthology of collaborative poetry, the selected poems of Tim Dlugos and of Ann Stanford, and the journal Court Green, published out of Columbia College, where he teaches. He has also taught at Princeton, The New School, Rutgers, and Columbia.

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

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