Archive Page 2



“Are you sure you’re up for this,” Athena asked, “because it doesn’t seem like your wheelhouse.” She gestured at the bar, a riot short haircuts, comfortable flats, plaid, and commitment.

Harry, the Wingman to the Gods, nodded. “I’ve been at this a long time, and I’ve had much bigger challenges than a lesbian bar. You’re basically human, no wings or scales, you have the normal number of limbs, and your voice doesn’t destroy the minds of mortals.”

“That’s because I’m not a showoff.”

“You’re wearing full armor.”

“It’s my birthday suit.”

Harry smirked. “Fine, it’ll work out, anyway.  A seven foot tall amazon with a spear should be an easy sell here.”

“I am not an Amazon. I am of Olympus.”

“Sorry, language drift.”

“So what do I do?”

“Really, there’s one big tip for connecting two lesbians.”

“Okay, so what’s that?”

“Just this: someone has to make the approach. Pick who you like, and start a conversation.”

Athena looked around the room while Harry tapped his feet to Tegan and Sara. She caught eyes with a woman across the room, who tilted her head, and Athena motioned for Harry to stay there. He sipped his bourbon while they talked animatedly for a bit.  There was laughter, and eye contact, and everything was going well. Conversation got animated, and then Athena brought her over as Harry caught the tail end of a sentence with, “he’ll tell you. Tell Cindy.”

“Tell her what?”

Cindy said, “She claims she was born in a smithy.”



The bar dissolved around him and the air crackled with power, and in the darkness he saw a blasted tree. He saw a creature with a thousand wings and ten thousand eyes. He saw a great chasm filled with molten fire, and there was a voice like the thunder of all of the storms that have ever played across this green earth at once


Harry, Wingman to the G-d, was dragged back into his own body, coughing blood into a cocktail napkin as his head swam with incomprehensible visions.

“Sorry,” said the Metatron, appearing next to him, “he hasn’t been out with mortals in a while, forgot the protocol.”

Harry blinked tears of pain and wonder out of his eyes, and looked back and forth between the angel and the nigh incomprehensible form of יהוה‎, asking, “does he really need me? Aren’t you a literal wingman?”

“I know not the ways of dating. My kind are banned from it.”

“Right, the Nephilim thing.”

יהוה‎ rumbled at the mention, just below the level of speech and therefore tolerable, if uncomfortable, to Harry’s ears and mind.

“In any event, you know the rules,” the Metatron said, “and you have been requested. You must serve.”

“I know the rules better than anyone except the Crone,” Harry replied. “I’m the one living with them.  Let’s get this going. I know the place is a little on the trashy side, but the request said he was looking for a one night thing, and this is where you go for those.”

“Very well,” said the Metatron, as the incomprehensible form of the G-d seemed to nod reluctantly. “What then is the next step?”

“Well, it’s going to be complicated, with you in the middle, but I think we can make that work for us.  We’ll say he’s a mute, and that’ll play into the ‘broken dove’ thing some women have. Plus he’s-”

Harry turned to look as closely as he could at the form beside him, which was to a man the way that a rocket launcher is to a Nerf gun, the way that a billionaire is to a Monopoly winner, the way that all of human language is to a poem, the way that the object is to the shadow it casts in the cave where men live their lives huddled in the bare warmth of a fire and fearful of the outside.

“-magnetic, I’ll give him that, even compared to the gods I spend most of my time with.”

The air grew dark and dangerous and there was a menace to the G-d’s form.

“He says, ‘Thou shalt not mention-‘”

“Hang on,” said Harry, “I know The Commandments, but I literally spend every evening with a different god.”

The menace grew thicker, and Harry collapsed to his knees.

“Stop! Okay, fine, I won’t mention them, but you know you won’t break the Covenant either. Let’s get you laid!”

The sharp malice that hung in the atmosphere lessened.

“You presume much,” said the Metatron, “but you are correct that for this night the Covenant shall hold. What is our next step?”

“Well,” said Harry, standing and leaning on the bar while his head cleared, “What’s he into?”

The Metatron stared deep into his master’s form, communing in some deeper language of thought that could be sensed but not understood by Harry’s lesser mind, but he could sense that something of import was passing between them.

The Metatron asked, “Will there be any virgins?”

“Oh come on!” said Harry.



“I just don’t know how to bring it up in conversation.”

Harry, the Wingman to the Gods, looked at his companion and sympathized, “I think you just have to say it. Not right away, but pretty early.”

“I know, but it’s embarrassing.”

“It’s not anything wrong with you, it’s just how you are.”

“What if she’s not into it?”

“Well, look. She probably won’t be. It’s a pretty rarefied taste. But you’ll find someone it really works for, and you’ll be perfect for her.”


“Yeah, people are into all kinds of weird stuff.”


“Sorry, not how I meant it. It’s just that, no matter what you’ve got going, there’s someone who thinks it’s great, and you’re not an exception.”

“Yeah. Yeah, okay.”

“All right, let’s go meet some people. You ready?”

“I’m ready.”

Harry and Osiris wandered around the room, talking to all the pretty women, buying drinks, nothing really clicking until they met a pair of friends, Sally and Lauren, who wandered in late. Everyone hit it off, and the conversation just naturally split after Osiris gave a quick look to Harry to indicate he wanted to talk to Lauren alone. Harry steered her friend back to the bar and chatted amiably with her for a while until the quiet conversation was interrupted by Lauren’s voice pitching up from the table nearby.

“A fucking crab!?” she was asking.



“I think I’m going to turn into a goat.  Yeah. That’ll do it,” said Zeus.

Harry, Wingman to the Gods, sighed into his bourbon.

“Just talk to her,” he said. “You always do this.”

“No, I think she’d be into it.”

“They’re never into it.”

“That last chick was totally into it.”

“She ran screaming! Plus you trashed the whole bar! No one wants to sleep with a hippopotamus, you have to know that. Just talk to her, like a person.”

“No, seriously, I read in this book that you want to be weird and stand out, it’s called peacocking.”

Harry blinked. “Wait, have you been reading The Game?”

“Oh! I should do a peacock”

“Don’t do anything, just talk to her. Aren’t you all-seeing? Do you really think some hybrid of pickup artistry and bestiality is a better choice than just talking to her like a person?”



“It’s just hard, man. Breaking the ice. It was easier when I could just turn into a bull and have Eros-”

“No, we are not doing the roofie arrow thing. First of all, gross, and second you promised Hera when she finally agreed to the open marriage.”

“I know, I know. It’s just… she’s so pretty. It’s intimidating”

“You are the literal king of the sky. You throw lightning bolts from your hands. You have all of human knowledge.”

“Yeah, but-”

“No buts! She’ll be into it! Or she won’t, and you’ll move on, but stop dithering and just do it.”

Zeus looked over at her, knocked back the last of his ouzo, and stood up. “I’m gonna do it.”

“Good! Go! I’m here if you need backup.”

Zeus began striding toward her with a confident walk, a god’s walk, a real hell of a strut for a guy wound up in that much cloth. Harry saw him lean in and say something to her. She turned and smiled, and said something that looked like “sure”, but Harry couldn’t read lips.

Zeus turned into a peacock.

She screamed.



The slogan of so many kids in my class was
“You wear your X and I’ll wear mine”
Despite the fact that we only had one black kid
And Jay wasn’t sporting Malcolm’s gear

I wanted to shake them, should have shook them
Should have shouted “It’s not! Your! X”
This was a northern state
This was a Quaker town
The Friends Church where my scout troop met
Had a little room with its own lock
Where they used to hide runagates
Every old house here has hidey holes
We were founded for the Underground Railroad
This town was the opposite
of your X

And when shots were fired on Sumter
So many Quakers set aside their peaceful ways
Stood up
Said “If I fight for anything it will be this”

These kids want pride so bad they’ll
Wring it from the rags of slavers
But not so bad they’ll crack a book
Not so bad they’ll look at themselves
Their houses
Their church
And see that they could have been proud of the right things

Growing up in a red state you fight or you break or you leave
And I fought until it was leave or break and I left

But the Xes stayed.
As my years on the Brain Game turn to years spent as brain drain
I go back to my old high school
And they’ve put up a shiny new main street
They tore down all the old Quaker houses
Tore down that holy place with its hidey hole
Tore down all our history
Tore down a place where the people stood up


Side Character

I think Fatty Bolger was the bravest hobbit.
He knew that someone had to stay behind,
And that straggling halfing would have just as much at stake
With no glory. I mean he wasn’t even in the movie.

When we met you were already moving but you said,
“It’s okay, I move fast” and you did, and then you left
And we stayed in contact for a while
And then we didn’t, and I know why, and it’s fine
But the internet is a whale’s song
In my distant sea it sings me sonar snippets of you
I am always glad to know you’re well

But when they make a movie of you, I won’t be in it

I wish Oberyn Martell had more time
He just seems so important, right up until the last
But that’s the way those books go
Sometimes you just get one moment

We were months of messages and one weekend
And you said “If my history is anything to go by
We’ll either see each other a lot or never again”
And it was that last one, of course
The whalesong brought me news of your tumor
Years after I could have done anything
Which of course I couldn’t, and you did just fine without me

It’s just that I thought we’d have more moments

I think Aberforth Dumbledore was the better brother
He only comes in at the end, but he’s clear with Harry
He doesn’t hide anything in riddles, he doesn’t keep secrets
But he doesn’t have much time

It was three months before I talked to you
The only other whale in my naptown sea
And three more months before I asked you
When we were chatting on a Thursday evening, the way we always did
And you said yes, and then you drifted off
I didn’t hear from you on Friday
On Saturday your ex called me because I was the last number in your phone and

What do you mean she’s dead?!
How is that possible?!
How did she get it?!
What kind of doctor gives an ex-junkie morphine?
What do you mean, I can’t save her? The hero always looks like me!

He says they found you on Friday morning, dead for hours
And I count backward to Thursday night
When I thought you fell asleep

I had all the trappings of a main character
I thought we’d have more time, but no one told me
That I’d only meet your parents at your funeral
No one told me I should have spoken sooner
No one told me it was your last chapter
And I was the wrong Dumbledore


open letters from an openly bisexual man

To whom it may concern,

I’m told invisibility is the superpower that everyone would choose
And I think that’s funny because they could just, like,
Indicate an attraction to more than one sex and

And maybe they’re right, it is a power
I will never know how many dates would flee
If they knew
How many
I’ve been saved because it does not say “man love” on my sleeve
I only know how strange it is to be this
Big, loud, corn-fed farmboy cum hipster and
Sometimes be so hard to see

To the people who ask “why did you come out? I’d never have known”,

You answered your own question.

To Michael Hutchence,

Your videos are where I first realized. I was a teenager. I am, indeed, one of your kind. Rest in peace.

To Grandpa Simmonds,

I wish I came out before you died. You’d have gotten over it, just like the hair, which is to say mostly, slowly, grudgingly.

To Grandma Zeigler,

I wish I came out before you died. You’d have been so proud.

To the American Red Cross,

Take my money
As you will not take the blood from these veins
Too tainted by too much love
I never knew how to draw your lines
Would that I could do the same good somewhere else
I will pay thy poverty, o
Thou bigot Apothecary

To the people who ask if my wife knows,


To my wife,

I love you.

To Grandpa Zeigler,

Thank you for the support. Get over the hair.

To Grandma Simmonds,

We’re cool, I just didn’t want to leave you out. I love you.

To those who say the word should be “pan” or “omni”, not “bi”,

I don’t care for your words, but I agree with you that attraction is not a coin flip. When I say “bisexual”, I am using it as a shorthand for:

Humanity isn’t one binary, it is a spectrum, it is spectra, it is a grand sky stretching out in all directions and all dimensions
and for some people attraction is the sun, bright and focused
and they know that to see their light they can look in one direction
for me attraction is the night sky, and everywhere there are pinpricks of light

Maybe they collect in patterns, and
over here is the constellation riot grrl
over here the constellation glitter boy
and here in the middle are librarian, musician, scientist, all
straddling what some would pretend is a dividing line
but if it’s there I don’t even see it

I don’t begrudge anyone their basking in the sun
knowing where their light will be
but I would never trade it for my night sky
where my light comes to me from all directions all at once
unpredictably and beautifully

I also think maybe more of you should admit that even on the brightest sunny day
you can see the moon.

I am real

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