"The police have already come and gone," said Roland, the manager at Madison Pub. "They collected the letter and that's about it."
One of the bar owners notes, "But after the initial 'what?', it's like whatever."
This is a baffling attitude.
"This is just repellent. On the literal level, my poem ["A Display of Mackerel"] is about looking at fish on ice in the grocery store, and wondering if they could be called individuals. But I wrote in '94, in the crisis years of the epidemic, and so I was really thinking about mortality. I was trying to imagine some way to make the loss of those we love seem even temporarily bearable. So I was thinking about what it means to 'have' a self, to be a self, when selfhood is something we lose. I was trying to console myself and others, at least a little, for all we'd endured. So, it's especially ugly for these words to be used against gay men. Writers have no control over what people do with their words, but this is as far from my intention as you could get."
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