Monthly Archives: November 2005

Back in the Saddle Again

Quote of the Day: “Keeping time with paupers just as well as kings/I toss my hat up to the silver sky/And then I sigh/Look at all the blessings in my life…”—Teena Marie, “Irons in the Fire” ***

Sup peeps…been a few days since I posted here. Been pretty busy trying to keep the world informed about this little book I wrote. Then I had Thanksgiving time to spend with the Bryant family out in Long Island. Hope you all had a nice holiday…

In HUNG News: Taped an interview for NPR (National Public Radio) yesterday afternoon. Not just about HUNG, but about sexuality and black folks in general. Cool interview, wide range of topics discussed; I’ll let you know when it’s running…Did a signing for charity at Maria Davis’ party Monday night. That was hot; got to hear some unsigned hiphop talent. Ran into the legendary Red Alert and reminisced about old-skool hiphop days. And I got re-introduced to “Make It Last Forever” songstress Jacci McGee, looking very hot and beautiful. Homegirl’s about to record some new music after a long hiatus. Big-Up’s to her…

Still getting work done on the script for The HUNG Monologues, or HUNG: In Concert, as I’ve taken to calling it every time I sit down at the computer. Hopefully I’ll have a production up and running by the middle of February, in honor of Black History Month. My fingers are crossed, at least, which makes it a little hard to get any typing done, but then, there ya go…

LISTENING: Can honestly say that I am NOT loving the new Madonna CD—though I suspected that might be the case when I first heard it’s awful title this summer. How do you make a “dance” record in 2005 and not have more funky hiphop-style beats on it? The record feels very gay to me. And not “gay” in a cool, fabulous way either, but “gay” in that sleazy, hyped-up but rundown crystal meth sorta way. Other than the single and a coupla bars of a coupla other songs I can’t even recall the names of, I think the record stinks. Almost makes me cry. Anyone who knows me knows that Madonna never had a bigger fan among the brothas than me; but I can’t believe my ears these last few CDs. What happened to the melodies and the style and the, well, the fun?…

Cant get enough of Josh Rouse’s brilliant, funny, crazy, sexy, and heartfelt Nashville CD. Not as slick as a bud of mine described it, this boy can write some songs that make you wanna sing along, drive around to it, chill out to it. Song for song (“Street Lights” “Winter in the Hamptons”, “Carolina”, “Sad Eyes”…ah, each of them so freakin’ beautiful) probably my choice as album of the year. I think. Or maybe Amos Lee. Or maybe Ryan Adams and the Cardinals. Or maybe…forget it, I’ll list them a few days from now….Really really can’t enough of the Nancy Sinatra CD from last year. It’s some rockin’ shit, old meets new at the OK Corral of Love. My faves are “Burning Down the Spark”, “Bossman”, and her cover of Morrissey’s “Let Me Kiss You”… I’ve recently re-discovered the joys of two CDs from my past: Brand Nubian’s debut and Diana Ross’s The Boss…Ashford & Simpson had homegirl singing on that record. Ross is underrated in my book. Under all the glam and hair and pizazz, there’s quite a song stylist in there.

READING: Loving loving loving a book called The Blue Edge of Midnight, a thriller by Jonathon King. If you like dark, broody mystery thrillers, pick it up. It’s the first in a series. Also enjoying—I tend to read a few books at the same time, switiching it up every once and while—Joan Didion’s Where I Was From, her last book, about her home state of Cali, before I dig into her most recent one. Also, about to look into a book called Sex, Murder and a Double Latte by Kyra Davis, which someone recommended to me on the plane back from the Bay Area. Davis is San Fran-based, and y’all know I been trying to keep a bit of Bay in my life since my wondrous trip out that way.

WATCHING: TV: Loving the shit outta Commander In Chief, though it will be interesting to see how the show changes now that Steve Bochco’s running things over there–and further indulging his straight-boy crush on Mark Paul Gosselar and bell-saving his career again by providing him with yet another primetime role…Discovered, as is my wont, a new show via DVD: Battlestar Galactica, which my boy Ron had told me about last year. One word: Sublime. Okay, two words: Terribly sublime. Subtle yet edgy and yet very science fictiony without a glimmer of techno-geekdom . And here’s a Q: What’s with all the female presidents on TV these days, with Geena D. on Commander and Mary McDonnell on Galactica? I know one thing: I’d take either of them over Our Current Cowboy-in-Chief, any day, wouldn’t you?…. FILM: Liked the new Harry Potter, even tho they cut out some of the wrong stuff from the book and even tho they didn’t develop the competitors enough in the TriWizard Tourney, and—MAJOR THING HERE—even tho they misplayed the Voldemort thing: I could have done without all that make-up they piled onto poor Ralph Fiennes. He’s fuckin’ Ralph Fiennes people: he nailed Hamlet and he’s played a Nazi; he can act and he can scare us with just a simple shot of his beautifully angular and expressive face, can’t he, kids?…Even though his beloved The Opposite of Sex was a tad, uh, arch for my tastes, I really enjoyed Don Roos’s last flick called Happy Endings…at least I think I did. I know that some of the writing is very clever and smart and touching and I know I loved the performances of Maggie Gyllenhaal and Lisa Kudrow and Tom Arnold and Jesse Bradford as much as I hated those little title cards …But I’ll tell you this: I can do without anymore bustling, multi-caharacter, life-is-as-random-as-a-screenwriter’s-keystroke-makes-it movies. Didn’t like Magnolia. Didn’t like Crash. There’s another I’m missing, but I must have hated it so much it’s slipping my tiny mind…Re-watched Trick the other night. For a gay flick it was terribly good, again. Still love Coco Peru (“You ever get cum in your eye, Gabriel? It buuuuuurrrrrnnnnnns”).

So I guess that about sums up my life in a few graphs. What y’all been up to?

***with a nod to my homeboy…thanks for introducing me to that…

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Crash Into Me

Quote of the Day: “Please forgive me/If I act a little strange/For I know not what I do…Feels like lightning running through my veins/Everytime I look at you…” —David Gray, “Please Forgive Me”***

So I finally caught this flick Crash that everyone raved about last year. Even Oprah namechecked it, calling her experience at the Hermes store earlier this year her “Crash Moment”. If one more person rolls up on me and asks what I thought of Crash, I’m gonna explode. So I watched it.

Well. Having thought about it a bit, I guess I can say this much for it: Other than the corny opening monologue of Don Cheadle (basically, peeps don’t “connect” in Los Angeles) to that corny penultimate image of snow falling on Los Angeles; other than some completely telegraphed foreshadowing (the fairy with the bullet-proof cape?) and some uneven character development (Larenz Tate’s car thief, Jennifer Esposito’s detective); other than some awkward ironies that one supposes were supposed to make the movie seem moving in that life-affirming way and some otherwise questionably sophisticated dialogue for Ludacris; and other than the nagging suspicion that the DA played by Brendan Fraser was sleeping with the black woman on his staff…I guess I liked it.

I liked Don Cheadle’s smart, unemotional turn as the black detective distant from his hood-based family; I liked Sandra Bullock as the pampered LA housewife scared into baring her racism for all the world to see; I liked Loretta Devine’s take-no-shit clinic worker—then again, I always like Loretta Devine; I liked William Fichtner telling it like it is and asking Cheadle’s character how he really felt about black folks and crime; I really liked Terrence Howard, who has more charisma in his permed hair than half the “talent” in all of Hollywood.

All that said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t just say what I was really thinking the whole time the flick was running: If Thandie Newton, Terrence Howard, Larenz Tate and Loretta Devine were white they’d be superstars. There’s a Hollywood crime that should be investigated.

Maybe I’m just getting cynical in my old age. But: Why wasn’t I as moved by Crash as everyone else seemed to be? Why didn’t the flick feel as definitive as everyone seemed to make it out to be? Was it just that peeps heard all those racist names used outside of BET’s Comic View or a rap record and felt like the words had some other kind of noble and theatrical resonance when used by big Hollywood stars? When Matt Dillon saved Thandie Newton from the burning car…was that noble and heroic or just a cop doing his job? Considering he’d disgustingly felt her up the night before—or was that act just a way of humiliating her husband, the black man? I guess the way that the film showed some of the subtle ways that race gets manipulated in the political sphere were sorta interesting, and the scene between Newton and Howard back at the crib after being violated by the cops had a piquant sharpness you don’t see in a lot of Hollywood flicks.

But there was something missing for me. And then an hour after watching, I realized what it was: It was a film about race, and there were a bunch of black and Asian and Persian characters in it, and it seemed very sensitive toward a minority perspective, and yet it still felt very white. Maybe it’s me.

##############

***hoagie, grinder, hero…whatever…let’s just go have a shake.

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Reasons to be Cheerful, Pt. 1

Quote of the Day: “Whatever U heard about me is true/I change the rules and do what I wanna do…”—Prince, “Let’s Pretend We’re Married”

I got back from the west coast and decided I didn’t have time to think negatively about anything—a buddy said to make a list of the things that have been making me happy of late. So I did…

• Someone actually put HUNG on his blogger profile favorite book list.
• I got a new pair of Rod Laver Adidas kicks.
• I got to spend four days in Oakland and Berkeley and can’t wait get back there.
• My DVD of Trick will be in the mail tomorrow from amazon.com.
• Jet Blue airlines.
• Regina King’s performance in Jerry Maguire.
• Watching fine sista Ryan Michelle Bathe on Boston Legal.
• “Just a Mirage” by Smokey & the Miracles.
• The bass line of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson”…coo coo ca choo…
• Mary J. Blige’s new single is the hottest shit Mary’s done in years–it’s streaming here if ya wanna hear it.
Desperate Housewives finally had a good episode this season.
• The new Harry Potter flick opens this week.
• I’m about to get me some more Summers Bazaar incense–and you should, too.

• There’s gonna be a new Madonna CD in my iPod this morning.
• Three more months and I’ll be in South Beach.
• “I Think I’m Going Out Of My Head” by Little Anthony and the Imperials
• “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” by Looking Glass
• The 7.99 copy of Cruel Intentions I found at Best Buy yesterday.
• I found the title song from Charlotte’s Web on line the other night—performed by the Brady Bunch of all groups.
• “Something Beautiful Remains” by Tina Turner
• I found my tattered old copy of Gay Love Signs in my storage space.
• Smokey and Steph are gonna have a boy.
• Walter Mosely is about to publish an erotic novel.
• I’ve been invited to speak at Swarthmore College during Black History Month
• I heard the brilliant Mark Anthony Neal might teach my book HUNG in his class next semester at Duke.

• “Put Your Body In It” by Stephanie Mills
• “We’ve Only Just Begun” by the Carpenters
• “Fix You” by Coldplay
• “Never in Your Sun” by Stevie Wonder
• That fine kat who plays Wade on Noah’s Arc.
• The mix tape I made my boy the other night, which opens with “Magic In Your Eyes” by Rufus and Chaka Khan.
• The anticipation of my mommy’s macaroni and cheese and lemon pound cake come Thanksgiving time.

• It’s autumn in New York…

What’s making you happy these days???

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I Left My Heart in the East Bay Area

Quote of the Day: “Just don’t ever change / cause I’m so into you…” — Tony! Toni! Tone!, “Feels Good”

So I just got back to NYC, after the HUNG tour took me on a dope trip west to the East bay area of Cali. And I gotta say, as much as I didn’t expect to…I was crazy into it. My boy is telling me I liked it cause it was an adventure, one of those little life treasures you encounter along the way. I don’t think so. Me, Scott P-B, the NYCer who loved NYC, the kat from the burbs who couldn’t wait to be stomping the streets of The City (as you call Manhattan when you’re a kat from the burbs), the kat who lives for Miami like a good Cuban sandwich with a side of good Cubano coffee, the kat who hates LA (but deals with it cause that’s where the work and some good friends are), fell in love with Oakland and Berkeley. Yeh, maybe it’s because my girl Ajuan is there teaching at Mills. Or because my girl Pam is there, doing her film thing. Or because my boy Adam M. is there with his beautiful girlfriend Victoria, both of them writing and chilling in the hills. Or because my old pal Ben is there, with his incredibly adorable little girl, being daddy and looking happier than anybody I’ve seen in NYC lately. Or maybe it’s cause Mark Brilliant is still the great guy he was back at Brown, doing his civil rights thing at UC Berkeley. Or maybe it’s cause I went to Luka’s and had a good burger and Radio where the DJ spun old Motown 45s–everything from “My Mistake” by Marvin & Diana to Rebirth Brass Band to (one of the best records of ALL TIME) Stevie’s “That Girl”–while we got our drags on. Or maybe it’s because all the peeps in thebookstores were nice and chill. Or maybe it’s because at the party I went to at Savannah’s, the mix of the crowd felt organic and real. Or maybe because, like Tecquin told me, even the str8 boys in the bay got a little queer in them, that chill kinda laid-back, do-yo-shit energy (at least the ones I met). Or maybe it’s because I got to chill with Daniel Alarcon, my new favorite writer and my new BFF, talking soccer and females and literature and naughty Peruvian words for, among other things, fag. (Long story, and no reflection on Mr. Alarcon…I just like to know perjorative words in other languages—just a little perversion of mine–you never know who you might haveta curse out…)

Didn’t make it into that version of The City (San Francisco)—and that’s OK. I had some good times in the East Bay. I felt relaxed there, more than I have in a hella long time. Didn’t even feel like I was on a book tour while I was there. Maybe because the Claremont Hotel felt like the way I need ta be living? Maybe because Telegraph Ave made me feel like I was back in Providence, chilling like a college boy again? Maybe because KPFA treated me so cool? Maybe because I got to exchange some words with DawnElissa Fischer at Cody’s, like old-scholl hiphop ciphering?

Anyway…I’ll be back, to quote the state gov who got all his shit shot down in the election while I was out there. Oh yeh, if you’re ever in the area, go to Marcus Books, where the sweetest peeps treat writers like stars, where you can talk books and life and feel like you’re home. Give Blanche a hug and say what up, that SPB sent you…Oh yeh, this too: If you stop by a restaurant named Pearl and this beautiful little brown sista steps to you with a hot mix of NYC homegirl, South Beach sophisticate and Bay Area princess-in-chill mode, that’s my babygurl Ipe. She’ll take care of you lovely. Cause she’s dope like that…

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Musing on Tuesday

Quote of the Day: “Days go by and still I think of you…” — Dirty Vegas, “Days Go By”

I’m currently in the process of picking some actors to do monologues in the upcoming show HUNG: Live In Concert. Any recommendations from you peeps out there? I already have a few names lined up, can’t mention them yet, but who would YOU wanna see telling some of the stories that grace the pages of HUNG? You think any of the Noah’s Arc dudes would be good for it?

So I’m watching Noah’s Arc again—ok, yeh, as uneven as it can be, I’ve decided that’s it’s also downright hilarious in some spots and just dead-on right in others, and I’ve also decided that I’m a fan, as hungry for queer black dudes on TV as anybody else—and I realize that I know the kat who plays Trey. I think he used to bartend at this afterhours joint I used to chill at on 16th Street. He made a good Corona. Or, at least, he popped the top off of a good Corona. His name is Gregory Keith. Rod has a nice appreciation of dude at Rod 2.0 with pics, natch…My new teen obsession: Veronica Mars on UPN (though I’ve discovered it, as I do many of my TV obsessions, via the first season on DVD). She’s like a teen female Lew Archer, world-weary and scrambling around SoCal, a little sad, a little lost, but on her game investigation-wise. Between Miss Mars, the kids on One Tree Hill, and ol’ standby Rory Gilmore, I’m about to give up on those brats over on The O.C.—how did such a great show fall so far in quality? It can’t be that hard to come up with sexy soapy storylines, you’re on FOX for crying out loud…

Did an interview with Derek and Romaine over at Sirius Out Q Radio last night. Those kids cracked me up, especially Romaine telling me that, lesbian tho she may be, if she had to take a dick it would have to be at least 7 and a half inches and very thick to get her off. Something about the depth and width of her snatch. I knew there were some female size queens out there, but I’d never met a gay one. Brava!

My new favorite music: “Passer By” by Mattafix, “I Want to be Buried In Your Backyard” by Nightmares of You, “Soul Survivor” by Jeezy & Akon, and CDs The Runaway Found by The Veils and Tourist by Athlete (okay, not exactly “new” but new to me, who’s been under the radar for a little while…)

Aight, about to crash so I can get my plane to the West Coast…If you’re allowed to come out and play this week in Oakland and Berkeley, stop by Cody’s on Telegraph on Thursday and/or Marcus Books on Friday…

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California, Here I Come

Quote of the Day: “It’s easier to leave than to be left behind…” –R.E.M., “Leaving New York”

West coast book tour stuff: I’ll be out in Cali this week, doing some talks and signings, if any of you guys wanna roll by and check out some HUNG stuff.
On Thursday, November 10, I’ll be part of a panel discussion on Hip Hop and Sex at Cody’s Books, 2454 Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. That’ll be at 7:30. Come on by. Check out Cody’s Calendar here….Then on Friday night I’ll be reading from and signing copies of HUNG at Marcus Books in Oakland, located at 3900 MLK Jr. Way. That’ll be at 6:30. Stop by if you can. I might be heading south to LA while I’m out there, but no news on that yet. Stay tuned.

Other HUNG News: Got a very nice review in the New York Times Book Review this weekend, written by E. Lynn Harris. Gotta send shouts to Rod and Keith Boykin as well, for nice reviews that seemed to get what the book was about.

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Notes From the Underground, Overground, and Every Ground in Between

Quote of the Day: “Time goes by so slowly for those who wait/No time to hesitate/Those who run seem to have all the fun…”–Madonna, “Hung Up”

First things first, some q’s on the TV front: Didn’t Tuesday’s episode of Nip/Tuck give new meaning to the word “facial”? And on Noah’s Arc: even though Noah was “being himself” at the sports bar with Wade, did that really look like the kinda place where you ordered an apple martini? And what was that outfit he had on when Wade showed up to pick him up? Homeboy’s a screenwriter, someone who supposedly gets human nature and observes the world around him–straight or gay, wouldn’t he have any idea what a sportsbar would be like?…Last time I talked about Noah’s Arc, I raved about how much I loved the character Wade. Add Trey, Alex’s big boy to that list. And I got a big kick outta the Betty Broderick homage in last week’s episode, with dude driving the SUV right up into his man’s other man’s crib. I bet Meredith Baxter would be proud…

In HUNG News: The reading/signing at Brownstone Books in Brooklyn last night was fun. Signed a few books, answered some questions, hung out a bit afterward with owner Crystal Bobb-Semple and Brooklyn-based author Bernice McFadden. Shout out to author Rochelle Alers, a Long Island buddy who came out and brought her pal Michelle, who asked me how she should go about recommending HUNG to her boyfriend. I told her to tell him it’s a book about the inner lives of black men but that it gets to the dick of the matter rather than the heart.

Oh yeh, for all you peeps who tune into WBLS in the afternoon, I’ll be chatting with Wendy Williams on her show today, sometime around 4pm. Check it out…

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I promised I’d share some of the letters I’ve gotten since HUNG was released. Some are funny; others are serious. Some of the peeps said they were too embarrassed to post in the comments section but didnt mind me sharing their letters with other readers. Thanks to them, and all the rest of you who choose to share your thoughts with me, positive or negative (but a real big-up to the positive ones–they make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside). If you got any questions you wanna ask or comments you wanna make, feel free to click the comment button below the entry or just email me at TheSPBQ@aol.com. Read on:

Dear Scott,
I think I know who the rapper on the DL is in your book. If I guess, will you tell me if I’m right or not? I promise I won’t tell anyone if you tell me that I’m right. –R. in Atlanta

Dear R—
No, I ain’t gonna tell you if your guess is right or wrong. I’m not too into outing peeps, which is one of the reasons I changed his name in the book. Then again, if you can correctly guess the island location of my retirement dream house — and maybe put some cash toward the down payment — we might be able to discuss things.

Dear Mr. Poulson-Bryant,
I am a black man with an average size dick. Never bothered me. Never bothered any of the women I been with either. That’s cause I know how to fuck like a champ. I feel bad for brothas who let their size big or small get to them like a few of the guys in your book. Maybe I need to write a book about how to satisfy a woman when you got an average dick. –G. in New Rochelle

Dear G:
More power to you, bro…Some brothas aren’t as confident as you are and invest a lot of their self-worth and ability in the size of their johnsons. I interviewed a few dudes like that for HUNG and told the story about one of them. As for your book, I think you might have a bestseller on your hands.

Scott—
As a white woman who loves predominantly black men, I have to say I was glad to hear about your book cause people talk about the stereotype (like my girlfriends who don’t get with black men and always ask me if I do it because they have big dicks) but I’ve met black dudes with big dicks and little dicks and in between. All I have to say is more people should read your book so the real story can be told. — S. in Chicago (where the finest black men in the world live)

Dear S.
Thanks for writing. I don’t know if I’m telling the “real story” or even if I want to. I just wanted to investigate how the stereotype of black men have huge dicks permeates the culture and affects how black men are perceived. And I might have to agree with you about the fine brothas in Chicago. I was playing a game of Questions with a crew of folks from Chicago a few years ago and I commented on the same thing. Even the straight brothas playing had to big me up for saying that.

Dear Scott,
I loved your book, but I had a question. In the short section where you write about brothas on the DL you said: “When you’re wearing Timberlands as you’re dicking a dude, you’re fucking in context.” Can you explain what you mean by that?
R. in D.C.

Yo R—
I’m one of those guys who doesn’t find the DL as offensive as others. Rather, even though I think of it as a choice that some brothas take to protect themselves, I also regard it as a stage of sexual development for some guys too afraid to make a public and definitive declaration about their same-sex desires. That said, tho, some of it, to me, is also about cultural codes. Timberlands represent a specific mode of fashion for brothas young and old. Timberlands symbolize a point of view for some brothas and anyone black or anyone who associates with anyone black knows that fashion is a major way of defining who we are. To put it another way, a dude who isn’t going to gussy himself up in Prada or D&G to define himself as a fashion-forward queer boy just might be donning his Tims and jerseys and jeans to make a statement about his own masculinity—yet indulging in the same sort of sex. It’s all in context.

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I’ll be on the West Coast next week. In the Bay Area, specifically, tho I might be making a little skip down to LA while I’m out there. On Thursday the 9th, I’ll be on a panel about hiphop and sex at Cody’s in Berkeley. Then on Friday, the 10th, I’ll be at Marcus Books in Oakland reading from and signing HUNG. Come on out if you’re around…

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