Thursday, June 13, 2013

Drawing Blood, reflection one.

Part of my "read-everything-on-my-bookshelf" project. Book two:

Drawing Blood // Poppy Z Brite

This is my first. The first book I ever fell in love with. The first book I ever read with gay protagonists. The first Poppy Z Brite book, of whom I would become obsessed. I picked this book up after a suggestion from my BFF Kim somewhere around the age of 14 or 15, at the Joplin Public Library. Fun fact: the library's copy I read then is still there! I can barely believe it! It's a historical artifact in my life!

So, I read this book probably once every three years or so. It's a tale of a tortured boy (thin artist-type with ginger hair) who confronts his dark past (his dad killed himself and his mom and brother with a freakin' hammer when he was like 5, but kept him alive) and falls in love with another tortured boy (thin hacker-type with blue-black hair) in the process. Sound cheesy? It is. Sound freakin' summer-read-FLUFF-amazing? It is that too.

So I'm rereading it again (started on my vacation, reading by creeks and in deserts and weird Tucumcari motel rooms) for like the 6th time. This is serious for me. When I reread a book, I might reread it once, mayyyyybe twice. But this book. This book keeps me coming back like crack. I can't get enough of Brite's prose. She makes ugly sound so textural and thick and smelly and wonderful, somehow.

This reread I'm feeling the fluff more than ever; this book is not serious, despite all the gore. This is a coming-of-age story, and it came for me at the perfect time. I needed to see goth kids in fiction at 14, because I was just getting into Shirley Manson and "The Long Kiss Goodnight". I needed to see gay men in fiction because there was nothing I was into more than skinny pale boys with a side of tortured-past. Broken beautiful boys like wounded birds. Yep, that was my thing. I still enjoy a little whimper here and there, but I like to keep that to myself, mostly. Anyway, so fluff. This is probably the most erotic book I like. Most of the time I don't do erotica unless there's something off about it. Off about the people, not off about the act.

I love all the characters in Brite's earlier works (for me her cheesiness didn't translate to her Ricky and G-Man characters in the aughts). They're all strange and interesting and....did I mention tortured? Angsty? I just eat that shit UP, I tell ya.

I'm enjoying it immensely, if you were confused. ;) This is my familiar blanket book. I like to revisit the relationship of Trevor and Zach the same way I like to relive Jim and Pam, Buffy and Spike, and yes, Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet. I feel love too! I just like it when it's tortured. Have I said tortured enough times in this blog?

I want to buy the hardcover again (lost in the you-know-what of 2011) because my paperback is beginning to resist my multiple attempts at gluing it back together. So, I'm just to the part where Trevor has gone back into the house and the lamp worked after 20 years and Zach is going to show up ANY minute. Then things get real weird. Stay tuned!


  1. I recall The Long Kiss Goodnight and really digging it. I'm way past the angsty-ness of my youth, but do like to revisit it from time to time in a reminiscent, I had all of the time in the world to ruminate upon my angsty-ness, reading books and writing obsessivly in my journal. Now, I don't write (much) anymore and just have heart palpitations....ahh adulthood. Just from your description of the texture and taste of the book, I'm sold. Off to the KC library site to see if they have it. I could use some gutsy fluff. xo

  2. It's definitely fluff. Let me know how it goes!